This Week 23 February - 1 March 2020

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald'sSt Mary's
(Latin Mass)
Sunday 23 February
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Day of Prayer for the Unemployed
10.30 am Mass
(Sat) 6.00 pm Vigil Mass
8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Sung Mass
6.00 pm Mass
No Prayer Group today
(Resumes next Monday)
12.10 pm Mass
11.30 pm Confessions & Exposition
12.15 pm Mass
9.30 am Mass12.10 pm Mass
Ash Wednesday
Day of Fast & Abstinence
12.15 pm Mass
2.15 pm Service of the Word
(in St Benedict's School)
9.30 am Service of the Word
(with St Oswald's School)
7.00 pm Mass
6.30 am Mass
12.10 pm Mass
7.00 pm Mass
Thursday9.30 am Mass
7.00 pm Stations of the Cross
12.10 pm Mass
11.45 am Stations of the Cross
12.15 pm Mass
6.45 pm Meditation
12.10 pm Mass

10.00 - 11.00 am Exposition
5.15 pm Confessions
6.00 pm Vigil Mass
12.10 pm Mass
Sunday 1 March
First Sunday of Lent (A)

10.30 am Mass
8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Sung Mass
6.00 pm Mass




The Season of Lent begins this Wednesday.  Ashes will be blessed and distributed during the following Masses and Services:

9.30 am           Service of the Word at St Oswald’s (with the children from school)
10.30 am        Service of the Word at Ryfields
12.15 pm        Lunchtime Mass at St Benedict’s
2.15 pm           Service of the Word at St Benedict’s School
7.00 pm           Evening Mass at St Oswald’s

Masses at St Mary’s Shrine:  6.30 am, 12.10 & 7.00 pm

An Adventure in Faith led by Sr Maria Natella OP


Our parish journey in faith continues this week at St Benedict’s – on Tuesday (7.00 – 9.00 pm), repeated on Friday (1.00 – 3.00 pm).  If you want to come along but haven’t signed up, you will be very welcome.



For anyone living or working in the Central Area of Warrington (especially the Central 6 wards and surrounding areas), you are invited to the community ‘ROC Conversation’ event on Wednesday 11 March at Halliwell Jones Stadium from 7.00 – 9.00 pm.  This event will build on the work that’s already been done with input from over 2,500 local residents developing the Central 6 Masterplan and will be a practical next step towards delivering some of the projects in the masterplan document.  It will be a chance to meet with others who are already doing great things, become involved in an Action Group to support what’s already happening, and to start new projects too.

Register online: or call 0161 393 4511


Despite the low risk to the public from Coronavirus, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has issued guidelines to enable Catholic churches and organisations to find the relevant information in one place.  You can find these guidelines at under ‘News’.  The key points are as follows:

1)  At the time of writing, individuals in the UK remain at low risk from coronavirus.

2)  The best way of protecting us from spread is for everyone to use universal good hygiene, which will effectively disrupt spread of the virus. We should be doing this all the time for ‘flu:

  • Catch it – sneeze into a tissue
  • Bin it – bin the tissue
  • Kill it – wash your hands with soap and water
  • Do not touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands.

3)  At the time of writing, there is no need to take special measures on suspending the chalice or Sign of Peace. Should that become necessary, more detailed pastoral care guidance will be issued.

4)  Anyone with cold or flu symptoms should refrain from taking communion from the chalice and receive the host on the hand only. (We should be doing this anyway, every ‘flu season).

5)  Ensure you combat discrimination against Chinese people and others wrongly assumed to have or be spreading the virus.

6)  The Government has issued guidance for the public and this remains the best source of advice.



All parish volunteers (especially those with a DBS check) are invited to a Safeguarding Training Evening on Thursday 19 March at 7.00 pm (venue to be announced).

I’m giving advance notice of this meeting for two reasons.  First, so that you can book it in your diary.  Secondly, because I expect as many volunteers as possible to attend.

Clergy are expected to attend safeguarding training every year.  Each year, I find this helpful.  I never come away thinking “What a waste of time… I’ve heard it all before!”  Similarly, parish volunteers have a duty and a responsibility to help me to create a safe environment for all those who come to parish liturgies and events.  So volunteers need to keep up to date with safeguarding as well.

Please make this a priority and join me on Thursday 19 March so that together we can assure all who come to our parish that we are serious about safeguarding children, teenagers and vulnerable adults.  Many thanks.  Fr Dave


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


Clergy from the Pastoral Area enter with Archbishop Malcolm


The Archbishop welcomes everyone and leads us in prayer:



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

new-parish-1   _new-parish-2

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


Presentation of new Parish Registers and Seal:


Some of our altar servers with the Archbishop:


With many thanks to Kevin Holt for the superb photographs.


Fr Dave's Blog

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Gospel  (Matthew 5: 38-48)

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’



Today’s Gospel follows on from last week’s passage and concludes our reading of the Sermon of the Mount (for now anyway).

Jesus asks us to go beyond the letter of the law.  He says:  “You have learnt how it was said… but I say this to you…”  In short, Jesus is asking us to learn to love like he loves.

This is not always easy for us, especially when someone has hurt us badly, or gossiped about us, or said something unkind to us, and so on.  Instead of trying to get our own back or hating the other, Jesus asks us to try and forgive.  Again, this is not always easy, and sometimes it can feel impossible.

In these times, we need to go to our Lord and ask him to help us and guide us – and he will.  In time, we will notice our hearts begin to soften – especially if we’ve talked about our anger and hurt to a trusted friend; our thoughts begin to entertain the possibility of reaching out to the other person, or forgiving them in our hearts if it’s not possible or desirable to get in touch with a particular person.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  God’s Spirit is at work in us and will bring us to peace and healing if we let him.  But it takes time and we have to be careful not to shut ourselves off from the possibilities that God can bring in a particular situation.

So what Jesus is asking of us is not impossible.

Bishop Seamus Cunningham, the emeritus Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle, once offered a helpful prayer for difficulties in relationships.  He said:  “May the Christ in me recognise the Christ in them, and may the Christ in them recognise the Christ in me.”  I’ve found that a very powerful prayer over the years.

Fr Dave


Compassionate God and Father,
you are kind to the ungrateful,
merciful even to the wicked.
Pour out your love upon us,
that with good and generous hearts
we may keep from judging others
and learn your way of compassion and love.
Through Christ our Lord.

SYNOD 2020


Until Sunday 15 March, we are invited to reflect and submit proposals on the fourth and final Synod Theme, “Building community, nurturing belonging”.  There are a number of ways we can do this:

1)  There will be a Meeting for all the Parishes in Warrington Pastoral Area on Tuesday 3 March, either at 1.00 pm or at 7.00 pm in St Joseph’s, Penketh.

2)  There will be Thoughts & Reflections in the newsletter each week which will help us to reflect on the theme and suggest proposals for action.

3)  There will be an Evening of Prayer & Reflection led by Fr Chris Thomas and Sr Moira Meeghan, 7.30 – 9.00 pm, on Tuesday 27 February at St Joseph’s, Crow Orchard Road, Wrightington WN6 9PA and on Wednesday 4 March at Our Lady Help of Christians, Portico L34 2QT.

4)  You can visit the Synod Themes and submit a proposal online at:

In this Synod Theme, we reflect on what it means to be a Church of welcome and discipleship.

The Prophetic Community

I believe that the way ahead, the only way,
lies through our making ourselves what we ought to be.
When our sons and daughters, our grandsons and
Granddaughters can look at the Catholic Church and say:
‘There is a community of reasonable and sensible people
who actually believe in this person called Jesus Christ
and his resurrection;
there is a community which is not obsessed with itself
but puts itself at the service of humanity;
there is a community in which people pull together;
there is a community which has fire in its belly about justice:
doesn’t mind rattling the bars of people’s cages;
there is a community which clearly possesses a treasure,
a hidden treasure which makes its members happy.’
When our children and grandchildren can look at us
and say that about us, they will also want to say:
‘And that is the community I wish to belong to.’

Monsignor Tony Philpot

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