Message from Fr Bill – 1st Sunday of Advent
Dear friends at St. Aelred’s,
We begin our Advent journey in preparation for the coming birth of Our Lord and Saviour. We can
use this season to enrich Christmas and make the coming feast a memorable and lasting spiritual
encounter with Christ or a time that is quickly passed and soon forgotten. The choice is ours so let
us enter this season with a real sense of expectation and shared faith, prepared and spiritually ready
to welcome the Christ child.
Today is a special day of prayer for migrants. Please keep our sisters and brothers who are displaced
from their homeland for whatever reason in your prayers. People move for many reasons and as St
Paul says we have to make hospitality our special care. So let us not listen to uncaring media stories
which stir division and tension between groups but rather give a loving response to all who come to
this country to build a better life for themselves and help in so many ways this country to prosper.
RECONCILIATION SERVICE- with individual confession, Thursday 14th Dec, 6.00pm St Aelred’s
UCM –Christmas Party will be on Tuesday 12th December, following 7.00pm Mass.
CHRISTMAS CARDS-as well as the wonderful cards available in the repository, Joanna has
designed some that are unique and personal to our parish. These will be sold at the back of Church
to raise funds for the defibrillator.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PREPARATION- If your child is at least 7 years old (Year 3) or over
on 1st September 2023 they would be eligible for First Holy Communion preparation which continues,
10th December. First Holy Communion preparation sessions are after Mass on Sundays and the
session will run until 11.00am. The sessions are held in the small meeting room in the parish centre.
It is expected that the children attend Mass every weekend, either on a Saturday evening at 6.00pm
or Sunday at 9.30am. They will need to learn about the Mass for their preparation to receive
Communion for the first time and the best place to learn is through participation in the Mass. The
children will be given a workbook which they will be required to bring to every session to work
through. Some homework may also be given depending on how quickly the work is completed during
ARMED FORCES-We pray for all our servicemen and women serving abroad. May the Lord keep
them safe! We pray also for their families at this time.
Sun 3rd Dec 9:30 Mass 1st Sunday of Advent
Mon 4th 9:00 Mass Of Advent
Tues 5th 7:00pm Mass Of Advent
Wed 6th 9:00 Mass Of Advent
Thurs 7th 9:00 Mass St Ambrose
Fri 8th 9:00 Mass Immaculate Conception
Sat 9th 9:00 Exposition
10:00 Mass Of Advent
6:00 Mass 2nd Sunday of Advent
Sun 10th 9:30 Mass 2nd Sunday of Advent
Mon 11th 9:00 Mass Of Advent
Special Intention-Sick, Bereaved. RIP-Gilbert Inkim, Alison Clare Carter, Alison Hattee.
This morning will be in aid of St Aelred’s Players. Please join us for tea, coffee and cake. Thank you for your support.
Loose Plate 239.91
Standing Orders 625.00pw
FOSTA– are organising a school Christmas Fair Friday 8th December 3.15 – 5.30 in the school hall.
They will be selling & handing out books of raffle tickets for sale, in church. Donations of cakes and
bottles and volunteer helpers would be greatly appreciated. There will be Santa’s Grotto, hot food
and carol singing plus lots more. All welcome.
SVP SECRET SANTA-Thank you to everyone who has donated money or volunteered to buy a gift
for Secret Santa; we now have enough to cover gifts for the children in the families that we support.
Thank you again for your wonderful generosity. If you know anyone who would benefit from our
help or to join us, please contact us on the SVP mobile phone: 07340011619 or email the St Aelred’s
SVP President at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SHOEBOX APPEAL– so far this year an amazing 112 were taken to Oldham to be forwarded to
Eastern Europe to some of the Regions poorest families. Four more late boxes have been collected
so if anyone still has a shoebox either unfilled or part-filled I’m willing to do a “mop-up”. Please
contact Kath Duckworth 01904 416248. Thank you to everyone who has, once again, responded so
brilliantly to this appeal.
HCPT BINGO NIGHT-Thank you for all your support, we raised an amazing £540.00.
SYNODAL PROCESS-Following the success of this day of prayer and reflection, exploring how we
continue to respond to Pope Francis’ call for us to journey together and reshape the Church of the
Future. at St Mary’s Cathedral, led by Fr Chris Hughes, a PP of Hexham and Newcastle diocese, we
are looking to repeat the day locally in York. Further details to follow but please do follow and keep
up to date with the latest events at the Synod.
DAY ON “CENTERING PRAYER”-St Bernadette’s, Gypsy Lane, Middlesbrough TS7 0EB are holding
a day to explore Centering Prayer, on Saturday 9th December. The day will be led by Rev Mark
Waters, a spiritual director and coordinator of a network for contemplative prayer and practice based
at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The day is suitable for those who have never attempted Centering
Prayer before, as well as those who may wish to refresh their practice. 9.30am refreshments for a
10am start. Finish by 3pm. Bring your own packed lunch. There is no cost for the day. In Centering
Prayer, we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer
than consciousness itself. It is a receptive prayer of resting in God. It moves beyond conversation
with God to communion and intimacy with God.
ADVENT CALENDER-our own Caritas Diocese of Middlesbrough has produced an Advent
Calendar. The idea is that for each day of Advent, as you “open” a window, you put something into
your own personal food basket to be able to give to a food bank. You can do this as individuals, as
a family or as a group of friends. You can make your donation in person to the food bank, or bring
it to church and we will distribute it. Hard copies of the Advent calendar are in the porch, or you
should be able to download a copy using the QR code on the poster.
RECEPTION ADMISSIONS 2024-If your child is due to start Reception in September 2024 and
you would like to look around our happy and vibrant early years setting, please contact the school
office. Appointments can be arranged during the school day.
CAFOD– Please have a look at the CAFOD’S World Gifts catalogue at the back of church. Have a
look at the website and keep CAFOD in your prayers. If you would like to join our parish group ring
LAUDATO DEUM-In this letter Pope Francis goes to great pains to stress that not enough has been
done in the wake of Laudato Si to tackle the impending climate change crisis. With this in mind, on
Saturday 9th December from 10.00am to 12.30pm the cathedral will be hosting an event titled
“Creation Is Screaming At Us – Are We Listening?”
The event will give people the opportunity to reflect and pray with the Holy Father’s document
Laudate Deum, to help discern what we can do individually and collectively to respond to the
challenges posed by climate change. It is our opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to
TUESDAY LUNCH CLUB-Continues Tuesday 5th December.
200 CLUB– November prize winners:- £100 No. 143 J. Welborn; £50 No. 46 A. Conroy; £25 No. 91
S. Sangster; £25 No. 173 J. Hargreaves. The 2023/24 subscriptions are now due. Cheques for £26
(full year) or £13 (half year) should be made out to ‘PCC of St. Aelred’s’ and can be posted in the
200 Club letter box in the church porch, through the presbytery letter box or placed in the collection
LECTIO DIVINA GROUP continues Wednesday 7.00pm in the Community Centre.
TRUE LIFE IN GOD-Prayer Group meets on Thursdays 7.30 pm. Rosary, intercessions, Bible
reading; for further details see (www.tlig.org) and please contact Jadviga Fidler 01904 867426.
FOODBANK DONATIONS-If you would like to support the food-bank providing basic food parcels,
please leave them in the box in the porch or if you would prefer post any cash donations in a clearly
marked envelope through Fr Bill’s letter-box. The SVP will then co-ordinate delivery. Fr Bill will take
in food donations at the presbytery door too.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY-All children up to First Holy Communion age are most welcome. Prereception children should be accompanied by an adult. Any questions please contact Paula
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA
O Most Holy Virgin Mary,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima
and reveal a glorious message.
We implore you, inspire in our hearts a fervent love
for the recitation of the Rosary.
By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption
that are recalled therein,
may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask,
through the merits of Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Redeemer.
ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION PRAYER
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot, at this moment, receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR THOSE IN WORK
O God, the creator of all things, you framed the law of labour for the human race. Graciously grant, by the example and patronage of St. Joseph, that we may do the work you provide us and earn the reward you promise. Sustain us with your grace to live up to our duties in charity and justice. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR AFGHANISTAN
We hold in your presence the people of Afghanistan.
Be a shelter for those who have been displaced.
Be a comforter for those who are mourning.
Be the peace for those who are afraid,
Be near to those who are hungry.
Be healing for those who are sick.
Be the strength of those working to bring hope.
Open our eyes and hearts,
so we may stand in solidarity,
and reach out in love,
to our brothers and sisters.
May they know they are not forgotten
and that we hold them in our hearts
whilst they search for the path to peace. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR HELP
Almighty God, in our distress and grief help us to remember that you love us.
We do not understand why this great disaster has happened but help us to trust you.
Loving Lord, for those who have died, give them eternal rest, for those who are bereaved, comfort and console them, for those who are hurt, heal and strengthen them.
Lord God, enable us to help our suffering brothers and sisters in whatever way we can.
Heavenly Father, be with us now and always.
Diana Ng-Sutherland, CAFOD
We pray for all our servicemen and women serving in conflicts abroad especially in this time of increased anxiety for many families.
‘And now, Lord, … help your servants, here at St Aelred’s, to proclaim your message with all fearlessness, by stretching out your hand to heal and to work miracles and marvels through the name of your Holy servant Jesus.
PANDEMIC PRAYER TO OUR LADY
O Mary you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the Cross were near to the pain of Jesus, keeping firm faith. You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial. Help us Mother of Divine Love to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. We seek refuge under your protection O Holy Mother of God, do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THOSE APPROACHING END OF LIFE AND THEIR FAMILIES
God of strength in weakness and hope in despair, we are yours in life and death. Sustain us for the journey of walking home to you. Give us the gifts and graces you gave those who walked with your Son in his final moments on Earth. Steady our hands, gentle our hearts, sustain our spirits and grant us faith and hope in life eternal.
AN ACT OF CONTRITION
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
PRAYER FOR THE UNEMPLOYED
O God, the Creator of all things, you have made us in your own image so that we may find joy in creative work: have mercy on all those who are unemployed, and those who find their work dull.
Help us to build a society where all may have work and find joy in doing it, for the good of our world and the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.