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  • RCDOW Burnt Oak

Takehomenews Sunday 28 November

1st Sunday of advent (C)

Happy New Year! Today we start a new year in the church’s calendar as Advent begins. The coming of Christ can be seen on 3 different levels: the coming of Christ at Christmas, the coming of Christ when he made his first public appearance at his baptism and the coming of Christ at the end of time. And it is to this ‘third’ coming that we turn our minds on to the 1st Sunday in Advent. Jesus warns his disciples in today’s Gospel that there will be dramatic signs in the universe when that begins to happen. The message that Jesus gave his disciples then and to us now is to stay awake, praying at all times. If we do so, we will be ready to greet Christ when he comes on the last day.


The Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales has written a statement about the importance of keeping Sunday as The Day of the Lord and the celebration of Mass gathered as the Body of Christ on that day. The Sunday Eucharist is a gift. As God’s holy people we are called to praise and thank God in the most sublime way possible. When the church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love.

At the same time, the Bishops recognise that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass. The pandemic is not over. The risk of infection is still present. For some, there is a legitimate fear in gathering together. The Bishops recognise that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to attend freely Sunday Mass.

Copies of the statement from the Bishop’s Conference entitled Honouring Sunday are available on the table at the back of the church.


Many thanks to all those who have responded to the questions posed relating to the synodal pathway—those who have answered on the coloured post-it notes and to the questions on the boards on the other side of the church. Thank you too to those who came along to the meetings we held in the Parish Centre. On the table at the back of the church, there is a sheet entitled ‘share your thoughts’. Please take one of these if you have not done so already and return it by 15th December. We will then have a very good idea of the feelings of the community. Your answers and ideas will be processed and sent on to the diocese, who will then in turn co-ordinate all the responses and send them to Rome for the Synod.

Meanwhile, we will channel your ideas and feelings towards the Parish Council who will put into action some of the suggestions you have made. Again, very many thanks.


Next Sunday at the 12Noon Mass, those candidates in our RCA programme, preparing for Baptism and Confirmation, will take part in the Rite of Acceptance. Please pray for them as they journey towards receiving the Sacraments next Easter.


Lord Jesus you are the light of the world COME LORD JESUS

You are the light in our darkness COME LORD JESUS

Son of God, save us from our sins COME LORD JESUS

Bring hope into the lives of all people COME LORD JESUS

Give your peace to all nations COME LORD JESUS

Be the joy of all who love you COME LORD JESUS

Bless us as we gather here in your name COME LORD JESUS

Lord Jesus, stay with us. COME LORD JESUS


The next session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised will be on Sunday 16th January at in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.


We are blessed with excellent servers in our parish who give faithful service throughout the year, but we are always on the lookout for other parishioners who would like to join our ‘team’. The Ministry of Altar Server is open to all who have received their First Holy Communion and demonstrate a wish to uphold the aims and objectives of the Guild of St Stephen.

If anyone who meets the requirements is interested in becoming an Altar Server, they are invited to attend a meeting in the church on Saturday 11th December at 11.00am. All under 16s must be accompanied to the meeting by a rent/carer.


Please pray for the repose of the souls of the following: MARK JOHN whose body will be brought to the church at 5pm this evening (Sunday) and whose funeral will be on Monday at 10.30am; MARIA FERRERIRA whose cremation also takes place on Monday; and PEPITO LAXAMANA whose funeral Mass will be on Friday 17th December at 12.30.


Fr Colin will be available to sign school forms on Tuesday between 3 and 4pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. This will be particularly needed for those with a child applying to enter the Annunciation Junior School in September 2022.


As in previous years, we are encouraged to send a Christmas gift to share the peace and joy of Christmas with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Catalogues for this are available in the porch. There are several suggestions such as PPE for a Health Worker, Trees for Life, Water for a Family, A Goat, Chirpy Chickens, an Energy Saving Stove, Emergency Food and many others.


Application forms for those who wish to be confirmed next year are available on the table at the back of the church. They are in a blue colour. Please return the form to the presbytery no later than 5th December. The programme starts in January and Bishop John Sherrington will minister the confirmation on Thursday 12th May at 7pm, with the following Thursday as a reserve date if numbers are high.


Items for the local foodbank can be left in one of the boxes in the porch. Many thanks to those who have donated already. It has been very much appreciated.


Application forms for parents who wish their child to receive 1st Holy Communion next year are available on the table at the back of the church. Children should be in Year 3 or above. Please return the form to the presbytery by 5th December 2021. They are in a yellow colour. There will be a meeting for the parents of those who apply on Tuesday 11th January at 7.45pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. The first of seven sessions for the children will be on Sunday 16th January at 9am, also in the Parish Centre. The dates of the First Communions will be Saturdays 11th and 18th June, at 2pm and 3.30pm. The allocation of these dates will be revealed at the first parents meeting on 11th January.


We will be issuing a card with all the Christmas arrangements in mid-December. Please note that the late Mass on Christmas Eve this year will be at 10pm and not Midnight. There will be no need to book for Mass this year.


Friday 10th December, 3.30pm-6.30pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. All are welcome! Santa’s Grotto, Tombola, Toy Stall, Raffles, Food/Drink, Fun and Games and much more... Donations can be left at the school or in the parish office—opening times of the office is on the front page. Please no clothing, bedding or duvets.


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