Download our 3 churches newsletter, issue 46/71 for the second Sunday of Advent below.
Welcome to Advent! Even though it’s only really three weeks long, I really encourage you to make Advent “real” this year. Today is the beginning of a new year for the Church, and so it’s a great opportunity to enrich and deepen our faith, to make our faith new too, in preparation for the Feast of Birth – Christmas.
Why not try to attend a weekday Mass each week – the times are on the back page of this newsletter. Drop in to St brigid’s or St Paul’s, open during daylight.
Take a good look at your life and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation In addition to our normal times, again on the back page, we hold a 3 Churches Penitential Service at St Brigid’s Wednesday 13th December at 7.00pm when several priests will be available. Want something to read to help and inspire you? Get a “Walk With Me” booklet of prayers and reflections – available at the back of church.
And this Advent we have something really special – come to a taster afternoon or evening for “Do You Love Me?” on Monday 11th December at either 2.30pm or 7.00pm in St Brigid’s Hall. This is going to be the beginning of a major initiative to help all of us in our 3 Churches to grow in our faith, prayer and Christian life. Come and be part of it by having a taste on 11th December, and bring along anyone who needs more in their life…
Later in Advent…
Carol Service Our 3 Churches Carol Service will be at Christ the King this year on Wednesday 20th December at 7.00pm. Think about inviting friends to this, if perhaps they would not come to Mass.
Christmas Masses There will be Mass at the following times
6.00pm Mass on Christmas Eve, 24th December at all 3 Churches.
10.00pm Mass on Christmas Eve at St Brigid’s.
Midnight Mass at St Teilo’s and at St Philip Evans.
Morning Masses will be at Sunday times: 9.00am at Christ the King and St Paul’s, 11.00am at St Brigid’s.
This is Advent – don’t waste it!
Download our 3 churches newsletter for the First Sunday of Advent below.
Fr Matthew, Fr Gareth, Fr Ambrose and Fr Ray wish all parishioners and friends a joyful and peaceful Christmas and blessed New Year
At Christmas we often go to great lengths to try to make everything perfect. Exactly the right present for auntie Flo, new lights on our houses just a bit better than the family down the street, special little extras at our Christmas dinner to make it better than last year’s, a perfectly shaped Christmas tree… and, of course, perfectly planned Christmas services. But we only need to look at the news to see that reality is not always like that. So many people are living with suffering of one kind or another. Problems both far away and closer to home, sometimes in our own lives, tell us that our world is often, well, messy.
This points us to something very important about the original Christmas story, the birth of Jesus. It, too, was not entirely neat and tidy. Mary and Joseph had a very difficult journey to Bethlehem. They probably walked, or rode a donkey as tradition says, about 90 miles, with Mary heavily pregnant. There was not a warm welcome from the people of Bethlehem, and, of course Mary had to have her baby where the animals were. To cap it all, they then had to get out of Bethlehem and escape to Egypt as refugees. That all sounds very messy to me.
Two lessons then… If we find ourselves running round at home, dashing to the shops, trying to get everything right, and feeling rushed and tired, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. We’re allowed to not get it quite right, it’s absolutely OK to be messy, and who said that we always have to be happy – all the time?
Secondly, let’s take our cue from the Baby whose birth it is really all about. He could have chosen to be born in a luxurious palace or a bright shiny hospital. But he didn’t. He plunged straight into the chaotic world of human life, complete with its joys – and its problems. He set about trying to put it right, and that’s a challenge to all of us, to do likewise, to help lift each other’s burdens and clear up at least some of our world’s mess.
Have a happy, if messy, Christmas!
Fr Matthew (edited from this week’s Wednesday Word)
Advent means “a coming” and, of course, we celebrate the coming of Jesus into our world. But it was not only Jesus who came. Mary and Joseph travelled from Nazareth, the shepherds came in from the surrounding country, and the Wise Men journeyed from goodness knows where! Later, when Jesus preached and healed they came from all over Israel and beyond, and for two thousand years millions of people have come to Jesus in a myriad of ways.
So, with Jesus it was always two-way – He moved on out and people came on in. Now it is us who must be doing the “going out” part for him. This Advent and Christmas we are making a special effort to reach out, particularly but not only, to our Catholic brothers and sisters who are “non-practicing” or “resting”, and to some of our local community. Last week Archbishop Stack encouraged us in these words: “The invitation, friendship and support of fellow Catholics are such important ways of accompanying these brothers and sisters of ours so that they may experience the communion and fellowship of the members of Christ’s Body.”
Over these two weekends we are distributing special Christmas cards giving the times of all Christmas services across the Northern Arch parishes of Cardiff: our own, St Philip Evans and St Teilo with Our Lady of Lourdes. We ask you to take a couple and simply give one to anyone who you think the Lord may be calling to Come Home for Christmas. If appropriate make a personal invitation – perhaps to come with yourself – to a Christmas Mass. Some may be reluctant to plunge straight into a Mass, so invite them to the Carol Service at St Brigid’s on Tuesday 20 December at 7pm.
Meanwhile, to get more information and background visit this special website