Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Sunday 31st December, 2023

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Message from Canon Kristian

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Like the Sunday of the Resurrection at Easter, the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord is extended for eight days (known as an “Octave“).  This liturgical tradition underlines the centrality and importance of these days and the doctrines of our Faith that they celebrate.  They are like the two “hinges” of the Christian Faith on which everything else we believe hangs – the Incarnation of Christ among us as a human being and the Resurrection of Jesus to new and everlasting life after his passion and death on the Cross – and their interconnection and relationship: the wood of the crib is destined to become the wood of the Cross.

The Sunday which falls within the Christmas Octave is always the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  This feast emphasises the human reality into which Christ was born and grew in his humanity and self-understanding, a reality which is shared by the vast majority of us – we live and grow within the context of a family, as diverse as the shape of those families might be.

The Octave Day of Christmas falls on 1 January, New Year’s Day, which is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.  Although this is not a Holy Day of Obligation in England and Wales, there will be Mass at 10.00am in St James for those who would like to gather to celebrate Mass to mark the beginning of a new civil year.

Thank you to all those who did so much to prepare our churches for the Christmas celebrations and who led us in our liturgies in reading, Eucharistic ministry, serving, welcoming, music and singing.  This all went to ensure that our Masses with both dignified and joyous.  A personal thanks also to all the parishioners who sent me Christmas greetings and gave me generous gifts.  These were really appreciated and mean a lot.

The Friends of St James and St Boniface will be meeting this coming Friday, 5 January, at 1.00pm in the Hall at St James.  This group has responsibility for reflecting on the social side of parish life and fundraising, and oversees the planning for these activities.  This responsibility is a shared responsibility between all parishioners, and so the group is an open group, which means that any member of the parishioner can come and take part in the group.  No particular expertise is required, just the desire to be a supportive “friend” of the parish.  As we enter into the New Year, this might be a time to consider whether you could give something back to the parish by becoming a member of the Friends. The meetings of the group usually take place on a Saturday morning to facilitate the participation of those who work during the week.  However, as a one-off, the meeting this week will take place on Friday afternoon.

As always, along with the Newsletter this week, I attach the guide to a contemplative reading of the Sunday Gospel from Monika Manser and the latest edition of Inspire from Deacon Peter.

Please remember to keep Bishop-elect Christopher in your prayers, as he prepares to move to our diocese during the month of January and for his episcopal ordination on 22 February.

I wish you every blessing for the New Year 2024.

Canon Kristian

Canon Kristian Paver

Parish Priest

Parish of St James & St Boniface

40 Old Road

Tiverton EX16 4HJ

Pope’s Prayer Intention for January
Throughout the month of January, the Holy Father Pope Francis asks us to join with him in praying for the gift of diversity in the Church: “Let us pray that the Spirit may help us recognise the gift of different charisms within the Christian community, and to discover the richness of different ritual traditions in the heart of the Catholic Church.” To see the Pope introduce this intention, go to

Putting Children First – Crib Offerings
Please take some time to visit the crib in our churches over the Christmas period. There is a basket in which to leave an offering and these offerings will be donated to the Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth) as it works across the Diocese spreading God’s love and giving families hope in times of crisis.

“Book”/Lunch Group
This Thursday, 4 January, the “Book”/Lunch Group will be meeting at Wetherspoons in Tiverton for lunch. Please be there by 12.30 if you are
coming. Any queries, contact Sheelagh on 07791 802009.

Parish Pastoral Council
The next meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council will take place on Thursday 11 January at 7.00pm in the Hall.

Homelessness – How are we called to respond?
Catholic Social Teaching reminds us that housing is not a valueless system, but a core part of what it means to live a dignified human life. Yet, on any given night, tens of thousands of families and individuals are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness across the UK. This includes more than 200,000 households in England alone. This online event of prayer and reflection on Wednesday 17 January 2024, 6.00-7.00pm, will include presentations from organisations working on the frontline of homelessness. All are welcome to take part. Please register to
receive the Zoom invitation at

“Name the Bear”
A Harrods Millenium Teddy Bear, which has been generously donated to the parish, needs a new home! For just 50p a go, you can try to guess the bear’s name from a list of possible names. The name has been chosen by Canon Kristian and the winner of
the bear will be announced on 2 February.

Unwanted Gifts Stall
On the weekend of 27/28 January there will be an Unwanted Gifts Stall after both Masses in Tiverton. Any donations would be very welcome. Please leave them in the Hall.

Modern Slavery – It’s happening near you.
Modern slavery is a serious crime being committed across the UK in which victims are exploited for someone else’s gain. It can take many forms,
including trafficking of people, forced labour and servitude. Victims are often hidden away, may be unable to leave their situation or may not come forward because of fear or shame. This two-hour event will hear from a range of speakers about modern slavery in our Diocese and what response we can give. There will be practical advice about what to look out for and what we can do if we have concerns. The event will take place on the Feast of St Bakhita, Patron of victims of modern slavery, on Thursday 6 February, 10.30am-12.30pm at the Church of the Assumption Parish Rooms, Abbey Road, Torquay TQ2 5NJ and will be followed by a free light lunch. Please register here email

A Programme for Couples Struggling in their Marriages
Do you feel alone? Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue … or have you just stopped talking to each other? Does talking about it only make it worse? Retrouvaille is a programme to support couples who have difficulties in their marriage. It brings a positive focus, new hope and helps nourish and grow your marriage. Tens of thousands of couples headed for divorce have successfully saved their marriages by attending and using the tools provided. The programme helps spouses uncover or re-awaken the love, trust and commitment that originally brought them together. It helps them through difficult times whether they are disillusioned or in deep misery. There is no group therapy or group work. For
confidential information about Retrouvaille or to register for the next programme commencing with a virtual weekend on 8 – 11 February 2024 or a
face-to-face weekend in Welwyn Garden City on 14-16 June 2024, call or text 07887 296983 or 07973 380443 or email or visit

Inspire Music Festival
The Inspire Music Festival will take place on Saturday 2 March at the Schiller Hall, Buckfast Abbey, 11.30am – 6.00pm. Open to those aged 13-25, join fellow Christians from across the diocese to enjoy inspiring talks by speakers, including Daniella Stephens, and listen to the sounds of One Hope Project, Jozzy, Falmouth Vineyard and Crossbeam. Tickets cost £25. The booking form can be found at For further information, contact Saskia at

The Universe Catholic Weekly
The Universe Catholic Weekly Online and Print Edition Newspaper seeks to be true to its mission of being “a light to guide the world, and a mirror to reflect it”, keeping Catholics informed about their faith and bringing them ever closer to God. In order to maintain a strong weekly Catholic voice at a time when it is much needed in the world, please consider taking out a subscription. If you are interested in the Digital Subscription Offer or the Print Newspaper, please call on Michelle (0743 6617650) or email her at The 3 months Digital
Subscription is £20.00, 6 months Digital Subscription is £40.00 and 12 months Digital Subscription £80.00. The 3 months Print Subscription is £42.00 and the 12-months Print Subscription is £140.00.

Masses and Events this week

Sunday 31st December –Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

  • Saturday 30 December – Seventh Day of the Christmas Octave
    • Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
  • Sunday 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Popolo
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)
  • Monday 1 January 2024 – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am
  • Tuesday 2 January – St Basil the Great and St Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am
  • Wednesday 3 January – Weekday of Christmas before Epiphany
    • Holy Mass at 12noon (St Boniface)
  • Thursday 4 January – Weekday of Christmas before Epiphany
    • “Book”/Lunch Club at Wetherspoons, Tiverton, at 12.30pm
    • Holy Mass at 6.00pm
  • Friday 5 January – Weekday of Christmas before Epiphany
    • Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions at 11.30am
    • Holy Mass at 12noon
    • Friends of St James and St Boniface at 1.00pm in the Hall
  • Saturday 6 January – Weekday of Christmas before Epiphany
    • Laudato Si’ Group in the Hall at 4.00pm
    • Vigil Mass of Sunday at 6.00pm
  • Sunday 7 January– The Epiphany of the Lord (transferred)
    • Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Popolo
    • Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)