PARISH DIARY – Year B, First Week of Advent, Psalter Week 1
Sun. Nov 29th -- 1st Sunday of Advent
11:00 am Mass via internet
12-2pm St Thomas open for Private Prayer and Communion
Tues. Dec 1st -- 10:00 am Mass via internet
Wed. Dec 2nd -- Brandon - 10:00 am Mass and streamed
Thurs. Dec 3rd -- ST FRANCIS XAVIER - MIGRANTS DAY - Mildenhall - 10:00 am Mass and streamed
Fri. Dec 4th -- NO MASS TODAY - Fr Luke attending Bishops 25th Anniversary Mass at Cathedral
Sun. Dec 6th -- 2nd Sunday of Advent
Mildenhall - 9:00 am Mass
Brandon - 11:00 am Mass
In the first Advent a large crowd must have been making their way to Jerusalem and its neighbouring towns because of the census imposed by the Roman authorities. Amongst these, either as part of a group or on their own - we don’t know which – were a young pregnant woman and her husband. This pair were ordinary people, he a carpenter, she a new housewife, young, inexperienced, but carrying with her baby a secret of awesome significance for the whole world.
Being a carpenter in those days was to be recognised and honoured as a man of skill. Joseph, this carpenter, had proved himself both skilful and courageous. He had accepted responsibility for adding to his skills those of fatherhood for a child not his. It would have taken courage to do this in the face of gossip and raised eyebrows in the close-knit village of Nazareth. Possibly with some reservations lingering, he had accepted his wife’s explanation that she bore the child of God.
Mary herself had been through an experience at first terrifying and then uplifting, as she was told that she had been selected to bear the Messiah. What courage, as well as humility, that required!
God had chosen a child to bear His Child, in the most difficult circumstances: - amongst the poor of the world, in a country conquered by a cruel empire, whose puppet kings exploited and harried the people, in a culture where religious orthodoxy and materialism fought tooth and nail.
This is the mission both were charged with: these were the challenges they faced. Mary and Joseph, beloved of God, too often forgotten as the greatest of heroes.
I was talking the other day to a friend who had just finished a bout of shopping. He was quite agitated and it soon emerged that he had had a very mixed experience of customer service. In one place, the person serving him had been extremely helpful and he was impressed. In contrast, in other stores he experienced what he described as rudeness, indifference or patronising behaviour (he’s 82) and was furious about it. “I hate people like that and the shops who employ them!” he proclaimed. This friend is an ordinary man, even-tempered, friendly and kind. It must have taken some severely negative behaviour to make him so angry.
After we had parted, I thought about the way anger and hatred seem to be too common a part of daily life. It seems, and is, natural to react to insults by responding in kind. But if we stand back and think, we should recognise the encounter as a message from God, asking us to show the other person the christian way of dealing with people. Turning the other cheek is a good thing, though not always the best. On these occasions God offers us a blessing, an opportunity to demonstrate our faithfulness to Jesus, our own freedom from hate or resentment, from self-pity, freedom to show goodness and kindness to our adversary.
“To live by faith means to put ourselves in the hands of God, especially in our most difficult moments” Pope Francis
What better time to show our love for God than in the hurry-scurry of the lead-in to Christmas? What better time to show our joy in our faith and the meaning of Advent in the way we respect and honour those around us, especially those toiling with the stress of coping all that consumerism AND fear of coronavirus, who maybe vent their frustrations on us?
This year we asked you to save up the money you would have spent on supplying fayre items and buying them back and donate it instead to Parish funds.
So far just over £2235 has been received – not quite up to our usual amount but not bad so a big THANK YOU to all who have donated so far.
The amount raised came from under 20 families, so, with all that is going on, we think some of you might have forgotten the original deadline we set. We have therefore decided to extend the window for donations.
Remember, anyone who makes a donation will be entered into our mini raffle, and we don’t want anyone to miss out!
Donations, please, marked 'Autumn Fayre', to email@example.com
New raffle date: Sunday 6th Dec, when we will, hopefully be back at Mass.
Thanks again to all who have donated already, and thank you in advance to those of you who just need a reminder… I’m sure we can get that total closer to our usual total of over £3000.
Chris, Yolande, Liz & the fundraising team.
Fr Luke will be broadcast a series of three Advent Talks on the parish Facebook at 7pm each Wednesday. Talks will be available to ‘watch again’ both on our parish website and Facebook page.
Bishop Alan celebrates 25 years as Priest in the Catholic Church on Friday. Fr Luke has been asked to be one of the four concelebrants for this Mass as he celebrates 10 years of priesthood this year. Therefore, there will not be a Mass in the parish on Friday 4 th December. Attendance at the Cathedral is greatly restricted so people are asked to join in prayer virtually (via the cathedral website) and spiritually during this Mass.
The quiz is taking place on Wednesday December 16 at 7:30 pm. St Mary’s is only a small parish so is throwing out an invitation to anyone who enjoys doing quizzes and would like to support a good cause.
Entry is £5 per team. To enter please contact Paul Gilbert on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07759 672434
World Gifts are CAFOD's alternative charity gifts that transform lives. Perfect for Christmas Presents, you can choose a unique, virtual gift for someone that will make a real difference to a family living in poverty. And they come with free delivery! For more information go to https://worldgifts.cafod.org.uk. A sample of what’s on offer: Keep Clean kit £6, Teach someone to Read £10, Water for a Family £33
Advent is a time of hope when we should be completely intent upon the joy to come. It invites us to look towards the fulfilment of God’s promise, as envisioned by the Prophets especially Isaiah.
“Hope is an ‘insignificant little girl’ besides her two big sisters, faith and charity … nevertheless, it is she ‘who moves the others’. If we did not expect a great good, if we did not believe it possible, we would not be capable of any effort.” [From Advent to Pentecost: Carthusian Novice Conferences (CNC) 1999}
The confidence and joy hope gives us are crucial. As St Francis de Sales said, it is not enough to do good; one must do it cheerfully. God loves the one who gives with joy. This joy springs from our confidence that what we hope for will be granted - that is, God giving himself to us with all that he is and all that he has. “God gives himself as God… God is simple … [and] each of us receives this infinite gift …” (CNC)
Advent begins on November 29th , 3 days before the end of the current lockdown period. Let us prepare for Advent and the relaxing of coronavirus restrictions with intense hope, as we await the Christmas Miracle by reflecting on God’s goodness and our own fragility. Let us review the hope we have and rejoice that Christ’s coming will soon overwhelm our weaknesses with divine love. Let us hope that this year’s Nativity will renew our joy of, and commitment to, spreading the Good News in our community. TC
News of success in testing a new vaccine with which to fight the Covid-19 disease comes at the right time, when many are confused, frustrated or downcast as the coronavirus continues to spread and restrictions aimed at halting it seem more and more to turn houses into prisons and homes into cells of isolation.
We should therefore rejoice in the optimism that the New Year will hopefully bring the beginning of a nationwide vaccination programme and that we will see the threat posed by Covid-19 reduced to the same manageable level of Flu and other viruses. But the battle is not over yet! In the meantime, we must continue to observe government regulations and guidance, wear masks, keep our distance and cautiously safeguard and respect the safety and dignity of others and ourselves.
A daily prayer for this might help:
Lord: Help us to control our impulses and maintain discipline safeguarding the health and wellbeing of those around us and others we encounter today. Amen
We now have plans to run FHC communion programme this academic year (this year’s current class will be contacted separately about arranging the celebration of their Holy Communion)
If you would like your child to make their First Holy Communion in 2021 please contact Fr Luke. (Plans are underway to begin a new programme in January)
We are currently unable to hold any second collections at Mass and we are not obliged to do so for the remainder of this year. If, however, you would like to donate to one of these collections, please make a bank transfer to the parish with the relevant charity as the ‘payee reference’, alternatively you can send a cheque to the parish with the name of the second collection written on the back of the cheque. The three collections that are listed in bold are Holy See collections which remain mandatory collections for this year, the parish, therefore, will make a donation to these, if you would like to give to these causes (even retrospectively) then please donate either via bank transfer or cheque as outlined above.
The collections are:
29th November Day for Life,
6th December Home Mission,
20th December Dependant Priests Diocese of East Anglia
It’s that time of year again, when we ask you to pack a shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse. Your box of delights will be delivered at Christmas to a child (girl or boy) in need. As things stand there will be special arrangements this for collecting your box. A small supply of boxes is available, if you need one. Please contact Gill Caple on 01638 716474 for details.
You can find out more about the scheme at www.samaritans-purse.org.uk
From this Sunday it has been decreed that the doxology of the opening prayers at Mass will omit the word “one”. i.e. “we make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son…who lives and reigns…(one) God forever and ever. Amen.” One of the reasons for this is this brings the English translation of the Mass in line with other European languages. Practically this effects the priest celebrant and not the congregation, so it’s very much business as usual!
John Wyclif, in Of Prelates in 1382, wrote “Charite schuld bigyne at hem-self” and others, such as John Marston (1610) and Sir Thomas Browne (1642) have proved authors of its use as “Charity begins at home.” It is, in my view, used too frequently to discourage charitable giving to others, especially foreigners: that is, “charity should begin at home and end there.” That’s a pity, because it shows ignorance of the origin of the saying. The notion that family should be one’s foremost concern is in 1 Timothy 5:8: “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
This is not a recommendation to have compassion only for one’s nearest and dearest. It and the proverb itself are much deeper in meaning than an exhortation to meanness. For me, an Australian Baptist Minister, Melinda Cousins, summed it up in a blog, six years ago:
“… my understanding is that the saying as it was originally taken up …. was meant to refer to the fact that virtues are cultivated in the everyday – that is, we learn to be compassionate and charitable people at home; [and] that capacity within us as human beings begins to develop there, and then grows as we exercise it outside the home.”
‘Can we please stop saying ‘Charity begins at home?’ Thinking Aloud 2014
The word ‘charity’ entered the English language to mean ‘Christian love for others’, especially the poor. It has often been linked to agapé, or unconditional love, the most Christ-like love there can be. That’s a far cry from restricting compassion to just your aunty.
As we learn to love God through experience of His love for us, so we learn how that kind of loving can be the route to helping those in need, wherever in the world they are, and thus demonstrating, with the humility and tenderness agapé requires, God’s love and His Son’s offer of salvation.
CHARITY AND THE POOR
Last week we saw that charity does begin at home, when “home” is your heart stirred by God’s love into having compassion for others, that is, the poor, whether poor in spirit or in material things. Let us look at the latter.
Pope Francis has summed up the issue succinctly, as usual: “Jesus tells us what the ‘protocol’ is, on which we will be judged. It is the one we read in chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel: I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me, clothed me, visited me, took care of me. Whenever we do this to one of our brothers, we do this to Jesus. Caring for our neighbour; for those who are poor, who suffer in body and in soul, for those who are in need. This is the touchstone.” From Papa Francesco: Questa economia uccide (Pope Francis: This economy kills) by Andrea Tornielli &. Giacomo Galeazzivia
This will be news to few of us. There are an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, every one of whom will have heard this extract from Matthew’s Gospel. One in twelve people in the UK are Catholic – that’s 5 million people in our country who have heard this bit of Good News. There are 736 million in the world in extreme poverty, who have little or no access to fresh water or adequate health care and, if they are employed at all, earn less than £1.42 per day. What could you do with only £1.42 a day or the equivalent of £9.94 for a seven day working week?
Here in England it has recently been revealed that some workers in the garment industry are working for less than £3 per hour. Again, how would you manage on £150 (gross) for a 50 hour week? It is mystifying why these inequalities continue, when there are so many of us charged by Jesus to aid the poor. What to do? We’ll look at that next week. [Statistics about global poverty are attached to this Newsletter.] TC
CHARITY & THE POOR – HOW TO CREATE A TSUNAMI
In 2015, more than 700 million people, or 10 per cent of the world population, lived in extreme poverty, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation. Until 2019, That figure dropped dramatically to less than 5 per cent.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing the trend of poverty reduction, with tens of millions of people in risk of being pushed back into extreme poverty - people living on less than $1.90/day - causing the first increase in global poverty in more than 20 years. Given the scale of the problem, it seems that ordinary people, like you and me, can do little to stop this trend. That is not true. There is much that we can do locally, and for the world
There is much we can do:
These may be small acts of generosity, but small gestures build up to create tsunamis of love for our neighbours here and across the world. TC
Although we still cannot use our churches as a collection centre for the Food Bank, people’s needs remain. You don’t have to be unemployed to get help from a Food Bank. Those in low paid jobs, including those still furloughed, struggle to provide themselves and their families with the basic essentials of daily living, from food to hygiene and health products.
CORONAVIRUS INITIATIVE: CAFOD has joined with the UK Disasters Emergencies Committee to help millions of people whose lives are at risk, as coronavirus spreads across refugee camps and countries suffering conflict.
COVID -19 has swept cross the world. Over 1,450,000 people have died and more than 43 million have survived it. Western nations have the highest survival rates. Poor countries have the worst.
Please remember and join in CAFOD’S Coronavirus Campaign. Go to www.cafod.org.uk/coronavirus
You can donate at www.cafod.org.uk/coronavirus to help CAFOD scale up its coronavirus response through our Global Church family. Or use CAFOD’s Summer of Hope fundraising ideas with your family and friends to transform lockdown and raise money for the appeal: for more information go to www.cafod.org.uk/summerofhope .
CAFOD Beirut Emergency Appeal
The explosions In Beirut have left hundreds of families with NOTHING.
Local organisations and volunteers are already on the frontlines, assisting hospitals and attending to the injured.
YOU CAN HELP: go to https://cafod.org.uk/donations/one-off?_Amounts=25&_Appeal=121949
CAFOD’S REACH. Here’s a short list of their campaigns. Click on each to get an up-to-date report.
Started on Sunday 4th October: I BELIEVE - a study of the articles of the Creed. During the course of 15 weekly episodes, Fr Luke Goymour explores the Creed and how it guides Catholics through what they believe and how it forms the Church's teachings and traditions. Episode 1 looks at the first phrase of our declaration of Faith: "I believe in God..."
It will first broadcast on Sunday at 11.15am and 10.30pm and be repeated later in the week on Monday at 1am, and Saturday at 5.45am and 3.15pm.
Listen online via the radio Maria website or through the Radio Maria World Family app
If you have an APF Red Box, you can now leave or have it delivered at one of our churches. Sue Dean will arrange its collection and processing
TO BE A CHRISTIAN IS TO BE A MISSIONARY - YOU CAN HELP BY PRAYING FOR THE MILL HILL MISSIONARIES AND DONATING THROUGH USING A RED BOX.
Our Red Box (Missio) collection for 2019 amounted to £1318.56 and the parish was 15th out of 56 parishes - a very good result. Well done!
Thank you for helping their Missionary work. Please keep up this good work for 2020.
Not got a Red Box? Some spare boxes are at the back of the church. Take one and tell Sue Dean or Fr Luke.
The first series of talks have finished for the time being, but the full catalogue is available below.
Topics covered thus far:
If you or someone you know has a child in year 8 or above at school who would like to be confirmed this academic year, please contact Fr Luke, speak to him after Mass or email email@example.com .
(Please see the Church Services page for updates.)
Mass is now celebrated with a congregation in both of our churches and is also available to view and follow online live on this website and on Facebook.
With the return of public Masses, both churches need to be cleaned after every Mass. Stewards are also needed for both churches to help with seating and moving around the church for Holy Communion. Please do volunteer (we cannot do this without you) to help by cleaning or stewarding. Special disinfectant spray has been ordered so cleaning between Masses will only really entail spraying seats and surfaces and wiping door handles. (PPE can be provided.)
Altar Servers: whilst restrictions are in place no Altar servers are allowed at this time.
A reminder that at this current time Holy Communion can only be received on the hand. Please place your hands flat (do not try and take the host from the priest) so that the host can be placed on your hands without the priest touching your hand. Holy communion should be received in silence, understandably many of us go into ‘auto pilot’ and say “Amen” without thinking. However, where possible please try and remember to refrain from saying “Amen”. Please also, where possible, stretch out your hands over the barrier as to keep maximum physical distance from the priest at the moment of Communion.
My newspaper informs me that we are now a divided nation, between those who comply with the government’s requirement to wear masks and those who don’t. I have never trusted implicitly what the papers or other news media say. They each have their own agendas and I have learned to step carefully between fact and fiction, propositions and prejudices, truth and lies.
Even so, it is worth thinking about what a mask does that is acceptable to some people and intolerable for others.
A mask, of the type we have to wear in close contact, hides the mouth and jaw and the more prominent part of the nose. As such, Masks make it difficult to recognise people and just as difficult for us to project the kind of person we are.
One way of justifying not wearing a mask was summed up in something I overheard. “Well, Jesus never wore a mask, did he?!” True, as far as we know. However, Christ the Man was not facing an epidemic of the sort we face today.
The Son of God was dealing with a much more virulent and deadly disease – sin, the loss of faith in salvation, hope of rescue, and love of our neighbour. His mission to restore and deepen faith, strengthen hope and keep love’s flames burning was rooted in the truth of the psalms that remind us we are “a little less than god” (Ps.8.6) and “sons of the most high” (Ps.81.6). As such we are servants of God (Ps.133 and servants to others.
To be children of God, His servants and of service to one another, it seems to me at least, to justify a small act – wearing a face mask to protect those whom we meet and to avoid the plague so that we can continue to do His work. TC
... with Fr Luke and Rev David Everett, 15th - 24th March 2021
Fr Luke is co-leading this pilgrimage next year.
Please note that at this time, our buildings will only be used for public Mass; no other groups will meet in the Churches. Anyone accessing the building other than for Mass or to clean must clear this with Fr Luke first.
Sacristy: Sacristies are strictly out of bounds to all people, without exception (Fr Luke will act as his own sacristan for the time being) (Mildenhall parishioners must not use back door to enter church.)
Toilets: If necessary one toilet will be available for everyone to use in each of our churches.
Time in buildings: Please arrive just before Mass and leave shortly after (unless you are cleaning).
Thetford has a new Rosary group and with that an email address has been set up for intentions. Please feel free to email Thetfordrosary@gmail.com and your intention will be offered on a specific date. You will receive an acknowledgement, and this can be for your own personal intention or for someone you know. The intention will be prayed by someone from the rosary group and all details will be confidential.
Fr Luke writes: My rest-day (day off) is usually on a Monday. Lockdown means that I cannot leave my home (and place of work) on my rest-day. Although I am currently streaming Mass on a Monday, I try not to do any other parish work or public ministry on this day. This means that (except of course for emergencies) I will not usually respond to phone calls, messages, or emails from Sunday late-afternoon/evening until Tuesday morning at the earliest. For non-urgent matters and general parish admin I would most grateful if you can contact the presbytery between Tuesday and Saturday. Thank you for help and understanding with this. God bless you.
Fr Luke writes:
Would you like a personal visit from the Risen Lord? Although restrictions prevent people receiving Holy Communion and gathering in Church. As a ‘religious worker’ I am key worker and so can come to you and assist you. I can bring the Blessed Sacrament to your home, expose the Host in small monstrance at your door, window or back garden if there is a side entrance (keeping 6ft away) lead prayers with you and then give you Benediction.
So how about it? Are you missing Jesus? Want to pray together in person? Contact me now and we’ll book in time for a visit from the Risen Lord! I will remain at your door/garden/front window with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I will not come in, social distancing will be observed at all times.
“This course is dedicated to helping you get the facts you want with regard to Catholic teaching and history, so you can have your questions answered in your search for truth. As you study the Church’s teachings, practices and history, you may find—as many others have—that there’s a lot you never knew about the Catholic faith! Like training for a race or sporting event, it requires time, commitment, discipline and friends but we know that the fruits of the labour will better equip us on our journey.”
Please consider joining a group of people via ZOOM for about 30 mins each morning to pray and explore our glorious Catholic faith. TASTE and SEE START: THURSDAY 3 rd of SEPTEMBER via ZOOM at 7am Email for more details: MOSJ@olise.co.uk or Declan on 07853140355
Don’t worry you can now just visit our website!
The Facebook live steam in now integrated with our parish website, this means you can simply go to the parish website and see the live stream. The video will appear in a screen below the main logo (active while services are being streamed live). If it doesn’t appear after a few minutes refresh the page. If still having problems, click on the link in the box below the live stream place holder.
For those of you who are using Facebook and commenting, please continue to do so as you can only interact with the page through Facebook.
Customers have questions, you have ansThe Irish station Radio RTE, which is based in Dublin, is broadcasting to the UK on long wave 252kHz. Every other Sunday they broadcast Mass at 11am. The next one will be on Sunday, May 3 and fortnightly thereafter.
Radio Maria England, which is based in Cambridge, broadcasts on DAB+ in Greater London and on DAB (Band 11C 220.352 MHz) in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas. You can also listen to it from across East Anglia online at https://radiomariaengland.uk Broadcasts include Masses, the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and morning and evening prayer.
EWTN, which has a base in Walsingham, Norfolk, produces a wide range of radio programmes and can be reached on https://www.ewtn.com/radio
Premier Christian Radio is on DAB, Internet and can be also accessed via TV Freeview 725wers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.
At this time, it will not be possible for people to receive Holy Communion. Everyone is invited, however, to join in the ancient practice of making regular spiritual communions, this can be particularly fruitful when following the daily Mass in your Missals on online via the live feed.
Prayer of St Alphonsus: My Jesus, I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen.
Struggling with the coronavirus and social distancing measures? Scared? Need to talk? Struggling to get shopping or basic groceries?
Pick up the phone! Your parish is your family and we are here for you, in the first instance feel free to call Fr Luke on 01842 812200 and he will do his best to help you, support you and put you in contact with others who may be able to help. If you don’t get an answer. Leave a message and your number (Clearly) and he will get back to you. We may be socially isolating -but we are not on our own!
(especially if you are having trouble live-streaming Online)
Radio Stations: DAB (Digital) Radio: Radio Maria England, Premier Christian Radio (available on TV Radio as well and has Sunday Morning Worship) Radio 4 Has Sunday Worship on Sunday Morning at 8:10 am on FM and a Daily Service at 9:45 am on Long Wave (not FM).
TV: Sky TV 588 is ETWN (Catholic Channel) and has Daily Mass broadcast as well as other prayers and devotions.
Websites: https://pray-as-you-go.org/ https://shalem.org/programs/online/holy-interruptions/
Coloring prayer resources: If you would like adult-coloring sheets, to help with
prayer/mindfulness/meditation please contact Fr Luke and he will try and source them for you.
The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed a new icon that has appeared at St Johns during the lockdown. This icon was written (painted) and given by an anonymous benefactor. The Icon shows St John, the beloved disciple (and Evangelist) leaning on the breast of Jesus at the last supper. Jesus offers the host with his right hand and holds a scroll in his left. The scroll is the word of God and is a symbol that Christ is the Incarnate Word of God. Christ’s outer robes are in blue, a symbol of divinity. His inner robes are red a symbol of his humanity – Christ is both human and divine. St. John’s outer robe is of the same red colour and seems to flow from Christ’s inner garment – reminding us, perhaps, that Christ’s humanity is the source of life. Human beings are made in the image of God and Christ is the perfect image of the unseen God, hence true humanity flows from and is modeled on the person of Jesus Christ. We encounter this humanity and divinity in every celebration of the Eucharist. This Eucharistic Icon placed centrally behind the altar can leads us into a deeper appreciation of the central mystery of our faith.
We are a small parish, as everybody knows and, unusually, we have to maintain three buildings. Fortunately, we have a congregation which, time after time, provides funds, through offertory payments, stole fees and donations. So we are very grateful. One way in which you can help the parish in the long term is to consider a bequest in your will. Talk to Fr Luke or Philip Kemp for further information about this.
Thank you all for helping to keep the parish going, your generosity means we are surviving as a parish. Although we have returned to public Masses, we are still not able to take a collection at Mass, so we still rely on your giving:
Please consider how you can donate at least equal to your normal giving.
Here’s how you can do this:
1. By Standing Order or Direct Debit. A form is included in the next section which you can use. Details of the parish’s bank account are
2. By making a transfer from your bank account to the parish’s, using the details above.
3. By sending a cheque to the parish made out to Brandon & Mildenhall RC Parish.
*** Please do not send cash ***
We suggest that you arrange these payments on a monthly basis, starting on the first Monday of each month.
Thank you to all those who have been making bank transfers or forwarded cheques as offertory donations to the Parish since the lockdown commenced. Bank transfers are preferred but if you do make cheque payments please note that the payee details for the Parish are "Brandon and Mildenhall Catholic Parish".
THANK YOU for helping in keeping the parish going.
Fr. Luke Goymour, Parish Priest
Philip Kemp, Parish Treasurer
Thank you to those who signed up to GA following my recent finance update after Mass. If you missed this and would like to discuss your GA, please let me know. If you pay UK tax the Parish can claim back 25% of your Sunday offering from the tax office. The only details required are your name, address and signature confirming you pay UK tax. Philip Kemp Tel 07514430468 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am obliged to inform existing members of the Gift Aid Scheme that I will be claiming tax rebates for 2019-20 tax year on your behalf unless informed of the contrary. You are also requested to advise me of any changes in address, post code or name in the last 12 months.
Philip Kemp, Parish Treasurer & Gift Aid Organiser
Tel 07514430468; Email email@example.com
The 50:50 Club is a major source of income to help keep this parish running. --- FACT
The proceeds go half to winners and half to the parish --- FACT
You can join now! --- FACT
Speak to David Thomas (St Thomas’); Janet Murphy (St John’s) --- SIMPLE!
50:50 Club Winnings
I will hold on to the monthly winnings until after the lockdown. Alternatively winners can email me their bank details to facilitate a bank transfer.
Winners for July and August 2020 were published in the Parish Newsletter for the week of September 6th, 2020.
A new book by a local Catholic author Derek Williams is available at the back of the Church priced £7.99.
“Tithing for Catholics is an innovative piece of writing that cuts to the heart of Scripture and Church Teaching…. the author takes us on a journey of first-hand experiences that demonstrate how tithing is a real service of faith that won’t let you down because God cannot be outdone in generosity”
- From the cover of ‘Tithing for Catholics’
Please place money in CTS box or give to Fr Luke directly.
The Parish - whole Church – depends on its members for finance to achieve its mission. That is why we have first and second collections at Mass and welcome people’s generosity in making donations.
Have you considered continuing your contributions after you have departed?
You can do this by making a gift in your will. You can specify what it is to be spent on and the charity that will benefit. Talk to our treasurer for more information:
Philip Kemp: Tel 07514430468; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you want to support a local cause such as your parish or diocese, provide for vulnerable families in the UK or help overseas communities and parishes, a legacy could be the most far-reaching gift you ever make.
Go to https://www.yourcatholiclegacy.org for more information.
The Easter Mass Offering is normally an important contribution to annual income of the Parish Priest. If you are considering making a BACs (online transfer) for this purpose please reference it 'Fr Luke'.
Fr Luke writes: Thank you so much for all your kind offerings, gifts and cards all appreciated, I hope that despite everything you are still able to enter into the joy of season and celebrate our faith in the Risen Lord.
Needs our help!
One of the casualties of the recent panic buying of foodstuffs is that Food Banks across the country are experiencing a severe drop in contributions from the public. This leaves those in most need with healththreatening problems for themselves and their children. We can show the UK that Mildenhall is not and will not follow this trend!
Next time you shop – or have someone shopping for you – use two bags, one for you and one for those who cannot afford to find good food for themselves.
We can’t collect your donations as usual at this time, but you can • Take your bag with you the next time you go shopping and drop it off at the Food Bank, or • Ask a neighbour who is going shopping to deliver your contribution, or • Have your contribution put into the Coop’s or Sainsbury’s special basket for Food Bank donations.
The Food Bank is open from 10am - 12 noon each Monday and Friday. It is located on the ground floor of the King’s Project on the corner of Market Street and King Street, Mildenhall.
Useful items include: Milk (UHT or powdered), Sugar, Long life Fruit Juice, Cereals, Tinned sponge pudding, Tinned Tomatoes, Tinned vegetables, Soup, Tinned rice pudding, Tea bags/instant coffee, Instant Mash, Rice, Tinned meat/fish, Tinned Fruit, Jam, Biscuits/snack bars
... who contributes to the Food Bank. We thank God for this opportunity to comfort our brothers and sisters.
Having a Mass offered for someone’s intention is a good and holy thing to do. It is important to remember, however, that Mass is always offered in the first instance for all people. (For For God’s Glory and our sanctification) No one buys or owns a Mass. A Mass is always ‘our Mass’ - even if offered for a particular individual. Please also remember that in our parish only one Sunday Mass can be offered for an intention that someone has asked for.
There can be a bit of a back log with Mass intentions:
Want to know more about the Church? Perhaps you are a Catholic but missed out on making your confirmation as a youngster.
If this is you, please consider joining our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) programme. Please write to Fr Luke expressing your interest.
Free e-book (with church imprimatur) for your computer/tablet/phone:
The new Liturgical Year begins on the First Sunday of Advent. This e-book may be downloaded free of charge to any computer/tablet/phone. It offers the Gospel for every day of the coming Liturgical Year A-2 (Sundays Year A, weekdays Year 2), together with a reflection of some 750 words on each daily Gospel.
The e-book may be passed on for downloading to friends or acquaintances as desired, and may be accessed at the following URL address: www.catholic-thoughts.info/ebook/
As a parish, we are dedicated to working for fair treatment of growers and suppliers in the Third World.
Because of lack of support, we no longer have a Traidcraft stall at Mildenhall, but we are still obliged to use Fairly Traded tea and coffee. If these cannot be purchased from shops and supermarkets locally, Gillian Caple can order it from Traidcraft. Please ask her.
Locally, Sainsbury’s have opted out of using the Fair Trade logo and, therefore, there is uncertainty about the status of their products. Non-fair trade brands such as Nescafe, Lavazza, etc. should not be used in St John’s. Please inspect purchases carefully for the Fairtrade logo.
We have a number of ways of recording people for whom prayers are said, including, books at each church and this section of our weekly Newsletter.
In the Newsletter we record the names of those whose anniversaries occur each month and sometimes those for whom special requests have been made. These names will, of course, re-appear the same time next year. Because of limited space, the anniversaries are for those who have died since 2010.
Do you want to share our faith in everyday life here in the parish?
This autumn we have started a Proclaim! Group focusing on evangelisation. We are reading Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples together over six weeks and then we support each other to proclaim God’s Good News.
Following the first presentation on Wednesday 25th September at St Thomas’ Brandon, it was thought that it would be good to share our prayers with the whole parish. So a prayer pamphlet was enclosed in your newsletter on 29th Sep.
Please add these prayers to your own prayers at home.
Pray for yourself; and for the group who are estabilishing the programme on Wednesdays; and for the whole parish: that we will have the desire and confidence to share the beauty of God’s love with others.
Fr Luke writes: Many thanks for all who have contributed to keeping a respectful silence before mass. This is a joyful practice and creates the appropriate atmosphere for the celebration.
Please also respect others, who may be trying to pray before and after Mass, by keeping talking to a minimum in and around the main body of the Church. (This does not apply so much to Mildenhall after Mass as we have a Blessed Sacrament chapel for people to pray in whilst teas and coffee continue at the back of the Church.) Silent and prayerful preparation is something that Pope Francis asks us to take seriously.
The Pope says: “Mass is the highest form of prayer and not an appropriate moment for small talk. At church, Catholics should spend their time in silence before Mass, preparing to meet with Jesus instead of engaging in "chitchat,”. Silence is so important…we are not going to a show. Silence prepares us and accompanies us." –
General audience Nov 15th 2017
IF SILENCE IS GOLDEN, PLEASE GIVE JESUS A LITTLE OF YOUR GOLD
Fr Luke writes: I am gradually revamping the resources and CTS racks in our churches. New ‘CTS Essentials’ leaflets have been purchased dealing with a variety of subjects including: Contemplative Prayer, the Blessed Sacrament and Sunday Mass please feel free to take any of these leaflets. (These leaflets are free - even if they are priced at 20p!)
Books and booklets remain as individually priced, but I will be updating the selection shortly – Please use this resource to help nourish your faith.
A superb free App from the British Jesuits. Lots on the App including a daily 10-12 min prayer meditation, as well as Stations of the Cross, Rosary meditations and other prayer resources. If you have a smart phone download the App, it could help develop your prayer life and your friendship with Jesus. Why not try it out for Holy Week?
Are you leaving school or university soon, in between jobs or would like to do something 'different'? The Diocesan Youth Service is looking for people age 18-30 to join the Ignite Team, sharing the Gospel Message with young people in a way they can relate to. These are full-time positions, with food, accommodation and a monthly allowance provided. Ideal as a ‘gap year’. For more information see www.rcdea.org.uk/youth .
CPW offers a chance to enrich and develop your faith, as well as warmly welcoming people from other faith traditions who are in sympathy with the catholic tradition. Events range from 1-day meetings to 7-day holidays, from retreats to conferences to walking holidays. They vary from activities for whole families (in school holidays) to 18+ events: and they are affordable holidays in comfortable accommodation. A limited number of leaflets are available. For details talk to Gill or Tom Caple.
Pax Christi (The Peace of Christ) works for:
To do this Pax Christi works to:
Your local J&P Group brings together Brandon, Mildenhall and Newmarket as our two parishes work together to promote practical action in support Catholic Teaching. We:
We always welcome new members to the group. You don’t have to come to meetings! You can join by using Skype of Face Time or just receive and respond to our monthly Update.
The Justice & Peace Group usually meet on the first Monday of each month. All are welcome.
Talk to Tom or Gill Caple for more information: 01638 716474
O Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, full of compassion and maker of peace, you lived in poverty and suffered persecution for the cause of justice.
You chose the Cross as the path to glory to show us the way of salvation. May we receive the word of the Gospel joyfully and live by Your example as heirs and citizens of Your kingdom. Amen.
On Sunday, July 7th, the Justice & Peace Group facilitated a shared lunch and discussion on what a parish might do to counteract or reduce the effects of climate change. Here are some of the ideas that emerged:
A. Become a Live Simply Parish
B. Use Solar Panels/Raise money for Solar Panels
C. Become a plastic-free parish?
D. Educate the kids in the Children’s Liturgy
E. Make a commitment as a parish to:
• Turn off lights when not in use
• Make sure all our lights are LED bulbs
• Check the lights
F. Have a walk/cycle to mass Sunday (for those who can)
G. Share cars to get to Church using less fuel.
Many other suggestions were made as well, some of which are already in place. There’s no doubting that more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of local action, and not just waiting for world leaders to solve the problem.
If you have suggestions about practical actions we can take, please contact Gill or Tom Caple
Ten years ago the UK Government took a global lead and passed the pioneering Climate Change Act committing us to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Recent research by climate scientists has stressed that this is no longer enough. We need to go further, faster. Unless we make dramatic changes, the damage caused by climate change will be irreversible. We need to reach ‘net zero’ emissions by 2045 at the latest. This is based on the science behind keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C. Several countries have already committed to reach this target. The UK as a global leader on climate change must join them to ‘revive’ our common home. So what can we do?
For further information about the national campaign go to www.cafod.org.uk/climate
Working with Adult Faith Formation (AFF)
AFF is a group that has come together to work together in their spiritual development. They meet monthly on Thursday evenings and Tuesday lunchtimes for prayer, talks by invited speakers and study sessions.
In February the J&P led an event on Intercessions. AFF members took part in an interactive session involving discussion, practice in composing intentions and reflection. The papers supporting the session can be obtained from Tom Caple. Participants said that the session was helpful.
The session was repeated (with suitable adjustments) for the Tuesday Lunch Club. It also got a positive response.
Stations of the Cross
We led a poetry-based Station service at OLISE on Palm Sunday. Each participant read a relevant poem at each station. Across the echoing church, each reading draped us with insights and reverence for Christ’s gift of sacrifice. It proved a very moving way of remembering Jesus’s journey.
Nonviolence Works is a network of Christian Peace Organisations, including Pax Christi, committed to furthering peace in communities. The network has evidence that there are ways other than violent intervention to resolve differences and bring an end to wars. It publishes cases that show how nonviolent approaches can and do work. We will publish examples from time to time. Here are three:
Teachers refused to co-operate with the pro-Nazi Quisling regime and, although many endured prison, the obligation to teach Nazi doctrines had to be withdrawn.
The Rome-based Community of Sant” Egidio brokered an agreement between RENAMO and FRELIMO forces, ending ten years of war.
1996 -- The movement to oust Serbia dictator Slobodan Milosevic, which began in November 1996 with Serbs conducting daily parades and protests in Belgrade and other cities. At that time, however, Serb democrats lacked a strategy to press on the struggle and failed to launch a campaign to bring down the Milosovic dictatorship. In early October 2000, the Otpor (Resistance) movement and other democrats rose up again against Milosevic in a carefully planned nonviolent struggle.
1999 to Present -- Popular protests of corporate power & globalization begin with Seattle WTO protest in Seattle, 1999. This is what set the trend for the Occupy movement which is still alive.
2001 -- The “People Power Two” campaign, ousts Filipino President Estrada in early 2001.
Young stilt walkers used circus acts and carnival in the streets to transform the climate of violence spread by brutal youth gangs.
War changed my life. For us ordinary people of Croatia, the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia came so suddenly we were confused. The war and the logic of war spread like a violent fire. From a culture of nationalism to the fear-ridden images of the enemy, to being surrounded by Serbian forces bombing us… I started to think like others, there was no other way. It is them or us… While we were thinking and praying in a small group we spoke about the meaning of love for our enemy in this very situation. …. I started to think, what would it mean to love my enemy in this time of war? I could not find the answer. But then I made a choice, from my will. So, I chose to love my enemy as Jesus would. This choice was my first move from the logic of violence, and I felt I could breathe again.
My next step was to think how would I defend life? I would defend life but not by killing. But what if I needed to defend the life of my children? I don’t know what I would do in such a situation. But this transition from the logic of violence opened my heart and my mind to ask: what could I do for peace and the end of the war? I met someone who was an ethicist and then a conscientious objector. … And this was the beginning of the peace movement, the Centre for Nonviolence and Human Rights in Osijek, from the middle of the war.
Katarina Kruhonja, former Board member, Pax Christi International
Fr Luke writes: I have decided to produce regular (or semi-regular depending on commitments!) articles which I shall include with the newsletter from time to time as a supplement entitled ‘what we believe’. I hope to explore with you some aspects of our faith that perhaps, we haven’t always (or at least recently) thought about too deeply. It is not always possible and not really the right forum to explore these themes in depth in homilies so I have decided to explore them in written form with the hope that we can go a bit deeper and, if you wish, read at your own pace and re-read as necessary. I may also in time have these available online as well.
The third reflection on the Creed: ‘Creator of Heaven and Earth’.
The fourth reflection: ‘Of all things visible and invisible’.
The fifth reflection: ‘I believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son, Our Lord.’
The sixth reflection: "He was conceived by the Holy spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. "
This is a programme of weekly sessions exploring understanding of our faith and spiritual development, held at Our Lady Immaculate & St Etheldreda after 7 pm Mass each Thursday. All are welcome. Tom & Gill Caple have details.
For a full programme see the OLiSE website - www.olise.co.uk.
Fr Luke writes: In order to help me run our parish I am looking to appoint a group of advisors from both the Mildenhall and Brandon Community. I am going to spend some time next week praying over the mission and ministry of our parish and planning the way forward. A constitutive part of this team will be a new safeguarding rep as our current rep, Andy Watts has decided to step down. I am grateful to Andy for the work he has done. If I approach you over the next few weeks, please be generous in giving of yourself in service of our parish community. If you have any ideas or suggestions about how things are done in our parish please feel free to email me or to talk to personally, I want to hear your views.
An anonymous donor has given the parish 10 copies of this Redemptorist booklet, which can be used by children (with or without their parents, depending on age) to follow and learn about the Mass. Users can colour in and wipe off again and again.
Five of the copies will be available in each church. You may use it, but please clean and return it after Mass. If you want to take it home for study between masses, please do so, but return it the following week. Thank you.
A new series of day-retreats entitled 'Discipleship Days' aimed at those aged 16 - 35, are now being launched around the Diocese of East Anglia. These days are for those who wish to grow in their faith through a day of fellowship, formation and prayer. The first one took place on the 23rd of February in Brandon. These events are free of charge. If you are under 18, please go to www.rcdea.org.uk/youth for a parental consent form.
Gracewing has just published a beautiful little book Devotions to St Thomas Becket by Fr John S. Hogan, a priest of the Diocese of Meath in Ireland, with illustrations by a monk of Silverstream Priory. As well as the Christmas Novena to St Thomas, Fr John's book offers an 'armchair' pilgrimage to Canterbury with the Seven Stations of St Thomas of Canterbury. The book retails at £7.99 St Thomas Becket, a popular little life of the saint, at £6.99 - you can find copies of these books at the back of the Church in Brandon. Please put money in the CTS pamphlet box on the wall.
A new statue of the Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of Walsingham has been donated to our parish for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St Johns. Please have a look at our new statue and take a moment to ask the prayers of Mary, Mother of God of Walsingham.
Walsingham is our National Shrine and the centre of the New Evangelisation as designated by the Bishops of England and Wales, we are blessed to live so close to this beautiful and important site for Catholicism in our Country.
There is sometimes confusion about what stole fees are and who receives them.
They are amounts of money given to priests for various services (Baptisms, Marriages, funerals, etc.). In some countries, the priest keeps the fee. In East Anglia, because priests receive a modest stipend (salary) each month, Bishop Peter Smith decreed that fees should be part of the parish income. This is still the situation.
Items left behind or lost are now accumulating. If you have lost anything please check what is in the narthex. We will keep abandoned items for one month, but will then have to dispose of them. Items of value may be kept longer, but we cannot take responsibility for these or anything else left behind.
If you are struggling to get a roast dinner ready after Mass at Brandon, consider taking one home with you from the Orient Express Carvery! For £9:99 they give you a takeaway tin and you fill it with freshly cooked food and locally sourced meats.
Thank you to Lina Busuttile, a member of the Mildenhall community who kindly created the new altar cloth for St Thomas’. Mass goers at St Thomas’ will also notice the new icons around the Church. These were purchased with the remaining funds that with given to the parish by an anonymous benefactor of the Divine Mercy Pictures
Anna Liwak, the parishioner from Brandon who created out beautiful Paschal candles is now taking commissions for Candles.
Her candles are handcrafted and can be personalized for First Communion, Baptisms, Memorials, Anniversaries or any other important occasions. Individual prayer candles are also available.
For more information please contact Anna on 07741209889 or check out her facebook page: ‘Artistic Heart.’
Having a mass said or paying for flowers in the church are practical ways supporting the work of the parish. Please give your donations to Fr Luke or Philip Kemp.
Has your house been blessed? Would you like a home visit and a blessing for you home and family?
If you would like Fr Luke to visit you in your home and invoke God’s blessing upon your home and family, please speak to him after Mass or call the presbytery.
Even if your home has been blessed in the past we can still pray together and ask for God’s blessing upon our lives. It’s also an excellent way for priest and parish to get to know each other!
Just Traid, the Fair Trade shop next to St John the Baptist Church, St John’s Street, Bury, has launched an exciting new menu in their café and a wide range of goods in their shop. Well worth a break to rest your legs and your pocket, when Christmas shopping!
The Fund deals with emergency grant applications from families or individuals in need. It also considers support for young people wishing to explore a third world project in their gap years or long vacations.
The fund is administered by Caritas East Anglia. All applications come from the parish or endorsements from professionals working with applicants.
Over the past year, the Fund has supported families and individuals facing homelessness or job losses resulting in rent arrears. Others helped have been dealing with the sudden onset of terminal illness.
For more details go to: https://www.rcdea.org.uk/caritas-east-anglia/
November is a traditionally the month when we pray for the dead. In both of our Churches you will find a ‘Book of the Dead’.
Please put the names of your loved ones who have died in the book and they will be prayed for throughout November. I will also offer Mass for the Holy Souls at various points in November and they shall be remembered in those Masses.
To add a name, simply find the page which corresponds to the month that they died and write the name in. Any name of any deceased person can be added, they do not need to have died in this last year nor do they need to be a Catholic. All people alive and dead can benefit from our prayers!
were donated to the parish and have come from the shrine at Krakow. To find out more about this devotion please take a leaflet from the rack at the back of Church.
If you would be willing to help run a children’s liturgy group at Mildenhall or Brandon please speak to Fr Luke.
If you have made your first Holy Communion and would like to serve at Mass at either Brandon or Mildenhall, speak to Fr Luke. We need you!
Time set aside for Lectio Divina enables us to discover in our daily life an underlying spiritual rhythm. We discover an increasing ability to offer more of ourselves and our relationships to the Father, and to accept the embrace that God offers us in the person of his son, Jesus Christ. We can attend "with the ear of our hearts", listening for God's presence in our lives.
• Choose a text of the Scriptures that you wish to pray. This could be a reading for that day’s mass, or a particular book from the New Testament. The amount of text covered is in God's hands, not yours.
• Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent. This could be a few moments focused on your breathing, or a favourite prayer. Use whatever method is best for you and allow yourself to enjoy silence for a few moments.
• Turn to the text and read it slowly, gently. Savour each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the "still, small voice" of a word or phrase that somehow says, "I am for you today." In Lectio Divina, God is teaching us to listen to him, to seek him in silence.
• Take the word or phrase into yourself. Slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas. Memories or thoughts are simply parts of yourself that, when they rise up during Lectio Divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self.
• Speak to God. Whether you use words, ideas, or images--or all three--is not important. Interact with God as you would with one you know loves and accepts you. Give to God what you have found within your heart. Experience God by using the word or phrase he has given you as a means of blessing and of transforming the ideas and memories that your reflection on his word has awakened.
• Rest in God's embrace. And when he invites you to return to your contemplation of his word or to your inner dialogue with him, do so. Learn to use words when words are helpful, and to let go when they no longer are necessary. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence.
Many prayer groups find it a useful approach to collective study and prayer.
This form of Lectio Divina works best in a group of between four and eight people. A group leader coordinates the process and facilitates sharing. The same text from the Scriptures is read out three times, followed each time by a period of silence and an opportunity for each member of the group to share the fruit of her or his Lectio.
• The first reading is for the purpose of hearing a word or passage that touches the heart. When the word or phrase is found, the group's members take it in, gently recite it, and reflect on it during the silence that follows. After the silence, each person shares which word or phrase has touched his or her heart.
• The second reading (by a member of the opposite sex from the first reader) is for the purpose of "hearing" or "seeing" Christ in the text. Each ponders the word that has touched the heart and asks where the word or phrase touches his or her life that day. Then, after the silence, each member of the group shares what he or she has "heard" or "seen."
• The third and final reading is for the purpose of experiencing Christ "calling us forth" into doing or being. Members ask themselves what Christ in the text is calling them to do or to become today or this week. After the silence, each shares for the last time, and the exercise concludes with each person praying for the person on the right of him or her.
Those who regularly practice this method of praying and sharing the Scriptures find it to be an excellent way of developing trust within a group. It also is an excellent way of consecrating projects and hopes to Christ before more-formal group meetings.
Based on “How to Practice Lectio Divina” Rev. Luke Dysinger OSB www.beliefnet.com