First Sunday of Advent; Hope


This Sunday, we begin another year in the life of the Church. We had hoped, I'm sure, that things would be more settled, clearer and more in control than, in fact, they are. Yet, nonetheless, Advent challenges us to find reason to go on. Our ancestors faced their, very different, challenges; this is ours. Can we find hope in these times? Hope is more than optimism; optimism looks for a solution from 'outside'- it's a belief that 'something or someone will come along'. Hope believes that the solution lies within; within us as individuals, within us as a society, within us as a community of faith. It believes that there is meaning and purpose in our human lives, even in the moments of challenge and darkness. Hope believes that the answer is already here...and, for us, it is; in the person of Jesus Christ who, in becoming one of us, blessed everything that is human, even our waiting and longing.

RECENTLY DECEASED Please remember in your prayers all who have died recently, especially;

Diana Klein David Stannard (Funeral; 12.30 pm, 15th December) Angela Biddle (Funeral: 1pm, 2nd December)

We remember all those who have died during this time of pandemic. We continue to remember in our prayers all those who are sick and those who care for them.

CONFIRMATIONS Congratulations to all our candidates who will receive the sacrament from Bishop John Sherrington this Sunday. Our prayerful best wishes go to; Andreia, Kaima, Damilola, Daniel, Dylan C and Dylan K, Elisha, Eseosa, Fabio, Gabriela, Georgia, Harriet, India, Jacob, James F and James S, Jon-Reed, Juliette, Kyle, Lovina, Lucas, Luciana, Lulu, Muhau, Musa, Oliver, Ruben, Tabitha, Torera and Yan. NEWLY BAPTISED The Christian Community warmly welcomes Aidan, Ennis and Nia, Nicole, Adrian, Alasdair, Luke, Edward, Scarlet and Louise, all recently baptised. May the Holy Spirit guide them and those who care for them as they grow in faith. RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA) This Sunday at 11 am Mass, we will have the introduction of our RCIA Candidates to the Parish Community. Please keep them all in your prayers as they undertake this part of their journey of faith. REMEMBERING OUR BELOVED DEPARTED We had a very touching MEMORIAL SERVICE last Tuesday, 23rd November, at 7pm. We also unveiled our new digital 'memory board'. Reminding us that we are all part of the living Communion of Saints, it will include photos of our First Communicants, Confirmation Candidates and RCIA participants as well as those who have gone before us into the Kingdom of God. If you would like any of your loved ones (they don't have to be parishioners) included on this, please send in a photograph with their names and date of death. Also, please let us know if you see any omissions or errors. These can be easily rectified and updated. My thanks especially to Francesca and Giles French, Ruth Essen, Chris Rosser, Ryan Fernandes and Mike Salter for all their work in bringing this project to fruition.

MORNING PRAYER OF THE CHURCH

As we begin a new Church year, we will have Morning Office before Mass each weekday morning at 9.40, starting on Monday 29th. I hope that many of you will be able to join us. The Breviary is the official prayer of the Church. Small morning prayer books will be made available; if you wish to buy your own copy, they are available at the Respository in the Narthex for £5. Rosary will follow Mass each morning. We will continue this pattern throughout Advent and then evaluate after Christmas.

THE PASSAGE; MATCHED FUNDS

The Passage, where Fr Chinedu ministers, is raising funds through the 'Big Give' a matched giving scheme. Every £1 donated online between 12.00 noon on Tuesday 30 November and 12.00 noon on Tuesday 7 December makes £2 and £2.25 if you are a taxpayer through Gift Aid. At a time when The Passage’sfinances are stretched and they are helping more homeless people please consider supporting this charity through the link https://bit.ly/PassageBG2021

ADVENT RETREAT FOR YOUNG ADULTS (18-30s)on Saturday 4th December 2021, young people are invited for a day retreat (10am-5pm) to prepare for Christmas: with teaching, workshops, prayer, confessions and Mass. Venue: Assumption Sisters, Milleret House, 23 Kensington Square W8 5HN. Donations only. Register: tramy@assumptionreligious.org ST MICHAEL'S CATHOLIC GRAMMAR, FINCHLEY The school has a number of posts available;

  • School Business Manager

  • Cover Supervisor

  • Canteen Assistant

Information on all posts and the application process can be found on the school website. CAFODTwo notices from CAFOD:

  • Sign up for daily Advent reflections: These reflections have been very popular and offer an opportunity to pause and reflect, pray and take action as we prepare for Christmas. Visit the Interactive online Advent calendar | CAFOD for more details. There are also free Advent children’s liturgy resources that parish catechists may find useful. Children's Liturgy | CAFOD

  • “Like many women around the world, Garmah in Liberia had no legal rights to her home when her husband died. CAFOD worked with local experts to help her and now Garmah and her children live rightfully and happily together in their family home. Thank you for your support which enables hundreds of women like Garmah remain in their homes during times of struggle. Other examples of our work can be found in our World Gift catalogues or website worldgifts.cafod.org.uk

HONOURING SUNDAY - ATTENDANCE AT MASS I have heard a number of conflicting comments from people about what the Bishops have said recently on this subject. Here is a summary, from Bishop John Sherrington;The Gift of the Sunday Eucharist The Sunday Eucharist is a gift; as God’s holy people we are called to praise and thank God in the most sublime way possible. When the Church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love. At this time, we recognise that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass. The pandemic is clearly not over. The risk of infection is still present. For some, there is legitimate fear in gathering together. As your bishops, we recognise that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to attend freely Sunday Mass. The full text can be found on the cbcew.org.uk webpage In brief; if you find that your health doesn't prevent you doing other things on Sunday, then maybe it would be good to ask yourself what it is that is stopping you going to Mass. Can you make time for faith, prayer, community and God on Sunday? SACRAMENT OF THE SICK / HOME VISITS With the easing of some restrictions, priests and ministers of the Eucharist can again visit homes. If you would like someone to visit and bring Holy Communion, please contact the Presbytery and we can make arrangements.

SAFEGUARDING IN MILL HILL

I am delighted to announce that, having completed her training with the diocese, Jenny McFadden will now serve as joint Safeguarding Officer along with Theresa Grace. GOOD NEIGHBOUR SCHEME

Congratulations to the GNS who recently took possession of their new minibus. The Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Alison Cornelius, came to mark the occasion. We are delighted to host the GNS lunch in the parish hall every Tuesday. If you would like to participate, contact the parish office and we can pass on your details to GNS.

FIRST FRIDAY Next Friday, 3rd December, is the first Friday of the month and morning Mass will be followed by the Stations of the Cross. As we begin a new year in the life of the Church, let us pray that we enter it with hope in our hearts. Rev Eugene Curran CM