This Week 10 - 17 February 2019

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald'sSt Mary's
(Latin Mass)
Sunday 17 February
6th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)
10.30 am First Communion
Preparation Mass (4)
(Sat) 6.00 pm First Communion
Preparation Mass (4)
8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Mass
6.00 pm Low Mass
Monday
7.30 pm Prayer Group12.10 pm Mass
Tuesday
11.30 am Confessions & Exposition
12.15 pm Mass
7.30 pm Novena to Our Lady, Untier of Knots
(at St Paul of the Cross, Burtonwood)
9.30 am Mass

12.10 pm Mass
Wednesday
9.30 am Mass
12.10 pm Mass
Thursday
9.30 am Mass
4.00 pm Novena
12.10 pm Mass
Friday
12.15 pm Mass
6.45 pm Meditation
12.10 pm Mass

Saturday4.00 pm Slovak Mass10.00 - 11.00 am Exposition
5.15 pm Confessions
6.00 pm Vigil Mass
12.10 pm Mass
Sunday 24 February
7th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)
10.30 am Mass8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Mass
6.00 pm Low Mass

News

RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY

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Today is Racial Justice Sunday which focuses on the experiences of ethnic communities in England and Wales. It is a day on which we all called to earnestly pray for an end to racism and racial inequality in our country. The theme this year is “Dignity for all workers” – recognising the problems faced by people due to racism and ethnic discrimination in the workplace.

In a world steeped in violence, conflict and discrimination, the Gospel demands that we acknowledge the dignity of the human person, the necessity of building peace, prosperity and justice for all. In Octogesima Adveniens and Gaudium et Spes, Pope Paul VI teaches that “all people have a right to work … to lead a worthy life on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level”. We are, therefore, called to ensure people are not exploited while they work, and to open our hearts to those who face this hatred. Remember the words of Jesus: “As you did this to the one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me…”

In our task as disciples of Christ, our responsibility is to make sure people are treated with dignity at work and are not exploited. Migrant communities and those suffering from racial abuse are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into unjust working conditions and labour exploitation.

NOVENA TO OUR LADY, UNTIER OF KNOTS

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The Pastoral Area Novena to Our Lady, Untier of Knots, continues this Tuesday, 19 February, at 7.30 pm. This month, the Novena will be held at St Paul of the Cross, Burtonwood. Theme: Undoing the Knots of Inequality, Poverty and Injustice.

ANNUAL MISSION APPEAL

This year’s Annual Mission Appeal will take place during the Masses next weekend, 23/24 February. Brother John McAllister from the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers and Brothers) will be making the appeal.

YOUTH GATHERING

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Churches Together in Merseyside are giving you the opportunity to come and meet with youth from denominations across Merseyside. When? Monday 11 March, 6.30 – 8.30 pm (soft drinks and nibbles included. Where? Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool ONE 3BT. To book a place, please email office@ctmr.org.uk or phone 0151 709 0125. Feel free to bring your friends.

LENT 2019

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Padgate Methodist Church invite you to explore the Mystery of God on Tuesdays during Lent at 7.30 pm: 12 March – The Mystery of Good & Evil, 19 March – The Mystery of God’s Glory, 26 March – The Mystery of Sin, Suffering & Hope, 2 April – The Mystery of Parenthood & Adoption, 9 April – The Mystery of Love & Sacrifice. All are welcome. For more information, please contact Rev Mark Coles (01925 266537).

PARISH EMAIL ADDRESS

Please note: the Parish Office has a new email address: blessedjamesbell@rcaolp.co.uk  This address replaces the one we have been using: stbenedicts.warrington@rcaolp.co.uk Fr Dave’s personal email address remains the same: frdave@rcaolp.co.uk

PARISH OF BLESSED JAMES BELL

On Tuesday 1 May 2018, the three parishes of St Benedict’s, St Mary’s and St Oswald’s merged into the new Parish of Blessed James Bell. The new parish incorporates three Churches (St Benedict’s, St Mary’s Shrine & St Oswald’s), two Catholic Primary Schools (St Benedict’s & St Oswald’s), two Parish Centres (St Benedict’s & St Oswald’s) and one Parish Office (based at St Benedict’s).

Mass of Inauguration of the New Parish of Blessed James Bell

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Clergy from the Pastoral Area enter with Archbishop Malcolm

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The Archbishop welcomes everyone and leads us in prayer:

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Presentation of Canonical Decree merging the three parishes into one new parish:

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Renewing our Baptism as we set out as a new community:

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Presentation of new Parish Registers and Seal:

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Some of our altar servers with the Archbishop:

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With many thanks to Kevin Holt for the superb photographs.

 

Fr Dave's Blog

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

INAUGURATION OF SYNOD 2020

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Two weeks ago, on Sunday 3 February, the Archbishop inaugurated Synod 2020 during a special service in the Cathedral.  In his homily, the Archbishop reflected on the Gospel chosen for the occasion – the Presentation of Jesus in the temple.  Archbishop Malcolm shared some profound reflections and offered great hope for the Church.  His homily is well worth reading.

Homily preached by The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool, at the Service for the Opening of Synod 2020 on Sunday 3 February 2019 in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.

On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph holding a pair a of turtle doves, the modest sacrifice of the poor. This was the offering that Mary and Joseph made when they journeyed to the temple in Jerusalem to fulfil the Law of Moses in Mary’s purification and Jesus’s presentation. It reminds me that we are to be the Church of the poor, poor people as the servants of the poor. Jesus was a poor preacher with nowhere to lay his head, and it is with that in mind that we step forward together on the road to Synod 2020.

In the Gospel reading from St Luke which we have just listened to, Mary and Joseph after the completion of their rituals were met by an old man named Simeon. He is described as a holy man, devoted to prayer and waiting for the consolation of Israel. He was part of a group known as the ‘quiet ones’, who sought in prayer the hope of salvation. They had no interest in political or military solutions to the sorrows of their people. They chose prayer as the best route to the future hope.

The Holy Spirit filled this man and revealed to him that he would see the Messiah before he died. The Spirit brought him to the temple that day and led him to the couple who held Jesus in their arms. He took the child into his own arms and began to sing. The song he sings is the death song of an old man, but it is filled with hope because he has completed his purpose in life by seeing Jesus. He found the child in the arms of poor people making the offering of the poor. In the sunset of his life he encountered the sunrise of the poor. In the evening of his life, he was fortunate enough to behold a new day.

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And what does Simeon prophesy? What does Simeon say when he picks up Jesus into his arms? Simeon doesn’t say I have seen the Messiah; instead he says, I have seen God’s salvation. And this salvation is not just for the Jews but for all people. And then he goes on to explain that many will be divided over Jesus. He will be a sign of contradiction: many will listen and follow, and many will reject Him, to the point Mary herself will be wounded in her heart because of what happens to her Son.

From Simeon he heard the first human hymn that was composed out of love for him. Simeon could go in peace because he had seen the Saviour of the world. Let us reflect now where we are up to in our journey to Synod 2020. We have been the quiet ones. We have prayed as an Archdiocese for over a year, quietly before the Blessed Sacrament. We hold in our arms the ‘salvation which has been prepared for all the nations to see’. We are the poor making an offering in the Mass of the poor Son of God, and we pray that we will have our eyes opened and our ears unstopped so that we can see further and hear more acutely as we form our vision for the Church in Liverpool. We have learnt that it sometimes takes the vision of an old person to show us that what we sometimes see as old and worn out is often the beginning of something new. The sun is not setting on the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, but a new day is breaking, a new dawn is rising. This view is the vision of Simeon and it has to be our view too.

Maybe we can ask Simeon, the prophet, to help us remove the evening and the night from our eyes and see brightly as we enter upon the road together towards Synod 2020. As we hear Simeon’s song our vision is changed. When we listen to each other our vision will be changed too. We believe that because we are baptised the Spirit of God lives in us; that is the spirit of Jesus whom Simeon cradled in his arms; that is why this change will happen within each of us. God’s spirit can change words into understanding, sounds into sight and song into a clear vision of the future.

It is with confidence then that we can look to the future as walk together on the road ahead of us.

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If I may digress for moment. the Letter to the Hebrews tells us: ‘By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. For he looked forward to the city that has its foundations, whose architect and builder is God.’ (Hebrews 11:8‑10)

When Gregory of Nyssa comments on this passage, he says that it was only when Abraham did not know where he was going that he knew he was going the right way. We are all sons and daughters of Abraham, so maybe the same is true of us. We often do not know where we are going, but maybe that is when we know we are going in the right direction.

Let us return to Simeon: we are not to be downhearted by Simeon’s prediction that there will be suffering and pain in store for Jesus, and that Mary will suffer as a result, just like any mother. It takes another old person who happened to be passing by, a prophetess called Anna, to cheer us up. We may surmise that she had a great smile on her face as she embraced Mary and Joseph and praised God for their child and spoke of Jesus to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

We can learn from Anna that to speak of God to others is to praise him, and in praising him we will be filled with joy.

The journey ahead towards Synod 2020 may seem long and arduous, and there will be many diversions and setbacks, but with the hope of Simeon and Anna in our hearts we will come to a new vision for our Archdiocese and it will be transformed into the Church that we are called to be.

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More news about the Synod next week.

 

 


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