PARISH NEWSLETTER FOR ST. JOSEPH’S (MAIDENHEAD)
& ST. ELIZABETH’S (COOKHAM)
4th Sunday of Advent & Christmas, Year B
Message from Fathers Liam, Ephraim, Tom, Noah and Brother Francis:
As we celebrate Christmas Masses in the next ten days, as one big parish family, may the light of Christ illumine your ways and fill your homes.
All the readings for all the various Christmas liturgies proclaim the same mystery: The Incarnation. God not only authors life and sustains it, God chooses to become one of us. Whatever the circumstances of your life right now; grief or joy, struggle or success, faith or doubt, love or betrayal, Jesus has lived it himself, and he longs to live it with you. Allow Him to enter into your moments and give you the life for which you were created.
We would like to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to our parishes in Maidenhead this past year. The giving of your time, talent and treasure to the Lord continues to reflect God’s presence in our community. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers and special thank you to our parish team and the devoted members of the various ministries in our parishes and especially to those few who work quietly, behind the scenes all the time to make our parishes vibrant.
Our Christmas message this year is to challenge all of us to become more involved, especially with this new initiative of the larger Pastoral Area. It is not so much a question of giving more; it is a question of giving more of ourselves. Moreover, that’s what God did when he entered our world at the first Christmas. God will fill us with His peace if there is room for Him in our lives.
In closing, our only prayer as we come close to Christmas, that you, your family and homes be filled with the Blessings of Peace, Joy and Love. At the same time, we thank you all, most sincerely for your thoughtful prayers, encouragement and support. May all our dear parishioners be overshadowed with the mighty and powerful blessings of the Baby Jesus, the Emmanuel.
Liam, Ephraim, Noah, Tom and Francis
1st Reading: Second Samuel 7: 1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm: 88: 2-5, 27, 29 R/ I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord
2nd Reading: Romans 16: 25-27
Acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! I am the handmaid of the Lord: let what you have said be done to me Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38
We have a new contactless machine that will accept Gift Aid! You only have to input your details ONCE and ALL future donations with the same card will be Gift-Aided!
To reduce repeating information in the printed newsletter, we have printed hand-bag/ wallet-friendly information packs and placed them at the entrance/exits of the church. Please keep this with you for future reference. Thank you for helping us save the environment by reducing paper waste!
PT Youth worker needed. Contact Fr Ephraim/ office
Many thanks to all of you who supported this year’s event on the 1st December. I think that many of you who came along had a very enjoyable time! We managed to raise £1,737 in funds to send directly to our mission in Cambodia. Well done!
Office is closed from 22 Dec – 1 Jan. Next week will be our bumper Christmas issue! Please submit announcements/ etc by Wednesday 20th Dec 10am
Advent Project 2023 will support SVP Maidenhead; Fr Ephraim’s – SA Children’s Drop-in Centre; & Fr Noah’s – St Jude’s Youth Centre in Bamenda.
See timetable here: Christmas 2023 – St Joseph’s Parish Maidenhead (stjosephsparish.co.uk)
24 Dec 5.30pm Children’s Nativity Mass: Come and help us tell the amazing Christmas story by dressing up as angels, shepherds, kings, donkeys etc. If you are short of tinsel, crowns or tea towels, there will be costumes available. Quick rehearsal in Main Hall before mass at 5 p.m. There are sign up forms in Church or email [email protected] or 07753 840611 / 01628 623707
Last minute gifting: CAFOD World Gifts – https://worldgifts.cafod.org.uk
If you want to donate directly to SVP for helping refugees who are facing homelessness & destitution, you can do so via CDP Maidenhead St Josephs Church Ac 00882667 / 30-93-04. Please include your full name and “+SVP” so we can earmark your contribution.
Action for Rough Sleepers in Maidenhead
A steering group of religious and other groups are trying to establish three new initiatives under the auspices of the Brett Foundation. One is temporary hosting for refugees through a Gift-a-Room scheme. The second is a temporary Winter homeless shelter for all rough sleepers.The third is a Drop-in Centre to provide basic support for all people living on the streets, such as food and shower facilities. We are asking for any or all of:-
*Offers of a room for a refugee for up to two months – references will be taken for both host and refugee and a mentor provided to help both with any issues
* Volunteers to help with the homeless shelter for all rough sleepers for a variety of tasks, such as cooking, cleaning up, welcoming people and/or occasional overnight stays either once a week or once a month
* Volunteers at the Drop-in Centre for all rough sleepers for tasks such as making teas/coffees and making guests feel welcome either once a week or once a month.
We have created the following material to explain the schemes on The Brett Foundation website: there is a full page devoted to each of the streams, as well as an introductory page with links to each of the streams: https://www.brettfoundation.charity/homeless-project
This is a link directly to the Gift-a-Room scheme: https://www.brettfoundation.charity/homeless-project/gift-a-room-scheme
If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate call us on 07749 917134
Dates for your Diary
meets on 2nd Sun of each month at St Edmund Campion Hall. If you are bereaved and would find it helpful to talk or share with others who are also grieving, join us over a cup tea and cake .
: Talkin’ Table @ Bakedd the Artisan Bakery in town. Buy a coffee and make new friends! The tables are free for anyone to join!
PILGRIMAGES/ WALKS/ RETREATS
£899.00 pps. Price includes flight, 10kg hold luggage, 5 nights’ in 4* Castlecourt Hotel, Westport with Dinner, Bed & Breakfast. Lunch on three days. All entertainment, excursions and transport included. Visit Knock, Galway City, Kylemore Abbey, Croagh Patrick & Ashford Castle. Single supplement on Enquiry. Contact Patricia or Natali on 01268 762 278 or 07740 175557 or email [email protected].
Courses & Talks
Available for all Parents whose child is being Baptised at either St Joseph’s, St Elizabeth’s or St Edmund Campion. The course is a 90-minute preparation and guidance. It is held at St Joseph’s the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm.
with Fr Bernie Zoom: ID 82806901794 Password 312990 or: https://tinyurl.com/2hz5axvp
Sessions will be held every Thursday thereafter unless notified.
6-week introduction to ways of praying. Online, see http://www.epiphanygroup.org.uk/training-courses/introduction-to-ways-of-praying/
Winchester. £20 Book https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/ e/what-does-it-mean-to-be-human-medical-ethics-and-social-care-today-tickets-773097012977
For Lower Sixth/Year 12. Do you want to help build a Christian society? The programme offers stimulating and high-quality intellectual content, spiritual nourishment, personal development, inter-personal skills, team-building, with expert academics and professionals. Bursaries available as needed. See more at www.christianleadershipformation.com
Divine Renovation will be holding the Catholic Parish Summit next June 12th – 14th in Harrogate. The Summit, entitled ‘Where is your parish going?’ will feature Archbishop Mark O’Toole, Sr Miriam James Heidland, and Fr James Mallon, among others. Come along to see what’s behind a growing movement of parishes coming to new life and learn how your parish can do it too. Save your spot today at catholicparishsummit.com and be part of this impactful gathering of parish leaders.
Plus!: Use the Diocese of Portsmouth’s exclusive promo code 25OFFCPS ˟ to save on your ticket before they sell out.
˟ This code will provide 25% off basic tickets and is available until 1stDecember. Please also note the young adults code to promote for anyone under 30: YA@CPS
Magnificat: This is one of the best publications around for following scripture readings for daily Mass and every Sunday. There are also many interesting articles to help you in your spiritual life. If you would like a copy please get in touch with the Parish Office to arrange. We can leave in the sacristy or post out to you. The Magnificat is only £5 per month.
Day by Day: Available in the church at all times. Please leave the £1 in the candle box.
Library: We have a parish library located in the corridor of the Parish Centre. This is dedicated to Theology/Religious books. Please feel free to borrow/swap.
St Joseph’s Church Repository: is open after 11am every Sunday. We have lots of cards, candles, rosary beads, statues and many more religious gifts on sale. If a Sunday does not suit to visit, then please phone the office on 01628 783988 and we can arrange a time that best suits.
Vacancies: We currently have some exciting opportunities across the Diocese for an Estate Manager, IT Manager, Choral Director, and Parish Administrators.
All vacancies posted here.
Other information and links
Last session for December will be on Thursday the 14th of December at 2pm
Rosary will resume on Thursday the 11th January 2024 at 2pm
Missio If you have a Red Box which is ready to be emptied, please bring it in over the coming weeks.
If you’re away from your church or the Diocese, you can still keep in contact with all the latest news from the Bishop or the Diocese via: E- News (subscription service available)
Facebook @PortsmouthRC @StJoMaidenhead
Are You New To Our Parish?
Thank you for your interest in our parish. Whether you’re just visiting us for a brief time, looking for a new parish home, returning to the practice of your Catholic faith or are interested in finding out more about the Catholic Church, we are happy to answer your questions, listen to your comments and help you in any way that we can. We are a parish of the Diocese of Portsmouth, and are a very vibrant community, made up of ‘old’ Maidenhead families and relative “newcomers” from all walks of life.
We hope that you find our Catholic parish a caring community that is loving, welcoming and supportive of all. Our mission is to grow in the image of Christ through the Holy Spirit, to be formed by the Word and our prayer, to use our gifts to welcome those who are here and reach out to those who are not. We invite you to join us as partners in the mission. Together, let us get to know Christ better and to make Him better known. May God Bless you wherever you are and thank you for exploring our website and newsletter. Please stop by the parish office to introduce yourself! We would love to meet you.
Code: SI: Special Intention, RIP: Rest in Peace, A: Anniversary, FM: Foundation
We would like to get the newsletter distributed on time and are grateful for understanding in the deadline for submissions of announcements and mass intentions. Please send all contributions no later than Thursday 10am.