Sixth Sunday of the Year (B) / Quinquagesima
This Sunday 11th February, after Vespers, at 4.00pm there will be the annual Procession
in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes, followed by Solemn Benediction.
ASH WEDNESDAY – BEGINNING OF LENT
14th February is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a day of fasting and abstinence. The law of fasting allows only one full meal; two smaller meals may also be taken during the day. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority (18 years), until the beginning of their sixtieth year. The law of abstinence from meat binds those who have completed their fourteenth year (NB: In England and Wales, every Friday during the year is a day of abstinence from meat). On Ash Wednesday, ashes will be given at all Masses. There will be a Solemn High Mass at 6.30pm, but no 6pm Mass. All other Masses are at the usual times. See also here.
GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION ON RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX EDUCATION
The Government is currently deciding what its new subjects of Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education will look like in practice. Formal guidance will be issued by the Secretary of State for Education later this year. Under the current proposals teaching children about adult relationships, potentially including same-sex marriage and transgenderism, will be mandatory for children at primary school from five years old. This would be compulsory with no parental right of withdrawal and apply to all schools: state and independent, faith and secular. The Department for Education has issued a call for evidence (Consultation), which is a chance for parents/future parents to to help shape this guidance. The online consultation portal is available at this address: https://consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rse-call-for-evidence/. All evidence must be submitted by: Monday 12th February.
The Coalition for Marriage has helpfully put a together a Guidance (https://www.c4m.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/C4M_SRE-PSHE-CallForEvidence.pdf) to help supporters unfamiliar with some of the terminology used in the call for evidence by highlighting areas where the teaching of traditional marriage and children’s exposure to adult sexuality can be addressed by concerned parents.
Make your voice heard! Parents must retain the ultimate responsibility for their children’s education. This means that we are asking policy makers to give parents a right to withdraw their children from Relationships Education and also to give parents the right to inspect Relationships Education material before it is delivered to their children.
NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS IN LIVERPOOL
A National Eucharistic Congress, with the title Adoremus, will be held in Liverpool from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September 2018. At the centre of the Congress will be Our Lord Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. The main speaker on Saturday 8th will be Bishop Robert Barron, known from his popular DVD series “Catholicism”. On Sunday 9th there will be an outdoor Procession of the Blessed Sacrament. Delegates can attend any one or more of the three days. There is a daily fee of £40. Since this is a national event, each parish, school or community in the country has been allocated only a small number of tickets. We are asked to give names of delegates by 11th March. If you are interested in going, please contact Fr Michael Lang, who will lead the Oratory’s delegation, at 020 7808 0900 or email@example.com. Delegates are asked to make their own arrangements for travel and accommodation.
A CALL TO YOUNG ADULTS - YOUR BISHOPS WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese are inviting Catholic young adults, aged 18 to 30, to meet with them to discuss the theme of the next Synod of Bishops – “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”. In particular, they would like to hear about how you see your place in the world, how faith impacts your life and how the Church can best accompany you as you work out God’s plan for your life. The Cardinal is hosting two meetings at Archbishop’s House in Victoria and the Auxiliary Bishops are hosting meetings across the diocese. You are invited to attend one of these meetings. They will involve discussion of the synod theme, an opportunity to question your bishops, and light refreshments. Please do consider making your voice heard and playing your part in the shaping the Church’s approach to young people in the future. If you would like to attend, please register here, where you can also find details of all events.
CATHOLIC UNION LECTURE: “CAKES, CONSCIENCE AND FREEDOM”
The Catholic Union Charitable Trust is hosting a public lecture by Professor Roger Trigg on “Cakes, Conscience and Freedom” on Thursday 1st March at 6.30pm. Professor Trigg, the author of Equality, Freedom and Religion (published by Oxford University Press), will address the tension between freedom of religion and the principles of equality and non-discrimination in cases such as Ashers Bakery, in the UK. The event will be held at Notre Dame University, 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG (off Trafalgar Square). Free admission, with a reception after the lecture, please use Eventbrite, or contact 020 8749 1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORATORY SCOUT GROUP
Mark Jenkins has been appointed as Group Scout Leader in order to further develop its programme and membership. A Church Parade is planned for the 10am Mass on 25th February. Afterwards members of the Scout Group will be available in the Church to answer any questions from prospective members. The Scout Group is actively recruiting, not just cubs and scouts, but also adult helpers. The aim is to have fun, and so any potential Bear Grylls who would like to have fun in the outdoors are asked to make themselves known to the Scout Group then. Any questions can be directed to Mark Jenkins (email email@example.com).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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).
ORATORY YOUNG ADULTS GROUP
The Oratory’s group for young adults meets in St Wilfrid’s Hall. Meetings begin with hot snacks and drinks from 7.30pm. Talk at 8pm. Social after until 10pm.
Thursday 22nd February: “The Catholic Church in Britain during the Great War (1914–18)” by Fr Nicholas Schofield, Archivist for the Diocese of Westminster and a noted Catholic historian.
Sadly, Saturday 20th January was the last night at the shelter in St Luke’s. There may be other options for the rest of the winter, but please don’t volunteer any more this year to Nina. It has been a great experience. Thank you all for being so generous with your time – especially on a Saturday!
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.
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 Wilfrid Faber Counselling Service (WFCS) 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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
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.
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes: Helpers are needed for the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes from Saturday 21st July to Friday 27th July 2018. If you are over 18, your help would be very much appreciated 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 do not need a medical qualification. Working in the St Frai is a moving and rewarding experience. If you are interested, please email chief helper Nick Leonard and team at email@example.com.
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.