The Parish of St Joseph and
The Parish of St Charles Borromeo
Letter from Fr Mark McManus 11th December
Dear Parishioners of St Joseph's & St Charles',
Our public Masses this coming week at St Joseph's church are:

Saturday, 12 December, at 5.00pm &
Sunday, 13 December, at 9.00am & 10.00am
Tuesday,15 December, at 10.00am &
Friday, 18 December, at 10.00am

You can choose to attend one of any of the 5 Masses - there is no Sunday obligation at present. There are lots of live-streamed Masses to choose from.

When the church is full you may not enter the church. However, if you wish, you may remain outside as the main doors of the church will still be open and you can follow Mass there. As people leave the church you may then enter by the porch to receive Holy Communion.

We have to leave the doors open to ensure adequate ventilation. It will be cold in church, so wrap up warm. Let us do all that we can to respect the health and safety of each other.

Tier 3 Very High Covid-19 Alert Level
The 'Rule of Six' continues as the basic guide for us to follow inside the church along with all the accompanying social contact and distance rules, etc. I must also remind you that these rules apply to any brief social mixing outside after Mass.
Booking a Place for Christmas Masses

In order to manage the demand and allow people to gather safely you will need to book your place(s) for the remaining Masses that are now available, before next Friday, 18 December. Our bishop has recommended that people consider making any day of the Christmas Octave, up to 1 January, their Christmas Mass.
The Masses for the feast of The Nativity of the Lord will be as follows:

Thursday, Christmas Eve, at 4.00pm, 5.00pm & 6.00pm
*** All the Christmas Eve Masses are now fully booked ***

Friday, Christmas Day, at 9.00am & 10.00am
*** There is still plenty of room at the 9.00am Mass but there are only a limited number of places left at the 10.00am Mass *** (correct as of 11th December)
All the Masses will use the readings and prayers of the 'Mass during the night'
  • You can book your place(s) by contacting Marie O'Hara,
    on e-mail at
    or by telephone on 07862 718803 (Mondays to Fridays 4.00 to 7.00pm, Saturdays 9.00am to 4.00pm)

  • The variable numbers of individuals, families and 'bubbles' at each Mass will require that we assign set places.
  • If you are attending Mass with someone who forms part of your 'Christmas bubble' then do please book your places together.
  • There will be a handful of places set aside at each of these Masses for those who turn up on the day (ideally, I really don't want to turn anyone away) but these should not be relied upon. Once the church is full you can only follow Mass from outside.
  • Should there be the need then I shall add a further Mass but this will only happen when the current Masses are all 'full.'
  • Please pass on this information to anyone you think will be interested but who does not have access to the internet. Thank you.
The Masses for the Feast of the Holy Family will be
Saturday, 26 December, at 12 Noon &
Sunday, 27 December, at 9.00am & 10.00am
Some Intentions for Prayer
In order to encourage a sense of communion between us all, here are some intercessions that you may wish to use in your personal or family prayer.

"When did we see you...naked and clothe you?"
Our deacon, Simon Hegarty, writes:

I am arranging a collection of warm clothing and sanitary/hygiene items for refugees in our region distributed through the Yorkshire Refugee Foodbank. Therefore can I ask you to sort out any clean but unwanted clothing (please no rags, torn or soiled items - lets respect their human dignity) or perhaps purchase items to make a gift, bag them up and text or email me and I'll contact you in return to arrange a socially distanced collection. Please do not bring donations to church. I aim to make collections up to and including Tuesday, 16 December.

Items on the list are: Coats, jumpers, hoodies, hats, gloves, scarves, jeans/trousers, clean, undamaged paired shoes, new and unused sanitary/personal hygiene items.

Thank you for your support.

07804 736 774 or email

Christmas Tree & Flowers
Unsurprisingly, our decorations will have to be a little more 'muted' this year but we will still be able, please God, to adequately prepare St Joseph's for the celebration of this great feast. If you would like to make a donation towards the tree and flowers then please leave an offering in a marked envelope or see Fr Mark or Marie O'Hara. Thank you for your support.

Year of St Joseph
In his Apostolic Letter Patris corde ("With a Father's Heart"), of 8 December, 2020, Pope Francis marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX's declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special "Year of St Joseph," beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the same feast in 2021. Please God, we will be able to come together and mark this year in the months ahead.

At the conclusion of his Letter, he adds a prayer to St Joseph, which he encourages all of us to pray:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

You can read the full text of the letter here:

Hallam Diocesan Yearbook
The yearbook has not been printed this year.

Ethical Concerns Regarding Vaccination
The Bishops' Conference of England & Wales issued a statement in September hoping to provide some clarity and assurance to people about Church teaching and moral issues regarding vaccination. You can see that document here:
Yesterday, 3 December, they made a further update to their statement here:

Church Cleaning & Stewarding
We will require extra stewards for the Christmas Masses, please contact me if you can help.
The continuing work of our voluntary church cleaners and stewards remains the bedrock of our ability to open and use our church. Without them the church would still be closed and we are immensely thankful for all that they do. We require stewards for funerals also. If you have returned to church, have seen how things are done, and now feel ready and able to volunteer then please contact me. More hands help spread the load. Thank you.

Donations to Mary's Meals
HM Government has promised to match donations to Mary's Meals made before 31 January 2021. Mary's Meals is a very cost effective charity that provides a daily meal at school for children in some of the poorest areas of the world.
To donate, visit:

Restored Lives
Recovering from relationship breakdown? The Restored Lives on-line course supports and helps people to move forward from divorce and separation. A six session Zoom course commences Wednesday, 3 February, 6.00–8.00pm, cost £20 including handbook (unwaged free of charge).
To book please contact or tel. 0114 2566407

Weekly Offertory Envelopes
An order for offertory envelopes for 2021 is due to be placed at the beginning of January. However, during lockdown, a number of you who generally use envelopes have kindly made your donation by bank transfer instead. You may now wish to continue making an offering this way once we return to more 'normal' times. If you decide that you no longer want to use an envelope please advise us by the end of the year so that our order can be amended. If you are a tax payer and have signed a declaration your offering will still be recorded for gift aid purposes regardless of which method you use to donate.

Car Parking
Drivers should note that the logs that previously marked part of the border of the presbytery lawn have been replaced with stones. Do feel free to use the available parking space at the church but do be aware of the need to socially distance upon entering and exiting your car.

You MUST NOT come to church if: You are unwell or somebody in your household has coronavirus symptoms, for example a cough or high temperature. Please follow the directions of the stewards.

Track & Trace App & QR Code
We shall continue to record the names and contact details for people attending the church for private prayer. We now display at the entrance to the church and also inside a QR code so that, if you have a smartphone, you can scan the QR code when you arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Finally, this week's newsletter is here.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
St Charles Borromeo, pray for us.

With my prayers,

Rev. Mark McManus
Parish Priest
Parish Newsletter 13th December

Intentions for the Third Sunday of Advent