News

Season of Advent – foodbank project

During the Season of Advent, which begins on 29th November, we will be collecting items to help with the Hertford and Ware Foodbank. A collecting box will be placed in our church for you to place any items you would like to donate. Each week during the season we will invite you to bring a particular item the Foodbank is in need of. Items can be placed in the box any time that the Church is open for private prayer during lockdown. Our church is open during the normal times for mass both weekdays and on Sundays. For the first week of Advent we would like donations of a tin of custard or rice pudding.

 

Sunday 22nd November 2020 – Solemnity of Christ the King

Humility Enthroned

The very concept of Christ the King might seem rather triumphalistic in an age of expanding democratization of society. But look carefully at this king as portrayed in today’s parable: he was hungry and thirsty and naked and ill and in prison.

Who are his loyal subjects? They are those who give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, who welcome strangers and clothe the naked, who comfort the ill and visit prisoners. What a king and what a kingdom!

The goal of this king is not to oppress his subjects with his power but rather to “break the power of evil”: in this kingdom the evils of economic, medical, and criminal injustice are confronted and overcome by subjects who not only respect the “King of creation” but also “glory in his justice and live in his love.”

The kingdom that we celebrate today is “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.” Those who respect truth and life, who live in holiness and grace, and who work to bring justice, love and peace, will “inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the creation of the world.”

After we have obeyed the Lord, and in his Spirit nurtured on earth the values of human dignity, brotherhood and freedom, and indeed all the good fruits of our nature and enterprise, we will find them again, but freed of stain, burnished and transfigured, when Christ hands over to the father: “a kingdom eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love, and peace.”

On this earth that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns it will be brought into full flower. 

Vatican II, Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 1965: 39

Gerald Darring

Red Missio Boxes

It will soon be time to empty your Red Missio Box. Margaret our Parish Missio Representative invites all holders of mission boxes to hand their box into the Presbytery towards the end of November beginning of December. They will be emptied and returned to you. Many thanks for all the help you give to the Missions.

 

Preparing the Word of the Lord

Preparing the Word of the Lord for Sunday Mass

22nd November 2020  –  Solemnity of Christ the King  Year A

First Reading:     Ezekiel 34:11 – 12,  15 – 17

Gospel:                Matthew 25: 31 – 46

 

29th November 2020  –  First Sunday of Advent Year B

First Reading:    Isaiah 63: 16 – 17;  64: 1, 3 – 8

Gospel:                  Mark 13: 33 – 37

 

Sacred Heart school applications

Children starting school in September 2021-  Applications are open for  children  starting in September 2021. Whilst school visits cannot be made in the current situation, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary school have made an excellent video which will enable parents to learn more about the school and it is available on the school website at  https://www.sacredheart312.herts.sch.uk/  . On the video you will see that the school prides itself on being a community that lives, loves, and learns joyfully in the family of Christ, and it welcomes children of all faiths. You can also visit the school’s Facebook page   https://www.facebook.com/Sacredheartcatholicprimaryschoolware

 

‘The God Who Speaks’ – November

Celebrating the Year of the Word – ‘The God Who Speaks’ 

Online Talks for November:

Bible Timeline Course – Jeff Cavins’ course is presented across 7 weekly sessions, live-streamed by Mauro Iannicelli.  Due to the large demand the First Session is being repeated on Monday 9th November, 2020 @7pm.  The course is FREE. To Register and for further information see:  www.comeandsee.org

Journeying with the Bible – now Online, the continuing series of talks presented by Fr Javier Ruis-Ortiz PhD and Sr Monica Cardona STL.  Tuesday 10th November 7-8.30pm – Poetry and Wisdom in the Bible, 24th Nov – Deuterocanonical Books: To register please contact Catadmin@rcdow.org.uk   For the full schedule see website: https://rcdow.org.uk/faith/evangelisation/the-god-who-speaks/journeying-with-the-bible/

Exploring Old Testament Treasures – 2: The Song of Songs, the great love song at the heart of the Bible, with Fr John Hemer MHM on Tuesday 17th Nov at 7.00pm Online.  To register: catadmin@rcdow.org.uk

 

For further information on Year of the Word – ‘The God Who Speaks’ see https://rcdow.org.uk/faith/evangelisation/the-god-who-speaks/  also https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/ 

 

Letter from the Cardinal

ARCHBISHOP’S HOUSE,
WESTMINSTER, LONDON, SW1P 1QJ

5 November 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

As we enter this second ‘lockdown’ and loss of communal celebration of Mass, I wish to add these few words.

This is a time for us to show our strength. And by that I do not mean strength in defiance. I mean strength in mutual support; strength in service; strength in perseverance and hope. I mean, then, the strength of our faith in action.

The first act of faith is the praise of God. It is deep and constant prayer. This must be at the root of our lives, as individuals, as families, as households. I urge you, then, to stay faithful to daily patterns of prayer. Pray privately; pray together at home; come to church to pray; pray without ceasing. I thank God that our churches remain open to be places of peace and prayer, and the live streaming of the Mass, celebrated every day in our churches, is a great help. But that too must be rooted in our own life of prayer.

Only by receiving the living water from the Lord will we pass through this arid time. Indeed, if we stay close to the Lord, we will be changed for the better by this time of crisis.

The second act of faith is humble service. This is the road we are to follow: service of each other; outreach to the lonely; nourishment for the hungry; compassion for the sick, the isolated, the dying, especially those facing death alone, and those who mourn. Let’s do it.

These are the strengths we have, the strengths we must contribute to our society’s way of life. Only in this day-to-day practice can we shape a different future, a better future, one that is more compassionate, more just, more charitable. This is the future which must come out of this crisis. We cannot just wait to ‘get back to normal’. This is a time to rebuild a better family, a better household, a better neighbourhood, a better world.

May God bless and sustain us all in the weeks ahead.

Yours devotedly,

Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

 

Statement from the President and the Vice-President of the Conference on the National Lockdown Wednesday 4th November 2020

CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES

Statement from the President and the Vice-President of
the Conference on the National Lockdown
Wednesday 4th November 2020

Today, Parliament passed into law the Regulations governing many aspects of activity in the whole of England until 2nd December. These Regulations prohibit the gathering of people for communal worship in churches and other religious buildings. Churches remain open and in use for activities other than communal worship, including personal prayer and support for those in need. Funeral Masses and funeral services may be held. Please refer to the Regulations (for places of worship see paragraph 18) and associated Guidance.

Despite profound misgivings it is important that we, as responsible citizens, observe these Regulations, which have the force of law: ‘Remind them to be obedient to the officials in authority; to be ready to do good at every opportunity’ (Titus 3:1). We do this in solidarity with so many others on whom are being imposed restrictions which impact severely on their lives and livelihoods.

It is also important to recognise that these Regulations are not an attack on religious belief. However, they do demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the essential contribution made by faith communities to the well-being, resilience and health of our society.

At this difficult moment, we ask that, as a Catholic community, we make full use of our churches as places of individual prayer and sources of solace and help. We must sustain each other in our patterns of prayer, joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm, and observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21st November) as a day of prayer for the ending of this pandemic. And we encourage you all in your practical service and support of each other and those around you in need.

This pathway of prayer and service is the royal road we are to take as a gracious witness in our society today.

 

Cardinal Vincent Nichols                      Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
President                                                  Vice-President