21st December - Fourth Sunday of Advent (B)

advent 4



This Sunday's Mass Readings

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Download Christmas Mass Times

Thursday 18th December
7 pm - Carol Service led by St. Francis School

Monday 22nd December
7.30 pm
Penitential Service

Wednesday 24th December
10.30 – 11.30 am
5.00 – 5.30 pm

All Masses preceded by carols 30 minutes beforehand


6.30 pm

St Francis


8.00 pm

St Luke’s(Preston Hall)


9.00 pm

St Mary’s (Nettlestead)


9.30 pm (Polish)

St Francis


12.00 am

St Francis


Thursday 25th December


9.00 am

St Francis


10.00 am

St Luke’s(Preston Hall)


10.30 am

St Francis

(No evening Mass on Christmas Day)


Friday 26th December – St Stephen’s Day
Mass                            10.00 am             St Francis
Confessions                 12 noon
Mass                            12.30 pm

Special Services
Polish Mass                   4.00 pm              St Francis
Syro-Malabar Rite          6.00 pm

(There will not be a Mass at  8.00 pm today)

canon luke smithCanon Luke writes...

‘Our Mother is beautiful! Mary sustains our journey toward Christmas, for she teaches us how to live this Advent season in expectation of the Lord.’
Pope Francis, Angelus message, Dec. 8, 2013

Pope Francis exhorts us to live the Advent season in expectation of the Lord, just as Mary did so long ago. Living in expectation of the Lord is very different to living with our own expectations. As we enter the final week of Advent, we may still be holding onto our own expectations. We may have expected more twinkling lights, more expensive presents under the tree or a home improvement project completed. These material expectations can leave us disappointed and stressed! Now is the time for us to gaze upon Mary and Joseph. They had unmet expectations, too; they expected to stay at an inn and have a warm meal, but ended up seeking shelter in a stable. Mary and Joseph show us we never know what to expect from God; He can so often surprise us with a joy and contentment beyond our own expectations if we simply place our trust in him. The Lord is coming to do great things for us. Like Mary let us prayer to be receptive to His word and to His presence.

As St Luke narrates the events of the annunciation and birth of our Lord, he tells us that Mary ‘treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart’ (Luke 2: 19). If we are to truly appreciate and respond to the mystery of Christmas we need to follow her example and allow the message to sink down deep into our hearts, only then will our expectations be genuine and truly fulfilled.

Pope Benedict XVI emphasised this in his Angelus Message for the Fourth Sunday in Advent 2008 ‘Let us turn our gaze again to Mary and Joseph who were awaiting the birth of Jesus and learn from them the secret of reflection in order to taste the joy of Christmas. Let us prepare ourselves to welcome with faith the Redeemer who comes to be with us, the Word of God's love for humanity of every epoch’.

Christ seeks a home in each of our hearts. Will he find a welcome, an open door or will it be like that first Christmas night; no room at the inn?

I pray that each of you will have the experience of tasting the real joy of Christmas.

Canon Luke




Cafod Children's Advent Resources including an excellent Advent Calendar

Catholic Online Advent

About.com: Catholicism

Xt3 Advent Calendar 2014 for iPad




These words on the doors of the Church porch express perfectly the purpose of our parish. We are a community centred round the Lord Jesus.

Saint Francis' Parish in the heart of Maidstone was founded in 1859 and since then has been the heart of the Catholic community in the Maidstone area. From it was founded the parishes of Saint Thomas More, West Malling; Holy Family, Park Wood; and Saint Peter's Bearsted. In addition to the mother church there are Mass Centres at St Luke's, Preston Hall, and at St Mary's Anglican Church at Nettlestead.

Today the faith which inspired its foundation almost 150 years ago continues to find its expression in a lively community bringing together people of many races all united by their love of God. It is this love which calls us all to work together to build up our community and to care for all in need.

I would like to welcome all who visit our website and hope you share something of our vision for the future of the church and parish.
Canon Luke - Parish Priest


If you have any suggestions for improvements to or items to be included on this site, or your Parish Group would like to have their own page, then please contact Mark the Webmaster via email below.


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