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ST THOMAS MORE CHURCH, BEXLEYHEATH.


THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT


DECEMBER IS THE MONTH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION


Dear parishioners,


THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.THURSDAY 8th DECEMBER. MASS 10.00 A.M. & 7.00 P.M.


Nothing is quite as it was.. I’m hearing it all the time, not only in our country and the teaching of the The Church, but everything is being hollowed out of meaning. There’s a kind of great emptying going on of all that we have known.


What shall we do? Having listened to last Sunday’s gospel, we shall be ready for the Lord, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose Immaculate Heart in this sinful world was perfectly ready to receive and hear the good news of our salvation. In union with the Mother of the Church, it is not a sinful world The Church needs to be listening to and then following in worship, teaching and morals, but God alone.


In the midst of a world emptying itself of meaning, The Church rejoices because The Immaculate Heart of Mary was only empty of human sin. In Mother Mary, we may hold on to meaning in our lives, because through her we encounter God who was, is and ever shall be the meaning and point of human life. Empty of sin and full of God’s grace: that’s what the Angel Gabriel meant when he brought good tidings to Our Lady with the words, ‘ Hail Mary,full of Grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women’.


Listen to the response of the Blessed Virgin, as expressed in the introit of Thursday’s great feast, ‘ I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; and with the robe of righteousness he has covered me, as a bridegroom decked with a crown, and as bride adorned with her jewels. I will extol you, O Lord, for you have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me’.


With our Blessed Lady, we will not let the foes of Catholicism rejoice over The Church, but shall continue rejoicing with her at the good news of our salvation through the faith and practice passed on to us. Listen to Mary’s song and with Mary who is the Immaculate Conception, we shall hold on to the hope of Jesus Christ our God and King, the only true meaning in this world’s darkness, confusion and emptiness:


Youtube: INTROIT • “Gaudens Gaudebo” — Immaculate Conception (DEC 8th) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO5cVEzk4F0&t=11s








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



Church for Children. You are invited to bring your children to our ‘Children’s liturgy’ at the 9.00 o’clock mass on Sunday. We will finish for Christmas on the 11th December

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.


ST THOMAS MORE SENIOR CITIZENS CHRISTMAS LUNCH. This Thursday 8th December 2022, 12. 30 p.m.. Please contact Fr Jonathon or Tony on 07833 707016 for more details. Transport is being arranged. Can you help with transport? Please let me orTony know.



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.


TRANSPORT TO CHURCH. HELP NEEDED! SECOND WEEK OF ASKING


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.


So far, no help has been offered.


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 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 SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT

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


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. SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT Mrs Abreo & deceased family members R.I.P.


Sunday 4th December

8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG. Reagan Pereira TG

+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (Latin with English Readings/ missa d’angelis). Freny Adagra’s departed friends and family R.I.P.


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


Monday 5th December St. John Almond, priest & martyr.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary.

10.00 a.m. Lawrence Hayward’s departed friends and family R.I.P.


Tuesday 6th December St. Nicholas, bishop.

The Daily Rosary at home.

NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY


Wednesday 7th December St. Ambrose, bishop & doctor of the church, memorial.

The Daily Rosary at home.

NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY.


Thursday 8th December THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, SOLEMNITY, PRINICPAL PATRON OF THE DIOCESE. Launch of St Thomas More Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes in October 2023.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. Helen Gaskin R.I.P. (birthday anniversary)

12.00 noon Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch.

5.00 p.m. St Thomas More Primary School Year 3&4 Christmas Carols. For parents and family only please.

7.00 p.m. SUNG MASS (in Latin & English/ missa IX cum jubilo)) Fr Doug Bull, parish priest of Bexley TG (for the fortieth anniversary of his priesthood)


Friday 9th December Ss John Roberts, Polydore Plasden and Eustace White, priests & martyrs.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

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


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


Saturday 10th December Feria with comm. of St. Melchiades (TC)

9.00 a.m. Confessions.

9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary

+10.00 a.m. (Latin 1962) The people of the parish.

6.00 p.m. Confessions.

+ 6.30 p.m. THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT Tracey D’Souza TG


DECEMBER PRAYERS FOR THE INTERCESSION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: THE ALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alma+redemptoris+mater+solemn+tone


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. 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. 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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