JANUARY IS THE MONTH OF THE MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS
The Third Week of Ordinary Time
WHITE FLOWER APPEAL 2023
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is holding its annual appeal this weekend. SPUC’s mission is to save the lives of unborn babies and protect women from abortion. Every new life is a wonderful gift from God and every baby is loved and cherished by God from the first moment of his or her existence. SPUC works to build a society which reflects this unconditional love that God has for every one of us. And it wants to create a society which cherishes motherhood and helps parents to do the best for their children.
SPUC wants a world where abortion is unthinkable, and is currently raising awareness of the widespread problem of abortion coercion.
It is helpful to remind ourselves of the clear teaching of The Church on Abortion. The killing of a baby in the womb breaks the Commandment of God ‘you shall not kill’, and this essentially includes the tiniest and most dependent human beings. Abortion is not ‘a question’ in Catholic teaching. A human being is not a human being just because an older human being decides it is, but when it is unwanted, then it is not and can be ‘terminated’. The same applies to all human beings of all ages. When we decide who is human and who is not, we make ourselves gods and so break the first command of God ‘you shall have no other Gods but me’ and this leads to the evils of slavery, euthanasia, ‘scientific racism’, wars and abortion. Increasingly, acclaiming the absolute value of human life in the world evokes hatred in the world. Even to stand silently outside an abortion clinic can lead to arrest…just for silently thinking a prayer, without even rosary beads in hand. But this is the destiny of those who bear witness to the Cross of Christ, who became one with us through his conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As Christians, we remember that it is on the Feast of The Annunciation (25th March) we celebrate the great mystery of our Faith, the Incarnation, when Mary conceived the Lord in her womb, and not Christmas Day, when he was born. It is at the Annunciation, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us: this above all is why we believe that all life, from conception to the grave is sacred, because Jesus sanctified it from his conception to his death. Below is the teaching of The Church from the Catechism:
 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Psalm 22:10-11.
 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society
 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation: "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death." "The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined.... As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."
 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.
[all paragraphs extracted from THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 1994]
Tragically, the threats facing unborn children in our country are very great with over ten million babies having lost their lives since 1967, and now abortion is treated ever more casually. According to an independent poll, 87% of GPs are concerned that the Government's ''pills by post'' scheme leaves women vulnerable to coerced abortion. SPUC is calling on the Prime Minister to condemn this abhorrent tragedy.
Please let us support the work of SPUC by praying for them and give generously to support them. Contact SPUC on 02070917091 or visit their website.
PARISH NOTICE BOARD
If you ordered a Diocesan Directory, these are now available in the sacristy after mass.
FOOD BANK. Don’t forget the Food Bank collection crate in the Church Porch! People are not managing to afford the basic essentials of life. If you can contribute some long life milk, canned food, packets of pasta, toilet rolls or any other non-perishable basics, you will be helping our neighbours in great need.
PARISH YOUTH NOTICES
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE THIRD WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME
JANUARY INVOCATIONS TO THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS.