1st Sunday of Advent (B)
URGENT ACTION FOR CATHOLIC FREE SCHOOLS
The Bishops’ Conference met two weeks ago and decided to encourage everyone to contact the Education Secretary and their Member of Parliament urging them to drop the faith-based admissions cap and thus allow Catholic free schools to be created. Helpfully there is now an online form, which makes it easier to do just that. It shouldn’t take more than a minute, and it would be very important that you fill out the brief form here. Thank you for taking the time to do this – please forward this information to other Catholics!
HEATING IN THE CHURCH
A number of parishioners have mentioned that they find the church to be too cold. We have problems with our heating system, which is living on borrowed time and could soon stop functioning altogether. The necessary repair work has started, but the replacement of essential elements is going to be a very expensive business and all donations would be gratefully received.
ADVENT SUNDAY MUSICAL ORATORY
The Brothers of the Little Oratory invite you to the annual Advent Musical Oratory with the Oratory Junior Choir this Sunday 3rd December at 4.30pm in the Little Oratory. There will be readings, Advent hymns and choral pieces. All welcome.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Friday 8th December is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. There will be Solemn First Vespers & Benediction on Thursday 7th at 5:30pm, followed by Mass at 6:30pm, and a Solemn High Mass on Friday 8th at 6.30pm (no 6pm Mass). Other Masses will be at the usual weekday times. More information here.
The annual Carol Service with the choirs of the London Oratory will be on Thursday 21st December at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00pm. More information here.
Details about times of Masses and other services in the Christmas season are now available here.
BERLIOZ’S CHRISTMAS ORATORIO
Scherzo Ensemble invites you to experience Berlioz’s masterful Christmas Oratorio, L’Enfance Du Christ (The Childhood of Christ). The work tells a story of King Herod’s persecution of the infants, the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt and their being granted refuge in the home of an Egyptian family. Berlioz’s inclusion of this traditional tale of familial sanctuary in Egypt is particularly resonant today, when Christianity is the world’s most persecuted faith, particularly in the Middle East. The piece will be sung in French with the English translation made available. Tuesday 12th December at 7.30pm in St Wilfrid’s Hall. Tickets are £15/£10 concessions, available on the door or here.
VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED
Volunteers from the Oratory SVP provide an ambulance service to bring people to Mass on Sunday who would otherwise be unable to come. Sadly our rota of drivers is now short and on certain weeks we are not able to offer this service. If you would like to volunteer or to find out more about helping, please email email@example.com or call the Oratory House at 020 7808 0900.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ORATORY REPOSITORY & BOOK SHOP
We need a larger pool of volunteers to cover absences due either to holidays or illness. It would be good to have some who are willing to be called upon at short notice. We need volunteers especially for Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays to help fill-in. We aim to offer these guaranteed opening times: Sun 10.45am–1.15pm, 3.15pm–5.25pm; Tue–Sat 3.15pm-5.45pm. Those interested should either be known to one of the Fathers or have some letter of reference. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORATORY YOUNG ADULTS GROUP
On 11th November the Oratory took over the homeless shelter at St Luke’s Redcliffe Gardens. And so we’re looking at for volunteers! We have decided that this year we’d like people to commit to doing a minimum of 3 Saturdays, so that the guests will see familiar faces as the weeks roll on, and we as volunteers can be as organised as possible. We are also looking for dedicated dishwashers this year to keep things under control in the kitchen. This job would mean staying in the kitchen at all times making sure things are clean and organised. Please also let us know if you’d be interested in taking this job! Once we have an idea of who’d like to get involved, we’ll get back in touch to get dates from you all so that Nina can start scheduling! Do have a think about whether you’d be happy to make that commitment. If you are, please reply on the Facebook page for the group or email Nina Shenkman (email@example.com).
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).
LOVING 4 LIFE
Loving 4 Life is a Catholic Marriage Enrichment apostolate, dedicated to strengthening spousal love through weekend seminars, sharing the beauty and truth of lifelong love open to life, and allowing couples to discover the depths of their sacramental vows. There will be a one-day retreat at the Church of Our Lady, 54 Lodge Rd, St John’s Wood, London NW8 8LA, on Saturday 20th January 2018, starting at 10am. To register please contact: Jane Deegan, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07595 724300. There will be several Saturday/Sunday retreats (with the option to stay overnight) in 2018. For the dates and venues, and for more information, see here.
ORATORY PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO GREECE IN 2018
Fr Michael Lang will lead a parish pilgrimage to Greece “In the Footsteps of St Paul” from Friday 20th to Thursday 26th April 2018. The pilgrimage will include Thessaloniki, Philippi, Athens and Corinth. The total cost, including flights from Gatwick to Thessaloniki and back from Athens to Heathrow, with British Airways, coach transfers, hotels (half-board), will be £998 (twin or double share; supplement for single room). More information and booking forms here.
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.
The Oratory has established the Wilfrid Faber Counselling Service (WFCS), which is staffed by professionals who can help people address a range of personal issues including anxiety, bereavement, depression, relationship difficulties, stress and other emotional challenges. They can also offer support for mothers who are struggling to cope and can give assistance to those suffering from addictions, if necessary guiding them towards more specialised agencies. Each member of the team is a practising Catholic and is either accredited to, or working towards accreditation with, the BACP, ACC, BPS or other professional body. The WFCS operates as a charity and clients are seen on the basis of discretionary contributions being made towards their costs. Contact can be made through the Fathers of the Oratory or via email email@example.com.
FROM THE IRISH ELDERLY ADVICE NETWORK CHARITY
A special performance of a comedy play entitled “A Nuns’ Chorus” will take place at the Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black’s Road, Hammersmith, W6 9DT, on Friday 8th December, at 7.30pm. The comedy is set in a convent in Ireland in the 1950s. Admission: £5 at the door.
RIDING FOR THE DISABLED
Riding for the Disabled (RDA) is a voluntary organisation providing horse therapy to disabled children. The Royal Mews Group currently runs sessions for children from Swiss Cottage School and is seeking volunteers. The sessions are held at the Household Cavalry Barracks in Knightsbridge between 12.30pm and 2pm on Tuesdays. There is a variety of ways to be of help, be it as a side helper, leader or rider at the sessions. Admin support outside of sessions is also welcome. Experience with horses is non-essential, although it does help if you like them. We are a small friendly group and if you feel you can help, do come along to a session and see us before you commit to volunteering. For more information please contact Keith Ossie on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07899 970 870.
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 bookings 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” (Code of Canon Law, 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. “There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each” (Code of Canon Law, can. 873). 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.
Catholic Singles is an organisation that helps practising Catholics to meet other Catholics. It does this by providing a strictly confidential service, sending members a monthly bulletin, which includes brief personal descriptions of themselves, if they wish, and advertises social events organised by Catholic parishes and organisations free of charge. Phone 0161 941 3498, email email@example.com, or visit their website.
FROM THE DIOCESE
Christmas Carols for Westminster Lourdes Pilgrimage. On Thursday 7th December there will be a Christmas Carol Concert in aid of the Westminster Pilgrimage to Lourdes. It will be held at the Church of Our Lady of Victories, Kensington High Street. W8, at 7pm, in the presence of Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Details of how to purchase tickets can be found on the notice board outside this Oratory Church.
EDUCARE, a service that provides e-learning for safeguarding and duty of care, offers on-line courses to be available to every number of the Catholic community until Summer 2018. The Diocese encourages as many people as possible in our parish to access and complete the on-line training modules. If you are interested, please register at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive all the necessary information to access and complete the modules of the course.
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. See www.retrouvaille.org.uk. Phone or text 07887 296 983 or 07973 380 443.
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.