Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (C)
Sunday 26 December 2021
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear Sisters and Brothers
I am sending out the Parish Newsletter early, ahead of a rather busy few days. Later on today, we will be celebrating the Vigil Mass of the Nativity of the Lord, joyfully awaiting the arrival of the celebration at Midnight of the Birth of Christ into our deeply wounded but still beautiful and sacred world as one like us, taking on our humanity so that we might share in his divinity. Then we have the two Christmas Day Masses – 10am at St James and 11.30am at St Boniface. Because of the way Christmas has fallen this year, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which is always celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, takes place immediately after Christmas Day. The Masses on Sunday are as usual – 10am at St James and 11.30am at St Boniface. Please note that there will NOT be a Vigil Mass of Sunday on Christmas Day!
With the continuing spread of the omicron variant of COVID19, the Newsletter contains some very important information from local charity Mid Devon Mobility about its project “Keeping Our Isolated Community Connected”. This project offers a number of services for those who are having to isolate due to infection. The charity is also looking for more volunteers to help provide these services. It is so good to know that these initiatives are taking place in the wider community and we should do what we can to support them.
Together with the Newsletter, you will find the December Newsletter Synodal Update from the Diocesan Co-ordinators. Many thanks again to our parish facilitators for enabling a good number of parishioners of all ages to take part in the listening process – a process which will continue in the New Year, when we will be reaching out to those on the margins of the Church and those who have no connection at all with it. Our facilitators will be giving some feedback on the Advent part of the process soon.
Deacon Peter offers us Inspire 9 to support our reflections during the coming week. As you will be aware, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord lasts for eight whole days – called the Christmas Octave – ending next Saturday 1 January 2022, with the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. It is important that we try to sustain our celebrations, both spiritual and material, throughout the Christmas Octave and resist the temptation to follow the tendency of the world around us to quickly move on to the next big focus of our consumer society. Indeed, for us the Christmas Season does not end until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday 9 January.
Monika Manser also shares with us a guide to praying with this Sunday’s Gospel.
I will you every blessings for a Holy and Happy Christmas and may God bless the New Year abundantly for all of us.
Always in prayer
Blessings for a happy and holy Christmas Season and for the coming New Year! A special thank you to all those who have given of their time to prepare our churches for the celebration of the Lord’s Nativity – the flower arrangers, crib erectors, church decorators and cleaners – and all those who have contributed to the beauty and solemnity of the Liturgy – servers, readers, musicians, singers and stewards. All these contributions come together to enable us to celebrate the Good News of the Incarnation, of “God-with-us”, in a fitting way as a parish family.
Visit the Christmas Crib
Do spend some time visiting, praying and reflecting in front of the Christmas Crib in church. Each year the donations left there are given to the Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth) for its work across the Diocese spreading God’s love and giving families hope in times of crisis.
“Unwanted Gifts” Sale
On the weekend of 8/9 January after Mass there will be a sale of “Unwanted Gifts” in the Hall. Any donations will be very welcome and can be left in the Hall. It you have any queries, please contact Sheelagh – telephone number available from the parish office
The Night Journey” – a Great Christmas Gift!
Fr Robbie Low, a priest of our diocese, has written a lovely new Christmas children’s book, ‘The Night Journey’, a reflection on the Mass which leads us to the Manger and the Child in the arms of Mary. It is beautifully illustrated by Jan Burrell and begins and ends in the parish church and family home. Endorsed by Bishop Mark as “a great Christmas gift for children, grandchildren and godchildren – a little work of evangelisation and, as you will find in the book, a key link across the generations”, the book costs £7.50 and all proceeds go to charities working with disadvantaged children. Copies are available at the entrance to church.
Welcome the Stranger
All are invited to join Caritas Plymouth for an hour of prayer, reflection and discussion. This free online event from 5-6.00pm on Tuesday 8 February 2022 will discuss the issues facing refugees, migrants and those affected by modern slavery. We look forward to welcoming guest speakers from the Jesuit Refugee Service and Brigid McEleney-Smith from Companions Sidmouth, who will highlight the opportunities that can be achieved through community sponsorship. Register to attend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or following this link https://forms.office.com/r/K3uz5LLY2X.
Marriage Matters – “We Grow, We change”
Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family:
Mary and Joseph had forgotten that Jesus was growing and maturing into a young man! The story illustrates how subtle are the changes which happen in relationships. As Mary and Joseph had to return to Jerusalem to find Jesus, we too must return to each other continually so we can grow into the deeply loving couple we dreamed of becoming.
A short reflection on the Scriptures of each Sunday with married couples in particular in mind by https://www.twoinoneflesh.org.uk/, a member of https://www.allianceofcatholicmarriageorganisations.org.uk/, where helpful resources can be found for married couples and those preparing for marriage.
Mid Devon Mobility – ‘Keeping Our Isolated Community Connected’
It is a well-known fact that COVID19 is the biggest health crisis we have experienced for generations which has had a major impact on the vulnerable people in our community. Loneliness and isolation are awful feelings at any point of your life, especially when you have the additional worry of how you are going to get essential items and the financial burden of not being able to work. With a lot of the world trying to return back to more ‘normal’ times, people are forgetting there are still many people having to self-isolate and who are struggling.
The project ‘Keeping Our Isolated Community Connected’ will have an immediate benefit for ANYBODY who is having to isolate through a very difficult period in their lives. If you/or someone you know is having to isolate due to COVID19 and is struggling to get essential services, please get in contact with the MDM team on the telephone number below. The services within the project include:
- Shopping Delivery – ensuring people are able to obtain the essential items they need. The order will be taken over the telephone through to our coordinator (Max 20 Items), who will pass on to the driver to do the shopping and deliver to the client’s doorstep.
- Prescription Collection & Delivery – will be delivered in the same way as above, ensuring people are able to obtain their essential medications. (small delivery charge)
- Hot Food Delivery – Delivering hot food directly to the doors of isolating people. (Free Delivery in Tiverton – food only charge)
- Telephone Befriending – a team of volunteers will contact anybody needing to receive regular, friendly phone calls to people who are struggling to cope with the loneliness caused by the isolation. (FREE Service)
- Activity Boxes – boxes containing weekly themed activities which will be delivered directly to people’s doors to help alleviate the isolation boredom and provide a ‘talking point’ to share with friends/family/volunteer befrienders. (small delivery charge)
- I-Pad Isolation Connection – group Zoom sessions organised and hosted by our Coordinator, which may include a quiz or just a good old chat and catch, giving the opportunity to share experiences and help each other through the isolation. (FREE Service)
- Dog Walking – organized and set up by the Coordinator who will allocate a volunteer to provide a regular dog walking service.
Please just give the team a call on 01884 242099 if you would like any more information or to book a service.
** VOLUNTEERS NEEDED ** – Alternatively, if you are the sort of person who likes to help others and have some spare time on your hands or know somebody who might be interested in volunteering, please do get in touch with today!
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 25 December – Nativity of the Lord
- First Mass of Christmas at 12 midnight (Carols from 11.30pm)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am
Sunday 26 December – Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (C)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Eileen and Brian Connor RIP
Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Pro Populo
Monday 27 December – St John, Apostle
- No Mass
Tuesday 28 December – The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Martin McKinney RIP (anniv)
Wednesday 29 December – St Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr
- No Mass
Thursday 30 December – Sixth Day of Christmas Octave
- Holy Mass in Polish at 6.00pm
Friday 31 December – Seventh Day of Christmas Octave
- Holy Baptism of Ignacy Ryba at 10.00am
- Adoration and Confessions at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon Czesław Pacosz RIP (anniv)
Saturday 1 January – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
Sunday 2 January – Second Sunday after the Nativity (C)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)