The Baptism of the Lord, 9th January 2022
The Hidden Years
I recently watched a fantastic documentary about Wildebeest. Their young have to be on their feet within an hour of birth, able to run with the herd, avoiding predators. It is essential for their survival.
Contrast this with us human beings. We are dependent on our parents for everything from the moment we are born. It is some months before we can master basic skills like walking, speaking and feeding ourselves. It is years before we can live independently of our parents.
Apart from an incident in his early teens, when Jesus is found by his parents in the temple, there are no other scripture references to his life before he is seen as an adult, with disciples, at Cana or, in today’s feast, seeking out John the Baptist in the desert.
Anne Rice, the novelist, in her book ‘Christ the Lord’, draws on many legends and some scholarship, to speculate on those years. Rice’s Christ is the young son of Mary who journeys with his family from Alexandria, Egypt, where they fled after his birth, back to Nazareth. He observes the social ostracism of his mother, who people believe conceived her child before marriage. He also witnesses political unrest among Jews and imperial Roman harshness toward their Jewish subjects. Rice paints a picture of a young Christ who is both fully human and fully divine. She elegantly captures his growing awareness of who he is and the times in which he lives.
Today’s feast reminds us that, like Jesus, many people have helped us discover who we are and our place in the world. Hopefully the journey continues from epiphany to epiphany, as God reveals himself to us, his beloved. Let us keep our hearts open to his presence, guiding and protecting us on our journey through life.
☎ 01707 654359 Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Website – www.olasv.org.uk
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Recording of Sunday Mass available on 01707 518202 after 10am Sunday
Parish Priest: Canon Shaun Lennard – email@example.com
Presbytery: 243, Mutton Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 2AT
Deacon: Rev Donal Hopkins – firstname.lastname@example.org
Catechetical coordinator: Mrs. Francesca Khaliq – email@example.com
Parish Administrator: Nicola Thrussell, Pastoral Assistant (Seminarian): Dale Cutlan
Safeguarding Rep. Mike Sibley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Office open Thurs & Fri 9.30am – 12.30pm (except public holidays)
To speak to a priest in an emergency ring 07854 866860
Dec 26: Envelopes £173; Loose £93
Christmas Offerings: £4,472
Standing Orders for Dec: £6398
Thank you for your generosity.
With so many people having to isolate with little notice, it has been a difficult Christmas. However, thanks to the dedication and hard work of many parishioners, the church looked beautiful and the Masses were spirit-filled celebrations. Thank you to all those volunteers who helped in so many ways. On behalf of Deacon Don, Fran and Dale, I thank all parishioners for the cards and gifts we received. Above all, thank you for the appreciation expressed – it means a great deal. We wish you and those you love, a grace-filled and healthy New Year.
Canon Robert Plourde is with us to celebrate Mass while Fr Shaun is away this weekend and for Masses from Monday to Wednesday.
Fr Shaun is on his post-Christmas break from 8 – 13 January. Deacon Don on his break from 3 – 10 January. Francesca is currently on sick-leave.
The Parish Office will be closed this week on Monday and Tuesday for end-of-year work and handover. Please do not disturb and only contact the office for emergencies. Thank you.
SYNOD – JOURNEYING TOGETHER
This is the last week in which you can complete the individual reflection forms for the synod. Please hand them in by next Sunday.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
Why do bad things happen to good people? Does God heal? These and many more questions will be explored
at our ‘Alpha’ course in the New Year, starting on Monday, January 17th, 7.30pm and then every Monday evening.
Everyone is welcome! Is there anyone you could give this invite to?
To register, or for more information, email; email@example.com
For those with no online access, manual registration forms are available in the Narthex. Watch a
promo video www.youtube.com/watch?v=fViYK_Xb3Wg If there are COVID restrictions this will still go ahead on Zoom.
CHRISTMAS FOR SOMEONE ELSE
Unfortunately the economic impact of the Pandemic will continue to cause hardship for many in 2022. The rise in energy/fuel costs will result in many families struggling to make ends meet. Please help us continue to support those in the local community who are most in need. We were able to help 20 families for Christmas. The fund remains open for the winter months.
Methods of donating
- Post cash or cheque through the office or presbytery letterbox in an envelope marked ‚C4SE‘
- If you are able to Gift Aid use one of the blue envelopes on top of the office letterbox, complete the Gift Aid form and write C4SE in the space provided
- By BACS to our account Sort Code 40 05 20 WRCDT Potters Bar Acc.No. 81095625
- Give by credit/debit card on the Dona machine in the narthex.
This is all anonymous to preserve the dignity of some very vulnerable people.
DID YOU GET A NEW LAPTOP FOR CHRISTMAS?
As part of our Love in Action (LIA) projects, in partnership with Nicholas Breakspear School, we are launching the parish Tech Appeal in January. You will have the opportunity to donate unwanted laptops/notebooks to those in our parish and partner schools in need of IT equipment. You may be getting a new device for Christmas and so will have an old one you can donate. Please have a look at home to see if you have a suitable device you no longer use, to donate to the appeal. If you do have any please fill in the questionnaire that can be found on our website http://olasv.org.uk/.
PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY DEVICES TO CHURCH AT THIS STAGE. A member of the team will call you in the New Year.
EPIPHANY BLESSING OF THE HOME
There is a beautiful German custom of families asking God’s blessing on homes at Epiphany. Homes are blessed and the inscription “20+C+M+B+22” is chalked on or above the door. The numbers are of the year and the letters are Christus Masionem Benedicat (which means ‘Christ bless this house’) At the same time the letters are the first letters of the names of the Wise Men Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The prayer of blessing and chalks are available in the narthex for you to take away to bless your home.
TED PEARCE RIP
Parishioners who attend 9am Mass will remember Ted, who used to attend with his wife Mary before they moved to a care home in St Albans. Ted died peacefully on Monday, having been anointed.
Funeral arrangements will be posted here when they are known. May he rest in peace.
Parents and children are reminded that preparation sessions resume NEXT SATURDAY at 4.30pm. Parents will receive an email next week with arrangements. Please keep an eye open.
Today is the last day of the Christmas season so the crib will be taken down after today. Any offerings placed at the crib are given to the Catholic Children’s Society which works non-denominationally across the diocese to support families and children with counselling, therapy, bereavement support, mental health support and through their family centres in Poplar and Notting Hill. They have worked as part of the response to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire. Please be generous in your response. You can find out more at their website www.cathchild.org.uk
All being well, the Over 50s will meet next on Friday 11th February from 2 – 4pm. All are welcome.
ALLEN HALL NEWS
There are now two seminaries in England for the formation of future priests and Allen Hall, in Chelsea, which is where Dale is training, is one of them. It is important that we help young people keep an open mind about the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. We have a vocations team in the diocese and it is great to have Dale in the parish for the year – anybody who wants to discuss a vocation can always speak with him in confidence, In the narthex there are copies of the Allen Hall magazine, which has profiles of some of the seminarians. Please take a copy.
Team B Sat 15th 9.30am.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
Please remember in your prayers the sick, their, including: Damien Grafton, Marsaili MacAuley, Linda Brooks, Patricia Wallington, Grant Davis, Bridie Spelzini, Frank Casali, Susan Lundrigan, Jean Rudd, Theresa Round, Joan Bonner, Jean Lowery, Jamie Giles, Mary Lindsay, Paige White, Bernadette Whelan, Christakis Christofides, Philomena O’Sullivan, Bernard Keown, Ann O’Neill, Jason Mosely, Robert Chambers, Abbey Cummings, Kathleen Gershlick, Anne Conlon, Kathy Lavelle, Monica Doheny, Vincent, Lee & Abigail Clark.
Recently dead: Tom Butler, Fr Desmond Baker, Ted Pearce, Kamil Perlecki and for all those whose anniversaries occur about this time.
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
16th January, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Isaiah 62: 1 -5
1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 11
John 2: 1 – 11
Newsletter deadline – Tuesday 9.30am
TIMES OF MASS & OTHER LITURGIES
Sunday 9th January BAPTISM of the LORD
Sat 6pm Vigil Mass Deceased members of the Clancy
9am People of the Parish
11am Mary Kirwan RIP
Monday 10th January 10am Mass The Divine Family
Tuesday 11th January 10am Mass Brian Hempsall RIP (Anniversary)
Wednesday 12th January 10am Mass Good Health for Anna Maria
Thursday 13th January No Mass
Friday 14th January 10am Antonia Cox RIP
Saturday 15th January 12noon Funeral of Kamil Terlecki at Upson’s Chapel
5.15 – 5.45pm Sacrament of Reconciliation
6pm Intentions of Sean & Chloe
Sunday 16th January Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
9am Bridie Gaughan RIP
11am People of the Parish