Monthly Archives: December 2014


O 1

Today, 17th December marks a shift in our season of Advent. No longer do we look towards Christ’s coming at the end of time, but at his coming in the flesh – his birth at Bethlehem.

For those who pray Vespers – the night prayers of the Church – the antiphon mentions many of the titles of Christ, the so-called “O” antiphons. Each antiphon, from now until Christmas Eve, starts with a title of Christ.

They are: O wisdom, O Adonai, O stock of Jesse, O key of David, O rising star, O king of nations and O Immanuel.

Interestingly, if we take the first letter of these titles, when written in Latin, they form a countdown…the letters spelt out backwards from Christmas eve spell out the words “ero cras” which means “I will exist/come tomorrow.”

The Latin tiles are O Sapientia, O Adonai, O Radix Jesse, O Clavis David, O Oriens, O Rex gentium and O Emmanuel.

The full antiphons are given here.

O 2

Gaudete Sunday – Rejoice!

Pink advent candle

Today is Gaudete Sunday. Here’s a twist on the ancient hymn of today with, the translation given below! Enjoy!

Latin English
Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!
Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
(Out) Of the Virgin Mary – rejoice!
Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.
The time of grace has come—
what we have wished for,
songs of joy
Let us give back faithfully.
Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.
God has become man,
(With) nature marveling,
The world has been renewed
By Christ (who is) reigning.
Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.
The closed gate of Ezekiel
Is passed through,
Whence the light is raised,
Salvation is found.
Ergo nostra contio
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.
Therefore let our gathering
Now sing in brightness
Let it give praise to the Lord:
Greeting to our King.

The Prince on ISIS

Bishop and Prince

The Prince of Wales has told Iraqi Christians that they “are quite literally following in the footsteps of the Holy Family” at a Mass organised by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). For the whole story, click here. Prince Charles said:

“At this most agonising of times we have to struggle not to forget that Our Lord called upon us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute. But by being with you this Christmas time I wanted to assure you of my constant thoughts and sympathy. As you know, the story of the Nativity ends with the Holy Family fleeing for refuge from persecution. You and your families are quite literally following in the footsteps of the Holy Family” HRH the Prince of Wales.

(Image, ℅ PA. Prince Charles with ArchBp Habib of Basra).

To listen to the Prince’s actual words, watch this video clip from the Royal Channel

The Royal Channel

Mary Immaculate is a “Good School”

Mary Immaculate School Logo

The report of our recent school inspection shows that Mary Immaculate is a “good school.” This means that the school has: “many strengths and no important areas requiring significant improvement”.

Well done to the whole school community!

Mary Immaculate School

Mary Immaculate School

The inspectors found the school to be good because:

The school’s current performance is good because most pupils make good progress during their time at the school and achieve good standards in learning and wellbeing and most pupils develop effective speaking and listening skills during their time at the school. For those pupils who need  extra support, and those who are learning English as an additional language, they too make very good progress. Nearly all pupils get on well together and standards of behaviour are high with  rates of attendance which are good. The school has effective arrangements to monitor pupils’ progress and the school promotes healthy living well through the curriculum and extra-curricular activities.

In addition, the school’s prospects for improvement are good as well because the headteacher provides the school with a clear sense of direction and the school has established robust monitoring systems that identify areas for improvement effectively. All members of staff know the school’s strengths and the areas for improvement, and the outcomes from the self-evaluation report inform the school improvement plan successfully. There is a strong team ethos in the school, staff members at all levels are clear about their roles and responsibilities and there are a good range of partnerships that have a positive effect on pupils’ learning and wellbeing.

For a more detailed read, the report can be viewed here:

Estyn, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales – Report for Mary Immaculate V.R.C. School

The Immaculate Conception


Today, December 8th, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This is the feast which celebrates that Mary was born without any mark of sin and committed no sins in her life. This has been a part of the Church’s teaching since ancient times, but has found a clearer articulation in 1854 Pope Pius IX published the document Ineffabilis Deus in which he declared the following dogma of the faith:

“…by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful. Hence, if anyone shall dare — which God forbid! — to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should are to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart.”

Our parish also contains the church of the Immaculate Conception at Narberth where Mass was celebrated today, exactly 31 years after the opening of the church!

Narberth 2 NArberth 4 Narberth 1

Advent Youth Retreat


Our Advent Youth Retreat takes place from Friday 19th December to Sunday 21st December.

If you are at Secondary School age to University Graduation come and join us in the hall for our Advent retreat. Sign up in the Church porch and bring a sleeping bag! There will be talks, Q&A sessions, games, prayer, reflections and prayer time.