Thank you to everyone for a wonderful celebration on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. There was a lovely celebration with the whole school in the morning, and then the Mass with Bishop Sherrington in the evening. It was also a joy to say thank you to those who have served our parish with such generosity over many years. Congratulation to Mgr. Tom Egan as he celebrates his 80th birthday! I will be away this week for a break, and the following week at some church events in the north. Have a lovely half term and see you all soon.

Last Wednesday was the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation 40 days after Christmas. This marks the end of the post-Christmas phase in Ordinary Time and the beginning of the pre-Lent phase. As an advance notice, Ash Wednesday will take place on Wednesday 2 March. More details about Lent in due course. Please remember that Bishop Sherrington will join us this coming Friday at 7pm for a special Mass to celebrate our parish feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, followed by a reception in the hall. Fr. Tom will also join us. Please do come for the patronal feast—it promises to be a lovely Mass and a great celebration! Finally, I am going to take a short break and then I have Church events up north from 14th February—2nd March. Please look after Frs. Jerome and Johnson whilst I’m away. They will look after you too!

On Friday we had a lovely celebration for Fr Andrew, for which he sends his thanks and best wishes to you all, especially thanks for the kind and generous presentation we made to him. Thank you to everyone who helped to make such a wonderful celebration.

This week, the engineer was here to fix the livestream so I hope it is back to normal and the toilet near the front of church is now also fixed. Thank you for your patience. The Pope has asked especially that we should all pray for peace in the Ukraine situation. Finally, next Sunday, 6th February, marks the 70th anniversary of the death of King George VI and the accession to the throne of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. Please pray for the Queen, our country and the whole Commonwealth on this day, as well as for peace throughout the world.

Today,  the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, is also the Sunday of the Word of God.  In the Gospel, Jesus reads and preaches in the synagogue. He says, ‘This text is fulfilled today even as you listen.’ In the these days after Christmas and Epiphany we celebrate that Jesus, God’s Son, is indeed the Word-Made-Flesh who lives among us. May we let this Living Word enter our hearts and lives to continually form and transform us.  

This Friday 28th January 7pm: Mass of Thanksgiving with Fr Andrew followed by a reception in the parish hall. Thank you to everyone who has already given to Fr Andrew’s collection. There is another opportunity this weekend for those who would like to contribute.
Friday 11th February 7pm: Solemn Mass for the Parish Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes with Bishop Sherrington, followed by a reception.

A very warm welcome to Fr Jerome who joins us this week. I am sure we will all make him feel welcome and at home in this wonderful parish. Fr Jerome is a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) who comes with a wealth of pastoral experience working as a missionary, especially with migrant peoples. Now he begins a new chapter here and will bring many gifts and blessings to us all through his ministry. This weekend he will say the 4pm Vigil Mass, and the 11.15 and 12.30 Sunday Masses.

Many thanks once again, from the whole parish team, for all the lovely cards, gifts and messages we have received. We are most grateful for so much kindness and generosity. Fr Andrew went with his belongings to his new appointment on Friday. We send him with our thanks, love and best wishes. At the same time, we look forward to welcoming Fr Jerome later this week.

This weekend, we welcome back Fr Samuel who is visiting to help out. I know you all took him to your hearts last summer and it is lovely to have him back (but please don’t ask him if he is the new curate)!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Thank you also to you all who bring so much to life of the parish throughout the year. May God bless you all and may you continue to celebrate the festive season in your hearts and homes.

Fr Andrew’s last day in the parish will be Friday 7th January when he will move to his new parish of Ss Alban and Stephen in St Albans, Herts. We send him with our best wishes and prayers. Although we will miss him, we know he will do wonderful work in his new appointment. We also look forward to a special Mass and celebration in the near future to say thank you. Fr Jerome will arrive here in New Southgate very shortly.

Merry Christmas to you all! We had beautiful celebrations here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to prepare for and celebrate Christmas here in church—there are many people and ministries involved. Thank you also to you all who bring so much to life of the parish throughout the year. Everyone is very grateful for so much kindness and generosity. May God bless you all and may you continue to celebrate the festive season in your hearts and homes.

We have entered the inner and final part of Advent which is our ‘way’ towards the Lord’s Nativity at Christmas. We look forward to seeing many celebrate Christmas here at church. Please note the times of Masses over Christmas and New Year. There are no Masses on Christmas Eve morning, and no Vigil Masses for Sunday on Christmas Day and New Years’ Day. The Christmas Vigil Mass begins at 6pm and the ’Midnight’ Mass at 11pm. In the week between Christmas and New Year there are only 10am Masses. This week, there are confessions after Mass on Wednesday (Thursday is now a funeral, so the confessions are not possible that day after all). New Year’s Day Mass is at 12 noon.

Today is Gaudete Sunday (the Third Sunday of Advent) when we light the rose coloured candle in our Advent wreath. This is a day of light and joy in the Advent journey. We rejoice and are glad for the approaching feasts and for the coming of Christ.

Cards with Mass times for Christmas and New Year are available at the back of church. Please take one and refer to it—to avoid any confusion over the festive season! At the back of church there are also free parish diaries and some free newspapers.

If parents have primary school forms for me to sign, I will be available next Saturday 11th December at 5pm-6pm, just inside the parish centre. Please bring all your paperwork ready for me to sign. I will be available again on Saturday 8th January for any further paperwork to be signed, 5pm-6pm. There is no need to sign up for an appointment.