This Week 16 - 23 December 2018

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald'sSt Mary's
(Latin Mass)
Sunday 16 December
3rd Sunday of Advent (C)
Gaudete Sunday
10.30 am First Communion
Preparation Mass (2)

(Sat) 6.00 pm First Communion
Preparation Mass (2)
8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
6.30 pm Youth Alive Mass
11.00 am Sung Mass
6.00 pm Low Mass
Monday7.30 pm Prayer Group12.10 pm Mass
Tuesday11.30 am Confessions & Exposition
12.15 pm Mass
9.30 am Mass
12.10 pm Mass
Wednesday9.30 am Mass
7.30 pm Advent Penance Service
(Service of Reconciliation)
12.10 pm Mass
6.30 pm School Christmas Production9.15 am School Christmas Mass
No Novena
12.10 pm Mass
9.15 am Christmas Mass (in School)
12.15 pm Mass
No Meditation
12.10 pm Mass

Saturday4.00 pm Slovak Mass
10.00 - 11.00 am Exposition
5.15 pm Confessions
6.00 pm Vigil Mass
12.10 pm Mass
Sunday 23 December
4th Sunday of Advent
Day of Prayer for Expectant Parents
10.30 am Mass8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Sung Mass
6.00 pm Low Mass




In Rome, on the Third Sunday of Advent, children and adults bring their Baby Jesus figures from their Crib at home to St Peter’s Square where the Pope blesses the figurines during the Angelus. We will celebrate this tradition, known as ‘Bambinelli Sunday’, during the Masses this weekend.



Animate, the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry, will be holding their Advent Youth Mass at St Oswald’s today (Sunday) at 6.30 pm. This Mass will be led by young people and is especially for young people, although everyone is welcome.



There will be a Service of Reconciliation for the whole parish on Wednesday 19 December at 7.30 pm in St Oswald’s Church.


This year, we are providing a ‘Christmas Dinner’ on Christmas Day for those who would like a little company, individuals and families who are struggling, and anyone who would simply appreciate a hot meal on Christmas Day. The meal will be in the Sacristy Meeting Room at St Benedict’s, 12.00 – 2.00 pm. If you would like to come, please let Fr Dave know or phone Celia in the Parish Office (01925 630127). Thank you.



Christmas Eve (Monday 24 December)

4.00 pm           Slovak Christmas Mass at St Benedict’s
6.00 pm           Christmas Vigil Mass at St Oswald’s
8.00 pm           Polish Christmas Mass at St Oswald’s
11.30 pm        Midnight Mass at St Benedict’s

Christmas Day (Tuesday 25 December)

8.30 am           Christmas Dawn Mass at St Oswald’s
10.30 am        Christmas Day Mass at St Benedict’s
2.00 pm           Polish Christmas Mass at St Oswald’s

Please note:

1) The Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at St Benedict’s will begin at 11.30 pm not Midnight.
2) Children are invited to bring a home-made birthday card for Jesus to the 6.00 pm Mass on Christmas Eve at St Oswald’s or the 10.30 am Mass on Christmas Day at St Benedict’s.

Christmas Day Mass Times at St Mary’s Shrine

12.00 am         Midnight Mass (sung) preceded by carols at 11.30 pm
9.00 am           Low Mass of Christmas Morning
11.00 am        Sung Mass of Christmas Day



Are you looking to deepen the links between your faith and your life? Please consider the ‘Faith For Life’ course that is being offered on four weekends in Warrington in 2019 (19-20 January, 16-17 February, 6-7 April, 11-12 May). The course runs from 9.30 am – 5.00 pm on Saturday and 1.00 – 4.45 pm on Sunday. Past participants have said: ‘I’m going home with treasures’, ‘There is an enthusiasm around this course that is answering a hunger in the people of God at this time’, ‘Does what it says on the tin.’ To book a place, speak to Fr Dave or phone the parish office at St Stephen’s on (01925) 632849.


Please note: the Parish Office has a new email address:  This address replaces the one we have been using: Fr Dave’s personal email address remains the same:


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).


Fr Dave's Blog

Third Week of Advent

Advent Weekday – 17 December 2018

Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!


Photograph (c) Vatican Media

Today, Pope Francis is 82.  Yesterday, children from the Vatican’s free-of-charge paediatric clinic surprised him with a cake.  The message on the cake must have brought a smile to his face:  “We cannot become accustomed to the situations of degradation and misery around us. A Christian must react.”

Pope Francis joked with the children, saying he hoped “such a big cake doesn’t give indigestion!”  He went on to say that children are good at teaching grown-ups to be humble, to better understand life and people.  “The proud, the arrogant, can’t understand life because they’re incapable of lowering themselves.”

Today, perhaps ponder those words on the birthday cake:  “We cannot become accustomed to the situations of degradation and misery around us. A Christian must react.”

Third Sunday of Advent (C)


This Sunday is known as ‘Gaudete’ Sunday.  ‘Gaudete’ is the Latin word for ‘Rejoice’ which is the first word of today’s Entrance Antiphon:  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near” (Phil 4: 4-5).  We rejoice because the Lord is very near.

Today’s Entrance Antiphon comes from today’s Second Reading, although the translation we use has the word ‘happy’ instead.

Philippians 4: 4-7

I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. Let your tolerance be evident to everyone: the Lord is very near.

There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus.


St Paul tells us that he wants us to ‘rejoice’ or ‘be happy’.  That’s want God wants for us too!   God wants us to be happy!

St Paul tells us how we can be happy, especially at this time of year.  First, he tells us to be tolerant – to be people who are patient and kind.  That’s not easy when we’re tired and perhaps feeling a little stressed.

Then he tells us not to worry, rather bring our worries to the Lord and we will find peace for our hearts and minds.

There’s enough there to keep us busy this week!

Fr Dave


God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy,
so that we may share his wisdom
and become one with him when he comes in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Scripture Passage from ‘The Jerusalem Bible’ © 1966 by Darton Longman & Todd Ltd and Doubleday and Company Ltd. Prayer (c) 1973 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.


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