St Simon Stock Catholic Church

Brookfield Road, South Ashford, Kent TN23 4EU Tel: 01233 622399


Parish Priest: Fr John Boyle
Saint Simon of England RC Primary School, Noakes Meadow, Ashford, TN23 2RB. Tel: 01233 623199 Head teacher: Mrs Elizabeth Willis

MASS TIMES AND INTENTIONS th Sunday 6 Second Sunday of Advent (C) Bible Sunday 10.00am Mass (Mary and Harold Fuller RIP) 6.00pm Mass (People of the parish) th th Monday 7 to Saturday 12 NO MASS th Sunday 13 Third Sunday of Advent (C) 10.00am Mass (Ashley Crook RIP) 12.00 noon Mass (Latin, 1962 Missal) 6.00pm Mass (People of the parish) CONFESSION TIMES Weekdays: before or after Mass upon request. Saturday: 10.30am; Sundays: ½ hour before Mass CHURCH CLEANING th th th st 11 Tara; 18 Sheila; 24 Sue; January 1 Sue; COLLECTIONS LAST SUNDAY Offertory: £469.52, (Gift Aid: £234.60, loose plate: £234.92) + £96 approx by standing order. Second collection: St George’s Cathedral: £220.14. Thank you very much. Second collection today: Parish Maintenance and Development Fund. Next Sunday: Flowers for Christmas. THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN COFFEE MORNING/BRING & BUY SALE TODAY Straight after 10 am Mass, all proceeds to The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. For those of you who signed up for membership this year, a good opportunity to support this in our parish. TODAY: BIBLE SUNDAY The Scripture readings in Advent are replete with the hopes of the people of Israel sustained by the promises of the prophets and their fulfilment in the Gospels. Try to find time to read the Bible at home. One simple method would be to buy a Sunday Missal and/or a Weekday Missal from our repository and meditatively read the scripture readings assigned for each day of Advent, even if you can‟t get to Mass on those days. Or why not consider coming along to the Bible Study group? FLOWERS FOR CHRISTMAS To contribute towards the cost of decorating our church with flowers at Christmas, the second collection next Sunday will be for „flowers for Christmas‟. PARISH ADVISORY COUNCIL th Next meeting Monday 14 December. Please let Thereza Baker in the parish office know if there is anything you think needs to be put on the agenda, tel: 622399; email: ADVENT PENITENTIAL SERVICE th 7pm Tuesday 15 December. Visiting priests will be available to hear confessions, including in Polish. Please put a note in your diary. Make it a family and parish occasion for confession. Seasonal refreshments afterwards to which all are invited. BLESSING OF CRIB ‘BAMBINI’ If any children or families would like to bring the figures of the Baby Jesus that they plan to place in their cribs at home, these rd will be blessed after the Masses next Sunday, 3 Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday).

TODAY’S MASS TEXTS Entrance Antiphon: cl. Isaiah 30:19.30 People of Zion, the Lord will come to save all nations, and your hearts will exult to hear his majestic voice. First Reading Baruch 5:1-9 God means to show your splendour to every nation. Responsorial Psalm: Ps 125.R.v.3 R: What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad. When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, it seemed like a dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, on our lips there were songs. (R) The heathens themselves said: ”What marvels the Lord worked for them!” What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad. (R) Deliver us O Lord, from our bondage as streams in dry land. Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap. (R) They go out, the go out, full of rears, carrying seed for the sowing; they come back, they come back, full of song, carrying their sheaves. (R) Second Reading Philippians 1:3-6.8-11 Be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Gospel Acclamation: Luke 3:4-6 Alleluia, alleluia! Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. And all mankind shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia! Gospel: Luke 3:1-6 All mankind shall see the salvation of God. Preface of Advent 1, Eucharistic Prayer 1 Communion Antiphon Baruch 5:5; 4-36 Rise up, Jerusalem, stand on the heights, and see the joy that is coming to you from God. PRAYERS FOR THE SICK Please pray for all our sick parishioners. Names of those who need our prayers can be placed in the box in the church foyer. SANCTUARY LAMP OFFERINGS If you would like the sanctuary lamp by the tabernacle to burn in memory of any particular person or for any particular intention, please hand a note of the intention with an offering (suggested £5) in an envelope to the parish office or place it in the offertory basket. The intention will be mentioned in the weekly newsletter. THIS WEEK’S SANCTUARY LAMP INTENTION For the Holy Father Pope Benedict ARCHBISHOP KEVIN McDONALD RESIGNS On Friday Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Archbishop Kevin. The reason for this decision is the health problems he has been facing in recent years and which he continues to face. A letter will be read at all Masses today. Please remember Archbishop Kevin in your prayers. Please also pray for the task of selecting his successor.

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FR. JOHN’S DESKTOP th The joy of the season of Advent is enhanced by the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December. Mary is the bright dawn of our salvation. With her conception in the womb of her mother St Anne, the time of redemption draws closer. The Light that enlightens the world begins to appear in the Eastern sky. With Mary‟s conception, the preparation of the world as the dwelling-place of the promised Christ is reaching its climax. The body of Mary will develop to become the tabernacle of the Most High Who will deign to dwell in her womb for nine months and then on this earth for some thirty three years before returning to His Father. Such a tabernacle must be untouched by sin. Whereas each of us inherits the original sin of our first parents, Mary is granted the unique privilege of being preserved from the stain of original sin from the first moment of her conception. This freedom from sin gives her a particular sensitivity to the plans of God and enables her to respond all the more freely to her vocation to be the Mother of God. Whilst being so pure and sinless, we should not consider Mary so far beyond us in holiness as to make it impossible for us to learn from her and, indeed, imitate her. Whilst she is „full of grace‟, every grace is made available to us to overcome sin and its effects in our lives. Mary herself was not without struggle and also needed the assistance of God to know and fulfil His designs. We too can learn much from Our Lady as we seek to know, day by day, moment by moment, the Lord‟s will for us. We often hear or read about the heroic sanctity of those who are honoured with the title „Saint.‟ So I was very consoled on reading recently an account of the life of St Jozef Damien De Veuster, the Belgian missionary who went to the Hawaiian island of Molokai to look after abandoned lepers. He contracted leprosy himself and died in 1889 at the age of 49. After his death, a Presbyterian minister named Hyde dismissed Damien as “a coarse, dirty man, headstrong and bigoted”, and accused him of violating his vow of chastity. This criticism provoked a furious response from an unexpected source: Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Stevenson too was a Presbyterian. While conceding that Damien may have been “dirty”, “unwise” and “tricky”, he said that the priest was “superb with generosity, residual candour, and fundamental good humour… A man with all the grime and paltriness of mankind, but a saint and hero all the more for that. Think of the poor lepers annoyed with this dirty comrade. But the clean Dr Hyde was at his food in a fine house… You were so refined, why were you not there, to cheer them up with the lights of culture?” Saints can be far from perfect, but they are open to the grace of God and are filled with love. Fr. John
REGULAR EVENTS – COME ALONG! DIVINE MERCY PRAYER GROUP after the 9.30am Mass on Tuesdays. Prayers of intercession for various needs and silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament till 10.30am. (Not this week). CHOIR PRACTICE THURSDAYS 7.30PM Newcomers always welcome BIBLE STUDY WEDNESDAYS 7.30PM Studying the letters of St. John. Newcomers always welcome. Meeting this week by arrangement with the group. YEAR OF PRAYER FOR PRIESTS Come and pray the Rosary for our priests 20 minutes before the morning Masses, Monday to Friday. All are welcome to join. A special prayer calendar has been produced by the Southwark diocesan Vocations Office to help us pray for all the priests of our diocese. Please take one and say the prayer daily. This th week you are asked to pray for: Sun 6 Dec Fr. Peter Geldard, th th Mon 7 Fr. David Gibbons; Tues 8 Fr. Michael Gibbons; Weds th th th 9 Fr. Philip Gilbert; Thurs 10 Fr. Gary Gill; Fri 11 Fr. Philip th th Glandfield, Sat 12 Fr. Robert Gould; Sun 13 Fr. Barry Grant. Thank you. CHURCH CRIB In a change to the practice of previous years, rather than build up our crib week by week, after the morning Mass on Sunday th 20 December children will have the opportunity to take the crib figures and, with the help of their parents, place them in the crib ready for Christmas night. DIVINE MERCY HOUSE PRAYER GROUP th The group extends an invitation to join them on Monday 14 December for prayer and social at 16 Gravelly Field, Singleton. Arrivals from 10.00am finish approx. 11.30am. Contact Teresa Davies 01233 625799. All welcome. CHURCH CLEANING Could you please spare a few hours at least once every 5 to 6 weeks or so to clean our Church? The more cleaners we have the better coverage when someone is unwell and unable to cover that weeks cleaning. See Thereza Baker if you can help. WHITSTABLE PARISH PATRONAL FEAST All are invited to the Church of Our Lady Immaculate in Whitstable for Mass at 7.30pm on Tuesday, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The preacher will be the scripture scholar and former Principal of the Canterbury Franciscan Study Centre Father Joseph O‟Hanlon. Mass will be followed by a bring and share supper. CHRISTMAS MASS NOVENA CARDS The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) has produced these cards which it uses as one of the ways to fund its seminary in the Philippines and the overseas missions of its sisters. The cards are available from the repository and the suggested donation is £2 per card. The donor then submits the name(s) of the recipients and leaves them with the repository who will forward them to SOLT. All the names are then placed in a basket before the altar and included in the novena at Mass starting on Christmas Day. ‘DOWRY’ Some complementary copies of „Dowry‟, the periodical of the Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) in England, are available in the church foyer. Please feel free to take one. CATENIAN ASSOCIATION CHRISTMAS PARTY & BUFFET The local Catenian Association is hosting its annual Christmas th Party on Sunday 20 December at Sandyacres Sports and Social club, Sandyhurst Lane. The function is from 12.30 pm until 4.00 p.m. Cost is £10 per adult with children free. Santa is expected to make a visit and will have presents for young children. A Booking Form with payment details is available at the back of the Church. WINTERSHALL The Nativity Play at Wintershall has now been booked for Monday 21st December; those whose names were on the list should have received a letter, and this production is now a complete sell out. THE GOOD COUNSEL NETWORK NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING FOR LIFE On Monday, the Vigil of The Immaculate Conception, please pray and fast for the end of abortion and euthanasia. Your prayer and fasting is urgently needed. See notice board.

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