Please see the Church Bulletin and Porch notice boards
for further notices of events and dedications in our parish.

PENITENTIAL SERVICE: in preparation for Christmas there will be a Penitential
Service at St. Michael’s Church on Monday, 17th December at 7.00pm.

CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES: Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve at 6.00pm and Mass on Christmas Morning at 10.00am.

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: (Confession) is available after Mass on
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and at other times by appointment.

Exposition & Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament this week or over the Christmas
period. The start date in January will be given in the bulletin.

SCRIPTURE CLASS: there will be no Scripture class this week or over the Christmas
period. The start date in January will be given in the bulletin.

STEWING STEAK & SOCKS: once again we are collecting for the homeless. Donations can be left in the boxes in the church porch this weekend (15th/16th December). Thank you for your support!

St. Michael’s Cleaning - Group 1 P Gardiner &M McGowan, C Rennie & M Keniry

THANK YOU: Terry Middlemas and family would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, prayers, flowers and cards in their recent sad bereavement. It was so very much appreciated.

FLAME: the National Catholic Youth Congress, takes place at Wembley Arena on
2nd March 2019. Booking forms are out this month in partnerships and secondary schools and it is hoped that coaches will leave from pick-up points in every area. The cost will be £40 per person which includes coach travel and Wembley ticket.
Further information from YMT on 01207 592244 or


Our Lady Queen of Peace RC Primary School, Penshaw
St Anne’s RC Catholic School, Gateshead
St Bede’s RC Primary School, Washington
St John Boste RC Primary School, Washington
St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Washington
St Michael’s RC Primary School, Houghton-le-Spring
St Robert of Newminster Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Washington

For some time now, the Governing Bodies of each school mentioned above have been exploring the possibility of converting to academy status, as we believe our successful approach to partnership working can be furthered by joining a local Multi Academy Trust (MAT). Therefore, having carefully considered a range of options, each Governing Body has decided to consult simultaneously, with their parents, carers, staff and other stakeholders, on whether each school should become an academy and join the MAT originally formed by Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Gateshead:
The Trinity Catholic Multi Academy Trust. Many of you will already know that Cardinal Hume Catholic School is a highly successful, outstanding school in Gateshead. We are therefore commencing formal consultation from Monday,26th November 2018, for a period of four school weeks. Consultation will therefore end at 3pm on Friday, 21st December 2018. Further information and response forms are available at the back of each church.

Daily Prayer This Week
The third week of Advent this year is especially full because it is essentially the last week of Advent. In these familiar readings is an invitation to us to ask again for help, perhaps especially in dealing with our fears. In many of this week's gospels an angel, a messenger from God, reassures these holy but very human members of Jesus' family over and over: “Do not be afraid.”
Fear can stop us from asking God for the very help we need in our lives. In the midst of what our culture tells us should be a picture-perfect holiday season, we can step back and get in touch with our fears and ask God to help us deal with the relationships we are afraid of, the family tensions that make us apprehensive and the stress that can take us out of the spirit of Advent reflection.
If we pause for just a minute, we can feel in our hearts that Jesus is saying gently to us each day: “Do not be afraid.” These very busy days can still be a time for us to focus our desires, perhaps each morning at the side of our bed, while in the shower or while going about our daily errands. We can ask God to remind us again that what we are doing in our daily lives is touched by the sacred because God is present in even the most mundane tasks.
“Lord, let me place my trust in you. I get so independent and think I need to fix everything myself. Let me remember not to be afraid of so much and to ask you for the healing that my heart needs so badly.
Give me the patience this week to deal with the relationships in my life that need mending and the forgiveness that I can give others and that I need so badly myself. Be with me through the darkness so that I can see the light that you bring to us and the joy with which you want to fill our hearts.”
We are moving toward the end of our Advent journey. Even if we don't feel like we have “started” on Advent yet, we can begin today. We are being invited: “Do not be afraid!”