PARISH OF OUR LADY & ST VINCENT, POTTERS BAR
Celebrating in the light of Christ.
24 December 2017, Fourth Sunday of Advent
What can I give him?
During the Christmas season we sing many carols but sometimes they are so familiar that we just go through the words without really thinking about them. One of the most beautiful carols (putting aside that it is not the Bleak Midwinter in Bethlehem!) concludes with a question, ‘What can I give him, poor as I am?’ A line later we sing the answer, ‘Give my heart.’
As we look upon the Crib we see the Son of God, arms open, born as a helpless baby, sharing completely in our human existence – showing us the deep love of the Father. What does it mean for me to ‘give my heart’? I guess that the answer will be different for each of us.
On Christmas Day many people will be responding to the Christ-child by giving of their time; volunteering in a hospice, working for Crisis to give shelter to homeless people, inviting a neighbour who is living alone to share a Christmas meal. But we need to think of the other 364 days of the year – how do we, as Christians, give our hearts to our brothers and sisters as Jesus gives his heart for us?
I wish you all, and all those you love and care for, a happy and grace-filled Christmas. Thank you to so many people who have given of their time generously towards our Advent and Christmas celebrations. Thank you for your welcome, encouragement and patience towards me as I have started to make my home with you.
May this Christmas be full of peace within your heart.
May you be reminded of new birth, and of redeeming love.
May you find hope and power to pray for things that trouble you.
May your heart be ever thankful and your faith rise high in praise.
May you know that you’re loved and treasured at this very special time.
OUR LADY & ST VINCENT PARISH
01707 654359 email@example.com wwwolasv.org.uk
Parish Priest: Canon Shaun Lennard firstname.lastname@example.org
Presbytery: 243, Mutton Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 2AT
Deacon: Rev Donal Hopkins email@example.com
Catechetical Co-ordinator: Mrs. Francesca Khaliq firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretaries: Bernadette Saunders & Sharon O’Reilly
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 12.30pm
A Fairtrade Parish of Westminster Roman Catholic Diocese
COLLECTION FOR SUNDAY 3rd DEC
Planned Giving £571.39, Loose £424.53. Thank you for your generosity.
CHRISTMAS POSTERS kindly provided by the Knights of St Columba are available in the Narthex. Please take one and display it prominently at home over Christmas.
ALTAR SERVERS’ CELEBRATION
St Stephen is the patron saint of Altar Servers. Sung Mass on St Stephen’s Day (26th December) is at 12noon. Several servers will receive medals at this Mass – please come and support our fantastic servers.
MARY, MOTHER of GOD
On New Year’s Day we celebrate this great feast. Since the Millennium celebrations, when every church was asked to have Mass at 12noon, this has become a bigger and bigger event. There will be Sung Mass at 12noon on New Year’s Day – come and blow away those cobwebs singing Hail Holy Queen (from Sister Act!) as we ask God’s blessing on us for the New Year.
RESPONSIBLE CAR PARKING OVER THE CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR PERIOD
Please ensure that you park considerately and responsibly in the Church car park. If the car park full sign is displayed, please do not attempt to enter the car park. The green gate linked to Wyllyotts car park will be open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses. Please try and walk if possible. Many thanks
The offerings given at Christmas Masses form part of the taxable stipend for the priest. If you have Planned Giving envelopes you will find an envelope for this purpose in your box. If you give by Standing Order or if you are not in the scheme there are envelopes for you to use (especially if you are going to be away over Christmas) in the Narthex.
Any money left at the crib will be sent to the Catholic Children’s Society who care for vulnerable families through their centres and counselling service. They have been very active in the community following the Grenfell Tower fire. Please be as generous as you can.
INTERNATIONAL TASTER EVENING – 20th January 2018 at 19.30 to 22.30
Our Lady’s and Saint Vincent’s Church Hall. An event for all ages, bring the family. Buy tickets from the Church Social Committee after Masses. (30th & 31st December and 6th & 7th January). Tickets £3.00 each. Taster food from around the world. Hot drinks and soft drinks provided. Bring your own alcohol. This is in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and Fr Stefan Chrysostomou, from St Mary’s, will be preaching at 6pm Vigil Mass. He is staying for the taster evening and promises to bring something Greek from his heritage – where are the other Greek Cypriots in our community?!!
OFFICE HOURS OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
The Office closed on Friday 22 December and re-opens on Tuesday 2nd January 2018 at 9.30am.
OVER 50s’ CLUB
The next over 50s’ Club will meet on Friday 12 January 2018 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm in the Parish Hall. All are very welcome.
You should have received an email with the Spring and Easter Rotas. If you have not received this, please let Pat know.
CATECHISTS’ DAY OF REFLECTION SATURDAY 13 JANUARY 2018
All our Catechists are invited to a Day of Reflection at Christ the King, Cockfosters on Saturday 13 January from 10am to 2pm. Please let Francesca Khaliq know if you are attending.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION 2018
First Holy Communion preparation sessions will recommence on Saturday 20th January 2018, 4:15pm registration. There will also be a parents’ meeting on the 20th January at 4:30pm in the church, this will run alongside the children’s session and will be led by Fr Shaun on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
CONFIRMATION RETREAT 28 JANUARY 2018
Candidates are reminded to meet at the Furszefield car park (not the Church car park) for registration at 8.30am on Sunday 28th January for the Retreat at SPEC, Pinner. The approximate time of arrival back at Our Lady & St Vincent car park will be 5.30pm. Candidates will need to bring a packed lunch (no nuts or glass bottles please) and wear warm appropriate clothing. For those who have not yet returned the OV7A form, please complete and return to Francesca Khaliq as soon as possible.
Confirmation preparation sessions will recommence on Wednesday 31st January at 7:15pm registration.
POST CONFIRMATION YOUTH GROUP
The next PCYG will be on Thursday 11th January from 7pm-9pm. Our theme for the evening will be ‘Sherlock Holmes’.
BAPTISM PREPARATION MEETINGS
The next baptism preparation meetings will take place on Monday 22 January and Monday 29 January from 7.30pm until 9.pm. If you would like to have your child baptised please give your details to Fr Shaun, Deacon Don or contact the office.
CALLING PAST FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CATECHISTS
As always, we rely on our past catechists to help with the First Holy Communion sessions when we run parents’ meetings. These are Saturday 20th January and Saturday 10th March 2018. If you can help please contact the Parish Office, thank you.
ROSARY ON TUESDAYS
We will continue to pray the Rosary together before the 10.00 a.m. Mass on Tuesdays starting at 9.40 am
Following discussion with the Liturgy Committee, we will be using simpler, more environmentally-friendly and economical missalettes from the New year. The parts of the Mass which are essential are included but there is more flexibility with the choice of Eucharistic Prayer and other things. This is a three-month trial.
We have been thinking about the fairest way to allocate Mass intentions. We often have more intentions than we can celebrate in the parish.
From January 2018 there will be a volunteer in the office on the first working Tuesday of the month (starting 9th January) and Masses may be booked in person or by ‘phone for the following month. So, in January you may book a Mass for February and so on. We do send Masses to retired priests and missionary priests every two months and so, if you do not mind, your Mass can be sent away. We will give a reminder of the date in the newsletter. If you book the Mass by ‘phone you may give the offering into the office later. We will try this system for a few months. There is a more complete explanation on the noticeboard.
Fr Shaun, Deacon Don, Francesca, Bernadette, Sharon and all the office volunteers thank parishioners for the generous gifts, cards and good wishes received for Christmas. Thank you for your encouragement and support throughout the year. May God bless you.
The next newsletter will be for the weekend of 6th/7th January 2018 (Epiphany).
Please Remember In Your Prayers:
The sick, their families and all who care for them, including: Betty Swift, Peggy Rafferty, Damien Grafton, Marsaili MacAuley, John Wilkinson, Linda Brooks, Patricia Wallington, Coral Morton, Cathy Sexton, Rev Nick Brindley, Grant Davis, Virginia Coan, David Bradford, Bridie Spelzini, Frank Casali, Susan Lundrigan, Kay Lewthwaite, Jean Rudd, Shirley Pestano, Tina Cullen
Recently Dead: Ann Dobson, Marie Hogan and all those whose anniversaries occur about this time.
READERS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
31 December 2017, Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Year B
Saturday 6pm Sister Irene/Esther Dallan
Sunday 9.00am Clive Buhagiar/Kiera Hall
Sunday 11.00am Warren Brown/Sally-Ann Underhill
BIDDING PRAYERS: Rosemarie Surry
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
31 December 2017, Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Year B
CHURCH CLEANING ROTA
W/C 24 December 2017, Team A
(Saturday morning) Linda Ahearne, Cathy McRobb, Betty Healy.
TIMES OF SERVICES
Sunday Mass (24th December)
Saturday (Vigil) 6pm, Sunday 9am & 11am
Christmas Eve: 5.00pm – Vigil Mass for Families with young children and 8:30pm – Candle-lit Vigil and Mass
Weekday Mass this week
Monday 25 Dec 9am – Dawn Mass with Children’s Liturgy
Monday 25 Dec 11am – Mass with Carols
Tuesday 26 Dec 12noon
Wednesday 27 Dec 10.00am
Thursday 28 Dec 10.00am
Friday 29 Dec Convent Mass at 6pm
Saturday 30 Dec 6pm Vigil Mass (Holy Family)
Sunday 31 Dec 9am & 11am
Monday 1 Jan 2018 12noon (Sung Mass for Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God)
Tues 2 Jan 10am
Weds 3 Jan 10am
Fri 5 Jan 10am
Sunday Mass (7th January – Epiphany of the Lord)
Saturday (Vigil) 6pm, Sunday 9am & 11am
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday 5.15 – 5.45pm, and by appointment (ring main number and choose option 3)
St Martha’s Convent is at 1A, The Avenue, Potters Bar
Deadline for newsletter articles is Tuesday morning, 9.30am