4th Sunday of Advent (B) / Vigil of Christmas

 

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 7TH JANUARY 2018.

 

CHRISTMAS

Sunday 24th December: Fourth Sunday of Advent (Christmas Eve)
Church open 7.30am to 6.00pm.
Mass: 8.00am, 9.00am (1962 Missal), 10.00am, 11.00am (Solemn Latin), 12.30pm,
3.30pm Solemn First Vespers & Solemn Benediction,
4.30pm Vigil Mass of Christmas.
No 7.00pm Mass. Church closes 6.00pm and re-opens at 11.15pm
11.30pm Christmas Carols, followed by Solemn Midnight Mass (Latin), with Choir & Orchestra.

Monday 25th December: Christmas Day
Church open 7.30am to 5.30pm.
Mass: 8.00am, 9.00am (1962 Missal), 10.00am, 11.00am (Solemn Latin), 12.30pm, 4.30pm.
4.00pm Solemn Benediction.
No 7.00pm Mass.

Tuesday 26th December: Saint Stephen
Church open 9.00am to 1.00pm.
Mass: 10.00am, 11.00am (1962 Missal), 12.30pm.

Details about times of Masses and other services in the Christmas season are now available here.

 

CHILDREN’S AREA

During the 10am, 11am and 12:30pm Masses, St Gregory’s Library is usually 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). On Sunday 24th December and on Christmas Day, the children’s area will be available during the 10am and 11am Masses. It will not be available on Sunday 31st December.

 

SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE

There will be no refreshments after the 11am Mass on Sundays 17th, 24th and 31st December. The Sunday morning coffee will start again on Sunday 7th January 2018. We need more volunteers to maintain this much-appreciated weekly offer. If you can spare a few hours per month, please contact Fr Michael Lang on 020 7808 0900 or michaellang@rcdow.org.uk.

 

ORATORY REPOSITORY & BOOK SHOP

The Oratory Book Shop & Repository will be closed from Christmas Day, Monday 25th December to Tues­day 2nd January (incl.). We need a larger pool of volunteers to cover absences because of holidays or ill­ness. It would be good to have some who are willing to be called upon at short notice, especially for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to help fill-in. We aim to offer these guaranteed opening times: Sunday 10.45am–1.15pm, 3.15pm–5.25pm; Tuesday–Saturday 3.15pm–5.45pm. Those interested should either be known to one of the Fathers or have some letter of reference. Please phone 020 7808 0900 or emailSun 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 generalenquiries@bromptonoratory.co.uk.

 

WHITE FLOWER APPEAL

On Sunday 14th January there will be a special collection at the back of the church after each Mass for the annual White Flower Appeal of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). In fidelity to Catholic teaching, SPUC defends and upholds the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death. The Society’s work covers a wide spectrum of pro-life, pro-family issues. It seeks to protect unborn children from abortion and defends the disabled, elderly and incapacitated from euthanasia and assisted suicide. SPUC also provides trained speakers for schools and offers pro-life support for teachers, parents and medical professionals. Please give generously to this worthy cause.

 

CONFIRMATION CLASSES

Confirmation classes for boys will start on Thursday 11th January at 5pm; Confirmation classes for girls will start on Friday 12th January at 4.30pm. The classes are open to those who will be aged 14 or older by the time of Confirmation on Tuesday 5th June 2018. 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 11th January, 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 18th January, at 7.30pm in St Joseph’s Hall and meet every fortnight.

 

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.

 

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 generalenquiries@bromptonoratory.co.uk or call the Oratory House at 020 7808 0900.

 

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! If you are happy to help, please reply on the Facebook page for the group or email Nina Shenkman (missninashenkman@gmail.com).

 

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 jane@loving4life.net 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.

 

COUNSELLING SERVICE

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 info@wfcslondon.org.

                                               

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

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 info@catholicsingles.org.uk, or visit their website.

 

FROM THE DIOCESE

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 safeguardingadmin@rcdow.org.uk 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.