Category: Uncategorized


Next Sunday, 16 January, is PEACE SUNDAY and this year Pope Francis asks us to think about ‘Education, work and dialogue between generations: tools for building lasting peace’. 

The need for peace in the world is obvious.   People are struggling against violence and conflict, growing inequalities, the effects of climate change and the covid pandemic.   How can we harness the gifts and energy of all generations in the work of peacemaking?  Which ‘tools for building lasting peace’ do you think Pope Francis might be talking about?

In this country we have an active Catholic peace movement in Pax Christi, which does a great deal of good work to promote peace and nonviolence through parishes, schools and social media.

Their website suggests many ways we can all become better peacemakers. There are activities for families to do at home, including a peace liturgy for young children.

Pax Christi needs our support to keep going.  If you’d like to make a donation, small or large, here is the link:

Thank you.

Continue Reading

Happy New Year, Hemel West parishioners!

2nd Sunday of Christmas

A very Happy New Year to you and your family as we begin a new calendar year. By the grace of God, it will be a better one than previous years. God is working out his purposes and, in his time, will bring good out of the evil that is the pandemic. We remember at this time all those in other parts of the world so badly affected by the lack of vaccine and living in appalling conditions, that facilitate the spread of the virus. We remember also those of our families and friends who have suffered physically, mentally, economically and spiritually because of the pandemic. The toll has been great. Looking forward to Thursday 6th January, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Masses will be at 10am and 7pm on Thursday 6th  January to celebrate this most  important feast day. Epiphany is celebrated as the first manifestation of the showing of Christ to the Gentiles, represented by the Three Magi coming from distant lands. It can also apply to those moments in Christ’s early life and ministry such as, his baptism by John, and his first miracle at Cana.  The word “epiphany” originally meant a manifestation or appearance of something, often a divine being. Today, when someone has an “epiphany,” it also means they’ve had a sudden insight into the deeper meaning of something. In the Epiphany we see all these meanings come into play. It presents a realization that the Messiah was not just for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles, that is, you and me. The stars and prophecies, signs from the heavens made by God and inspirations of the Holy Spirit, both point to a great king being born. The Three Magi themselves coming to pay homage to a new born king is also an epiphany: it gave a sudden insight into the deeper meaning of the Messiah. Parents, I encourage you to ‘journey to the manger’ with your children. Kneel with them on the sanctuary and say a little prayer to baby Jesus. Pop some money into the basket for our crib appeal, which this year supports the Cafod Afghanistan Crisis Appeal.

Fr Brian :  Parish Priest :  Hemel West Parish

Safety in the church – wearing of masks.

It is a legal requirement to wear a mask in church, that covers the mouth and nose. Not to wear a mask is illegal without an applicable exemption or reasonable excuse.  Should a complaint be made to the police or the local authority then that could result in the potential for a fine of up to £6,400. The fine would be paid out of limited parish funds i.e. the money you put in the offertory collection. Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others, so we should be sensitive in our approach and presume legal exemption on their part. Some parishioners may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign. Please note that the law does not allow for principled objection to mask wearing. And while I am at it – get boosted! Happy New Year!

Continue Reading

Catholic Women’s League raffle – more news of great joy!

The CWL raffle has been drawn.  Thank you to all who supported us.  We raised over £300 for our charities.  There are 3 prizes to be collected from church.  These are:
Hamper # 1.   Yellow ticket no. 512 (code A26X AH5A).  Name: Pete
Hamper # 2. Blue ticket no. 155 (code A42Q 8M5B). Name: Neysa
Hamper # 5. NO NAME. Yellow ticket no. 485 (code A26X AH 5A)
We can deliver if need be.  Please contact Jane on 07885 027 955 BY TEXT MESSAGE ONLY 

Continue Reading

SYNOD 2021-2023, For a synodal Church.

Communion – participation – mission

Pope Francis has launched a worldwide ‘synod’ process. Synod simply means ‘journeying together’. The Holy Father is inviting us to listen deeply to one another and to discern what God is saying to the Church about how we ‘journey together’ especially as we emerge from the ravages of the pandemic. We are now to have our own synodal pathway, within our parishes and communities in the Diocese of Westminster, united with every diocese across the world. Then, after national and continental gatherings, the Synod of Bishops will gather in Rome in 2023 to reflect on what has been heard.

The Hemel West Parish Pastoral Council will lead the process in Hemel West parish. There will be several ways that you can engage in the process and make your voice heard.  You as a parishioner have a part to play by encouraging anyone you know, Catholic or non-Catholic, especially any members of your family who are inactive in the practice of their faith or a neighbour who is not a Christian to get involved by answering the questions overleaf. The Catholic Church wants to hear from anyone, they do not have to be Catholic. This is an opportunity to listen to each other so that we can hear  what the Holy Spirit is saying to us as a Church and discerning the path for the future.


  • In person meetings will take place as follows:

Friday 12th November after the 10am Mass – Parish Centre, Boxmoor

Sunday 21st after the 10.15am Mass – Parish Hall behind the Church of St Mary and St Joseph

Sunday 21st after the 12pm Mass – Parish Hall in St Mark’s Church.

Monday 22nd November at 7pm – Parish Hall behind the Church of St Mary and St Joseph

Wednesday 24th November after the 11.30am Mass- Parish Centre, Boxmoor.

It is only necessary to attend one meeting, as the same question set will be asked at all meetings.

  • Online participation

If you are unable to attend any in person meetings, then just go this link to participate: You must make your online submission no later than Friday 3rd December. Please be concise!

  • Written participation

If you want to make a written response to the questions please do so and pop them through the presbytery letterbox, no later than Thursday 2nd December. Please be concise!

Before you answer the questions in person, online,  or written,  you might like to pray the Synod Prayer:

Synod Prayer of invocation to the Holy Spirit

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name. With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen


  1. Our Experience of COVID-19

· What has been your experience of your Church community ‘journeying together’ these last eighteen months?

· How has your Parish / community ‘journeyed’ with others, outside of the community?

  1. Our Wider Journey

· Recalling your experience of the pandemic, and perhaps thinking more broadly, when does the journeying bring you joy? When might it bring pain or sadness?

  1. Our Church Community

· When we say ‘our Church’, who is part of it?

· Who is missing on this journey? Whom do we need to listen to?

  1. Our Mission

· What would you wish to celebrate about how your parish/community lives its mission?

· What areas of mission are we neglecting?

Continue Reading