This Week 26 January - 2 February 2020

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald'sSt Mary's
(Latin Mass)
Sunday 26 January
3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (A)
Sunday of the Word of God
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
7.30 pm Prayer Group
12.10 pm Mass
St Thomas Aquinas
11.30 pm Confessions & Exposition
12.15 pm Mass
9.30 am Mass12.10 pm Mass
9.30 am Mass12.10 pm Mass
7.00 pm Mass
9.30 am Mass
7.00 pm Novena
12.10 pm Mass
St John Bosco
12.15 pm Mass12.10 pm Mass

Saturday10.00 - 11.00 am Exposition
5.15 pm Confessions
6.00 pm Vigil Mass
12.10 pm Mass
Sunday 2 February
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
10.30 am Mass
8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Sung Mass
6.00 pm Mass



Pope Francis is inviting Catholics across the world to deepen their appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and his Word by keeping today, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, as ‘Sunday of the Word of God’.  Pope Francis wants to stimulate all Christians not just to place the Bible on the shelf as one of many books, perhaps filled with dust, but as an instrument that awakens our faith.

Year of the Word
The Bishops of England & Wales have dedicated 2020 as a Year of the Word under the title ‘The God Who Speaks’.  The purpose of this initiative is to deepen our appreciation and understanding of the Bible.  There is a wealth of information and resources at the website:



Tomorrow, Monday, is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and Holocaust Memorial Day.  In towns and cities across the UK, events will be held to mark this occasion and to express the hope that such evil never happens again.

Genocide does not come out of nowhere.  As soon as the Nazis came to power in 1933, they began to pass laws which deliberately promoted divisions in German society. ‘Aryan’ Germans were encouraged to separate themselves from their Jewish neighbours.  Jews were targeted and prohibited from taking a full part in German life.  Discrimination against them became normal.  By the time that war broke out in 1939, Jews were already being taken away by the SS and the German Police.  A culture favourable to death camps and the Final Solution had been carefully fostered by the Nazi state.

In recent years, the number of hate crime offences recorded by the police in the UK has been increasing.  Christians have a crucial role to play in changing the unacceptable language and behaviours that stir up racist attitudes and promote hatred.

An Adventure in Faith led by Sr Maria Natella OP & Team

In place of the proposed Alpha Course, Sr Maria has designed a journey more appropriate for us.  Initially, there will be four sessions run twice a week – an evening session on a Tuesday (7.00 – 9.00 pm) and an afternoon session on a Friday (1.00 – 3.00 pm).  Both sessions will include a simple meal together.  Here are the dates:  Tuesdays 4, 11, 18 & 25 February; Fridays 7, 14, 21 & 28 February.  If you would like to take part, please sign the sheet at the back of church so that we have an idea of numbers for catering.



Archbishop Malcolm McMahon invites you to join him in celebrating the Annual Marriage and Family Life Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Sunday 9 February 11.00 am.  All are very welcome to attend.  The Mass will include the renewal of marriage vows and a special blessing for those celebrating significant anniversaries. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Gibberd Room.


Archbishop Malcolm McMahon will host an evening for men who may be wondering if they are called to serve as deacons and what the formation involves.  Wives, priests and deacons are also welcome.  Wednesday 5 February, 7.30 – 9.00 pm, at St Joseph’s Parish Centre, Crow Orchard Lane, Wrightington WN6 9PA.  Refreshments available from 7.00 pm.

Recovery from Divorce and Separation


The next 6-week course, facilitated by the Archdiocesan Marriage and Family Life Department, will start on Wednesday 12 February to Wednesday 18 March.  Meetings are in small groups and are free, confidential, informative and affirming.  A recent participant said, “This course is the single most helpful thing I’ve done.”  The course is for any person who is going through, or who has gone through, a relationship breakdown.  Topics cover: facing the effects of what’s happened, communication and conflict resolution, letting go, managing other relationships, legal matters, being single and moving forward.  For details of times and venue, contact Maureen O’Brien (07967 753371) or Jacqui Sellek (07793 825815).


If there are any young people in Year 8 who attend a non-Catholic school and who would like to be Confirmed in 2020, please contact Fr Dave on 01925 630127 or


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

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Sunday of the Word of God


Gospel  (Matthew 4: 12-23)

Hearing that John had been arrested, Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled:

‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan,
Galilee of the nations!
The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light;
on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.’

From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people.


In celebrating this Sunday as ‘Sunday of the Word of God’, Pope Francis is inviting us to renew our appreciation of the Scriptures and to make them part of our everyday life.

Fr Pádraig McCarthy (from the Archdiocese of Dublin) has produced a very useful sheet to encourage us to read the Scriptures, with some simple introductory notes, and a list of the Sunday readings for the current year.  You can download the sheet here:  reading-the-bible-cycle-a-2020


Before the Liturgy of the Word this weekend, we are praying the following simple litany:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Word of the Father.
R. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
You became one with us to tell of the Father’s love.  R.
You are the light that shines in the darkness.  R.
You save us from fear and break the bonds of sin and death.  R.
You come to guide our steps and lead us to God.  R.
You are the Word of eternal life.  R.
You fill us with the Holy Spirit.  R.

Adapted from ‘Enthroning the Bible in the Family’ by Pauline Publications Africa. Used with permission. Copyright © 2009, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

SYNOD 2020


Between now and 16 February, we are invited to reflect on the third Synod Theme:  How we pray together.   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 4 February, either at 1.00 pm or at 7.00 pm in St Stephen’s Church, Orford.

2)  There will be an opportunity to share your thoughts after the weekend Masses at St Oswald’s and St Benedict’s on Saturday & Sunday, 8 & 9 February.

3)  There will be an Evening of Prayer & Reflection led by Fr Chris Thomas and Sr Moira Meeghan, 7.30 – 9.00 pm, on Wednesday 29 January 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 the place of prayer and worship in our life as Church.

What people said in the Synod Listening:

  • Sunday Mass is central to everything.
  • People respond to different styles of prayer and liturgy.
  • Liturgy needs to support families as they strive to nurture the faith of their children.
  • Prayer is a source of strength.
  • It is a joy to have children at Mass.
  • Living and working patterns can make Sunday Mass attendance difficult.
  • Liturgy and Worship are central to the mission of our Catholic schools.
  • Our Church buildings are deeply valued as places of prayer.

And much more.

In becoming the Church that God is calling us to be:

  • In 1990 137,000 people came to Mass each weekend, last year the number was 40,000. Why have so many stopped praying with us on Sunday?
  • If you wanted to learn more about prayer or scripture who/where would you ask?
  • How can we make our churches places of prayer through the week?
  • Can our churches be left open during the week?
  • How can we celebrate the sacraments in a way that helps those who don’t regularly attend Mass?
  • Is your home (school) a place where you find it easy to pray? What might help you to pray more at home or at school?
  • Does the celebration of Mass in your parish help you to grow in how you live your faith through the week?
  • How are the sick and housebound included in the prayer and worship of your parish? Do they know that they are valued members of your parish?

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