|Letter from Fr Mark McManus 18th December|
|Dear Parishioners of St Joseph's & St Charles',|
Thank you to all the members of our parishes who contributed to the 'regular' life of our communities activities in the first part of the year. Some activities have continued quietly unseen such as the laundering of the church linens or the recording of the collections and gift-aid and for all these we are thankful. This year however, we must particularly record our thanks to all those people who have helped to keep things running during the many months of the pandemic.
We thank our deacon Simon, who has begun his sacred ministry in difficult circumstances, and our parish secretary Marie who, despite being unable to work in the office, has given so much of her time to the parish, especially in the cemetery. Indeed, a number of people - not all of them parishioners or even Catholics - have done a great deal of work in the cemetery and the fruit of their labour is clear for all to see. Our care of both the living and dead is a sign of our Christian faith and it has been much appreciated by many.
Also greatly appreciated by us all, has been the vital and necessary work of our church cleaners and stewards without whom we could not publically function. Their regular and dedicated physical preparation of the church is at heart of our public worship. Our non-physical connectivity has been facilitated by our website and Facebook administrators and, as they perhaps point us to future developments, we thank them for their unstinting efforts in helping to keep us all together and informed.
Finally, we thank all those who participate in our Christian communion through prayer and we rejoice in the many simple acts of kindness that have been undertaken by you all since the beginning of this pandemic.
|I wish you and your families a happy and holy Christmas and also
the blessings of good health for you and your loved ones in the coming New Year,
may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts and homes.
|Our public Masses this coming week at St Joseph's church are:
Saturday, 19 December, at 5.00pm &
Sunday, 20 December, at 9.00am & 10.00am
Tuesday,22 December, at 10.00am
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.
Moving On The From Outside ChurchMy apologies, understandably people will be tempted to linger and give festal greetings after our Christmas Masses. However, I kindly ask the congregations after the 4.00pm, 5.00pm and 9.00am Masses to be mindful of the close proximity of the incoming congregation for the next Mass and to move away from the site with appropriate time to spare. Many thanks.
|The Masses for the Nativity of the Lord
Thursday, Christmas Eve, at
*** 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 handful of places left at the 10.00am Mass *** (correct as of 18th December)
All the Masses will use the readings and prayers of the 'Mass during the night'
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 Friday, 18 December. Our bishop has recommended that people consider making any day of the Christmas Octave, up to 1 January, their Christmas Mass.
|You can book your place(s) by contacting Marie O'Hara,
on e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by telephone on 07862 718803 (Mondays to Fridays 4.00 to 7.00pm, Saturdays 9.00am to 4.00pm)
|The Masses for the solemnity of the Holy Family
Saturday, 26 December, at 12 Noon (NO 5.00pm Mass) &
Sunday, 27 December, at 9.00am & 10.00am
Some Intentions for PrayerIn 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 for this weekend (Fourth Sunday of Advent) and next weekend (The Holy Family).
"When did we see you...naked and clothe you?"We thank our deacon, Simon Hegarty, for arranging a collection of warm clothing and sanitary/hygiene items for refugees in our region distributed through the Yorkshire Refugee Foodbank and everyone who responded so generously to this request. A small lorry load was collected. Well done!
Christmas Tree & FlowersUnsurprisingly, 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.
Hallam Diocesan YearbookThe yearbook has not been printed this year.
Ethical Concerns Regarding VaccinationThe 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: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/covid-19-and-vaccination/
Yesterday, 3 December, they made a further update to their statement here:
Church Cleaning & StewardingThe 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. 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.
Weekly Offertory EnvelopesAn 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 ParkingDrivers 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.
FACE COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED IN CHURCHYou 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 CodeWe 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.
Wishing you all the blessings of the holy season,
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
St Charles Borromeo, pray for us.
With my prayers,
Rev. Mark McManus