Archbishop’s Christmas Message
‘The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.’ This is St John’s description of the birth of Jesus which is read in churches on Christmas morning. He also speaks of the nativity as, ‘the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it’. Jesus is the light of the world, not some artificial light but the true light which can never be overcome by darkness. He comes into the world for us to bring hope to our lives.
They must have been dark days for Mary and Joseph. They lived under an occupying power and then Caesar Augustus decreed that there should be a census and everyone, irrespective of their situation or personal difficulties, had to go to their own town to be registered. So, Mary and Joseph had to leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem, a long and difficult journey. When they eventually arrived, there was no welcome for them. They were refugees, forced to stay in a stable, but everything was about to change for them.
With the birth of Jesus an angel and a heavenly host appeared to shepherds on a nearby hillside. Blinding light piercing the darkness and leaving them shaken and afraid. ‘Fear not!’ ‘Do not be afraid’ said the angel and that is the message of Jesus for us today. As God chose shepherds to bring ‘news of great joy’ so too he chooses us today to be his messengers and says to us ‘do not be afraid’.
As the feast of Christmas comes near people have many hopes and expectations, there are pressures created by the clamour of modern life; created by a ‘must have’ society, by fear of what the future may hold, or by memories of Christmas past. Yet in the birth of Jesus there is only simplicity: a child lying in a manger, yet the Son of God among us.
Amid the consumerism of Christmas there are many acts of human kindness, as minds and hearts turn to the needs of others. We welcome the stranger and the refugee; we buy gifts for people we don’t even know, and we give our time to those who are in need. In all the uncertainties of life we have hope which is a sign of love – God’s love for us in sending his Son into the world. Our celebrations too are a sign of God’s love.
2,000 years ago there was a child born for us, a turning point in history which we still rejoice in today, which says that each one of us is loved by God and which takes away fear and gives us hope for the future. We must open our hearts to the welcome offered by our Saviour and let him bring his peace to our lives and to our world.
May this Christmas be a time of peace for us all so that we may know the love of God in our lives.
The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
This week’s lamp intentions
Lady or Sacred Heart Altar Lamps at Star will only be lit when intentions have been requested.
ALTAR WINE/BREADS: Parishioners are invited to make a donation of £10 for altar wine/breads in memory of a loved one. Please place your donation in an envelope with the intention and Church and place it on the collection plate or drop it off at the parish office.
OLSS: Dec: John Newton SToC: Dec: Patricia Linton
Baptism Course (up to Yr 2)
If you want your Child Baptised you must fill in a baptismal request form (and leave your details for Parish Catechists to arrange a visit), be attending Mass regularly and attend a baptismal course. Dates only booked after course.
The next course will take place at 7:00pm on Monday, 6TH January at St Thomas of Canterbury Church. Please make sure you have completed forms prior to the course.
SYNOD 2020 Next Step:
Our Current Theme:
- Sharing the mission of Jesus
If you have not been able to get to either of our Synod meetings under the title of ‘Sharing the mission of Jesus’ please do engage with our prayer station to reflect and put forward a proposal for action.
Next Synod 2020 Talk:
Monday 13 January 2020, 7:30 pm: (coffee from 7:00): Faith in the Family: What foundations for Faith can be laid in the family? Dr Dominika Kurek-Chomycz & Prof John Sullivan
Location: LACE, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA.
Mass & Liturgy Times
(OLSS = Our Lady Star of the Sea; SToC = St. Thomas of Canterbury)
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sat, 21st Dec 5:00 pm John Joseph Smith OLSS
Sun, 22nd Dec 9:45 am Joyce Whelan OLSS
11:15 am Michael & Annie Kearney SToC
4:30 pm People of the Parish SToC
Mon, 23rd Dec 10:00 am Joseph & Winifred Delaney (A) OLSS
Christmas Day Masses
5:00 pm Mary O’Toole & Tony Kellett OLSS
7:30 pm Mass Association SToC
Midnight Mass (Our Lady Star of the Sea)
11:30 pm Pre-Mass Carol Service OLSS
Midnight Mass 00:00 People of the Parish OLSS
Christmas Day (25th December)
9:45 am Kathleen & Stephen Downing OLSS
11:15 am Thanksgiving SToC
Feast of St. John the Evangelist (27th December)
Fri, 27th Dec 10:00 am Winifred Delaney (A) OLSS
Sun, 29th Dec 9:45 am Tony Newton OLSS
11:15 am People of the Parish SToC
4:30 pm Sick & Infirm Clergy SToC
Mon, 30th Dec 10:00 am Sr Paula OLSS
12:00 noon Funeral Service for James McKee OLSS
Tues, 31st Dec 4:30pm Eileen Locke (A) SToC
Solemnity of Mary Mother of God
Wed, 1st Jan 11:00 am Bridget Atkinson OLSS
Thur, 2nd Jan 9:30 am Charles Atkinson SToC
Fri, 3rd Jan 10:00 am Tony Ashcroft OLSS
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Saturday 4th Jan 5:00pm Sheila Lyons OLSS
Sunday 5th Jan 9:45am People of the Parish OLSS
11:15am George & Bertha Moylan SToC
4:30pm J Blundell, Rev Kehoe, James, Norah & Gerald McLoughlin, G. Lunny SToC
PLEASE REMEMBER TO PRAY FOR:
Sick list: Alison Payne, Christopher Murphy, Mary Gorton, Gladys Haslett, Christopher Browne, Joe Fitzpatrick, Nick Gilligan, Robert Guy, Paul Murphy, Louis Harvy, Madeleine Judge, Myra McLaughlin, Fr Bob Douglas, Agnes Brown, Clifford Browne, Sue Carlin, Tommy Swan, William Donegan, Martin Maxwell, Ros Maxwell, Mary Dillon, Jayne Anderton, Paul Taylor, Cathy Balshaw, Terry Clinton.
Lately Dead: Thomas Brett
Please note the Parish Office will be closed from 21st December until 7th January. I am off to spend Christmas and new year with family. I wish you all a very blessed Christmas and happy new year. See you in 2020. Shelagh
Messages can be left during the times the office is not open on the answer machine by telephoning (0151 928 2338) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A note from Kenny, Pastoral Associate
I’ve been very blessed to be involved in helping distribute hampers to families in our parish community thanks to all the generous donations from you lately. It reminded me of all those years working for a homeless charity and being able to support our brothers and sisters in our communities. It is a great gift. This year, thanks to you, a lot of families will be able to relax a bit and see their children enjoy Christmas by eating well and being happy. They all send their heartfelt thanks. And I do too. Thank you for all your love and support this year. I still have many more people to meet or get to know better, many more things to learn and many more thanks to give for this role that I’ve been blessed with. But I really do feel as though I’m part of our parish community now and I wish you all the peace and joy of a happy Christmas period, for you and your loved ones. I’ll be taking some time with my family and will be back in the new year. Until then, stay safe and warm. Make some happy memories and always remember you’re part of a parish family.