As the capacity of our Church continues to be limited by social distancing requirements, unfortunately this year again it will not be possible to accommodate the larger numbers wishing to attend Mass at Christmas. We urge you to carefully consider whether or not you should attend Mass this Christmas, particularly if you are in a vulnerable group. All Masses will be broadcast live via webcam , and we encourage you to participate online. There will be 2 Vigil Masses this year on Christmas eve 5pm & 8pm but please be aware that these Masses are subject to change due to the current situation. Please be advised that after St Agnes’ reaches its (180) seating capacity at these Masses the doors will unfortunately be closed. Thank you in advance for your understanding and co-operation on these matters.
Christmas Mass times 2021 at St Agnes’
Christmas Eve Masses: 10am, 5pm & 8pm
Christmas Day Masses: 9.30am & 12 Noon
Sunday 26th December: 9.30am and 12.30pm
PENITENTIAL SERVICES AND CONFESSIONS IN OUR PASTORAL COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN CANCELLED FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS FROM THE BISHOP
Bishop Noel’s Christmas Message
…they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.” (Mt 2:9)
The Christmas Star then and now The infancy narratives in St Luke’s gospel (Lk 1:1-2:52) fascinate in so many ways. Whether child or adult, imagination is fired, life experiences are evoked, and faith is awakened or revived for many. On that first Christmas in Bethlehem many journeys of faith came together in adoration of the Christ-child. Guided by the light of a star and discerning the path to follow, shepherds and wise men encountered God incarnate in a child. Falling to their knees in worship and prayer, a new light illuminated their minds and lives. As each arrived at the manger, ‘heart spoke unto heart’ as they encountered the human face of God and the divine face of humanity. This was a graced moment of divine revelation that would change their lives forever. Today, the light of that Christmas star beams into our lives, wherever we are on our own life’s journey.
Mary and Joseph: parenting in uncertain times For their part, Mary and Joseph had already made their journey to the town of Bethlehem. It was a journey marked by hardship and hope, abandonment and promise, desperation and providence. Indeed, many of us can see aspects of our own lives mirrored in their difficult journey. Despite their fears and the uncertainty of their situation, Mary and Joseph opened their hearts to welcome this precious little infant into the world. Their humble cooperation with God’s plan of salvation led to the most graced moment of human history, when the eternal God took on human flesh. The birth of this child brought joy and new hope into the world. Still, Mary and Joseph had many more journeys to make together. They had to leave for Egypt to protect the Christchild from the threat of suffering and death. They returned to Nazareth where they made themselves a home. They accompanied the child to the temple in Jerusalem. Each journey was fraught with hardship and adversity, yet each journey was also a moment of grace.
Journeying Together in faith on a Synodal Pathway To enliven communities of faith in each diocese throughout the world, Pope Francis has invited us to undertake together a ‘synodal pathway’. On that pathway, guided by the light of divine revelation, and in response in our time to the impulse of the Holy Spirit, we are invited to contribute to shaping our communities of faith as active centers of prayer and worship and as an outreach of God’s loving care for all and especially to those in need and on the margins of life. Pope Francis describes this synodal approach as a way of living the Good News of the Gospel within the community of the Church for the good of humanity and society. As on that first Christmas morning, listening together to and reflecting upon the Word of God will enable us to focus on the reality of God’s presence among us and to incarnate our faith in prayer and pastoral action. Over this festive season, I encourage you to join our parish communities either in person or online and to pray for one another, for your families and friends. Let us continue to hold in prayer all health care workers and front-line staff as they selflessly and tirelessly continue to care for our sick throughout the Christmas season. May the blessings of the Christmas Season bring hope and joy into your hearts and homes and provide the light for your pathway throughout the New Year 2022. +Noel Treanor Bishop of Down and Connor
LIVE STREAMING The Obligation to attend mass remains suspended Please consider joining us online as a family for the 5pm & 8pm Vigil’s Website www.stagnesbelfast.com
COLLECTION The weekly collection for the 19th December amounted to £1650.00 Thank you for your contribution. You can make your envelope contribution via the donate button on the Parish website home page as well.
RECORDINGS Please note, all funerals will be recorded. Please tell us if you do not want your loved one’s funeral recorded.
COVID 19 We wish to remind you that masks are still mandatory when entering and leaving the church and we would strongly advise and encourage that for your own safety you adhere to this and to social distancing. Thank you.
PRAYER INTENTIONS: We extend our sympathies to the families of those who died recently and those whose month’s mind and anniversary occur at this time.
CHRISTMAS DAY 9.30am & 12 Noon : PRIEST’S OWN INTENTIONS
ST STEPHENS DAY 9.30am:Priest’s intention
12.30pm:Rita & Jack Mc Kee, Amelia Mc Cann
Mon 27th Dec: 10am:Priests’ intention
Tue 28th Dec: 10am: MASS FOR THE HOLY INNOCENTS
Wed 29th Dec: 10am: Priest’s intention
Thurs 30th Dec:10am: Priest’s intention
Fri 31st Dec: 10am:Brendan Mc Callum, Mary Jane O’ Malley
Sat 1st Jan: 1pm: Robert ( Bobby) Rooney
6.30pm: (Months Mind ) Larry Gribbin
Sun 2nd Jan: 9.30am: Priest’s intention
12.30pm: Thomas Gallagher
Mon 3rd Jan: 10am: Priest’s intention
Tuesday 4th Jan: No Mass
Wed 5th Jan:10am:Priest’s intention
6.30pm: Priest’s intention
Thursday 6th Jan: 10am:Kathleen Teeney
(Feast Of The Epiphany )
In the event of a funeral, the assigned intention will be offered privately by the priest at his first available mass.
Those whose anniversaries occur at this time: Neilly Small , Mary-Ann Small, Martin Walsh, Maura Mc Cartan, Grace Kemp, Colin Canning, Anne Mc Manus, James Ginley, Alfie Love, Margaret & William Burgoyne & family, Gerry Mc Allister, Peter Tohill, Martin Morgan
Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord!
FR THOMAS AND STAFF WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CHRISTMAS JOY AND PEACE AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR