4th Sunday of Advent (C)
The Fathers & Brothers 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 6th January 2019.
Monday 24th December: Christmas Eve
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 & Orchestra.
Tuesday 25th December: Christmas Day. Holy Day of Obligation
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.
Wednesday 26th December: Saint Stephen
Church open 9.00am to 1.00pm.
Mass: 10.00am, 11.00am (1962 Missal), 12.30pm.
For details about times of Masses and other services in the Christmas season, see here.
DRIVERS NEEDED FOR CHRISTMAS LUNCH AT THE ORATORY
The Oratory Fathers and SVP are hosting a Christmas lunch for those who may be alone and wish to join with others on Christmas Day. We urgently need drivers who can pick up our guests in time for the 11am Mass at the Oratory and can bring them home around 4pm. If you are available either in the morning or in the afternoon, please contact the porteria at the Oratory House (020 7808 0900).
SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE
There will be no refreshments after the 11am Mass on Sundays 23rd and 30th December. The Sunday morning coffee will start again on Sunday 6th January 2019. Volunteers are always welcome to continue this much-appreciated weekly offer. If you can spare a few hours per month, please contact Fr Michael Lang on 020 7808 0900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Christmas Day and on Sunday 30th December, the children’s area will not be available.
ORATORY REPOSITORY & BOOK SHOP
The Oratory Book Shop & Repository will be closed from Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December to Wednesday 2nd January (incl.). 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 email@example.com.
Confirmation classes for boys will start on Thursday 10th January at 5pm; Confirmation classes for girls will start on Friday 11th January at 4.30pm. The classes are open to those who will be aged 14 or older by the time of Confirmation on Thursday 27th June 2019. 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 10th January 2019, 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 17th January 2019, at 7.30pm in St Joseph’s Hall and meet every fortnight. This term we shall study St Thomas’s proofs of the existence of God.
The Tuesday Scripture Group will start again on 8th January 2019 at 7.45pm in the Oratory House. All welcome.
CONFRATERNITY OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
Confraternity prayers will resume on Saturday 5th January 2019 after the 6pm Mass.
VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED
The Oratory provides an ambulance service to bring people to Mass on Sunday who would otherwise be unable to come (for 11am). Sadly our rota of drivers is now short and on certain weeks we are not able to offer this service. Helpers can either be drivers or simply assist with getting the elderly on and off the ambulance and by staying with them during Mass. No qualifications are required other than a driver’s licence for the drivers. Helpers and drivers are on a rota and on average help once every 4 weeks subject to their own availability. If you would like to volunteer or to find out more about helping, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Oratory House at 020 7808 0900.
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).
PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND 2019
Father Michael Lang will lead an Oratory Parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 29th April to 6th May 2019. Going on pilgrimage to the places where our Lord lived, preached, worked miracles, was crucified and rose from the dead has been described as the “Fifth Gospel”, and it is a profound experience of faith. Our tour will include the major sites, beginning in Jerusalem and then going to Galilee. Detailed information and booking forms are available here.
PLACES AVAILABLE AT THE LAURELS SCHOOL
The Laurels School, an Independent Girls’ School with a Catholic ethos, which is relocating to Chelsea in September 2019, has places available in its expanding Sixth Form. Academic Scholarships are available for able candidates. For more information see www.thelaurelsschool.org.uk or email email@example.com. Closing Date is 26th January 2019.
GOVERNORS SOUGHT FOR ST THOMAS MORE LANGUAGE COLLEGE
There have been a number of vacancies on the governing body of St Thomas More Language College, a Roman Catholic secondary school in Cadogan Street. If you are interested in volunteering as a Foundation Governor, please contact Louise Camilleri on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 are several Saturday/Sunday retreats (with the option to stay overnight) in 2018. For the dates and venues, and for more information, see here.
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 their website, phone or text 07887 296 983 or 07973 380 443.
DONATE VIA YOUR MOBILE PHONE
There is a way of making a donation to the Oratory Parish via your mobilephone. You can 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.
Wilfrid Faber Counselling and Support (WFCS) is a Registered Charity (no. 1180137) staffed by volunteer professionals who can help people in need to address a range of personal issues including anxiety, bereavement, depression, relationship difficulties, stress and other emotional challenges. WFCS also offers support for parents who are struggling to cope and can give assistance to those suffering from addictions, if necessary guiding them towards more specialised agencies. All volunteers are either accredited to, or working towards accreditation with, the BACP, ACC, BPS or other professional body and most are practising Catholics. Clients may request to be seen by a Catholic counsellor, if that is their preference. We ask that clients help support the work of the Charity by making a small donation, although this is not obligatory. Contact can be made through the Fathers of the Oratory or via email email@example.com.
ORDER OF MALTA PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES
The British Association of the Order of Malta takes a group of sick, disabled and older pilgrims with us every year on pilgrimage to Lourdes, flying from and back to Stansted, from Friday 3rd May to Thursday 9th May 2019. The pilgrimage is part of the Order’s International Pilgrimage, with 7,000 to 8,000 people attending in total, and includes a full programme of religious events. In addition, lively and fun activities and opportunities for sightseeing are available. Nursing and medical care is provided as necessary. We invite applications from interested sick, disabled and older people to join the pilgrimage, with accommodation in the Accueil Notre Dame. Pilgrims in the Accueil are asked to make a contribution of £300 towards the cost of some £600, but this can be reduced in cases of need. For further information and an application form, please contact Mrs Kim O’Connor, our Head Nurse, before 14th January 2019, by post (32 Scalebor Gardens, Burley in Wharfedale, Ilkley, LS29 7BX) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A benefactor has offered to fund one pilgrim for the Accueil from the Oratory Parish. For further information, please contact Fr Michael Lang at the Oratory House or on email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website.
FROM THE DIOCESE
For diocesan job vacancies visit this website, where you can view all current vacancies. New jobs are regularly added to the site as they arise.
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.