Dear Friends in Christ
St John the Baptist appeared as the first witness to Jesus. He is often referred to as the last of the Old Testament Prophets and the first of the New Testament Saints; a bridge between the two Covenants. He himself declares, so as not to cause any conflict with Jesus: He must increase and I must decrease. We ask St John in these days of Advent to direct us always towards Christ, who must be centre-stage in all that we undertake.
We began Advent last weekend just as we ended our Forty Hours Prayer. This is always a beautiful expression of our Catholic Eucharistic faith. Those who came, had the opportunity of that silent encounter with our Lord Who, remains day and night, awaiting, calling and welcoming all who come to visit Him. It was also a great idea this year to open the doors of the church and invite all those who had come for the Leigh Lights to experience a different Night of Light: to enter the church and light a candle and present a prayer request. Dozens and dozens of people who might never enter a church had the opportunity to come in before Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament. The Parish Facebook page reached 1,935 people for this event! Our thanks to those Parishioners who organised this.
We have established now the tradition of holding our Parish Bazaar on Sunday morning in Advent; this facilitates many more people coming to support the work of the Parish. We are grateful again to all those who arranged the Parish Centre, those who donated gifts, and all of you who supported the event by your presence there. £2,800 was received and which will be used for ongoing upkeep of the Parish Centre (which is in constant use) and for the charitable works of the Parish.
Next Sunday the 9.30am Mass is the traditional Gift Mass during which families are invited to bring a gift suitable for a child which the Brentwood Catholic Children's Society will distribute. It is helpful if you can indicate on the outside the age-appropriateness of the gift. Thank you all in anticipation!
With every blessing for this Advent season!
Msgr Kevin Hale