Parish Priest: Fr Kieran Kirby The Presbytery, 25 South Street, Exeter EX1 1EB
Telephone: 01392 272815; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Holy Cross Church Registered Charity Number 213227

Retired priests : Monsignor Harry Doyle (in residence)
Father Gerard Wilberforce

School: St. Nicholas Catholic Primary School; Headteacher: Mrs A. Folland
Tel. No. 01392 445403. School Website:

The obligation to attend Mass is still suspended.
COVID measures in church are focused on keeping people safe while the numbers of infections remain so high.

Sunday Masses in December 2021

Scripture readings at Mass: Year C, cycle 2; Season: Advent and Christmas

December 5th 11am 2nd Sunday of Advent
December 12th 11am 3rd Sunday of Advent Sunday; Gaudete Sunday
December 19th 11am 4th Sunday of Advent
December 24th 7pm 'Midnight' Mass
December 25th 11am Christmas Day
December 26th 11am The Holy Family

Special days of Prayer:
Friday 3rd December: Migrants Day
Wednesday 8th December: Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday 19th December: Expectant mothers

Please use the websites of our local churches to find details of their Christmas services.

Sacred Heart Parish is producing an online weekly newsletter, which contains further information and a reflection on the Sunday Mass readings. This information can be found on the Sacred Heart website.
Blessed Sacrament’s
newsletter can be found here.

Holy Father’s Prayer Intention: For evangelisation - Catechists
Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God; may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Christmas Masses: We hope we will be able to celebrate both Christmas Masses this year as advertised above. If there is any change to this or there is a need to book seats, an update will be published on the Welcome page of the website nearer the time. Remember however, COVID19 restrictions will continue to apply for your safety, and therefore the capacity of our church will still be limited. Please come early to secure a seat, especially if you are bringing visitors.
Please keep Father Kieran and his family in your prayers as they mourn the recent loss of his mother. May she rest in Peace.
Ecumenical carol singing on Chapel Platt on the Saturday before Christmas, this year 18th December, from 10.30 am. Afterwards, singers are warmly invited to gather in St Nicholas for coffee and mince pies.
The Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Mark O’Toole, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference’s Department for Evangelisation and Discipleship has been named a member of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation’s International Council for Catechesis. The Council has the aim of “studying the most important issues in catechesis and encouraging the sharing of experiences between experts in the field, on the one hand, and the Apostolic See and the Episcopal Conferences, on the other.” The Council has recently assisted the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation’s work in preparing the new Directory for Catechesis and the establishment of the Ministry of Catechist.
“We want to thank you for all you’ve done this year to raise your voices, to demand action from our leaders on the climate crisis, and to help reclaim our common home”.
COP26 might have drawn to a close, but we know that the work to care for our common home goes on. There’s still so much to do.
Next year our Exeter parishioners plan to meet under the umbrella of CAFOD with our MPs for Exeter and East Devon. Our aim is to ask questions to our MPs about the government funding for developing countries and climate issues which were not fully addressed at COP 26. This is likely to happen during Lent and possibly on Zoom. We also hope to involve some questions from our younger parishioners.”
'The Night Journey' by Fr Robbie Low. Bishop Mark writes: Fr Robbie Low has written a lovely new Christmas children’s book, ‘The Night Journey’. I highly recommend it as a beautiful reflection on the Mass which leads us to the manger and the child in the arms of Mary. It is beautifully illustrated by Jan Burrell and begins and ends in the parish church and family home. I think it would make a great Christmas gift for children, grandchildren and godchildren - a little work of evangelisation and, as you will find in the book, a key link across the generations.’ All proceeds go to charities working with disadvantaged children. Cost £7.50
Missio Red Boxes This is the time of year when the red boxes are brought to our church for counting and their totals sent on to Missio. Because of COVID this is not always possible, so I will be
happy to visit you instead. Please contact me on 01395 443665 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make convenient arrangements. It has been a very difficult year for Missio so they are very grateful for all the support they can get and I thank you on their behalf. John Franklin.
NOW WINTER HAS ARRIVED…COLD! We have the heating on for Mass, but still have to open the windows and doors to allow as much ventilation as possible to keep you safe - so please bear
with us and find those winter jumpers and coats so that you can keep yourself warm in church. Thank you for your understanding.
Regular updates from the Bishops' Conference can be found here.
From the Holy Cross Treasurer:
Thank you so much to those of you who have enquired about setting up standing orders or direct debits so we can continue to pay the bills. If you wish to make a standing order/direct debit, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., in the first instance and we can sort out the necessary forms. Cheques are a little more difficult to process, but if this is the only way, these should be made payable to PRCDTR Holy Cross and sent to me at 2 Lower Shapter Street, Topsham, EX3 0AT. The parish is immensely grateful to all donors who support the parish and helped keep our doors open to achieve our Mission. If you don’t already do so and you pay tax currently, please consider whether you could increase the value of your contribution (an extra 25% at no cost to yourself) by adding Gift Aid. More details and form available from your parish gift aid organiser John Franklin.
From the Diocesan Safeguarding Office Diocese of Plymouth: If you have any safeguarding concerns either personally or for any other person then contact the Safeguarding Office which remains open and available to assist. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Robert Brown) or ring him on 01364 645431 which will be transferred to his mobile.

If you wish to contact Kath with an item for the next newsletter,
her telephone number has changed so please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Honouring Sunday
As the Synodal Pathway of listening and discerning unfolds, we the bishops of England and Wales, are paying particular attention to the hopes and fears, the joys and anxieties of all who are sharing
their thoughts and feelings with us.
Longing for our Lord
We are attentive to the experience of the last year or so, when we have lived our faith through the limitations of the pandemic. We have heard of the longing which some express as a “homesickness.” We want to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. We yearn to celebrate the sacraments together, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We desire to be nourished by our Lord in Holy Communion. The live streaming of the Mass and the remarkable response of our Catholic communities to those in need, have provided comfort, sustenance and resilience.
The Eucharist, source and summit
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our spiritual and pastoral life. Many people have said to us that they have appreciated the noble simplicity of the Mass at this time, which has allowed the mystery and majesty of our Lord’s sacrificial love to shine through. The central appeal of the Mass, its beauty and its transcendence, raises our minds and hearts to God in an unambiguous and compelling manner. Our Lord Jesus invites us to receive anew the gift of Sunday as the preeminent day, the day of the Resurrection, when the Church gathers to celebrate the Eucharist. Here we stand together before our heavenly Father, offering our thanksgiving and prayer, through our Saviour in the Holy Spirit. Here we receive Christ in his Word. Here we are nourished by Christ in his precious Body and Blood. This is our primary joy, for which there is no substitute, and from which we draw our strength.
The Gift of the Sunday Eucharist
The Sunday Eucharist is a gift; as God’s holy people we are called to praise and thank God in the most sublime way possible. When the Church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love. At this time, we recognise that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass. The pandemic is clearly not over. The risk of infection is still present. For some, there is legitimate fear in gathering together. As your bishops, we recognise that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to attend freely Sunday Mass.
Responding to the Gift
We now encourage all Catholics to look again at the patterns which they have formed in recent months with regard to going to Mass on Sundays. This would include consideration and reflection about what we might do on Sundays, such as sports or shopping, or other leisure and social activities. This review, and the decisions which arise from it, fall to every Catholic and we trust this will be done with honesty, motivated by a real love for the Lord whom we encounter in the Mass. The Sunday Mass is the very heartbeat of the Church and of our personal life of faith. We gather on the “first day of the week,” and devote ourselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42). The Eucharist sustains us and spurs us on, renewing our gratitude and our hope. When we say “Amen” to Christ in receiving his Body and Blood, we express the love of God which is deep within us, and at the end of Mass, when we are sent forth, we express our love for our neighbour, especially those in need. These two dimensions reveal the full meaning of our faith. We are gathered together and sent out, we pray and are fed, we worship and we adore; these are intrinsic to our lives as those baptised into Christ.

Approved at the Plenary Assembly of Bishops in Leeds Thursday 18th November 2021

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