The evening will begin with music from the band Ooberfule, including songs dedicated to the martyred Pakistani Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti, freedom for Burma, and World Youth Day.
At 8pm Lord Alton will speak on political engagement, the place of conscience, religious liberty and the right to Life, in Britain and around the world, including in countries such as North Korea, Burma, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as here at home.
For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today is an independent Cross-bencher Life Peer. In 1972 he was elected as Britain’s youngest City Councillor, in Liverpool, the youngest member of the House of Commons in 1979, and in 1997 was made a Life Peer of the House of Lords.
Ooberfuse is a Catholic band which performed the official English language song for World Youth Day 2013, and has performed around the world, including Rome & Rio de Janeiro, as well as across the UK.
The evening is in aid of two Christian organisations working for religious freedom around the world:
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic charity supporting churches facing persecution,
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an ecumenical advocacy organisation
documenting and reporting injustice and persecution and promoting religious freedom for all.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
St Matthew’s Gospel, 25:34ff
500 Premier Christian Radio bags will be distributed early in January for you to return with items to help those struggling to buy food.
The ONLY items needed are:
Milk (long-life or powdered) fruit juice or squash (fresh and long-life), Sponge pudding (tinned) Biscuits or snack bars, Instant or tinned potato Tinned meat / fish, Sugar (500g bags) Rice pudding, Instant coffee, Tea bags. Thank you for helping!
Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, calls us to a special care for the poor.
As a hall-mark of this pontificate, the Poor are already a planned feature of our
Year of Renewal, and our Parish has a dozen current projects for the poor and needy:
6 months rental for a homeless Parishioner; Clothes for babies saved from abortion:
Pre-Advent (& pre-Lent) Charity Fayres; Concert & Collection for Filipino typhoon victim;
Part-funding abuse victim parishioners for the Grief to Grace programme; SVP outreach
Christmas gifts for needy children; Ecumenical Winter Homeless Night Shelter;
the local Food Bank; Street Pastors; our on-going ACN and other overseas projects, etc.
Read the Catechism (or the 4 Gospels) in a Year as part of our Year of Renewal…
To engage with our Parish Year of Renewal all our Parish Organisations, Groups and Departments are being asked to consider and report on how they might be renewed and developed in early 2014, especially during Lent. Our Parish Year of Renewal is aimed to focus on the New Evangelization, on Catechesis and Catholic teaching, and the beauty of Holiness – both in living holy lives and enhancing beauty in the Sacred Liturgy and our homes.
Read the Catechism (or the 4 Gospels) in a Year…
… with daily bite-sized emails direct to your in-box or device. Get the links from our website, or go to:
They start on Monday 9th December, but join in at any time. Over 135,000 Catholics have already signed-up to these daily Faith feeds.
Other initiatives for our Year of Renewal include:
Sunday Mass … for every Parishioner to re-establish our absolute commitment to Sunday Mass as the source and summit of our week, and that choosing to miss Mass or consider something else of higher priority is not a Catholic option. (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church 289, 290, 305). Arriving in good time before Mass begins is also the aim for us all this year. Catholics Come Home is a way of welcoming back our fellow Catholics who (for whatever reason, or none) have lapsed from the Faith, Each of us has responsibility to encourage others to return to the Faith, to set good examples, and to engage with those who need our care and our prayer. The Light is On for You (an initiative from the Diocese of Lancaster) gives an extra mid-week evening time for Confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation) in addition to the regular Saturday times, ie. 6.30-7.30pm every Thursday.
In addition to care and encouragement of the spiritually impoverished, lapsed and marginalized, our Year of Renewal develops special care of the poor and homeless. See our current projects in the Bulletins as and when.
4th Sunday of Advent, 22nd Dec.
Blessing of Bambini at all Masses.9.30am Mass concludes with
Childrens’ Carols and Nativity Tableau.
(NB. Not at the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass when the Childrens’ Liturgy leaders & many families are away.) Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24th Dec.
5.30pm Vigil Mass of Christmas Eve
11.30pm Office of Readings & Carols
leading into Midnight Mass. Christmas Day, Wednesday 25th
Midnight Mass (starts at Midnight)
(preceded by the Office of Readings & Carols)
and Blessing of the Crib
8am Mass of Christmas Dawn & Carols
9.30am Mass of Christmas Day & Carols
11.30am Solemn Mass of
Christmas Day with Carols.
NB. There is no 5.30 evening Mass on Christmas Day Sunday 29th December Feast of the Holy Family
All Masses at the weekend usual times.
Make sure that your home has a CHRISTMAS CRIB
on sale in our Bookshop in various sizes and at very reasonable prices.
Then, on the weekend before Christmas (21st /22nd December),
bring the Baby Jesus from your Family Crib for the Blessing of Bambini at all Masses on the 4th Sunday of Advent.
Gifts for Christmas and the New Year
Could you buy an extra gift for a needy child or baby?
Bring your gifts to Mass on the 3rd Sunday of Advent,
ie. NEXT weekend – 14th / 15th December.
Gifts should be wrapped with a label indicating gender and age (0-15 years).
The Good Counsel Network also needs baby blankets & baby clothes (0-12 months)
These NEW baby items should not be gift-wrapped but left in their original packaging.
Please leave your gifts and baby items in the coloured boxes at our usual
drop-off point just inside the doors of the Pastoral Centre corridor.
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’
Premier Radio blue bags will be available for every household from the weekend of 30th November / 1st December for you to bring Food Bank items the following weekend (7/8th Dec). More details next week, so start collecting tinned & packet food so that we can help those who are struggling to buy food.
The ONLY items needed are:
Milk (long-life or powdered) fruit juice or squash (fresh and long-life), Sponge pudding (tinned) Biscuits or snack bars, Instant or tinned potato Tinned meat / fish, Sugar (500g bags) Rice pudding, Instant coffee, Tea bags.
Gifts for Christmas and the New Year
Could you buy an extra gift for a needy child or baby? Bring your gifts to Mass on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, the weekend of 14th / 15th December. This year, as well as Christmas presents, we are collecting new baby blankets and new baby clothes (0-12 months) which will be used by a little one throughout the coming year. Please leave the baby blankets, unwrapped, in the original packaging. All other gifts should be wrapped with a label indicating gender and age (0-15 years). Please leave your gifts in the coloured boxes at our usual drop-off point just inside the doors of the Pastoral Centre corridor. The gifts will be divided (as in the past few years) between The Good Counsel Network and the Westminster Catholic Children’s Society. Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.
Our St Vincent de Paul Society
invites you to join them in visiting the sick, needy and lonely in our Parish and in various caring projects. Find details here, or via the Parish Office on: 020 8942 2602 or email: [email protected]
Our Parish is currently involved in four projects to help the homeless and hungry:
Anonymous provision of 6 months rental for an otherwise homeless Parishioner.
Our Annual Pre-Advent Charity Fayre – this weekend…
Involved in the local Food Bank, and vouchers for those too poor to buy food.
Preparations for our annual participation in the ecumenical Winter Night Shelter. St Joseph’s Parishioners also serve as Street Pastors, and in various other caring missions.
To mark the transition from the Year of Faith (ends 24th November) to our Parish Year of Renewal (leading to Years of Rededication and Mission) we are showing this new film, FAITH OF OUR FATHERS, at 7pm on Sunday 1st December (the Feast Day of St Ralph Sherwin and his Companions, Martyrs of the Venerable English College in Rome)as a special feature for our Take A Stand (World Youth Day) young Catholics and for all Parishioners (and your invited Catholic and non-Catholic friends).
During the ‘English Reformation’ hundreds of brave men and women suffered persecution to cling to the Catholic Faith that had been integral to the life of this nation for over a thousand years. Many were heavily fined, exiled or imprisoned. Priests, or anyone assisting a Priest, could expect the death sentence. Fr Marcus Holden & Fr Nicholas Schofield lead us on a journey to discover more about these Saints, the times in which they lived, and their significance for Catholics today.
From the lives of well-known Saints like Thomas More, Margaret Clitherow and Edmund Campion, to lesser-known figures, the message of the English Martyrs is re-presented for a contemporary audience. It is a message of great Faith and profound courage. Along the way we discover places such as Stonor Park and Wardley Hall, Tyburn & Rievaulx Abbey.
Interviews with Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Bishop Terence Brain, Lord Camoys and others help to re-tell the stories of those who laid down their lives to preserve the Faith of Our Fathers. These heroic Catholics help to encourage and inspire us in living our Catholic Faith in this same land, amidst the challenges of our own times, and for the New Evangelization.
“Potius hodie quam cras, as Saint Ralph Sherwin said when asked to take the missionary oath, “rather today than tomorrow”. These words aptly convey his burning desire to keep the flame of faith alive in England, at whatever personal cost. Those who have truly encountered Christ are unable to keep silent about him.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict to the students of the Venerable English College on the occasion of being received in Private Audience, 3rd December 2012.
Audience In December 2012, the students of the Venerable English College in Rome were granted a private audience with Pope Emeritus Benedict in the ‘Sala Clementina’ of the Apostolic Palace. At that audience, Pope Benedict venerated the relic of St Ralph Sherwin, protomartyr of the Venerable English College’s forty-four martyrs. Nearly all of these martyrs died for the Faith in their early twenties by being hanged, drawn and quartered. When news of a martyrdom reached Rome, the students sang a ‘Te Deum’ before the C16 ‘Martyrs’ Picture’ in the College Church. Undaunted, many of those who sang the Te Deum would themselves return to their homeland and receive ‘their own’ Te Deum in praise of the God who gave them the grace to clothe themselves in the white robes, washed clean in the ‘Blood of the Lamb’ (Cf. Apoc. 7:13ff).