Baruch 5:1-9 Psalm 125
Philippians 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6
LIVING THE GOSPEL THROUGH CONFESSION
Gospel reading for today, the Second Sunday of Advent, focuses our attention on the ministry of John the Baptist. He is preparing the way of the Lord by proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
One of the ways in which we can prepare for the coming of the Lord into our lives this Christmas is to ask for forgiveness for the wrong we have done and there is no better way to do this than to come to confession, the sacrament of reconciliation, and to make this a regular part of our Christian living.
Pope Francis underlines again and again the significance of this sacrament as a privileged place of our encounter with Jesus, with his love, his mercy and forgiveness. He recommends coming to confession by his own example. We may remember seeing photographs of him in St Peter’s Basilica both hearing and going to confession.
When talking to groups of priests, the Pope frequently speaks of the qualities of a good confessor, the welcome and encouragement they give and the kindness they show to all who come to them. Those leaving the confessional should do so with a smile on their faces and a spring in their step, clear in their minds that they will happily come again. I know what a difference it makes to me and my following of Jesus when I experience these qualities in confession and receive some advice which helps me discern that much more clearly the call of the Lord in my life.
A friend of mine shared with me not so long ago a chapter from a book by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a former Archbishop of Milan, in which he writes about how to prepare for confession. She found his words helpful and I have too. First, we remember what we are most grateful for; then we call to mind what we need to confess and finally we look forward and identify the help we need from the Lord to live our lives as his disciples today.
Following the Cardinal’s advice, when we go to confession we ask forgiveness for our sins while also thanking the Lord for his goodness to us and asking for his help to live the Gospel more consistently, more wholeheartedly and more joyfully. This makes of the sacrament an integral part of our following of Jesus, thereby, we trust, helping prepare the way of the Lord for those we live and work with and who otherwise meet us in the course of their daily lives.
Fr Michael Holman SJ
Due to recording in the church, there will be no 6pm Mass in the church on Tuesday 11th December. The church will also be closed early. Apologies for any inconvenience that may result from this.
The Funeral Mass for Francis Charles Borromeo Fernandes, Maria our sacristan’s brother, will be celebrated in the church on Thursday December 13th at 11:00am. All are welcome.
On Wednesday 12th December, prize-winning author Ian Thomson will give a talk on ‘Dante as a Catholic Thinker’ to coincide with the publication of his latest book, Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Journey Without End. This will take place in the parish hall at 6.30pm. Refreshments will be available and signed copies of his book will be available for purchase.
CHRISTMAS PROGRAMME FOR CHILDREN 2018
- Children’s Christmas Play (6pm Mass on Christmas Eve):If you wish your child(ren) to take part in the Christmas play, which is an integral part of the 6pm Christmas Vigil Mass, please fill the form ( available at the back of the church) and submit it to either Leninha or Fr. Chris Pedley by the 1st December. The rehearsal dates for the play are: 23rd December from 10.30-11.30am and 24th December at 5pm leading into the 6pm Mass.
2) Christmas Gifts: The offering of the gifts for children at Christmas last year was a great success. If you would like to join us in a gesture of generosity towards poor children at Christmas, please donate a new, or in good condition, wrapped gift. These will be collected during the offertory at the 9.30 Mass on 16th December.
3) Christmas Choir: All the children are invited to join the First Holy Communion group to sing Christmas songs in the Hall on 16th December after the 9.30am Mass.
BEING A CHRISTIAN TODAY SURVEY
We invite you to fill in the anonymous online survey ‘Being a Christian in the UK today’ led by the all-party parliamentary group Christians in Parliament. The questionnaire seeks views on the contribution Christians make to society, the freedoms we enjoy, and any barriers that might exist. The survey is open until 16 December, at: http://www.christiansinparliament.org.uk/inquiry/
* Thursday 13th December – 7pm – Aid to the Church in Need Carol Service
*Monday 17th December – 7pm- Young Adult Ministries Carol Service
PARISH CHRISTMAS FAYRE
The Parish Christmas Fayre will take place in the Hall next Sunday, December 16th after the 9:30am and 11am Masses. All welcome.
The Filipino Christmas celebration of Simbang Gabi will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 19th December. All are most welcome to attend.
CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES
The Mass times for the Christmas period will be as follows:
*Christmas Eve – 6pm, Children’s Mass
– Midnight Mass
*Christmas Day – 8am, Low Mass
– 9.30am, Family Mass
–11am, Solemn Latin Mass
– 12.30pm, Low Mass
* Boxing Day to
Friday 28th –1.05pm Mass only
* Saturday 29th
& Sunday 30th – Normal Mass schedule
* Monday 31st – 1.05pm Mass only
Tuesday 1st – 12 noon Mass only
Your donation could be worth 25% more to us and it won’t cost you an extra penny. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider using the Gift Aid donation envelopes available on the pews for your weekly offering. Farm Street Church can reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 donation. This is hugely beneficial to the parish.
CD: BOTH GOD’S & MARY’S SON
A musical portrait of Farm Street Church celebrating fifty years as a Parish. The album includes favourite selections from the choir’s repertoire, along with special commissions composed for the choir by Gabriel Jackson, for which the choir gave the premiere performances. Compact Discs available in the BOOKSHOP and at RECEPTION
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
Our Regular Events
• Drop-in Prayer
Every Monday 6.30-7pm
• Lunchtime Lectio
Every Tuesday 1.40-2pm
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed
3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Next meeting: December 19th, 2018)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm (Next meeting: December 13th, 2018)
There will be no meeting of the Bereavement and Loss Group on Thursday 3rd January 2019.
Facilitated by Lynne Galloway
Saturday 5th January 11am-4pm
Take time to pause for prayerful reflection on the road you travelled in 2018, becoming more aware of God’s presence within all the ups and downs of life. And to prayerfully consider what God might be inviting you to at this time of a new beginning.
There will be input, times of guided prayer, and silent prayer and sharing and listening in small groups.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 12th January 11am-4pm
These are retreat days of prayer run in an Ignatian way, in which there is talk, time for personal prayer and the opportunity to listen to each other.
There is no need to book for these days, just come along.
BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
Facilitated by Lynne Galloway
6 Wednesdays, January 16th – February 20th, 11.30am-1pm
For those who are new to Ignatian spirituality, from any background. During each session you will be introduced to a different aspect of Ignatian spirituality or prayer, guided through a prayer exercise, invited to share your reflections in a small group and at the end of the session gathered together again in the larger group. You will be invited to pray the prayer exercise during the week, for just like physical exercise the more you ‘practice’ the more benefits you will feel.
THE SPIRITUALITY OF ST PAUL: A MODEL FOR OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE?
Facilitated by Brian Purfield
Saturday 19th January 11am-4pm
All through his letters, Paul encourages his converts to imitate him; for in him they have a model of what it was to follow Christ. As we enter Christian Unity Week and prepare to celebrate the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, we will look at the model of the Christian life that Paul presents and what grounds his spirituality. The way Paul lived his life in Christ can provide us, even today, with a model for growing in the spiritual life.
WORK, WORSHIP and WHOLENESS
Facilitated by Audrey Hamilton and David Hothersall
Saturday 26th January 11am-4pm
How to bring together our work and our worship (our spirituality) for the mutual enriching of each and the wholeness of the person.