Parish Newsletter for week beginning 5th December 2021

Sunday 5th December 9:00am
11:00am 3:00pm
Haunton Barton Woodlane Holy Mass
Holy Mass Rosary and Benediction
Monday 6th 10am
Woodlane Holy Mass
Tuesday 7th 8:00am 7:30pm Barton Holy Mass Holy Mass
Wednesday 8th December 9:30amBartonHoly Mass
Thursday 9th
6:00pm 6:45pm to 7:45pm WoodlaneHoly Mass Holy Hour
Friday 10th 11:00am Haunton Holy Mass
Saturday 11th 7:00am 10:00amBarton BartonHoly Mass Holy Mass
Sunday 12th Dec. 9.00am 11.00am Haunton Barton Holy Mass Holy Mass

Mission centre for the Travelling Community in the Archdiocese of Birmingham

‘Prepare a way for the Lord.…’  Luke 3: 4                                         
Entrance Antiphon: O people of Sion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations, and the Lord will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart. (Is. 30: 19, 30)
Collect: Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set
out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us
admittance to his company. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit…..
Psalm Resp.:  What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad. Ps. 125:3
Gospel Acclamation:  Alleluia, alleluia! Prepare a way for the Lord, make s see, O his his paths straight, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia.
Communion Antiphon: Jerusalem, arise and stand upon the heights, and behold the joy which comes to you from God. Baruch 5:5; 4:36
Readings for Mass: First Reading: Baruch 5: 1-9; Psalm 125. Second Reading: Philippians 1: 4-6, 8-11;  Gospel: Luke 3: 1-6

Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in every circumstance.’ 1 Thess 5:17

‘Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in every circumstance.’ 1 Thess. 5:17

Dear Parishioners and friends of Our Lady’s, SS. Michael & James, and St Francis de Sales,

We light our Second candle on the Advent wreath this Sunday. Each candle represents a Christian virtue: hope, love, joy and peace. Usually the first candle is one of hope and expectation, the prophets of the Old Testament especially Isaiah, waited in hope for the Messiah’s arrival, purple symbolises royalty, repentance, fasting and preparation. Today’s gospel speaks to us of the importance of a change of heart, a turning away from sin and an embracing in love and faith of our baptism, an early description of the sacrament is vitae spiritualis ianua meaning “the door to the spiritual life”. To be a Christian is to be grafted onto Christ and hence drawn into the very dynamics of the inner life of God. (Bishop Barron)

On this Sunday the liturgy presents to us the Gospel passage in which St Luke prepares the scene on which Jesus is about to enter and begin his public ministry. The Evangelist focuses the spotlight on to John the Baptist, who was the Precursor of the Messiah, and with great precision outlines the space-time co-ordinates of his preaching. The Evangelist evidently wanted to warn those who read or hear about it that the Gospel is not a legend but the account of a true story, that Jesus of Nazareth is a historical figure who fits into that precise context. After this ample historical introduction, the subject becomes “the word of God”, presented as a power that comes down from Heaven and settles upon John the Baptist. (Pope Benedict XVI)

Christmas Carols at Haunton: Tuesday 21st December starting at 7pm in the village, 7:30pm in SS. Michael and James Church. CHRISTINGLE at Haunton, Gaudete Sunday, 12th December, 9am.

Christmas Mass times: Christmas Eve, 6pm: Woodlane,  / 8pm: Haunton, Christmas Day, Barton: 10am. New Years Eve: 31st Dec., Woodlane, 11:30pm (Midnight Mass).  1st Jan. 22: Barton: 12noon

Prayer intentions for December: Pope Francis has asked us to pray for catechists who are summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our Catholic Church and a recognition of the urgency of sharing the Gospel of Jesus with others. For migrants who lost their lives in the English Channel last week and their families who grieve their loss. May we continue to be a people for life, remembering the sick, the incapacitated and the dying, and our little unborn brothers and sisters in the womb (At 18 – 20 days the foundations of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are laid (Mitchell, B and Sharma, R., Embryology, New York: Churchill Livingstone, Dec. 2004, p.4) At least at 23 days the heart begins to beat, ultrasound results, O’Rahilly, R. and Muller,F.). We pray for our young people: may they be protected from harm. We pray for the Rachel’s Vineyard charity: healing the trauma of abortion, contact in confidence: Midlands area: Rachel: 07734059080, We pray that our parishes shall become Eucharistic hearted and missionary, always proclaiming the Gospel of Life. We pray for a deeper love of Christ’s real presence in the Blessed Sacrament in our chapels  Every Blessing to you and your family on this Second Sunday of Advent and for the forthcoming week!  fr eamonn

Prayer for the Vision of the Archdiocese of Birmingham: Come Holy Spirit into my life to guide me. Strengthen and defend me, so that I may be drawn ever closer to you. Help me this day and always to be a channel of grace in all I say and do and invite others into relationship with you. Amen

LIFE (website: Thank you for the Baby welcome packs to our Church porches.  These are collected regularly by Ann Ward 07732483530, our local representative. Items are needed for the LIFE shop. There are many opportunities to become ambassadors for the Gospel of Life, please see:, and

Mince pies and alcoholic free mulled wine after Sunday Mass, next week, 12th December, Barton, 11am.

Monthly film night: A Christmas Carol based on the classic book by Charles Dickens, Our Lady’s Church Hall, Barton, Monday 13th December, 7:15pm. Christmas appeal 2021 has been a great success with over seventy boxes dispatched to countries across Eastern Europe.

Following our Alpha programme the parish are holding two more  Asking in Advent sessions in the Haunton Church Hall, 1:30pm to 3pm: Thursdays: 9th and 16th December.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament before weekday Masses at Our Lady’s, Barton (Church open all week, 8:30am-7pm), St Francis de Sales, Woodlane, Monday before Mass and Thursday after Mass and SS. Michael and James, Haunton: Friday: 10am to 11am.

JOURNEYING TOGETHER by Communion, Participation and Mission, synod 2021-2023

In the Advent Sower Archbishop Bernard has encouraged us to listen to each other’s prayerful thoughts on ways to enhance  growth in our parish and our Church. Please write (box in porches) or share your thoughts on how we, together can be more faithful to the mission given to us by Jesus Christ and more readily working together as disciples building communities of faith.   

Please return A.P.F Red Boxes to Our Lady’s, many thanks to Tony Trueman  A.P.F. secretary

The Church porch at Barton continues to be a collection point for food items for the YMCA food bank in Burton and the LIFE charity in the entrance areas at Barton, Woodlane and Haunton , your generosity to date is greatly appreciated.  


On behalf of the parishes thank you for your regular giving  Gift Aided donations and generous gifts. thank you for the donations and support to many charities including Aid to the Church in Need, Friends of the Holy Land, LIFE, teams4u, St Giles Hospice and Mary’s Meals. Second Collection today: Poor Parishes Fund. Fr Eamonn

A call to prayer from Archbishop Bernard:

I invite you to pray the vision prayer with me and to make a pledge: to pray for our archdiocese, asking the Holy Spirit to guide us forward and to make our faith fruitful in good works. So let us pray together:

Spirit of God, descend on me this day. Grant me the Spirit of joy, to lift me, the Spirit of hope to inspire me, the Spirit of love to surround me and the Spirit of truth to enlighten my path. Holy Spirit, I pray for a new outpouring of your grace, so that I may grow in worship of your name in love of you in my prayer and in my actions towards others. Come Holy Spirit into my life to guide me. Strengthen and defend me, so that I may be drawn ever closer to you. Help me this day and always to be a channel of grace in all I say and do and invite others into relationship with you.  Amen

Yours devotedly in Christ, Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham


     Prayer for our times: We believe that it is you who guides the course of human history and that your love can change our destiny for the better, whatever our human condition may be. This is why we entrust the sick and their families to you: for the paschal Mystery of your Son gives salvation and relief to their body and spirit.

     Help each member of society do their job by strengthening the spirit of mutual solidarity. Support doctors and health workers, educators and social workers in the performance of their duties.

     You who are comfort in fatigue and support in weakness, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the holy doctors and healers, keep all evil away from us.

      Free us from the epidemic that is affecting us so that we can calmly resume our usual occupations and praise you and thank you with a heart renewed.

      We trust you and address our plea to you, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Lady of Perpetual help prayer: Mother of Perpetual Help, with the greatest confidence we come before you to be inspired by the example of your life. We think of you at that moment when, full of faith and trust, you accepted God’s call to be the mother of His Son. Help us, your children, to accept with joy our own calling in life. When you learned that your cousin Elizabeth was in need you immediately went to serve her and offer your help. Help us, like you, to be concerned for others. We think of you, Mother, at the foot of the cross. Your heart must have bled to see your Son in agony. But your joy was great when he rose from the dead, victorious over the powers of evil. Mother of Sorrows, help us through the trials and disappointments of life. Help us not to lose heart. May we share with you and your Son the joy of having courageously faced up to all the challenges of life. Amen. 

Last year (8th December 2020) Pope Francis announced a “Special Year of St Joseph” marking 150 years since a decree Quemadmodum Deus ((As God,) opening words below) declared St Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church:  As God appointed Joseph, son of the patriarch Jacob, over all the land of Egypt to store up corn for the people, so, when the fullness of time was come, and He was about to send to earth His only-begotten Son, the Saviour of the world, He chose another Joseph, of whom the first had been the type, and made him lord and ruler of His household and possessions, the Guardian of  His greatest treasures.

‘The Gospel does not tell us how long Mary, Joseph and the child remained in Egypt. Yet they certainly needed to eat, to find a home and employment. It does not take much imagination to fill in those details. The Holy Family had to face concrete problems like every other family, like so many of our migrant brothers and sisters who, today too, risk their lives to escape misfortune and hunger. In this regard, I consider Saint Joseph the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty. Joseph found happiness not in mere self-sacrifice but in self-gift. In him, we never see frustration but only trust. His patient silence was the prelude to concrete expressions of trust. Our world today needs fathers. It has no use for tyrants who would domineer others as a means of compensating for their own needs. It rejects those those who confuse authority with authoritarianism, service with servility, discussion with oppression, charity with a welfare mentality, power with destruction. Every true vocation is born of the gift of oneself, which is the fruit of mature sacrifice. ‘Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.’ Patris Corde – Pope Francis

St Joseph an accepting father: ‘Joseph accepted Mary unconditionally. He trusted in the angel’s words. “The nobility of Joseph’s heart is such that what he learned from the law he made dependent on charity. Today, in our world where psychological, verbal and physical violence towards women is so evident, Joseph appears as the figure of a respective and sensitive man. Even though he does not understand the bigger picture, he makes a decision to protect Mary’s good name, her dignity and her life. In his hesitation about how best to act, God helped him by enlightening his judgement.” Homily at Mass and Beatifications, Villavicencio, Colombia (8th September 2017); AAS 109 (2017), 1061.  Often in life, things happen whose meaning we do not understand. Our first reaction is frequently one of disappointment and rebellion. Joseph set aside his own ideas in order to accept the course of events and, mysterious as they seemed, to embrace them, take responsibility for them and make them part of his own history. Patris Corde – Pope Francis

‘An aspect of Saint Joseph that has been emphasised from the time of the first social Encyclical, Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, is his relation to work. Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labour. Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation, an opportunity to hasten the coming of the kingdom, to develop our talents and abilities, and to put them at the service of society and fraternal communion. It becomes an opportunity for the fulfilment not only of oneself, but also of that primary cell of society which is the family. A family without work is particularly vulnerable to difficulties. The loss of employment that affects so many of our brothers and sisters, and has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, should serve as a summons to review our priorities. How can we speak of human dignity without working to ensure that everyone is able to earn a decent living?’ Patris Corde – Pope Francis

Year of St Joseph, an accepting father: ‘The spiritual path that Joseph traces for us is not one that explains, but accepts. Joseph is certainly not passively resigned, but courageously and firmly proactive. In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all contradictions, frustrations and disappointments. Just as God told Joseph: “Son of David, do not be afraid!” (Mt 1:20), so he seems to tell us: “Do not be afraid!” We need to set aside all anger and disappointment, and to embrace the way things are, even when they do not turn out as we wish. Not with mere resignation but with hope and courage. In this way, we become open to a deeper meaning. Our lives can be miraculously reborn if we find the courage to live them in accordance with the Gospel.  It does not matter if everything seems to have gone wrong or some things can no longer be fixed. God can make flowers spring up from stony ground. Even if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20). Patris Cordis – Pope Francis

Clergy Training Fund CTF (previously known as the Priests Training Fund) We all need priests, shepherds after the heart of Jesus to heal, feed and forgive us (John 20:22) in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our 21st century fragile world needs this ministry of Jesus as much as ever. The Lord is still calling men young and not so young to serve in this sacred office, a ministry instituted on Holy Thursday night (Mk. 14: 22-26, Lk. 22: 14-20, Mtt. 26:26-30, 1 Cor. 11: 23-25). Such a demanding calling requires considerable prayer, discernment and training. Our nearest seminary is the Diocesan and national college of St Mary’s, New Oscott, Sutton Coldfield. A local Burton man, Fr Alex Taylor ordained September last year spent some of his Diaconate year with us at Woodlane, Barton and Haunton reflected on his time of priesthood preparation at St Mary’s college: “It has been a real joy to train with so many different people and become comfortable in myself that this is what God calls me to do, not for me, but for God and others.”  The CTF exists primarily to support our seminarians – men in formation to be our future priests of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The CTF also supports the permanent diaconate for our diocese – providing for the training of men who serve as deacons in our parishes. There are also men in the seminaries in Valladolid (Spain) and in Rome. In seminary, men are formed to be more like Jesus, the Good Shepherd, in order to bring Jesus to us in the sacraments and through their service. There are four aspects of seminary formation: Intellectual, Spiritual, Human and Pastoral formation.  There are financial support requirements for the students, approximately £30,000 a year to cover the seminarians college fees, living costs, essential study materials, travel and pastoral placements. Your vital giving also helps provide discernment opportunities, permanent diaconate formation, vocation promotion in our schools and parishes and ongoing formation of priests.