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ST THOMAS MORE CHURCH, BEXLEYHEATH.

THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

DECEMBER IS THE MONTH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION


Dear parishioners,


TURNING TOWARDS GOD THIS ADVENT

1. Come to daily rosary and mass, especially from December 17th in the novena for Christmas.

2. Read the daily reflection in ‘Walk with Me’.

3. Come to the Advent Reflections on Advent Fridays after mass.

4. Sign up to receive the Archdiocese of Southwark daily Advent Reflections.

5. Make your confession before Christmas.

More details of all of the above below.


Advent begins by inviting us to contemplate the great mystery of faith – the return of Christ, the Second Coming, the blessed hope of the Church. The Liturgy of the Word makes present this ancient expectation of the Messiah. Through it we share in both the Advent preparation for the Saviour’s first coming, and renew our ardent desire for his Second Coming. To pray ‘Come, Lord Jesus, Come’ is the work of the Holy Spirit; through it we express the deepest heartfelt desire of the Spirit and the Bride. ‘The Spirit and the Bride say ‘Come’ ( Revelation 22: 17) Advent is a very special invitation: an opportunity to sing praises and rejoice in the first coming of the Messiah, but also to prepare for the return of the King’ .( Daily Reflection from First Sunday of Advent ‘Walk with Me’ page 7)

This Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent and begins the Church’s new liturgical year. The Season of Advent is divided into two parts. The first part until December 16th focuses on the Second Coming of Christ, the second part until 24th December looks to the first coming of Christ, God made man, the Word made flesh. Advent is a time of reflection and we are encouraged to pray and do penance, including making our confession. We have for many years been given some helpful guidance in our spiritual journey through Advent by the daily reflections of ‘Walk With Me’ , quoted above. These excellent little booklets will be available to all after all Sunday masses this weekend and parishioners are asked to make a £1.00 donation to cover the parish expense. On some days, the reflections from Walk with Me will also be read after the Gospel on Weekday masses.


It is pleasing also to say that following the success of our Lenten reflections in the house on Friday mornings, Patricia Kilgannon will be leading Advent Reflections on Fridays this Advent. This is a good chance to share in the Gospel together and how it is lived out in our lives. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.


COME! TO THE ADVENT FRIDAY REFLECTION IN THE HOUSE AFTER 10 O’CLOCK MASS. The reflection will focus on the Advent Sunday gospels and last for half hour approximately. The aim of the reflection meetings is for members of STM to make a good preparation for Christmas. All are welcome.


ADVENT MESSAGE FROM BISHOP PAUL HENDRICKS


Advent can be such a busy demanding time, but we encourage you to make some space to reflect and pray this advent. Sign up for our free Southwark Diocesan ‘Daily Advent Reflections’ to aid your prayer.

Every day during Advent you will receive an email with a very brief thought for the day based on the daily reading. It is an opportunity to listen to Gods invitation to you this advent. All you have to do is sign up and then set aside a couple of minutes each day to reflect! Sign up via the Commission web site: http://www.southwarkdsc.org.uk/ clicking on the Advent Reflection box. Alternatively, if you are viewing this online, you can sign up directly by clicking here:


REPORT ON PRO-CARITAS MEETING attended on Saturday 5 Nov by Lawrence Dadzie, parishioner & parish CAFOD representative.


Chair/Facilitator: Fr Victor Darlington, Episcopal Vicar.

The Meeting was attended by two parishioners, Lawrence and Dorothy.


What was the meeting about? Why Pro CARITAS?

This is an initiative by Archbishop John Wilson and all the parishes of the Archdiocese were invited. The meeting was meant to give the vision of the Archbishop on the care and support provided by parishes for people in our parish and outside it.


This initiative has its basis on the Gospel of love (caritas), where we are all called to live the Gospel by loving one another, helping one another (some biblical examples were cited here).


There was a group discussion and feedback , where we focussed on what charities exist in the parishes, what they do and how parishes can learn from other parishes and also what ideas could be shared to enable us to optimise what we do.

It was emphasised that this was not a new organisation but a meeting to find out what is available in the parishes and from the feedback to help create a roadmap on which to build Caritas Southwark.


In a nutshell, Caritas as presented by Fr Victor is an umbrella group with smaller groups(families) of charities. It is meant as a response to our Christian vocation.

We were able to highlight some of the charities we support in the parish of St Thomas More, listed below:


CAFOD: October and in Lent

Food Bank: ongoing

Bexley and Greenwich Hospice.

Raffles and Contributions for helping Disabled people going to Lourdes

Bexley Homeless Shelter, Missio, Prisoners’ Trust (PACT), AGE UK, NSPCC, Catholic Children’s Society Crib Appeal, The Royal British Legion, Apostleship of the Sea, SPUC White Flower Appeal, Embrace the Middle East, Fr Francis Memorial Fund etc


Personal viewpoints:

We are doing a lot in the Parish already and we do not need to launch anything new and bigger but we should try and consolidate what we currently do. The momentum and the impact may be lessened if we try to do much bigger things as some parishes do or are aiming to do.


St Thomas More Parish Club

Christmas social evening Music by Annie Gee

Friday 9th December 2022

8.00 pm till 11pm

Door admission - Adults £3

St Thomas More Hall Long Lane DA7 5JW

Call Jenny 07710 527692

or Mary 07749 197957




COFFEE MORNING 9:00 am to 12:00 noon Sunday 27th November 2022, St Thomas More Church Hall. Bring some cash to church with you as coffee mornings are not contactless, but more importantly are occasions to support your parish and keep or make contact with other parishioners. Coffee mornings are a response to your requests and may soon end up a thing of the past if no-one bothers to turn up.

Repository with religious items, Christmas cards and Stalls with knitted jumpers and other crafts.



Church for Children. The ‘Children’s liturgy’ is doing a great job, continuing this Sunday and will finish for Christmas on the 11/12.


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.


Now Accepting Contactless Donations



You will find our new DIGITAL COLLECTION PLATE, contactless terminal in the church. Just use your contactless debit/credit card or smart phone/ device to make a donation.


Simply choose the amount you wish to donate and

hold your card onto the reader.


You can also opt-in for Gift Aid to increase your donation by 25%.

If you are a UK taxpayer then donating with Gift Aid means that we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 received.


Contactless donations are simple to administer, secure and convenient. Please note that cash donations can still be made in the baskets.



THURSDAY LUNCH CLUB This Thursday, 17th November.


ST THOMAS MORE SENIOR CITIZENS CHRISTMAS LUNCH. Thursday 8th December 2022, 12. 30 p.m. Invitations will be given out in the next week. Please contact Fr Jonathon or Tony on 07833 707016 for more details. Transport is being arranged. Can you help with transport? Please let me or Tony know.

TRANSPORT TO CHURCH. HELP NEEDED!


I recently received a phone call from the daughter of a housebound parishioner asking if any parishioners brought the housebound elderly to mass on a Sunday because at her parish in another diocese there were a number of people engaged in this. How are we doing on this? I’ll leave that to you to answer, but if anyone would like to step forward and co-ordinate with me a list of people who could make it to mass if they had transport, that would be a great help. Meantime, there is an elderly and lifelong parishioner who lives off Oakhampton Crescent who would definitely come to mass if someone would bring him and take him back. I hope and pray someone hears his plea. Please contact me if you can help and I’ll give you the details to contact him, or we can visit him first together and make the arrangements.


A DAY WITH MARY

1. Saturday 3rd December 2022 at St. Mary’s. Wellesley Road, Croydon from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Please bring a packed lunch.

2. Saturday 10th December 2022 at St.George’s Cathedral from 10. 15 a.m. to 5.15 p.m. Please bring packed lunch.


FIRST CONFESSION & HOLY COMMUNIONS 2023.


Application forms are available for collection from the priest at the end of all Sunday masses and should be returned to him after Sunday mass on a following Sunday.


Key dates:

Closing date for applications. Sunday 13th November 2022.

First Holy Communion Group Christmas Choir for the Christmas Vigil Mass. 24th December 2022

First Session: 10.30 a.m. Saturday 7th January 2023.

First Confessions: probably a Saturday morning in March: to be confirmed.

Children’s Stations of the Cross: 10.30 a.m. Good Friday, 7th April 2023

First Holy Communions: Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June 2023.


The fulfilment of the Sunday obligation to attend mass on all Catholics (with obvious exemptions) is required for all families with their children preparing to receive their First Holy Communion.



Confirmation 2023.


Application forms are available for collection from the priest at the end of all Sunday masses and should be returned to him after Sunday mass on a following Sunday.


Key dates:

Closing date for applications: Sunday 8th January 2023

Parents Meeting: Wednesday 11th January 2023 at 7 p.m.

First Session: Sunday 22nd January 2023

Confession: To be confirmed

Confirmation: Sunday 23rd July 2023 at 11 a.m.


The fulfilment of the Sunday obligation to attend mass on all Catholics (with obvious exemptions) is required for all those preparing to receive their Confirmation.

DEATHS


For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)

Please pray for the souls of:


Clare Cullen who died on Friday 23rd September 2022 aged 92. Her funeral requiem was on Monday 31st October 2022 at 11.00 a.m. with committal at Camberwell New Cemetery.


Teresa Cooper, who died on Wednesday 5th October 2022 aged 77. Her funeral was on Monday 7th November at 12.00 noon with committal at Eltham Crematorium at 1.45 p.m.


Denis McLaughlin, who died on Tuesday 18th October. His funeral was on Friday 28th October in Belfast, Ireland.


John Maloney, 85, who died on Tuesday 1st November 2022. His funeral was on Monday 21st November 2022 at 6.00 p.m. followed by committal at St. Michael’s Church, Castletown, Co. Westmeath, Ireland.


May the divine assistance remain with them always, and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.


MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

Instaurare Omnia in Christo: "to restore all things in Christ."


Saturday 26th November St. Silvester, abbot. [T.C.]

9.00 a.m. Confessions.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. (Latin 1962) Bruno Castanha R.I.P.

6.00 p.m. Confessions.

+ 6.30 p.m. ADVENT SUNDAY (A) Bernie’s grandparents: Matthias & Eliza D’Souza, Baptist & Abelina Carrasco R.I.P.


Sunday 27th November

8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG. The departed souls of the Dass & Devadas families R.I.P.

+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (Latin with English Readings/ missa adventus/ XVII). Hilda Fernandes R.I.P.


7.00 p.m. Parish Social Evening in the Hall.


Monday 28th November Advent feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

10.00 a.m. Sean Maloney R.I.P.


Tuesday 29th November Ss Cuthbert Mayne & companions, martyrs.

. 9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

10.00 a.m. Calistus Bioduro Olumofe R.I.P.


Wednesday 30th November St. Andrew, apostle, patron of Scotland, feast.

The Daily Rosary at home.

NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY.


Thursday 1st December Ss Edmund Campion, Ralph Sherwin & Alexander Briant, priests & martyrs.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. The departed souls of the Fernandes and Rodrigues Families R.I.P.

1.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club.


Friday 2nd December Advent feria.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. Iris Hayward R.I.P.


6.00 p.m. Choir Practice. New members welcome.


Saturday 3rd December St. Francis Xavier, priest.

9.00 a.m. Confessions.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. (Latin 1962) Thomas Brady Snr R.I.P.

6.00 p.m. Confessions.

+ 6.30 p.m. ADVENT SUNDAY Mrs Abreo & deceased family members R.I.P.


DECEMBER PRAYERS FOR THE INTERCESSION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: THE ALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER. Listen to it here:



Alma redemptoris mater Quae pervia caeli porta manes et stella maris Succurre cadenti surgere qui curat populo Tu quae genuisti natura mirante Tuum sanctum genitorem Virgo prius ac posterius Gabrielis ab ore,

sumens illud ave Peccatorum miserere.


translation:

Loving Mother of the Redeemer, Gate of Heaven, star of the sea, Assist your people who have fallen, as we strive to rise again, To the wonderment of nature, You bore your Creator, Yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, Have pity on us sinners.


The Alma Redemptoris Mater, like all the seasonal Marian antiphons, is sung to the more familiar simple tone on weekdays and the solemn tone on Sundays and solemnities. The youtube link above is to the solemn tone, one of the most beautiful prayers elevated to the heavens by music. You can also hear this on Sundays at the end of the 11 o'clock mass at St Thomas More.


God bless,

Fr Jonathon



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