From 22 November 2023 to 22 January 2024, donations made to Mary’s Meals will be doubled by a group of generous supporters, up to £1 million.
This means your kindness will go even further at this critical time. In a world devastated by conflict, food insecurity and the cost of living crisis, bringing new hope to desperately hungry children with our life-changing school meals has never been more important.
It costs just £19.15 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals every day for a school year. And this winter, a donation of £19.15 will feed two children.
Thank you for helping us to reach more than 2.4 million children around the world with Mary’s Meals every school day, so that they can achieve their ambitions and look towards a brighter future.
Together, through Double The Love, we can transform the lives of many more desperately hungry children waiting for Mary’s Meals.
Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (from, “ad-venire” in Latin or “to come to”) is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas. The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and to the anniversary of Our Lord’s birth on Christmas. From the earliest days of the Church, people have been fascinated by Jesus’ promise to come back. But the scripture readings during Advent tell us not to waste our time with predictions. Advent is not about speculation. Our Advent readings call us to be alert and ready, not weighted down and distracted by the cares of this world (Lk 21:34-36). Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our readings are taken from year B, centring on St Mark’s Gospel. Our weekday readings are from Year 2. Have a wonderful season of joy and expectancy.
We are invited to go without a meal and donate the proceeds to CAFOD. God created a world of abundance with enough food for everyone, but we have turned it into a world of want. Each and every night, one in eight people goes to bed hungry due to lack of food. So, let’s hunger for a fairer world by supporting Fast Day and donating what we save.
This Lent, your donations to CAFOD’s Family Fast Day Appeal will help families fighting the climate crisis and ensure that our Church network can quickly respond to emergencies, like the recent earthquake in Syria and Turkey. Please pray for CAFOD’s development and emergency response work all over the world.
Preparing to receive Reconciliation and the Eucharist for the first time can be one of the most memorable experiences parents share with their children in the Church. It is an important annual celebration in the life of our Parish community.
Prior to enrolling on the First Communion programme, it is important that the family attend Mass each Sunday so that the child understands the Mass and experiences the presence of Christ in the liturgy. As with any deep friendship, it is important that we truly know and encounter a person, not simply know about them through our taught sessions. Coming to Mass each week is as important and necessary as our teaching sessions. Parents/Guardians/Godparents took on a role at their child’s baptism to bring them up the practise of the Faith and that role extends into the preparation for your child’s First Holy Communion alongside your Parish Priest and our team of catechists from both parishes.
Families who regularly come to Mass at Saint Mary’s and Saint Patrick’s Church are invited to enrol their children for the parish preparation for Reconciliation/Eucharist when they are in Year 3 or above.
Before they can receive their First Holy Communion children must be:
baptised (a certificate is required),
capable of understanding the fact that they are receiving, not ordinary food, but the Body and Blood of Christ,
and ready to receive the Sacrament with reverence.
St Mary’s & St Patrick’s First Holy Communion Preparation 2024
This year we are once again running a joint St Patrick’s/ St Mary’s programme of preparation as Churches in Communion for Mission within the Parishes.
Registering your child for First Holy Communion in 2024
When registering their child for First Holy Communion parents are making a commitment to:
Participate in parent preparation sessions.
Participate in Saturday Vigil/Sunday each week in our Parishes.
Support their child’s participation in the First Holy Communion classes.
Parents wishing to register their child to receive First Holy Communion in 2024 are invited to sign up using the form below. Parents who are not registered members of St Marys or St Patricks parishes will be invited to register as members of their parish as a condition for their child attending the preparation programme and receiving First Holy Communion. The date of the First Holy Communion will be set after registration and the venue and dates of the preparation classes will be announced.