Those of you who know me well know that I get the seasons mixed up on a regular basis. When it’s Lent I have the tendency to talk about Advent – when Advent then Lent – Happy Christmas can easily become Happy Easter… On the one hand I am feeling more confused than ever. I really can’t remember having celebrated Easter this year and it seems just days ago since we were together for Christmas.
Thankfully there is a common denominator – Christ. The challenge for us is to focus on him. There is so much to see and learn, so much to change and to improve. These festivals of faith are of course about remembering the person of Christ, his life, death and resurrection – but they are more about the continuation of his mission – the salvation of the world. Focusing on faith and the action that it calls us to is what we want to focus on this week. Moving from back to basics to “belonging” with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it.
Quick notes and reminders: – Remember to book your Christmas Mass – 07508 831238 – Monday to Friday between 9am- 5.00pm… – You can now get your raffle tickets – CLICK HERE – We are still collecting for Caritas and for our Crib Collection – We have an Advent Service on Wednesday… – We are out of Lockdown and have Masses with congregation on Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday…
These last months have been mad – to say the least. Testing certainly! But also a chance to open ourselves to lots of new ways of doing things, of reaching out to each other, of supporting, of praying. Lockdown 2.0 will come to an end on December 2nd. We will return to communal worship from Saturday, 5th December – The Second Sunday of Advent. After that our normal rhythm of Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Mass being for the public and online. The other days will be online only.
This newsletter brings our Advent and Christmas Program. For me this marks the beginning of a new season. A new chance to open myself to the plan of God. Amidst all the planning take time to step back, give thanks, praise God and embrace the challenge of living the faith today. I know many want to just go crazy this time of year – can we go crazy doing the right things for ourselves and for others. I hope it brings us all great joy…
Please download our Advent and Christmas Flyer – CLICK HERE….
Christmas Masses – Please BOOK – !!!!! Important !!!!! For our Christmas Services, you will need to BOOK by calling the telephone number below from Monday, Nov 30th onwards.
To make a booking – Call 07508 831238 Monday to Friday between 9.00 am-5.00 pm.
Crib Visits As well as the Christmas Masses – Church will be open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Christmas Week from 2-4 pm. For those who are not yet comfortable coming back to a service – you can come and visit the crib – you can pray quietly – I will also be available in Church to distribute Communion and give a blessing.
I wanted to get that news out front and centre. But I would ask that you don’t forget – it is not Christmas yet – it is Advent – a really special time of the year. Don’t let this time pass by without paying attention to your heart and to God!
I am feeling like a big supermarket chain at the moment. It seems too early to be plugging Christmas – we need to get through Advent first. But, as Christmas is all about Christ, it is good that we all look at our preparations — look in advance through all the noise around and about us – not just at the presents and the decorations – but at the interior preparations to welcome Christ into our hearts and homes…. That is what this post is all about. Making conscious choices about what we want to do in the run up to Christmas….
We recently had people from Bethlehem at St Vincent’s selling their olive wood carvings. I got a little statue that is symbolic of the challenge of Advent and Christmas – it is a statue of Mary, Joseph and the donkey – Shelter Seeking… Are our doors open to let them enter and bring Christ into the midst of whatever is happening in our hearts and homes.
What will be happening at St Vincent’s and how can you join in?
Youth Mass – Tree of Jesse
We will be ending the year as always on the feast of Christ the King. Our young parishioners will lead us to worship of the “King of Kings”.
Over the last couple of years we have given our young people an Advent Calendar to prepare for Christmas – this year we will be giving them a calendar with a difference.
There is a tradition in the Church of decorating a “Jesse Tree” in the build up to Christmas. It was a way of the early Church of connecting people decorating their Christmas trees to the prophecies of the Old Testament leading up to the birth of Jesus.
The Jesse Tree depicts the relationship of Jesus with Jesse and other biblical figures who were the ancestors of Jesus. Jesse was the father of King David and is looked upon as the first person in the genealogy of Jesus. With this tree we trace the journey of God who comes to us in the infant Jesus.
In Church we will have a Jesse tree in the sanctuary and watch it grow as week by week as we approach the arrival of the Son of God.
All our children – and any home that wants one – will be given a pack to decorate a Jesse tree at home – as well as watching the development of the one at Church.
Youth Mass – Sunday, 25th November 2018 – 10am
Live on Youtube – St Vincent de Paul, Bolton – Click Here
Advent Meditation – Journey with Jesse – In Church and Online
Each day through advent we will add a symbol of an old testament figure and think about what they have to say to as as we journey together.
For those who would like to go a little deeper (those who attend Mass during the week and those who can’t) there will be a 10 minute special meditation each Friday on the Journey of Jesse.
The Mass on Friday is streamed live on Youtube – we provide this especially for our sick and housebound – it can be watched live or later on demand. This is also a great opportunity if you are busy and are looking for a short meditation to get you in the “real” Christmas spirit.
You can also get inspiration through our Facebook Page. Each day in Advent we will publish a short text from St Vincent de Paul on topics surrounding our Advent and Christmas Preparation.
All the texts are taken from a lovely book – Advent and Christmas wisdom from St Vincent de Paul – and can be found following the link below…
The book https://amzn.to/2OH8byr
You might also like the “Walk with me” booklets and children’s Advent Calendars at the back of Church
This year’s Christmas Fayre will be held in the Parish Centre on Sunday 2nd December after the 10.00am Mass. Please donate BOTTLES for the Bottle Tombola, FANCY GOODS, RAFFLE PRIZES etc, but NO books or bric-a-brac. Bring or send these to the Church as soon as possible. Come along & enjoy a “bacon butty.” Please support this Parish event, of which, all proceeds will go to support Francis House and Derian House Children’s Hospices
Sunday 2nd December after the 10.00am Mass
Nativity for the Children
Last year for the first time we started a little initiative where we had a free flowing nativity play with our youngest parishioners. A bit of song and we move around the Church enacting the journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus in the manger – by this time we have gotten to the altar.
Thursday 13th December 2018 at 6pm
Carols on the Car Park
Each year we gather as an Over Hulton Community with all the Church’s on our Car Park for Carols and lots more…. Put the date in your diary and come along. All Welcome
Monday, 17th December 2018 at 6.30pm
The Diary for Advent and Christmas
See the Events Page of the website or pick up a leaflet in Church.
Connect with us…
St Vincent de Paul, Bolton
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