THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Message No 44: 10th January 2021
Under the recently announced restrictions you may leave home to attend Mass, as places of worship are allowed to remain open, but do not mingle with people outside your household bubble.
Some parishes have had to close, at least for a while, either because the priests have COVID or are having to isolate or because of a lack of stewards.
At the moment we are able to continue with the normal Sunday and weekday Masses, and I am most grateful to the various stewards in the four churches for enabling this.
DO NOT come to Mass if you have COVID or COVID symptoms, or if you are shielding, quarantining, or isolating. Masses at St Thomass will continue to be livestreamed via the parish website.
Please sanitise hands on access and egress, and maintain a 2 metre distance at all times between you and another person who is outside your household. Face coverings must be worn unless exempt; this is now law. If you arrive after Mass has started, please give your contact details to the steward for Test & Trace afterwards. The churches will be well ventilated (so dress warmly!).
Please keep up the fervent prayers for Gods help during the pandemic and a swift end to the spread of the coronavirus.
Todays Mass Readings: The BAPTISM of the LORD
Isaiah 24: 55: 1-11; Isaiah 12: 2-6; 1 John 5: 1-9; Mark 1: 7-11
First Reading: at first sight this looks like a water seller calling all and sundry to come. However, the more one reads the passage, the clearer it becomes that it is the community of faith which is invited to follow the word of God so as to achieve salvation. This theme is developed in the Responsorial Psalm, which is also from Isaiah.
Second Reading: belief in Jesus as the Christ is the mark of the one born of God. One of the witnesses - one of the confirmations - to this is His Baptism (along with the Holy Spirit and Christs death).
Gospel: at the beginning of His public ministry Jesus is Baptized by John in the river Jordan, and - most importantly for Mark - receives a clear seal of approval from God the Father. The Holy Spirit is also present, and this is one of the few occasions in scripture when all three Persons of the Trinity are together.
Note to readers: these are the Year B Ad Libitum Readings.
White Flower Appeal 2021
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is holding its annual appeal this weekend. SPUC is currently campaigning to stop home abortion; this is one of the most dangerous threats to unborn children and their mothers in decades.
Postcards and White Flower stickers are available at the Entrance of the churches. Please put your donation in the Second Collection (at the Entrance), via the contactless machine in St Thomass, or online at Donate Here.
The season of Christmas ends today. Tomorrow we move to Ordinary Time before Lent: the Readings at Mass are from the First Week in Ordinary Time, cycle 1. The daily Offices are taken from Week 1 in the Divine Office. Thanks are due to those who decorated the churches and cribs for Christmas.
Fr Mark Odion, MSP
This is Fr Marks last Sunday with us for a while, as his Superior has asked him to look after a parish in the Birmingham Archdiocese temporarily. We hope this will only be a for a short time: you can go but be back soon!
Magda, the Parish Secretary, will for the time being only be in the Office on Wednesday mornings, 9:30am - 12:30pm, for all routine matters such as Mass Intention bookings, collecting First Holy Communion books, etc and enquiries.
Movable Feasts 2021
Traditionally these are advertised at Epiphanytide. Put them in your diary, wall calendar etc, so you dont accidentally miss them. Even if you are not able to attend Holy Mass on these days you can still observe them as Holy Days at home.
Ash Wednesday 17th February
Palm Sunday 28th March
Good Friday 2nd April
Easter Sunday 4th April
Ascension Day 13th May
Pentecost 23rd May
Trinity Sunday 30th May
Corpus Christi 6th June
Christ the King 21st November
1st Sunday of Advent 28th November
Other important Calendar dates
S Josephs Consecration anniv 1st February
S Joseph, Patron of the Church 19th March
S Bernadette, Rel 16th April
S George, Patron of England 23rd April
Holy Trinity Consecration anniv 31st May
SS Peter & Paul, Apostles 29th June
Assumption of the BVM 15th August
St Thomass Consecration anniv 16th September
S Edith of Kemsing 18th September
S Bernadettes Consecration anniv 21st October
All Saints 31st October
All Souls Day 2nd November
The Nativity (Christmas Day) 25th December
Denise Hafford RIP and Deacon Jim Hayes RIP
Please pray for Denise, an Otford parishioner, and for Deacon Jim Hayes, Parish Deacon at Tonbridge who latterly was resident in Lavender Fields Home in Seal, who have died recently.
St Thomas School Situation vacant
A part-time one to one Applied Behaviour Tutor for a child with special needs is required. The closing date for applications is 20th January, and anyone interested in the role should email St Thomas's Office
St Thomas School September 2021 Admissions
The closing date for Supplementary Forms - for admission in Year R in September - is this Friday. Any parents who have not yet done so should email me as soon as possible for an appointment for me to countersign the form.
Sevenoaks Loaves & Fishes Food Bank
The Loaves and Fishes food bank needs you more than ever. Our stock of tins of pasta, fruit and vegetables are very low and toiletries and cleaning products are very much in demand. Donations can be left at church or in the box in front of my garage at Glebe House, Shoreham Lane, Sevenoaks or dropped at St John's church hall on Thursdays between 11:30am & 12:30pm. Thank you for your continuous support.
St Roch, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
St Thomas of Canterbury, pray for us.
St Bernadette, pray for us.
St Edith of Kemsing, pray for us.
Fr David Gibbons, KHS, Parish Priest of Sevenoaks
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