There are so many wonderful things one could say about this feast but perhaps today we could just reflect on the words of the opening prayer of the Mass during the Day;
O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it, grant that we may share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
This echoes the prayer said by the priest every day as he mingles the water and the wine at Mass. As we give thanks for the coming of Jesus, can we also give thanks for the dignity of our human nature and for all our sisters and brothers with whom we share it. In a recent address, Pope Francis called on everyone to “renew our closeness to the battered Ukrainian people” and to persevere in “prayer for these our brothers and sisters who are suffering so much" especially at this time; as we do so, we might remember all other peoples in similar situations.
Please remember in your prayers all our beloved departed, especially
Duggie Kee Sr Barbara Johnson OSB (Edgware Abbey)
We also remember those who died recently and those whose anniversaries occur at this time.
We continue to remember in our prayers all those who are sick and those who care for them. CHRISTMAS SERVICES REMINDERS The Parish Carol Service will be tonight, 21st December, at 7.30pm. Masses on Christmas Eve will be at 5pm, 7pm, 9.30pm (Carols) and 10pm (Mass). Younger people coming to the 5pm Mass on Christmas Eve are invited to come as shepherds and angels. Masses on Christmas Day will be at 9am and 11am. There will be no evening Mass on either Christmas Day or St Stephen's Day, Monday 26th or on Friday, 30th. DePAUL UKRAINE DePaul is deeply committed to its work in Ukraine, where it feeds over 20,000 people daily. If you would like to support their work, you could offer
£35 could provide a Christmas meal for five people
£80 could provide 10 children with a Christmas gift
£250 could pay for decorations and a reusable Christmas tree in one of our shelters
£500 could fund trauma counselling in one of our day centres for a month
£1,500 could help people in recently liberated areas survive the cold by providing a generator for a communal heating point
You can contribute on-line at app.donorfy.com/form/BEWAIUIWI7/Christmas or any gifts left at the Parish Office will be forwarded to Depaul. FREE PARKING IN BARNET It is worth noting that there is free parking on-street and in council car-parks in Barnet on Saturdays and Sundays until Christmas and, luckily, Christmas falls on the weekend! TRAINING FOR MINISTRY All Ministers of the Word and of the Eucharist are asked to attend a training afternoon on Saturday, 21st January, 2.00-3.30pm. Anyone else who wishes to attend is more than welcome. FOODBANK At this time, especially, there is a need for support for the local foodbanks. You can bring donations to the Parish Office at any time or make a donation specifically to 'Foodbank' on the contactless machines in the Narthex. BAPTISM COURSE The next baptism preparation course will take place on Thursdays, 12 and 19 January. If you have a child for baptism, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org CHURCHES TOGETHER MILL HILL Thank you to everyone involved in the delivery of Christmas Day Lunch to so many people in our local community. AND FINALLY... Frs Chinedu and Ako will be taking holidays with their family and friends in Nigeria over the coming weeks but we are delighted to have Fr Bartholomew, a friend of Fr Ako, who is staying with us on the Ridgeway over the Christmas holiday.
Santa reliably informs us that he will also be paying a visit to Sacred Heart at the Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We hope all our younger parishioners (and those young at heart) will come along to meet him too! From myself, all the Vincentians and all the parish staff , every joy and blessing at this holy season,
Rev Eugene Curran CM