The church is open all day from dawn till dusk. Tea and coffee are served after the 10.00 a.m. Mass on Sunday.
You’ve got mail: It happened. If you were a postman, exactly how many ‘Mary’s’ engaged to a ‘Joseph’ could there be in a small town (pop 150)? So, just before your brain switches off at the over-familiar words ‘The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee,’ think again. This is real. As real as it became for Mary giving birth, a teenage girl in a smelly stable – probably the most dangerous experience for women of her time. We can think of the many solid reasons that Mary could give for saying to the angel, we know them and we’ve used them: not the right time – it’s inconvenient, not the right place, too busy, too young, not the right husband/wife/family, get someone else to do it. It seems that when you want to say ‘no’ any excuse will do. And yet, she says, ‘Yes, here I am… let it be.’ Her happiness was found in believing, not in Christmas bingeing. Chastening to remember that, apart from shepherds and itinerant kings, everyone missed out that first Christmas – not because of evil acts or malice. No, they missed it because they were not looking for Him. Little has changed in the last 2,000 years, has it?

The Big Clean-up! At last we have a floor for Christmas. It was finished off on Friday. But the church is in a sorry state, dust everywhere after all the sawing, drilling etc. Every single item in the church is covered with it. Could I suggest Monday morning for a ‘Spring Clean’? Please bring along any old rags etc. Water will be provided and maybe even tea/coffee!

Christmas Decorating: We invite especially all our younger parishioners to come along on Thursday morning at around 10.00 a.m. to help with the decorating of the church for Christmas and to help to put up the Christmas Tree. There’ll be goodies and music and carol singing etc. Bring your parents and grandparents!

“We Three Kings.” It appears that a local man, an expert on
Biblical history, has completed years of research into the wording of the bible, going back to the earliest writings and paying particular attention to the use of capital letters and punctuation marks. He insists he has discovered that the Three Wise Kings did not come from the Orient but, in fact, from Yorkshire. He bases his belief on his opinion that the part of the bible which tells us that ‘They came from the east, riding on camels’ should read, ‘they came from the East Riding, on camels.’ (Peter Watts)

Baby Clothes needed: For a baby up to six months, daughter of an Iranian refugee living on £20 a week. Contact Norah Hanson on 802814 if you can help in any way.

Aromatherapy and/or Creative Writing: A ten week course at the Endsleigh Centre in the new year. Norah ran a taster day recently and there was quite an uptake. There is a poster in the porch or just contact Norah on 802814.

More Yorkshire History: Peter Watts writes again – “Some bright spark has suggested that President Mugabe’s ancestors must have come from Yorkshire, because if you pronounce his name backwards, it’s “E ba gum.”

Birthday Boy: University student Ian, who often reads for us, celebrated his 21st Birthday on Monday. His parents, brother and sister were in the congregation last Sunday but were under strict instructions to say nothing! Are you here this morning, Ian?

Parish Prayer Circle: Mike and Barbara Avery got the most beautiful Christmas card from a Mr. Pavel Urban, in Lubochna, Slovakia, saying “We wish you the blessed Christmas and happy New Year from Pavel and all my family. Thank you for all your prayers.” Isn’t that lovely?

Rest in Peace: Rodolfo Mettler, a very dear friend of Barbara and Mike Avery whom we have been praying for these past few weeks, passed away on Thursday in Argentina and was buried on Friday. His wife Elena has been a penfriend of Barbara’s since just after the war. Mike and Barbara visited them for three months in 1995/6 and again in 2000/1. Rodolfo and Elena visited Cottingham briefly in 1998. We extend our sympathy to Elena and to their three children and four grandchildren. They have always kept in touch with Holy Cross through the parish website. By the way, in case you think that the NHS is bad, Rodolfo’s family had to find 16 blood donors themselves to help with his treatment!

Generator Fund so far: Dermot tells me that between 27th June and 12th December you raised the tremendous sum of £6,516.83. That works out at about £1,000 a month. Incredible! Thanks ever so much for your generosity at what is not usually a very ‘flush’time of the year! We’re nearly there!

CWL Zoe’s Place Appeal: Elizabeth writes: “The parish Catholic Women’s League Section thanks you very much for your most generous support. You gave an amazing £916.95.”

CWL Christmas Social: What fun we had last Monday! Terri Riddiough set her usual ‘fun’ quizzes. The one on the hymns was a cracker! The food was delicious, the ‘craic’ great and thank God there was another man there, Ray Parker! It can be a bit lonely surrounded by thirty gorgeous girls……..!

Christmas Cards – the big debate: Someone who says that Christmas cards remind others that you are still alive brings to mind the Rev Helen Donson, who some years ago won a national competition for the worst Christmas card rhyme. It ran: “Happy Christmas, one year on; nil response will mean you’ve gone.”

Marguerite writes: “Dear Fr. Pat, if it’s convenient, could you ask if anyone knows someone in Newcastle with a room to let, around £60 per week. My daughter Claire is on placement for 15 weeks from January 5th at The Royal Victoria Infirmary. I have tried the hospital, the university, the Cathedral and the chaplaincy, but nothing yet. She was only told last weekend that she was going there.”

Hull Service of Reconciliation at St. Charles’: Monday evening starting at 7.00 p.m.

Carol Service at St. Mary’s in the village: Tonight, Sunday at 6.30 p.m. What a lovely setting for it! It might even snow!

Parish Dinner: The date has been confirmed for Friday May 12th at the Endsleigh Centre. Back by popular demand! Places will be limited due to space so when we announce it, don’t hesitate!

At a school nativity play, three young children were cast as kings. Presenting their gifts at the stable, the first said, “Gold”, the second “Myrrh”, and the third, “And Frank sent this”.

Christmas Mass Times: On Christmas Eve there will be Mass in the morning at 10.00 a.m. There will be Carols at 11.30 p.m. and this will be followed by Midnight Mass (at midnight!). On Christmas Morning Mass will be at 10.00 a.m. And on Monday, the Feast of St. Stephen, Mass will be at 10.00 a.m.

The Hull Indian Community: There will be confessions in Malayalem on Friday 23rd December from 7 – 8 p.m. and on Saturday 24th from 11.30 – 12.30 p.m. There will also be a Mass and Retreat in the Syro-Malabar Rite on 26/27 and 28th December from 7 – 9 p.m. All this will be at St. Wilfrid’s on The Boulevard and the priest is Fr. Matthew Thekkel. For more information contact Fr. William Massie on 351012 or check the website at

There will be a Polish Mass and Confessions today, Sunday, also at St. Wilfrid’s at 5.00 p.m. The contact is Paul and his telephone number is 07845 138680.

Birthdays: Simon Haswell celebrates his 14th Birthday today and LOUISA WRIGHT celebrates her 5th Birthday tomorrow (with the party today!). The big writing is so that she can read it! Simon is one of our most loyal altar-servers. Congratulations to you both from everyone at Holy Cross.

Prayers for the Sick: Teresa is home, came back on Thursday, but has to look after herself (or actually Les has to !). She’s a bit delicate (Les’s words) and has a lot of pills to take but with care and prayer she should be all right. Please also keep in your prayers Jo Rawcliffe’s mother, quite ill over at home in Ireland, Hugh Lundberg’s father who had an operation last week, and Peter Price, Margaret’s husband, who is back in hospital after another stroke recently.

Marian’s mother was buried on Monday from St. Mary’s Church in Creggan in Derry. Fr. Tony is there this weekend for the christening of Marian’s niece who has come over from Australia. Marian will be staying at home over Christmas and if you’d like to speak to her, her telephone number is 02871 – 265937.

The New Floor: Well, the first part is done and hopefully dusted on Monday at the Big Clean! The rest of the floor will be taken up sometime after Christmas and replaced. The cost so far? £5,710 plus Vat. Interesting that Fr. Tony said during the week that when the Priory Room was being planned the architect said that he should knock down the church totally and rebuild it. A bit drastic maybe!

Thank God for The Garden Room: What would we have done without it these past couple of weeks? The Priory Room has been storing all the church furniture. The house would have been too small for the daily Masses. On Tuesday evening at Mass we had fourteen women and fourteen men! And who says that the church is for women only? Thank you for putting up with all the hassle. At least we’re home for Christmas (even if the church does resemble a stable!).

Stamps: Please take the time to remove them from your envelopes and bring them along to church. Michelle converts them into money!

Generator Fund: Another gift of £50 was given to me by a ‘parishioner and his wife’ this week. Thank you very much from all in Star of the Sea Parish, Sierra Leone.

Holy Cross Cook Book: The first run has been a sell-out! There just may be one or two floating about this weekend but don’t despair, there’ll be a new run after Christmas! Can I once again thank John Stephenson for all his hard work in the printing and binding of it. It’s taken a lot of his time. Thanks John!

Auction of Promises Evening: Friday March 31st. It seems a long way off but it’ll be upon us in no time. We need to have some idea of the Promises you’re offering. There is a box in the porch for them. Rosaria has already promised to cook an “Italian Meal for Six”. That’s just one idea, there must be many more. A few hour’s gardening, an offer of transport, take someone to the pictures? The list is endless. So give it some thought and get your card in.

Parish Prayer Circle Intention for Friday: “Remembering the journey of Joseph and Mary, we pray for migrants and the homeless and for the work of the Hull Homeless and Rootless Project and of the Drop-in Centre at St. Charles’.”

Anniversaries this coming week:
Saturday – Sylvia Lord (Tony’s sister).
Sunday – Margaret Hope.
Monday – Molly Willoughby.
Tuesday – William Wainwright.
Wednesday – Olive Parker-Kirton (Ray’s mother), Betty Jackson (Phil’s sister-in-law), Pearl Clarke (Dave’s mother) and William Hall (Ben and Dan Palmer’s grandfather).
Thursday – Catherine Proctor (Bernard’s mother), Stefan Skolik, Leonard Park (Jean Gray’s brother) and Marjorie Tindle (Joan Horbury’s sister).
Friday – Billy Fletcher (Barbara Avery’s father) and George Stephenson (John’s brother).
Saturday – Winefride Elder (Christine Pike’s mother).
Sunday – Christmas Day – Walter Richardson and Tess Houghton (Peter’s mother).

Mass Intentions for the coming week:
Saturday – 6.30 – Bill Kemp
Sunday – 10.00 – Dominick Browne (A)
Monday – 9.00 – Hollingworth and Kemp Families
Tuesday – Angus Smith (RIP)
Wednesday – 9.00 – Betty Nicholls (B)
Thursday – 9.00 – Patrick and Margarita Downey
Friday – 9.00 – James Gardham
Saturday – 10.00 – Stan Behan (B)
Midnight Mass – Win Elder and Shirley Easto’s mother
Christmas Morning Mass – 10.00 – Joseph Mohan (RIP)

“Father, I spent an hour this morning just looking in the mirror and thinking how beautiful I am,” a woman confessed to her priest. “Will I have to do penance?” “No, you only do penance for a sin, not a mistake.”

“Fr. Tony, who felt he had lived a pretty good life, was dismayed to get to Heaven and find himself shackled to an ugly and foul-mouthed woman. Then he spotted his bishop chained to a charming beauty. He went straight to St. Peter to complain. “It’s none of your business,” he snapped. “You get on with your penance and let her get on with hers!”

Some actual headlines this past year: (Hugh Lundberg)
“Something went wrong in jet crash, expert says.”
“Iraqi head seeks arms.”
“Prostitutes appeal to Pope.”
“Miners refuse to work after death.”
“War dims hopes for peace.”
“Typhoon rips through cemetery; hundreds dead.”
“Kids make nutritious snacks.”
“Juvenile court to try shooting defendant.”

Posted by Father Pat at 12:00 AM