First Sunday of Advent 1st December 2019
A few years ago Pope Francis issued a plea to all of us to engage in saving “our common home”. He puts this responsibility at the very heart of being Christian. He asks that in all our consumer choices we consider “what kind of world we want to leave to children who are now growing up”.
Season of Advent – 1st to 24th December 2019
In preparation for Christmas, the St Columba’s Church will open late on three Friday nights during Advent (6th, 13th and 20th) from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm. During this time there will be an opportunity for Confession and prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The Annual Carol Service will take place in the Church at 6.00 pm on Sunday, 22nd December. The Long Tower Folk group, Childrens Choir and Long Tower Choir will lead the carols. We invite children to bring presents of new unwrapped toys and adults to donate sweets, biscuits, vouchers or cash (no other foodstuffs). St Vincent de Paul Society will distribute the gifts.
Annual Solemn Novena in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Nine Sundays before Christmas in Long Tower Church at 6.00pm. The theme of the Novena is; ‘As we seek Mary’s help in caring for our common home, this planet earth’. Each night will comprise of the Rosary, Novena prayer and petitions, a talk given by various guest speakers & ceremony of healing with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. This Sunday 1st December our speaker is Dr Eamon Doohan. Dr Eamon is a GP from Oakleaf Medical Centre in Derry. A native of Co. Clare, he has worked in the city for over twenty years. He is married to Eileen and they have five children. He has been heavily involved in the Pro Life Movement and in these last number of years he has launched the parish initiative: “The Big Invite” which involves the lay faithful visiting homes throughout parishes to invite people back to Mass. We welcome him to the Long Tower as we continue our Novena in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We encourage everybody, including those in particular need of healing in their lives, to come along. The Novena can also be a way of spiritually preparing to celebrate the feast of Christmas and a source of blessing on our parish, our families and all those whom we love.
The Novena Collection will be taken up at Masses this weekend the 30th November/ 1st December. Thank you for your support.
LAST WEEK’S ENVELOPE COLLECTION AMOUNTED TO £2285.00
LAST WEEK’S RENOVATION COLLECTION AMOUNTED TO £605.00
Christmas Mass Bouquets are now available from the Parish Office or the Sacristy
Long Tower Christmas Cards are now available from Parish Office or the Sacristy. Cost is £4.00 for a packet of 12 cards each containing 4 different images from stained glass windows in Long Tower Church.
Anniversary & Month’s Mind Masses
Mass will be offered for the following people on the occasion of an Anniversary or Month’s Mind. We remember them, their family and loved ones in our prayers.
Sunday 1st December 12.00noon Lorraine Moran
Monday 2nd December 7.30pm James & Florence Divin
Tuesday 3rd December 7.30pm Marion Hutchings
Wednesday 4th December 7.30pm Eileen Holmes
Thursday 5th December 7.30pm Paddy McCallion
Saturday 7th December 6.00pm Brigid Mullan
Rest In Peace: We extend our sincere sympathy to the family and friends of; Eileen Arbuckle- Harding Street, Michael Griffiths – Mountjoy Street & Peggy O’Donnell- 2 Elmwood Street.
Baptisms: We welcome: Halle McMonagle & Nórah Anderson.
Latin Mass will be celebrated in the Long Tower this Sunday 1st December at 2.00pm. Everyone is welcome.
“God continues to speak today as He spoke in former times to our fathers when there were no directors as at present, nor any regular method of direction. Then all spirituality was comprised in fidelity to the designs of God.”
Fidelity is a word that seems to have lost some of its presence in recent times. It feels a gentle and pure word but also carries powerful undercurrents of strength and honour. Its meaning, ‘the unfailing fulfilment of one’s obligations and strict adherence to vows or promises,’ serves as a template for our lives. This ancient bond to our Father and each other interconnects our unconditional love and faith in the vows and promises made in our hearts – from birth to eternity. It seems some of our biggest challenges today are trying to stay connected to the simplicity of former times – feeling the presence of God in every moment – and not always waiting for others to remind us of our natural obligations to each other. In remembrance of all our spiritual and mortal sisters and brothers may we rediscover the beauty of each present moment through which He speaks to us. Reference/ further reading: The Sacrament of the Present Moment by Jean- Pierre De Caussade.
PATH MASS (Parish Action Towards Health). We invite you to our 7.30pm Mass on Monday 2nd December. At this Mass we give thanks to God for positive mental health, and to pray for those who are struggling with mental health issues, and to pray for those who care for them. During this Mass the Sacrament of the Sick will be celebrated.
The Net. The December edition of The Net is now available, Copies are available at the Sacristy. For coverage of your parish or school faith activities just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or ring/text 07809292852.
In Memory Programme
The ‘Do This In Memory’ Mass for those children who are celebrating their First Communion this year will take place on Sunday, 15th December at 12 noon
Introductory Rites-The Penitential Act: This time in the mass offers us an opportunity to prepare to receive Eucharist by reflecting on the things that we might have done during the past week for which we need forgiveness. We are reminded that God always loves us. One of the ways in which God shows this love is by always forgiving us for those times when we haven’t been as good as we might have been. There are different kinds of prayers that the priest can use at this part of the Mass. These prayers do two things. They help us to remember the times when we haven’t been as good as we might have been. More importantly they remind us of God’s love for us. Sometimes the priest may replace the Penitential act with the blessing and sprinkling of water as a reminder of our baptism.
Sisters from St Elisabeth Convent, Minsk, Belarus, will visit St Columba’s Church, Long Tower on Monday 16th of December at 7.30pm mass and on Tuesday 17th December at 10am mass. A small display of their crafts will be available to purchase in support of their various charitable projects.
The Annual SVDP Collection will be taken up at all Masses over the weekend of the 7th/8th December. Toy Appeal for St. Vincent De Paul. As a Parish we would like to help SVDP with the collection of toys for distribution within our Community. Gift tags are available for collection from the Church & Parish office. Once you purchase a gift you can leave it in the Sacristy or the Parish office (unwrapped) together with the tag. Thank you for your continuing support.
Children in Crossfire’s Annual Advent Appeal has now started. This year the campaign is fundraising to support St Luke’s Catholic Hospital where Children in Crossfire funds a therapeutic feeding unit for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Boxes are available at the back of the chapel.
Marian Devotions will take place in the Carmelite Retreat Centre Termonbacca on Tuesday 3rd December at 7.30 p.m. A half day advent retreat will take place in the Carmelite Retreat Centre Termonbacca on Sunday 8th December. Registration at 9.30am ending at 3.00pm. Cost £10.00 per person, including meals. For bookings and further details, contact 02871262512 by Wednesday 4th December. Limited number of spaces available.
St Mary’s Creggan On Tuesday 3rd December at 8pm poet, playwright and film maker Damian Gorman will speak in the community room.Damian will be joined on the night by well known local singer Anne Tracey For further information Tel 02871263152.
Trócaire- Gifts of Love. ‘If you want to help make the world a better place this Christmas, and to give a gift that shows how much you care… then please, give a Trócaire Gift of Love. Available from the Trócaire Belfast Office, online at www.trocaire.org/gifts or by Tel: 0800 912 1200. Thank you for your support’. Gift brochures are available in Church or from Parish Office.
St Marys College 60th Anniversary Gala Concert on Wednesday 11th December at 7pm, (doors open at 6.30pm). Staring past pupil Bronagh Gallagher. Tickets on sale now Child £2 Adult £4 Family (x4) £10.
Thornhill Ministries, 121 Culmore Road, Derry: Crib Festival: Fri 29 Nov – Sun 1 Dec (10:30 am to 6:00 pm) Hundreds of nativities from all over the world and many local cribs create a wonderful display of the Christmas Story. Advent: Wed 4, 11 & 18 Dec Reflection Mornings (9:30 am to 12:00 pm). Includes Mass and light lunch. Meditation Hour (6:30 to 7:00 pm). Décor Workshops: Tues 10 (7:30 pm) (Christmas Wreath) /Thu 19 Dec (7:30 pm) (Table Centrepiece). Please contact us for more information. Contact 028 7135 1233 or email@example.com.
Matt Talbot Freedom from Drugs Mass & Relic of Matt Talbot: The next Mass will take place on Monday 2nd December at 7:30pm in St Eugene’s Cathedral.
SPUC (The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) will hold an Information Evening on Tuesday 3 December at 7.30pm, in the Drummond Hotel, Ballykelly, on the steps pro-life promoters can take regarding the unjust imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland, focussing on the Government’s consultation process. Light refreshments served. All welcome. For further information tel 028 9077 8018 or 07730330028.”
I AM Worship invites you to their 2019 Christmas concert ‘A Starry Night’. Promises to be a sacred and intimate night of musical celebration. Sunday 1st and Sunday 8th December, Christ Church Infirmary Rd, Derry. Tickets £15. Available from Veritas, Shipquay Street and online at ticketsource.co.uk/IAM (Seating is limited, so book early)
Bunscoil Cholmcille, Steelstown Road would like to invite you to their Open Evening and Christmas Fair on Wednesday 4th December, 4.30pm – 7.00pm. (Welcome talk at 4.30 pm for prospective Naiscoil and Rang 1 parents. Everyone is welcome, please come along and have a great time.
Knock Shrine: The 49th Annual Public All Night Eucharistic Pro- Life Vigil will take place on 7th /8th December, Saturday Midnight to Sunday Morning. For further details please contact Knock Shrine Office on (00353)-0949388100
This year, the Priory Institute, Tallaght, offers an online retreat based on the ‘O Antiphons’ of Advent. A team of presenters will guide participants through a series of reflections on these great ‘O Antiphons’ during the second part of Advent from 17th – 23rd December. This retreat will be offered entirely online with one reflection per day beginning with an introduction on 16th December and ending on Christmas Day. To register, please contact 0035314048124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Be Still Book – Derry’s Women of Hope are delighted to announce that they have published their second collection of Prayers and Thoughts. All money raised from 2 Be Still will be donated to the Foyle Hospice. The book is priced at £7 and available from Veritas, the Millennium Forum, the Foyle Hospice, (including all their shops), and Eason, Foyleside. Perfect Christmas present.
Share Your Memories of St Columb’s Hall. St Columb’s Hall is being reawakened. Play your part and help record your memories of this special building. Join us at St Columb’s Hall on Sat 7th Dec from 11am for a tea or coffee and a chance to share your memories of the hall. saintcolumbshall.com
9 Days of Adoration and Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, For Faith & Life: The UK Government has legislated for abortion up to 7 months pregnancy for any reason in N Ireland. Join us in 9 days of continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament & Novena for this intention. St. James Church, 463 Shore Road, Whiteabbey, BT37 0AE. Opening Mass 7:30pm 3rd December. Concluding Mass 7:30 pm 12th December, Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Patroness of the Unborn. As an expression of our unity as church, we invite the priests and laity to come together from the different parts of Northern Ireland and beyond, to pray with us, in these difficult times. Adorers Urgently Needed: call or text: 07766663310 / 07809615291/ ROI. 0035387 0962278.
Anam Cara Donegal, the organisation that supports bereaved parents, is holding a Parent Evening on 12th December at 7:20pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. This event is free and open to all bereaved parents regardless of the age your child died, the circumstances of their death, or whether their death was recent or not.