Dear Friends in christ
The central figures of Advent are the Old Testaments Prophets and St John the Baptist, who is the bridge between the Old and the New. He appears at this point in Advent to help us focus on what is most important at this time, and at all times: Jesus, the Lamb of God. He does this by calling us to repentance and the Church takes-up this call by exhorting us to a change of heart through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Over the days before Christmas, there will be ample opportunities for us to go to the Sacrament. Apart from the advertised hours in our own Parish, there will be a Penitential Service in Rayleigh this Monday at 8pm and on Thursday at Westcliff 7pm.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Parish Bazaar last Sunday, in whatever capacity. Our Lady of Lourdes School, for sending out copies of the poster with grand prize draw tickets to all the families, as well as all other stall holders, and helpers. So many of you donated goods and bought raffle tickets; and the dedicated band of helpers who organised the stalls. £2,330 was raised. We shall send a portion of this to Aid to the Church in Need which is the Pope’s own Charity for the relief of suffering Christians in regions where the Church is persecuted; a very deserving Charity since the plight of our suffering brothers and sisters in the Faith is often forgotten. The other proceeds can be used towards the running costs of the Parish Centre. Currently the expenses of the Parish Centre exceed what we receive in hire costs and donations, so this extra cash is very helpful; thank you very much!
This Sunday evening at 5.30pm there will be an Organ Recital with Advent readings/reflections to help us enter into the spirituality of this Season more prayerfully; the Recital will be played by James Devor, Organist at Brentwood Cathedral.
Next Sunday there will be the Advent Gift Mass when you may bring along a gift for a child in need which is distributed after by the Brentwood Catholic Children's Society. These are presented during the Offertory of the Mass at 9.30am; please mark the outside clearly the age suitability of the gift.
Thank you and may God bless you all!
Msgr Kevin Hale