Epiphany means manifestation, a showing forth, and so today we celebrate the fact that news of the birth of Jesus spread from the little town of Bethlehem to the wider world. Instrumental in that were the three wise men who travelled to Bethlehem to see the new-born king, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. There will be a special re-enactment of this scene at the 10.30 Mass today. It would take 30 years before Jesus made an official public appearance but in the meantime, word would spread that the Messiah had arrived.
On Monday, we jump those 30 years to the scene of Jesus being baptised in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is really another epiphany because Jesus is shown to the wider world, marking the start of his public ministry.
Dates For 2017
It is customary on the Feast of the Epiphany to announce the important dates in the calendar for the coming year:
Ash Wednesday 1st March
The Annunciation Saturday 25th March
Palm Sunday 9th April
Easter Sunday 16th April
The Ascension Sunday 28th May
Pentecost Sunday 4th June
Corpus Christi Sunday 18th June
St Peter & St Paul Thursday 29th June
The Assumption Tuesday 15th August
All Saints Wednesday 1st November
Christmas Day Monday 25th December
Novena & Holy Hour
The Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help resumes this Tuesday at 7pm. There will be a Holy Hour after the 9am Mass on Wednesday.
St Rose’s Chapel & Prayer Garden
The weekly Thursday evening of Adoration and Prayer from 7pm to 8pm will continue until Holy Week. The chapel and prayer garden are open every day from 8am to 7.30pm. The outdoor crib will be open until 2nd of February for visiting and prayer. All welcome.
White Flower Appeal
Today we have the Annual White Flower Appeal from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act. It is hard to grasp the sheer scale of the killing. Over eight and a half million children have been lost through abortion; the equivalent of the population of Scotland and Wales combined. SPUC urgently needs to increase their outreach to young people, the medical profession and the media who are particular targets of the abortion lobby. Our contributions to the White Flower Appeal will help in that. Please take a card to find out about SPUC’s 50th anniversary events and campaigns.
Father Colin and Deacon Carlos would like to thank everybody for their generous offerings, cards and gifts you gave this Christmas. We wish you all a Happy, Holy and Peaceful 2017.
The Parish Council meets on Thursday 19th January at 7.45pm in the presbytery.
The next session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised is on Sunday 22nd January at 4pm in the Dominic Room. Application forms are available in the sacristy.
First Communion Programme
There will be a meeting for the parents of First Communion children on Tuesday at 7.45pm in the Parish Centre. The children have a session next Sunday, 15th January at 9.15am.
There will be a meeting for the parents of Confirmation candidates on Wednesday 25th January at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre. The first session for candidates will be on Wednesday 1st February at 7pm. The Confirmation take place on Friday 26th May at 7pm.
Baptism Classes For Older Children
We are holding a series of classes for children of 6 years or older who have not been baptised. They take place on Friday evenings at 5pm in the Dominic Room in the Parish Centre. We resume this Friday, 13th January. Please speak to Fr Colin or come along on the day.
Westminster Year Book 2017
Copies of the 2017 Westminster Year Book are available in the porch, price £4.50. It gives useful information about parishes, priests, schools and organisations in our Diocese.
Parish Phone System
The parish phone has been out of order since before Christmas. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. When the phone is out of order, please contact us by email (see top of newsletter). We hope that by the time you read this, the phone line would have been repaired.
Mass of Anointing of the Sick
On Saturday 11th February at 2pm in Westminster Cathedral, there will be the Annual Mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes during which the Sacrament of the Sick will be administered. Everyone is invited but if you are attending in a wheelchair, please let Fr Colin know your name and the name of the person who is accompanying you so that adequate space can be provided.