Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It's a time, where we may spend more time in shopping malls to buy Christmas presents for our friends and family. Yes, it is very nice to both give and receive presents at Christmas from our friends and family. Christmas gifts are given as a remembrance of our love for each other which was first manifested by our Loving Heavenly Father sending his only son to live with us and born on the Christmas Day. Giving and receiving Christmas presents is an opportunity to express our gratitude within our circle of family and friends. At this time, as we hurry around looking for Christmas gifts, remember the poor widow in the gospel who showed us the generosity within her heart. Maybe in other ways we can also share our Gifts with others. This can be a simple act of Corporal Mercy; Visit a family friend who is lonely, spend quality time with our family, help each other with things that are needing to be done at home before Christmas. A kind word of appreciation. A Christ centred Christmas Celebration at Home, means daily living love and spirit of Christ that dwells in us, by allowing these qualities to shine through our actions. Maybe our gift to God will be to forgive someone we've needed to forgive for a long time.
Fr. Wilfred Pereppadan SCJ
This week the Church will be floodlit in memory of
Doris Lines RIP
WALK WITH ME- Advent Walk with Me booklet, a prayerful and scriptural journey for the Season of Advent is available at Narthex. Cost is £1.00
PARISH CAROL SERVICE is being held on Sunday 17th December at 7:30 pm. All are welcome to come and sing. Refreshments in the hall afterwards. Donations of mince pies would be very much appreciated, please bring to Friary hall by 1pm on the day. Help will also be needed that evening.
ADVENT STATIONS, STOP AND REFLECT- During Advent, we shall have a prayerful Advent Stations service on Wednesdays 13th & 20th in the Evenings at 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm in the Church. Please keep the dates in your diary free.
CHILDREN'S LITURGY - Little Church and Tiny Church will continue this year up to and including Christmas Mass at 9 am. We are looking for some children to take part in a Nativity Tableau in the Carol Concert on the 17th and on Christmas Day Mass at 9 am. All children aged 7 and above are welcome - no experience necessary and a costume will be provided. Parents please see Sarah Wood or a member of the Children's Liturgy Team for more details. There will be short rehearsals after Sunday Mass. Little Church and Tiny Church will be back after Christmas to celebrate Epiphany at 9 am Mass on Sunday the 7th January. Have a happy and peaceful Christmas!
JOURNEY IN FAITH continues on Monday, 8pm in the Friary Library.
Date Topic Speaker
11/12/17 I Believe Fr Wilfred Pereppadan SCJ
18/12/17 Advent—Parish Reconciliation Service in the Church
Christmas holidays 20th December—1st January
ST PEREGRINE DEVOTIONS will be held on Friday 22nd December at 2.30 because of Christmas and the January meeting will be the last Friday which is 26 Jan 2018.
KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA—The Christmas Posters from the Knights of St Columba are available as you leave church. Please take one and display it in your front window during the Christmas season. "Proclaiming Christ as the True Reason for the Season.".
DIRECTORY—The Archdiocesan Yearbook is available in the narthex at a cost of £3.
ADVENT PARISH RECONCILATION SERVICE takes place here on Monday 18th December. At Holy Souls on Tues 19th and Ambrose Barlow on Wed 20th. All at 7pm.
CHURCH CLEANING ROTA for week commencing 10th December Group C. The new rota for 2018 is now available for collection in the narthex. Thank you for all your work in 2017.
THE GIVING TREE - Please return your gifts by Monday 11th December to enable the collection and distribution in good time before Christmas.
CHURCHES TOGETHER IN OLTON DATES - Friday 15th Dec. Songs and Stories of Advent and Christmas, a Musical Gig. For details of Venue and cost see poster in the Narthex. Carol singing outside Olton Station Thursday 14th Dec. at 5pm.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE OLTON CHURCHES TOGETHER CHRISTMAS CARD —Volunteers are needed, please collect a batch (by road) near Olton Friary to deliver.
PRAYER GROUP will continue on Wednesdays at 2 pm until 20th December but not on 27th December. Back to normal on 3rd January 2018.
FRIENDS OF THE HOLY LAND -Sale of Olive Wood made in Bethlehem will be on sale after each Mass today. At this time of Advent please support your fellow Christians in Palestine by purchasing their products. All proceeds of the sales will go direct to those artisans to enable them to support their families and maintain employment in these difficult times for the diminishing numbers of Christians struggling to survive.
FRIENDS OF THE HOLY LAND Christmas Carol Service, Lichfield Cathedral. Join us for a special Carol service generously arranged by Lichfield Cathedral, singing by the Cathedral Choir and a video link with a Bethlehem Choir. To take place on Friday 15th December at 7.30pm. The cost will be £10 per ticket with all profits going to supporting vulnerable Christians in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and Jordan. What better time to remember Christians in the Holy Land than Christmas. For more information please visit www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk or telephone 01543306100 Or email enquiries@lichfield-Cathedral.org
200 CLUB Renewals for next year are still available for collection in the narthex. Some 200 club numbers are available if you wish to join. Alternatively, if you are stuck for a Christmas gift idea, have you considered a gift subscription? Gift application forms available in the narthex.
CHRISTMAS FAYRE PRIZE DRAW WINNERS: £100.00 Cash - Martin Hayden, £50.00 Sainsbury Voucher - Brendon Carty, Amazon Fire Tablet- Mrs J Payne, Christmas Hamper - Peter Dean, £50.00 Redford's Voucher - John Larkin, Early Years Voucher and Teddy— Kate Goan, Breakfast for 4— Caroline Sheldon, Jewellery—Mrs Mann, Jewellery— Kath Logan, Nivea for Men— Pat Gray, Nivea for Ladies—Bill Johnson, Pam's Florist Voucher— K Carroll, Planet Ice Voucher - Ros Sherman, Beauty Treatment— Terry Morton.
FIRST MASS OF CHRISTMAS—Please note the 4th Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve. There will be a 9am, 11 am Mass as usual but no 6 pm Mass this day. Carols at 7.30 pm followed by First Mass of Christmas at 8 pm.
COLUMBAN 2018 CALENDARS now
available free of charge in the narthex. 2018 is Columban mission's
centenary year. Find out more at www.columbans.co.uk
SUBMISSIONS FOR PARISH NEWSLETTER —Please forward submissions for the Parish newsletter (preferably by email to Rheann.firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday for inclusion in Sunday's newsletter.
LECTIO DIVINA- Praying with Scripture, will take place in the Lounge at 7.30pm on Dec 27th. ALL ARE WELCOME. There will be no Lectio Divina on Wednesday 13th December.
PARISH VISITATION by Bishop Robert Byrne CO to our Parish on Sunday 4th February 2018. Please save the date.
VISITORS-If you wish to gift aid your offertory donation, white visitor envelopes are available in the narthex.
VEHICLE CRIME ALERT—The neighbourhood Policing Team would like to draw your attention to an increase in vehicle crime in the area. 5 crime reduction tips—ALWAYS close the windows and doors in your vehicle, DON'T leave any valuables on display and where possible do not leave ANY valuables in the vehicle such as Satnavs, Mobile Phones, Wallets, Purses, Bags or iPods, ENSURE your registration plates are fixed using 'anti tamper screws', KEEP your car keys in a safe place in your house.
SAFEGUARDING—In this parish there have been strict guidelines in place for several years for the protection of children and vulnerable persons. Anyone with a concern about safeguarding issues should ring the Diocesan Safeguarding Office on 0121 230 6240.
GOING INTO HOSPITAL -Please do let the parish priest know if you are going into hospital. Furthermore, it is ESSENTIAL that you ask for the Catholic chaplain when in hospital. Chaplains are often no longer automatically given the names of Catholic patients. Many health care providers (e.g. Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Mental Health Units) apportion resources for chaplaincy in line with how many requests are made so you are actually doing the Church a favour by requesting the chaplaincy and sacraments whilst in hospital.
AFTER MASS COFFEE DURING THE WEEK—Would parishioners kindly remember to use the Day Chapel entrance to access the lounge for refreshments if Mass has taken place in the Church? Use the intercom for enquires to the Parish office or if you have mobility difficulties.
CAR PARK—Please be considerate when parking/manoeuvring your car and please note there is no parking in either the Community and Staff designated areas and the front & rear of The Friary Residential block. When parking on a Sunday, please do not park on or drive over the grass adjacent to the gate leading into the graveyard.
SUPPORT FOR YOUR PARISH; THE GIFT AID OPTION—As a member of this parish, if you pay tax on income - be it on wages, salaries, pensions or dividends on investments - it is easy, to increase the value of your weekly parish donation/contribution at no additional cost to yourself. So, if you have not yet signed up for the Gift Aid option please will you consider opting in to the Gift Aid Scheme now? All you have to do to begin the process is to call to the parish Office on 0121 706 0505 indicating your intention. Thank you. Members of the scheme are asked to update any changes to address or tax situation, in order that accurate records may be kept.
KEEP YOUR VALUABLES SAFE-Please do not leave bags unattended in Church, even at Communion time. Bags and valuables should not be left on display in cars as this can present a target for thieves.
200 CLUB -The 200 Club is a monthly draw with prizes up to £100 each month, the annual subscription is £24 a year/£2 per month and provides a valuable source of funds for the parish. To join, please complete an application form and return it to the Parish Office.
OPEN HOUSE GROUP - Are you new to the Parish and aged 30+? Do you want to get more involved in Parish Life, but don't know where to start? The Open House Group has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and its members are involved in various parish activities such as Traidcraft, Christian Aid, the Fast Supper, Welcome and Coffee Bar rotas. We also have regular meetings in parishioners' homes for spiritual reflection and discussion of topical issues. If you are interested in joining us please contact the Parish Office for more information.