THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
The Fathers of the Oratory wish all our parishioners, visitors and friends a very happy & holy Christmas, and a blessed New Year.
The next Parish Newsletter will appear on 8th January 2017.
Saturday 24th December: Christmas Eve
Church open 6.30am till 7.00pm.
6.00pm Vigil Mass of Christmas.
Church closes at 7.00pm and re-opens at 11.15pm.
11.30pm Christmas Carols, followed by Solemn Midnight Mass (Latin), with Choir and Orchestra.
Sunday 25th December: Christmas Day
Church open 7.30am till 5.30pm.
Mass: 8.00am, 9.00am (1962 Missal), 10.00am, 11.00am (Solemn Latin),
12.30pm, 4.30pm. Solemn Vespers & Solemn Benediction 3.30pm.
No 7.00pm Mass.
Monday 26th December: Saint Stephen
Church open 9.00am to 1.00pm.
Mass: 10.00am, 11.00am (1962 Missal), 12.30pm.
The Oratory House will be closed. There will be no duty priest available.
Click here for the times of Masses & and other services from Christmas to the Epiphany.
THE V&A CHRISTMAS TRAIL
The Victoria and Albert Museum, next door to the Oratory, has a display of a traditional Neapolitan presepe (Nativity scene) in the magnificent surroundings of the Santa Chiara chapel. Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, Room 50b. Admission free. For more information click here.
Until 5th February 2017 the temporary exhibition Opus Anglicanum shows the most outstanding examples of English ecclesiastical embroidery in the Middle Ages. Featuring surviving examples of exquisite craftsmanship, this exhibition reveals the artistic skill of the makers and the world in which they were created. For more information click here. There is a 50% discount on tickets for this exhibition until 23rd December.
Confirmation classes for boys will start on Thursday 12th January at 5pm; Confirmation classes for girls will start on Friday 20th January at 4.30pm. The classes are open to those who will be aged 14 or older by the time of Confirmation on Tuesday 20th June 2017. If you are interested for your child, contact the Oratory House.
ORATORY LATIN CLASSES
The Oratory Latin classes with Mr Dominic Sullivan will start again on Thursday 12th January 2017, at 7.30pm in St Joseph’s Hall and meet every fortnight.
ST THOMAS AQUINAS STUDY GROUP
The St Thomas Aquinas Study Group with Mr Dominic Sullivan will start again on Thursday 19th January, at 7.30pm in St Joseph’s Hall and meet every fortnight.
ORATORY YOUNG ADULTS GROUP
Night Shelter on Wednesday: Once again we are taking part in the night shelter at St Augustine’s, Queen’s Gate, SW7 5LP (near South Kensington tube station). We are needed on Wednesdays from about 7.30pm to help serve food and chat with the guests. Email email@example.com for more details.
Restart: Also on Saturday afternoons at St Augustine’s there is a drop-in centre organised by the charity Restart (http://restartlives.org/). These drop-ins run throughout the year. They are looking to start a two-tier mentoring initiative. This is what they told us: “We are initially looking for volunteers who are interested in becoming either a mentor or a befriender. Both will have very similar training and supervision, although mentoring will be a six-month commitment and the onus on meeting the mentee would be very much up to both parties. For the ‘befriending’ option, the commitment would look more like one or two months, with meetings with mentee restricted to Saturdays at the Drop-in. At this stage, we are interested in getting an idea of numbers, anyone that is keen on finding out more. We will be writing to everyone that registers an interest in the New Year. Please email directly (mentioning that you have come through the Oratory) at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
During the 10am, 11am and 12:30pm Masses, St Gregory’s Library is available for parents with small children who become restless. There are books and some toys. Entrance is through the Sacred Heart Chapel at the back of the church. Children must be supervised by their parents at all times. We need more help to maintain this service, especially during the 11am and 12:30pm Masses. If you can spare a few hours on a Sunday occasionally, please tell Farah, Giulia or David (call 07768 176 848).
STILL A FEW PLACES AVAILABLE FOR THE PILGRIMAGE TO SPAIN IN 2017
The Oratory Parish pilgrimage to the cathedrals of southern Spain from Saturday 22nd April to Friday 28th April 2017, led by Fr Michael Lang, is filling up, but there are still a few places available. The pilgrimage will begin in Toledo and include Jaén, Cordoba, Granada and Seville. The total cost, including flights from Heathrow to Madrid and from Seville to Gatwick with British Airways, coach travel, hotels (half-board), will be £899 (twin or double share; supplement for single room). More information and booking forms from Pax Travel (phone 020 7485 3003, email email@example.com), or from Fr Michael on 020 7808 0900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See also here.
If you are struggling to come to terms with a recent – or not so recent – bereavement and would like to talk to someone, please get in touch with the Friends of the Oratory (email@example.com), where professional support is available.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE TO GO INTO HOSPITAL?
In light of strict data protection rules it is essential that on entering hospital you indicate that your details or those of your relative are to be passed to the Roman Catholic Chaplain. Also state that you or your relative would like the Roman Catholic Chaplain to visit you. Chaplains visit the wards during the week and provide an on-call service in case of emergency.
DONATE VIA YOUR MOBILE PHONE
SIMPLY TEXT “PARISH ORATO” TO THE NUMBER 70800
There is a new way of making a donation to the Oratory Parish via your mobile phone. You can now text £5 as an offering to help us with our many pastoral and charitable activities, and for the upkeep of our church. Simply type: “Parish”, then space, then “ORATO”, and send the text message to the number 70800. £5 will be added to your mobile phone bill, as a donation that will go directly to the Oratory Parish. This is authorised by the Diocese of Westminster. You will not receive unsolicited calls or spam texts. You are in complete control of when to donate. There is nothing to sign-up for or log into. The Oratory Parish receives 97 pence for every pound donated, which is good stewardship. The Diocese of Westminster is sponsoring this programme in all 215 parishes across the Diocese, so there is no cost to us. If you have any questions, contact the Oratory House, or the Diocese at 020 7798 9375.
GIFT AID – HELPING THE ORATORY
If you are a UK taxpayer, the Oratory can claim back from the Inland Revenue 25p of every £1 you give, at no cost or inconvenience to you. Setting up a Gift Aid arrangement helps the Oratory to increase its income, which is much needed for the upkeep of the church and for the many pastoral activities in the parish. For further information contact the Oratory House.
PRIEST REFERENCE FOR SCHOOL APPLICATIONS
Parents who wish one of the Oratory Fathers to give their child a school reference must register with the “Mass Attendance” scheme. Registration forms are available from the Oratory House.
INFORMATION FOR MARRIAGE
If you would like to be married at the Oratory, we will need at least 6 months notice. For the initial enquiry please come to the Oratory House in person and ask to speak to the priest on duty (see Hours of Duty below). All subsequent meeting, bookings and arrangements will be done through him, so please make a note of his name! No wedding books will be taken over the telephone or by email.
If you do not normally worship at the Oratory, please state the name of the church where you usually attend Mass and give the reasons you wish to marry here (for instance, personal connection to the Oratory or one of our schools). Please remember that it is important to approach the church first before making your plans for a reception venue. We do not have weddings on a Sunday.
There are various arrangements and legalities, both civil and ecclesiastical which need to be attended to. You will also need to undergo a course of preparatory instruction about the sacrament of marriage. Please speak to the priest for more details. See also here.
Hours of Duty:
Monday-Friday: 9.30am-12.00pm; 3.00pm-5.30pm; 8.00pm-9.00pm.
Saturday: 9.30am-12pm; 3.00pm-5.30pm.
INFORMATION FOR BAPTISM
According to canon law, “Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it” (CIC can. 867 §1).
Those wishing to have their child baptised should contact the Oratory House and ask to speak to the priest on duty. All subsequent meeting, bookings and arrangements will be done through him. It will be necessary to meet with the priest for a class on the sacrament of baptism.
Normally baptisms take place in the parish where a family is resident. If you do not live within the territorial boundaries of the Oratory parish but have a good reason for wanting to have your child baptised here then please explain that to the priest on duty. In such cases your own parish priest will need to give permission for the baptism to take place at the Oratory.
The choice of godparents (sponsors), who are to help the baptised to live a good Christian life and faithfully to fulfil the duties inherent in baptism, is an important one. One godparent, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be no more than two godparents, one of each sex. A godparent must be a Catholic of not less than sixteen years of age, who has been confirmed and who lives a life of faith that befits the role to be undertaken. A baptised person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted in company with a Catholic sponsor as a Christian witness. See also here.
FROM THE DIOCESE
For diocesan job vacancies visit the website http://rcdow.org.uk/diocese/jobs/ where you can view all current vacancies. New jobs are regularly added to the site as they arise.
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes: Helpers are needed for the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes from Sunday 24th July to Saturday 30th July 2017. If you are between 16 and 18, you can serve as a “Red Cap”, helping people in wheelchairs and taking part in the processions and many other tasks. Contact Katrina Lavery at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more. If you are over 18, your help would be very much appreciated as a helper in the Accueil St Frai, where sick pilgrims in most need of support and medical care stay. The role of a St Frai helper is to support the nurses and provide the sort of care for which you don’t need a medical qualification. If you’re interested in helping in the St Frai, email chief helper Nick Leonard and team at email@example.com.
St Mark’s Gospel: A basic handbook for discipleship, with Fr John Hemer, MHM. This series of talks consist of six self-contained lectures at Vaughan House, 46 Francis Street, SW1P 1QN, Mondays 7.00-8.30pm. Participants are very welcome to attend all the series or some of the lectures. All the lectures will be audio recorded and available here. Dates: 23rd January 2017, 20th February 2017, 13th March 2017, 15th May 2017. Registration required. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate your name and the date of the event. If you do not have access to the internet, please leave a voice message at 020 7931 6078. Suggested donation £4.
Matrimony: A calling to forgive! Retrouvaille offers a welcoming and loving space to couples who have been living with the misery of a failing marriage. Retrouvaille offers hope: hope that it is not too late, hope of a different and better marriage. Retrouvaille helps couples to show each other mercy through the opportunities it provides to listen, to forgive, to be reconciled and to move into their futures believing that God loves them and with His help and their effort, their marriages can be healed and restored. Retrouvaille provides help for marriage problems, difficulties and crises. www.retrouvaille.org.uk Phone or text 07887 296 983 or 07973 380 443.