CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR

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Friday 22nd December

St Catherine’s: 11am confessions followed by Mass at 12 noon

Saturday 23rd December

St Catherine’s: 9am Confessions followed by Mass at 10am

St Wulstan’s: 6pm Vigil Mass for 4th Sunday of Advent

Sunday 24 December (4th Sun of Advent and pm Christmas Eve)

St Catherine’s: 08.30am & 10.30am Mass for 4th Sunday of Advent

St Wulstan’s: carols 2.30pm, Christmas Vigil Mass 3pm

St Catherine’s: carols 6pm, Christmas Vigil Mass 6.30pm.

Monday 25 December (Christmas Day)

St Catherine’s: carols 9.00am, Christmas Day Mass 9.30am.

St Catherine’s: Christmas Day, Polish Mass 3.30pm

Catholic Schools

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 Bishop Michael has asked for the following to be included in the parish newsletter:

“Do you support Catholic schools and the right of Catholics to send their children to them? Then we need you to make your voice heard. The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admission cap which prevents Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. They have acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics and promised to abandon it, now we need you to tell them not to u-turn on their promise to Catholics.

Visit http://catholicnews.org.uk or search for ‘Catholic education’ in your search engine to write to the Government and urge them to drop their policy which bans new Catholic Schools.”

The full letter from the Bishop is in the narthex.

Childrens’ Liturgy Group

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World Gifts through CAFOD are a great way to transform lives, spread hope and share the joy of Christmas so we have decided to adopt the theme of an African Village during Advent. Our aim is to purchase a goat through the CAFOD scheme. We will be running a ‘Name the Goat’ competition at the Parish Christmas Fair. The children have chosen goaty names and these will be on sale £1 per name. Please give us your support. We hope you will enjoy the village taking shape and hopefully the Holy Family will visit on Christmas Eve! Anne Grinbergs

Arrangements for the next few months

Fr Jerome is recovering well from his surgery and is recuperating outside Cumbria. Please include him in your prayers - if you would like to send a card or message to him please either leave it in the sacristy or post it to St Catherine's Church and we will forward it to him.

As Fr Jerome will be “out of action” for some months, Fr Jim Allen (Dean) from Carlisle has organised a rota of priests to cover the Saturday Vigil Mass at 6pm at Alston each week and also the 8.30 am and 10.30 am Masses on Sundays at St Catherine’s. This will run to and include Epiphany.

During the week at St Catherine's, there is Morning Prayer on Tuesdays at 9.15am and Rosary on Thursdays at 7pm. ** There will be Friday Masses at 12 noon on 15th and 22nd December (with confession from 11am on 22nd). **

On Saturdays there is Morning Prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for vocations from 9am-10am. In addition a priest will come to hear confessions between 9am-10am and celebrate Mass at 10am on 23rd December.

CAP Christmas Hampers

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Each Christmas through our local CAP debt Centre we love to bless our clients, often facing a Christmas with very little, with a generous hamper with a range of essentials and some goodies thrown. It is amazing to see how much it means to people at a time when anxieties and financial pressure can been increased due to the commercial expectations of the time of year. It is a significant way the church community can express practical love and care. There are a couple of things your church can do to help us make this year's hampers extra special.

1. Could your congregation help supply items for the hampers?

2. Could you provide an attractive invite to any Christmas guest events you have coming up which we can include with the Hamper. You can email art-work and I can print it for you.

Items for the Hampers include: Cheese Crackers, Christmas Puddings, good quality Coffee or Hot Chocolate, Speciality Teas, Chocolates, Shloer or Appletize, Packs of biscuits. (Please ensure all use by dates are 'post Christmas'!)

If you are able to collect items for us we need them bringing to the CAP office at Penrith Methodist Church before Saturday 9th December. Many thanks for your help with this practical opportunity. Jon Cook Centre Manager Eden CAP

Advent Retreat for Young People at Castlerigg Manor, 8-10 Dec

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Take time out from the busy run-up to Christmas to prepare for the Lord’s coming. This weekend retreat, for young people in year 9 and above, will be a fun occasion to meet other young people and, together, reflect on what Christmas is really about through games, workshops, discussions and prayer. £65.

Visit www.castleriggmanor.co.uk to book your place and for more info.

Healthcare events at Boarbank Hall - Dec & Jan

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1st-3rd December 2017: Hope in Health-Advent Reflection on healthcare

This is open to anyone who is interested in healthcare, professional or lay, patient, carer, friend or family. What makes a good nurse or doctor? How do we foster ideals of care? How does this relate to our Christian faith?

8th-13th January 2018: Health & Salvation-Dignity, dependency & dementia

A retreat and holiday for healthcare professionals. During the week there will be talks, discussions and workshops on themes including: Catholic Teaching on Dignity, Old Age in Scripture, Spirituality and Ageing, Honouring the Spirit Within, Dementia Friendly Parishes, Being Dependent and Being Human. If these issues touch you or are your concern you are invited to set time apart in your diary for this week at Boarbank Hall, Grange-over-Sands. Click on the headings for more information.

CWL Book trolley

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The CWL has set up a book trolley in the corridor from the Narthex to the Hall.

Books, DVDs and CDs are for sale and the money raised will go to our local charities, currently, St Catherine's parish, The 'Pride of Cumbria' air ambulance and Hospice at Home.

Do please have a look and buy something from the trolley and then restock with your own pre-read, watched and listened-to books, DVDs and CDs. Many thanks! Sue Chandler

Praying for a New Bishop of Lancaster

Mindful that his retirement is approaching, Bishop Michael has written to all priests asking that the Bidding Prayers at all Sunday Masses until the announcement of the new Bishop is made, are concluded with the following prayer:

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Almighty God, Eternal shepherd and guide. In your love for us, grant to the Catholic Diocese of Lancaster a shepherd who will lead us to be Christ’s heart of mercy, voice of hope, and hands of justice. Help him to fill our minds and hearts with the truth of the Gospel, the power of the sacraments, and the desire to build up your holy Church.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.