2nd Sunday after the Nativity (Year C)
Sunday 2 January 2022
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Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
I wish you a very happy and blessed New Year!
2021 has been a tough year for many in our parish community, particularly for those who have lost loved ones. The restrictions necessitated by the on-going presence of the Coronavirus have also continued to impact on our life as a parish, liturgically, socially and in school. However, as a people of hope and belief in resurrection, we are watchful for those glimpses of new life which every now and then we see with the eyes of faith. On this first day of the new civil year, dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, let us pray fervently for her intercession for ourselves, our families, our parish community, our wider community, our country and indeed the whole world that, like her, we may be open to the transforming action of the Holy Spirit and be willing to put ourselves at the service of God’s will – “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word”, so that the presence and the light of Christ and the values of the Reign of God may shine out through us bringing light where there is darkness, truth where there is falsehood, justice where there is injustice, peace where there is discord, healing where there is pain, unity where this is division and life where there is death.
We continue with the Season of Christmas for another week, culminating in the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord on Thursday and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord next weekend. It is important that the full message of Christmas is celebrated by us. Although we adore the wondrous and world-changing union of our humanity with the divine nature in the birth of the Christ-Child in Bethlehem, it is in the ministry and teaching of the ‘adult’ Jesus that we come to understand the enormity of the choice of God to “become flesh and live among us” and who willingly laid down that life, not to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him (cf John 3:17). Let us witness to the fullness of the Christmas story – that the wood of the Manger leading inevitably to the wood of the Tree – by at least maintaining some signs of the Christmas Season in our homes and school until the evening of 9 January.
Thank you again for the generosity of the cards and gifts that you have given me this year. It is truly appreciated.
Together with the Newsletter, Monika Manser offers a guide to prayer on the Gospel of today’s Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, and Deacon Peter shares with us some suggestions to living and praying the Sunday Mass throughout the week in Inspire 10.
As we look in faith, hope and trust to the coming 12 months, it is most appropriate to conclude with the “Aaronic Blessing” that is contained in the First Reading for today’s Solemnity:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.
May each of us and our world be indeed blessed with that “shalom” – that universal unity and harmony between God and the whole creation and within the whole of creation itself – with that peace which the world itself cannot give.
A Blessed Christmastide and a Happy New Year!
The Christmas Season ends with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, so we are being invited to be “countercultural” in our Christian witness and to maintain some signs of Christmas in church and at home for another week. May the New Year be a blessed and happy one for us all!
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.
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
The celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord takes place this Thursday, 6 January. Although Christ was born in Bethlehem in fulfilment of the ancient promises of God to the Jewish people, He came to bring salvation to all people, whoever and wherever they are. Therefore, the Solemnity of the Epiphany – or Manifestation – of the Lord to the Magi proclaims an essential aspect of the message of Christmas. In “normal” times, this Solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation. Although this obligation is still mitigated for those who consider themselves to be particularly vulnerable in gatherings of people, there will be Mass at 10.00am and 6.00pm at St James and at 12noon at St Boniface to enable as many people as possible to get to Mass on that day.
“Unwanted Gifts” Sale
Next weekend after the Masses at St James there will be a sale of “Unwanted Gifts” in the Hall. Any donations are most welcome and can be left in the Hall. If you have any queries, please contact Sheelagh – number available from the paris office.
Bacon Sandwich Breakfast
After 10.00am Mass next Sunday there will be a Bacon Sandwich Breakfast, Covid restrictions permitting!.
“The Night Journey” – a Great Gift of the Christmas Message
Fr Robbie Low, a priest of our diocese, has written a lovely new Christmas children’s book, ‘The Night Journey’, beautifully illustrated by Jan Burrell. Endorsed by Bishop Mark as “a great gift for children, grandchildren and godchildren – a little work of evangelisation and…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 email@example.com or following this link https://forms.office.com/r/K3uz5LLY2X.
White Flower Appeal 2022
Next weekend there will be a collection to support the work of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. SPUC is currently campaigning to protect Pro-Life speech. Pro-life witness is being restricted now more than ever, and we must be able to speak freely to protect unborn children. Please be as generous as you can to help SPUC defend the unborn and their mothers.
Canon Kristian will make the January draw after the 6.00pm Mass this Saturday. Some parishioners make their annual payments for the 200 Club at this time of year. If you wish to know where you stand with regards to your payments, please contact Simon Coombs – number available from the parish office.
Please make any cheques payable to the “Parish of St James and St Boniface” and either hand them to Simon, Sheelagh Bourdon or Margaret Found, or leave them in an envelope (indicating who it is from and that it is for the 200 Club) on the stewards’ table. You can also pay via the SumUp Contactless facility, but you will need to let one of the above mentioned people know that you have made a payment since the machine does not record the name of who is making a payment. Thank you.
Marriage Matters – “Married Wisdom”
St Paul’s Letter tells us: “…the Father of glory give you a spirit of wisdom and perception”. We married couples need wisdom to be our guide through our life together. We need a wisdom that can grow and affect those around us, providing a unique joy if we are open to experience “the rich glories” that have been given to us.
A short reflection on the Scriptures of each Sunday with married couples in particular in mind is taken from 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.
Diocesan Youth Events is running a residential at Heatree Activity Centre on Dartmoor from 18– 20 February, aimed at young people aged 10 (Year 6)-17 (Year 13) inclusive. The weekend is a great opportunity for our young people across the diocese to get together and have some fun together, explore parts of Dartmoor, join in outdoor activities such as climbing, high ropes and abseiling (weather dependant) and to share stories whilst sat around the camp fire and explore faith in our lives. The cost is £95 all inclusive.
Please get in touch with Saskia at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place. To secure a place a deposit of £30 needs to be paid by 9 January. Cost should not be an obstacle if there is someone who would like to attend the weekend but cannot afford it, so please have a word with Canon Kristian if the cost is an issue.
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 1 January – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm Alison Gosnell RIP
Sunday 2 January – Second Sunday after the Nativity
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Adam Komuda RIP (anniv)
Monday 3 January – The Most Holy Name of Jesus
- No Mass
Tuesday 4 January – Weekday of Christmas before Epiphany
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Bridget and Michael Tosh (wedding anniv)
Wednesday 5 January – Weekday of Christmas before Epiphany
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
Thursday 6 January – The Epiphany of the Lord
- Holy Mass at 10.00am
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface)
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm
Friday 7 January – Weekday of Christmas after Epiphany
- Adoration and Confessions at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 8 January – Weekday of Christmas after Epiphany
- Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
Sunday 9 January – The Baptism of the Lord (C)
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo, Bacon Sandwich Breakfast follows
Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)