First Sunday of Advent
Most weeks there may well be a number of feast days. We don’t necessarily celebrate them all. Some saints are more important in certain parts of the country than others and will be celebrated more on a local level, whilst other saints will be celebrated everywhere. So each week we will comment on the feast-days that we should celebrate in our regional Church.
Sunday, December 3rd - First Sunday of Advent
Monday, December 4th - St John Damascene, Priest, Doctor of the Church
Tuesday, December 5th - Weekday in Ordinary Time
Wednesday, December 6th - St Nicholas, Bishop
Thursday, December 7th - St Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Friday, December 8th - The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday, December 9th - St Juan Diego Cuahtlatoatzin
Sunday, December 10th - Second Sunday of Advent
First Sunday of Advent - Year B
First Reading - Is 63:16-17; 64:3–8
Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down.
Second Reading - 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
We are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
Gospel Reading - Mark 13:33-37
Stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming.
Psalter: Week 1
Readings for Weekdays: Advent, Week 1
Greetings Card Campaign
It is that time of year again when we remember some of those imprisoned unjustly and/or in danger of torture for their beliefs and send them a greetings card to let them know that they are not forgotten. We have put details of the prisoners, cost of postage, simple message suggestions etc on leaflets at the back of church and ask you to use cards of your choice and post them to the prisoners at the addresses given.
For those who can receive a religious message, any Christmas card would be fine. For those indicated as only to receive a non religious message, a simple (non-Christmas) notelet would be suitable.
All the ones included this year were sent cards by us either last year or the year before but they are still suffering. So please support this venture if you can and send a message of hope at Christmas. Thank you.
Sunday 3rd December
Children’s Liturgy at St Ambrose: The next children’s liturgy will take place during the 11am Mass on Sunday 3rd December.
Churches Together in Boothstown: All are invited to the annual Carol Service and the switching on of the Christmas lights at Standfield Precinct on Sunday 3rd December at 5pm. Father Christmas will be in the community centre after the service and refreshments are available.
Saturday 9th December
Advent Service of Reconciliation & Confessathon
Individual Confession will be held on Saturday 9th December at St Joseph’s Church
10.00am-11.00am Fr. Gordon Abbs
11.00am –11.50am Fr. Carl Mugan
12.30pm-1.30pm Fr. Kieran
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place during the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There will be Midday Mass
All Singers Great and Small present their Christmas Concert on Saturday 9th December at 7.00pm at St Thomas and All Saints Church, Kenwood Avenue, Leigh WN7 2LN £6, pay at the door, includes refreshment and raffle.
9th and 10th December
(St Margaret Clitherow)
We celebrate Family Masses with a special invitation to the children and families of our parish to come and join us in our Advent preparations.
Tea and Coffee will be available after the Sunday Masses at both churches.
Thursday 14th December
Seniors Christmas Party: hosted by St Mary’s High School and Sixth Form will be on Thursday 14th December 12noon till 2pm. If you would like to attend please sign the sheet at the back of church and give your contact number. This information will be sent on to the school.
There are four newsletters published weekly in the Leigh area, you can access current and past editions here:
St Edmund Arrowsmith Newsletters (St Joseph's and Sacred Heart, Leigh)
St Margaret Clitherow Newsletters (Holy Family, Boothstown; St Ambrose Barlow, Astley)
St Lewis, St Catherine's & All Saints Newsletters (Croft, Lowton & Golborne)
St John Rigby Newsletter (Sacred Heart, Hindley Green; St Richard's, Atherton)
( Newsletters download as pdf files in a new window.)
CAFOD’s Israeli-Palestinian Crisis Appeal
Donate to CAFOD’s Israeli-Palestinian Crisis Appeal at cafod.org.uk/ipc
CAFOD have already sent £100,000 to, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) who are already supporting 10,000 families caught up in the fighting in Gaza.
CAFOD have a petition on their website regarding recent changes made by the UK Government regarding their approach to dealing with the climate crises. Click here to find out more.
- THE POPE’S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR DECEMBER 2023:
For persons with disabilities
We pray that people living with disabilities may be at the center of attention in society, and that institutions may offer inclusive programs which value their active participation.
- Senior's Christmas Party
The Sixth Form at St Mary’s High School are putting together a Christmas Party on Thursday 14th December 12.00pm—2.00pm for the Senior Citizens of the local parishes. If you would like to go, please put your name on the list in the porch and any specific dietary requirements
- Advent Appeal 2023 - St John Fisher
Anna Dunn from ‘Marys Meals’ will speak at the St. John Fisher Masses on the first weekend of Advent to make an appeal on behalf of the charity. ‘Marys Meals’ mission provides meals for thousands of children across the world.
- Special Collection: (St Margaret Clitherow)
It has been suggested that as there is a need for support for the Wigan and Leigh Hospice, the collection next weekend will be for the Hospice and not the SVP. All support gratefully received to this place of care for those at the end of life’s journey.
- Altar Servers (St Edmund Arrowsmith)
Next Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, our altar servers will be enrolled at all three Masses into the Guild of St Stephen.
- Confirmations (St Edmund Arrowsmith)
Congratulations to the 15 young people from our Parish who received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Tom Neylon last Thursday evening. It was a wonderful celebration and I thank all those who contributed in making it so. Please keep our young people in your prayers.
- LGBTQ+ Catholics
The next LGBTQ+ Family Mass will held at All Saints Church, Golborne on 10th December at 2.00pm. All are welcome especially family and extended family of the LGBTQ+ community. Refreshments will be served after Mass
- Food Bank:
As winter approaches please give generously if you are able. Food donated at church is taken to support our local food bank. There will be Food Bank Collections at St Joseph's and Sacred Heart Leigh churches from the 25th November to 6th December. The Food Bank at Atherton has asked for any non perishable food items (except beans & pasta) and toiletries. Items can be brought to all Masses or dropped off at St Joseph’s Church Monday, Wednesday & Friday. The Food Bank service is in great demand at this time. For more details about the Food Bank, visit www.trusselltrust.org
The weekly meeting of the older men in the parish for lunch and a chat will be at the Applewood Farm at 1.00pm on Wednesdays.
Today's Gospel reading again calls us to be prepared for the coming of Our Lord - Stay awake, Be ready!
Lord and Ruler
Root of Jesse
Key of David
King of the Nations,
Come. Lord Jesus, come!
This week, let us think of the small ways we can keep awake in our own life as we await the coming of Jesus. Talk to God and ask for guidance, that he will reveal his truth.
Following the principles of Laudato Si commit to trying to:
- Advent is a great time to take stock of ourselves. Look back on the year and see what changes you have managed to make to be more environmentally friendly. As Cop 28 takes place can you take on board the aspirations of global leaders? Can we personally do more? In the words of King Charles III ' The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth'.
May hatred be turned into love,
fear to trust,
despair to hope,
oppression to freedom,
occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters
may be replaced
by loving embraces,
and peace and justice
could be experienced by all.
St Richard's - Children's Liturgy takes place every Sunday at the 9.30am Mass.
Sacred Heart - Children's Liturgy takes place every Sunday at the 11.00am Mass.
St Ambrose Barlow – Is held once a month with a planned celebration on the first Sunday of every month. Next celebration is on December 3rd during the 11:00am mass.
Holy Family – We have a few volunteers but need several more to be able to run a rota in a similar way to St Ambrose. If you would like to volunteer, please speak to either Fr Paul or to Liz in the parish office as soon as possible.
Please note that all volunteers must complete a DBS form with the Archdiocese to comply with safeguarding which is paramount in all parish activities.
Thank you for your generosity
Pope Francis gave us this invitation.... ‘let us persevere in our closeness and in prayer for the dear Ukrainian people who are experiencing immense cruelty’
Praying for Peace in Ukraine and the World
Exposition will now be at Sacred Heart (Leigh) Church on Tuesdays and St Joseph’s Church on Wednesdays.
Exposition will begin at 11.30am and will conclude with midday Mass.
In the event of a Funeral Mass at midday, Exposition will be cancelled.
Archbishop Malcolm has approved the launch of an Archdiocesan urgent and major appeal to support Ukraine. Text numbers have been set up for anyone wanting to make a financial donation. All donations will be sent to the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London.
TO DONATE TEXT:
• HELPUKRAINE to 70085 to donate £2
• HELPUKRAINE to 70450 to donate £3
• HELPUKRAINE to 70460 to donate £5
• HELPUKRAINE to 70470 to donate £10
Texts will cost the donation amount, plus one standard network rate message
Please contact your Parish Office to make an appointment to meet with the Priest or Deacon. Baptisms usually take place on Sundays.
Children in Year 4 at Primary Schools are invited to make their First Communion during that year. Preparation for the Sacrament may take place in school or by attending a series of meetings with parents or guardians.
Children in Year 5 or 6 will be invited to make their First Act of Reconciliation (Confession). For continuing celebration of the sacrament, please refer to your local church. Quite often Reconciliation is available before Mass or by contacting the priest to make an appointment.
Preparation for this sacrament is usually arranged through the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry Team ' Animate' for young people in Year 8 or older who attend Catholic Secondary Schools.
If you would like to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage, please contact your Parish Priest either directly or through the Parish Office to discuss. He will provide you with the necessary paperwork. Please remember to make arrangements well in advance.
Anointing the Sick
If you would like your Parish Priest to visit a family member who is sick and housebound, please speak to him or contact the Parish Office and a visit will be arranged.
St Joseph's Centre - 01942 673517
Fr Carl Mugan - 01942 392922 (St Richard's & Sacred Heart.)
Fr Paul Grady - 0161 790 2390 (Holy Family, St Ambrose Barlow & St Gabriel's)
Fr Kieran O'Grady - 01942 673517 (Sacred Heart & St Joseph's)
Fr Gordon Abbs - 01942 273851 (St Lewis, St Catherine's & All Saints)
St Margaret Clitherow
St Edmund Arrowsmith
St John Rigby
St Catherine of Sienna and All Saints, Golborne & St Lewis, Croft
At the beginning of Advent 2021, in a reorganisation of the Archdiocese, Leigh Deanery was merged with churches in the Wigan area to form Wigan and Leigh Deanery. It covers not just Wigan and Leigh but also many of the smaller villages and towns surrounding them. Deanery priests meet no less than eight times a year and at least twice a year with the Deacons of the Deanery. Fr Gordon Abbs was appointed Dean in Advent 2021. His term of office runs until 29th Feb 2024.
There are several items of interest available from the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
New resources now available include:
- Prayer & Other Resources
- Family Prayer Cards
- Life During Lockdown in the Archdiocese
- Mental Health
- Readings and Reflections for those who are Bereaved
The Liverpool Catholic website also has up to date information on the Church's Policy regarding Coronavirus and lots of other useful information.