18th Week in Ordinary Time

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Pray for Lebanon

candle-1200-800-1140x641

Let us pray for the city of Beirut after the massive explosion there yesterday.  Let us pray for those who were killed, for the many who were injured, the healthcare staff stretched to breaking point, the emergency services, as well as all the people of Lebanon who are going through such a tough time at present.  May God be close to them all.

 

CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal

coronavirus-appeal-rebuild-image-for-appeal-page_opt_fullstory_large

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched a nationwide Coronavirus appeal on Tuesday 14 July.  CAFOD is an active member of the Committee and are currently giving support to communities in 26 countries with the £1.6 million they have raised so far, to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus and limit the impact of hunger that lockdowns have caused.

The need is immense, particularly in countries where there is conflict and displacement of whole communities.  If you would like to know more about the response to Coronavirus that CAFOD are making globally on behalf of the Catholic community, please visit https://cafod.org.uk/News/Emergencies-news

God’s healing hand

To our brothers and sisters who have contracted
and are suffering due to the Coronavirus Disease,
we pray that God’s healing hand may rest upon you.

To medical doctors, nurses and the supporting staff
who are in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19,
may the Good Lord sustain you and inspire you
to render your life-saving services
with due care, love and compassion.

To all those who have lost their loved ones,
we convey our deepest sympathies.
We pray that their souls, through God’s mercy,
may rest in eternal peace.
We pray that God may grant all bereaved families
his consolation and strengthen their faith and hope
in Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.

Amen.

Adapted from the 2020 Easter Message of the Catholic Bishops of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe

 

Tuesday 4 August 2020

cross

One Liner Prayers for Busy People

God, have mercy on me a sinner.
(Prayer of the Tax Collector cf. Luke 18: 13)

You must increase, I must decrease.
(Prayer of St John the Baptist cf. John 3: 30)

Lord, guide me.

Lord, for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray,
but keep me, guide me, love me, Lord, just for today.

O Lord, you know how busy I must be this day.
If I forget you, do not forget me.
(Sir Jacob Astley before the Battle of Edgehill)

Lord, when I am wrong, make me willing to change;
when I am right, make me easy to live with.
(Pauline H. Peters)

May God who understands each need,
who listens to every prayer,
bless you and keep you in his tender loving care.

I’m not what I ought to be.
I’m not what I want to be.
But thank God, I’m not what I used to be!
(John Newton)

Keep me in your presence today, O Lord,
no matter what befalls me.
(Patricia Wilson)

Good morning Jesus, this day is for you.
Bless all I think and do and say.
Monday 3 August 2020

pope-francis-child-hug-ap

A couple of thoughts from Pope Francis:

“The true pilgrim is capable of going at the pace of the slowest person. And Jesus is capable of this. Jesus is our pilgrim companion. He respects our situation, and does not accelerate the pace. He is the Lord of patience” (25 July).

“Friendship is one of life’s gifts and a grace from God. Faithful friends, who stand at our side in times of difficulty, are a reflection of the Lord’s love, His gentle and consoling presence in our lives” (30 July).

 

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 2 August 2020

sun-18a

Sunday Mass 

If you are coming to one of the Sunday Masses at St Benedict’s today and haven’t been since before the lockdown in March, please read this leaflet first so that you know what to expect:

cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

Please remember – you do not have to come to church today.  The Sunday obligation remains suspended.

If you are unwell in any way, vulnerable or shielding, it is important to stay at home for now.  If you don’t feel ready to come back to church or feel it is too soon, please trust your instincts.  The ways we’ve been trying to pray together during the lockdown will continue to be available.  So:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin continues to upload Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-18a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-18a

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

sunday-plus-18a

 

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    (click on image to enlarge)

look-18a

 

cafod

CAFOD continue to host a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

fr-jack-at-downing-street

windows-frozen

God bless you,
Fr Dave


17th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 1 August 2020

Catholic Pictorial

catholic-pic

This month’s Catholic Pictorial has just been published.  You can read it here:

https://issuu.com/merseymirror/docs/catholic_pic_august_2020

 

Friday 31 July 2020

Someone sent this to me the other day (click on image to enlarge)…

comfort-dog

Animals have so much to teach us humans!

 

Thursday 30 July 2020

At Mass this morning, I played the song, ‘Love Has Come’, by Matt Maher.  I used this version by the choir of St Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ajax, Ontario, Canada.  It really is very beautiful.

 

Wednesday 29 July 2020

welcome-church

The link below will take you to a video from Fr Chris Thomas, Director of the Irenaeus Project, who reflects on what sort of Church do we want following the experience of the last few months?

https://www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/what-sort-of-church

 

Tuesday 28 July 2020

retro-tandem-bicycle-bike-tandem-bike-clipart-1300_650

The Road of Life

At first, I saw God
as my observer,
my judge,
keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven
or hell when I die.

He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized His picture when I saw it,
but I really didn’t know Him.

But later on
when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike,
and I noticed that Christ
was in the back helping me pedal.

I don’t know just when it was
that He suggested we change places,
but life has not been the same since.

When I had control,
I knew the way.
It was rather boring,
but predictable . . .
It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains,
and through rocky places
at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness,
He said, “Pedal!”

I worried and was anxious
and asked,
“Where are you taking me?”
He laughed and didn’t answer,
and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life
and entered into the adventure.
And when I’d say, “I’m scared,”
He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing,
acceptance
and joy.

They gave me gifts to take on my journey,
my Lord’s and mine.

And we were off again.
He said, “Give the gifts away;
they’re extra baggage, too much weight.”

So I did,
to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him,
at first,
in control of my life.
I thought He’d wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up
and pedal
in the strangest places,
and I’m beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore,
He just smiles and says . . . “Pedal.”

Author unknown
From the book “Holy Sweat” by Tim Hansel

 

Monday 27 July 2020

cq5dam-thumbnail-cropped-750-422

This is a beautiful thing to share with children and young people.  Yesterday, after praying the Angelus, Pope Francis said:

Dear brothers and sisters,

On the memorial of the Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus “grandparents”, I would like to invite the young to perform a gesture of tenderness towards the elderly, especially the loneliest, in their homes and residences, those who have not seen their loved ones for many months. Dear young people, each one of these elderly people is your grandparent! Do not leave them by themselves. Use the inventiveness of love, make telephone calls, video calls, send messages, listen to them and, where possible, in compliance with the healthcare rules, go to visit them too. Send them a hug. They are your roots. An uprooted tree cannot grow, it does not blossom or bear fruit. This is why the bond and connection with your roots is important. “The blossom of a tree comes from what it has underground”, says a poet from my homeland. Therefore I invite you to give a big round of applause for our grandparents, everyone!

(c) Vatican News

 

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 26 July 2020

lourdes

Sunday Mass 

If you are coming to one of the Sunday Masses at St Benedict’s today and haven’t been since before the lockdown in March, please read this leaflet first so that you know what to expect:

cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

Please remember – you do not have to come to church today.  The Sunday obligation remains suspended.

If you are unwell in any way, vulnerable or shielding, it is important to stay at home for now.  If you don’t feel ready to come back to church or feel it is too soon, please trust your instincts.  The ways we’ve been trying to pray together during the lockdown will continue to be available.  So:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin continues to upload Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-17a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-17a

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

sunday-plus-17a

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    (click on image to enlarge)

look-17a

cafod

CAFOD continue to host a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

late-for-mass

zoom-wedding

 

God bless you,
Fr Dave


16th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 25 July 2020

lourdes

Lourdes ‘At Home’ Pilgrimage

Since the annual Archdiocesan Pilgrimage is unable to go to Lourdes this year, the Archdiocese is having a Lourdes ‘At Home’ Pilgrimage beginning today.  You can find full details of the programme by clicking on the link below and the times of services will be in this week’s newsletter.

lourdes_at_home_color_

You can watch all the services online here:  https://www.facebook.com/Liverpool-Lourdes-at-Home-2020-109541120834991

The pilgrimage begins this afternoon with an Opening Mass from St Mary’s, Aughton, with Fr Des Seddon at 2.00 pm and a Service of Reconciliation at 2.00 pm.

Tomorrow, Bishop Tom will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral at 11.00 am and there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 7.00 pm.

Schedule for Youth Pilgrimage (click on image below):

edmfachwoaadvoe

 

Friday 24 July 2020

Olive & Mabel

Sports commentator, Andrew Cotter, and his two dogs, Olive and Mabel, have entertained us during the lockdown.  So how are they getting on now that restrictions are being eased…

 

 

Many thanks Andrew, Olive and Mabel

 

Thursday 23 July 2020

Synod Update

 

Synod website:  https://synod2020.co.uk/

 

Wednesday 22 July 2020

frchrisarticle-1140x641

How the Scriptures can transform us

By Fr Chris Thomas

When I was a child my nana lived with us. She was bedridden and my mum looked after her. My dad was an alcoholic and when I could not cope with his moods I would run and hide in my nana’s bed and she would read bible stories to me. It was very unusual for a woman born in the 1890’s to read the Bible but Nana did. Even when I lost faith, I would still read the Scriptures because I loved the stories that I found there, and they reminded me of times when I found a little bit of peace in what was sometimes a traumatic childhood. The Scripture stories and nana’s calm presence were pools of light for me in the darkness. There was somewhere I felt safe and stories that comforted me. When God found me, I was fifteen and one of the first things that happened to me was that the Scriptures came alive. The stories that I had read to me for so many years took on new meaning as I discovered the presence of God in and through the Word. I am convinced that through reading and praying the Scriptures we will encounter God in a new way.

The Christian Church believes the Scriptures are the word of God, inspired by the Spirit, written by communities of faith to help others on their faith journey; that God speaks to us through them. Every time we read them, God will speak, both challenging us and comforting us. The Scriptures draw us into an encounter with God where we know that God is alive and with us.

For most of us who are Catholic, when we think of the presence of God, we think about the Eucharist. We talk of the real presence, but you know the truth is that God is as really present in the Scriptures and in people as God is present in the Eucharist. Every time we read the Word we enter into the presence of God. What do I mean by presence? Well I guess it is that indescribable sense of relationship, where we know by faith that another is walking with us, and addressing us and entering into the reality of our lives.

The Scriptures tell our story, our faith story, the difficulties we have in life, the challenges we have to face, the big questions that we wrestle with. Why am I here? Why do I exist? What’s suffering all about?  They reveal the universal patterns of human experience. You know the questions that my mum asked when she was dying in a hospice in 1993 are the same questions that someone dying in first century Palestine would have asked.  The Scriptures invite us to reflect on the way in which we love one another, the way we relate to one another and see one another. The Scriptures say to us that loving one another is not about coming to church services; it is about justice, mercy and truth.  So pray the Scriptures of the day, the ones usually read at Mass and see what it does for you.

In these days, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on Matthew’s Gospel and particularly the challenge of the beatitudes.  Bro Denis was a De La Salle brother in his eighties when I was a youth chaplain in St Helens in the 1980’s. Every week he would say, ‘You know Chris when we get to heaven the only question we will be asked is did you love’, just did you love?

Paul VI in closing the Holy Year of 1975 said that ‘the work of the Church is to create a society of sharing solidarity and love.’  Jesus called this new way of living, the Kingdom of God and it is the heart of his teaching in Matthew’s Gospel. We are invited to allow the Kingdom of God to happen within us and then amongst us so that the world can recognise through our love and service that there is another way of living, which brings life and peace. The beatitudes invite us to know that the Kingdom is proclaimed in the lives of those who know their need of God and who allow gentleness and mercy and forgiveness to touch the lives of others. The Kingdom is proclaimed in the lives of those who hunger and thirst for justice, those who are willing to give their lives away for the sake of others, are single minded about the kingdom and who are fearless in the cause of right.  Somehow, we have to allow ourselves to be transformed within so that we can transform the society we live in.

That is what I have wrestled with over these last weeks. What does the transformed heart look like? It looks like the beatitudes! Deep within ourselves we have to know our need of God more than anything else. We are to weep for the world, which is the victim of greed and oppression. I wonder how many of us ignore the structures of injustice and intolerance that are around. We are to hunger and thirst for justice. Gentleness, mercy, forgiveness, love are to flow out of us into the lives around of us. Can we honestly say they do?

If the Church is not radically different from the rest of the world, then we have lost our way and whatever we might be proclaiming it is not the Kingdom of God. If we have sold out to consumerism and power, and the value systems of society, we might satisfy those around us, but we are not proclaiming the Kingdom.  If we proclaim a pie in the sky religion, which is just about the next world and has us only involved in the saving of our souls then we might feel good about ourselves, but we are not proclaiming the Kingdom. So, my reflection has made me feel uncomfortable because it will cost us to allow the kingdom to be born within us. It will mean a letting go of what we thought life was about. It can lead us into conflict with those who cling to the ways of the world. We can be ridiculed and persecuted but more than that, it will bring us life, purpose and fulfilment, and it will bring the hope of new life to those around us. Please God it will happen in me and in all of us.

Fr Chris Thomas is a priest of the Liverpool Archdiocese. He has been a full-time youth chaplain, a University chaplain, a Parish Priest and is now the director of the Irenaeus Project. The Project is an attempt to promote the whole area of spirituality for everyone. He is part of the committee for the Catholic network for spirituality and of the Harvesters Men’s steering group as well as representing the diocese at meetings led by the Bishops Conference spirituality group. He has spoken all over the British Isles as well as Ireland and mainland Europe. He is the author of nine books including ‘Love is the Key’, ‘When did we stop skipping?’ and ‘Meta What? He writes regularly for periodicals and magazines. More than anything else Chris loves working with the scriptures and encouraging people to see them in a different way. Chris’s hobbies include reading, music, football and filling his house with so called antiques…others may well say junk!

(c) Reproduced from the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales

 

Tuesday 21 July 2020

votive-candle

A Prayer for the Present Time

Holy God,
as we continue to live in this time of responding
to the pandemic of COVID-19,
we come asking for strength and grace.
It has not been easy for us
to live in a state of physical distancing.
We cannot greet friends and loved ones,
we cannot offer an embrace to comfort,
a handshake to greet,
a pat on the shoulders to encourage.
To keep ourselves and each other safe,
we must keep apart.
Lord, we are unable to greet our elderly and seniors
because we need to keep them safe.
Give to us the strength to keep each other safe.
Give to us the love that will seek to do the highest good
for those who are vulnerable.
Give us the grace to seek for new ways to be social
even as we keep distance.

When we feel overwhelmed and unable to go on,
provide us for us the brother or sister
who will be your channel of grace to the moment.
When we feel frustrated and impatient
because we are tired of staying away from others,
give to us the love that sees the need to keep each other safe.

We remember the medical professionals who even now
continue to work for our health.
Give to them the gifts they need to do their work.
Give to them the strength to continue when things are hard.
Give to them the energy when the day is long.
Keep them safe so that they may be able to continue.
Surround their families
and keep those that they love within your safe keeping.
Help us, the people they serve,
to be grateful for their service.

Stand beside those who have been tested positive for COVID-19,
give to them peace to know that you are with them.
Calm their anxiety, comfort them in their distress,
assure them and their families
that you will neither leave them not forsake them.

Holy One, we know that the race is not for the swift,
and we sense that this race will be a marathon.
But in this race, remind us that we are not alone
and that you have promised to provide the things we need.
So, we run with perseverance mindful that you journey with us.

Amen.

Rev Dr Paul Douglas Walfall, United Church of Canada

 

Monday 20 July 2020

The Warrington Blessing

Yesterday, a song called ‘The Warrington Blessing’ was released.  It’s sung by members of various churches across Warrington in their own homes, and then put together by the wizardry of Zoom to make a single video.  The song is a way of telling the people of our community that God loves them, and his Church loves them too.

You can watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEoatszAKLk&fbclid=IwAR26rCQY3HRsla3eFBo8QW1LXHvmk1ScFLa1bkkF-k0e6knPPS8PuXpn0DI&app=desktop#menu

 

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 19 July 2020

sun16a

Sunday Mass 

If you are coming to one of the Sunday Masses at St Benedict’s today and haven’t been since before the lockdown in March, please read this leaflet first so that you know what to expect:

cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

Please remember – you do not have to come to church today.  The Sunday obligation remains suspended.

If you are unwell in any way, vulnerable or shielding, it is important to stay at home for now.  If you don’t feel ready to come back to church or feel it is too soon, please trust your instincts.  The ways we’ve been trying to pray together during the lockdown will continue to be available.  So:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin continues to upload Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-16a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-16a

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

sunday-plus-16a

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    (click on image to enlarge)

look-16a

 

cafod

CAFOD continue to host a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

driving-instructors

now-weve-learnt-to-wash-hands

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


15th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 18 July 2020

global-healing-center

Calm me, Lord

I weave a silence on to my lips,
I weave a silence into my mind,
I weave a silence within my heart.

I close my ears to distractions,
I close my eyes to attractions,
I close my heart to temptations.

Calm me, O Lord,
as you stilled the storm.

Still me, O Lord,
keep me from harm.

Let all the tumult within me cease.

Enfold me Lord in your peace.

Source unknown

 

Friday 17 July 2020

You Are Not Alone

Renowned musician, Fr Liam Lawton, has recorded a new song called You Are Not Alone based on the current pandemic and people’s experiences of lockdown.  It is very beautiful.

 

Thursday 16 July 2020

prayer-for-rest

As the end of the school year approaches, two beautiful prayers by Raymond Friel:

 

A Prayer for Rest

It’s been
a long road
this last while.

I need
to sit here
by the lakeside,

breathe in,
let my soul
catch up with me,

listen again
to the stories
of God.

Raymond Friel

 

A Blessing for Leavers

May the Lord
of the future

go before you
bless you
and keep you

in a world that needs
your generous hearts
more than ever.

May you be
agents of change,
ambassadors

of a kingdom
of tenderness
and reconciliation

in which your light,
your skills,
your imagination

will bring healing
to broken
hearts

bring justice
peace and
hope.

Raymond Friel

 

Wednesday 15 July 2020

coffee-shop-sunday

Prayers in Lockdown

The booklet “Prayers in Lockdown” was published on 1st June 2020.  It has been written in collaboration by 25 people through Coffee Shop Sunday, which is a new expression of Church and part of Coventry and Nuneaton Methodist Circuit.  This has all been done ‘virtually’ and the 25 co-authors have never met.  The entire project was completed in less than one month.

Each prayer has twelve verses and there are 19 prayers (in recognition of Covid-19) – each prayer has a one word theme.  Two sentences in each prayer were written by a different co-author to inspire collaboration.

You can download the booklet here:    19-prayers-in-lockdown-booklet-version

If you would like to order a hard copy of the booklet as a gift for someone, please contact Trevor Gay at  coffeeshopsunday@gmail.com

The booklet is free but there is £2 charge to cover postage and printing costs.

 

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Lourdes_United_Images_Fixes_Large_V1s_Fr

LOURDES UNITED!

This Thursday, 16 July, the International Sanctuary of Lourdes will hold its first ever global online pilgrimage.  The day will mark the anniversary of the 18th and final apparition of Our Lady to Bernadette.  From 7.00 am to 10.00 pm, you will be able to join in the celebrations, processions, rosaries and prayers.  For more information, go to:

https://www.lourdes-france.org/lourdes-united/

Click here for the programme of the day:

affiche-programme-lu-fr

 

Monday 13 July 2020

907568-1200x800-scale_type-center_crop

Sing Forever

269 choristers from cathedrals and colleges across the country have joined their voices with Aled Jones, Elizabeth Watts and the current BBC Young Choristers of the Year for a special lockdown recording of ‘Sing Forever’ to raise funds for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund.

The Robert Prizeman song has been re-arranged by Norwich Cathedral’s Master of Music, Ashley Grote, and premiered yesterday on Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday and on Aled Jones’ show on Classic FM.

Here’s the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgqHHeyEGTU

Under normal circumstances these choristers would be singing in their cathedrals at the start and end of each day, lifting the spirits of all who hear them. They can’t wait for the chance to sing together again, but the future of our precious cathedral choirs hangs in the balance.

At the moment our wonderful cathedrals are silent and nobody knows when singing will be able to resume. Cathedrals have suffered an unprecedented drop in income since the start of the national lockdown and there is a great deal of uncertainty about how cathedral choirs can be funded.

The young people who sing in our cathedral choirs come from a wide range of backgrounds and make an enormous contribution to the musical life of our nation. The choirs are a training ground for professional musicians of the future.

Can you help sustain them at this difficult time?

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Cathedral-Choirs-Sing-Forever

 

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 12 July 2020

sun15a

Sunday Mass 

At long last, we can gather for Mass in church this weekend.  If you are coming to one of the Masses, please read this leaflet first so that you know what to expect:

cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

Please remember – you do not have to come to church today.  The Sunday obligation remains suspended.

If you are unwell in any way, vulnerable or shielding, it is important to stay at home for now.  If you don’t feel ready to come back to church just now, please trust your instincts.  The ways we’ve been trying to pray together during the lockdown will continue to be available.  So:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin continues to upload Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-15a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-15a

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

sunday-plus-15a

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    (click on image to enlarge)

look-15a

cafod

CAFOD continue to host a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

im-glad-we-can-attend-church-again

statues-fight-back

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


14th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 11 July 2020 – Feast of St Benedict, Abbot

st-benedict-fort-worth

Today is the Feast of St Benedict.  All three churches in the parish – St Benedict’s, St Mary’s Shrine and St Oswald’s – were founded and served by the Benedictines from Ampleforth Abbey.  So a very happy feast day to you all.

Usually I transfer this feast, and that of St Oswald, to the nearest Sunday so that we can celebrate the patron saints of our churches and schools together.  Given the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves and the limited numbers permitted in church at any one time, I think it is best to postpone the celebration of our patronal saints until later in the year.

Still, tomorrow will be a special day.  It will be the first time we’ve been able to celebrate Mass together in church since March.  There will be two Masses for parishioners – 10.00 am and 12.00 noon.  Both will take place in St Benedict’s Church.

Please remember:  we are only able to admit 50 people to each Mass at this time.  So if you arrive and that number has been reached, you could either stand outside remembering to keep 2 metres apart from others, or come to the next Mass, or come to Mass during the week.  The Sunday obligation remains suspended at this time.  If you choose to stay, you will be able to receive communion at the end of Mass.  If numbers are more than I am expecting, I will consider providing a third Mass next weekend.

If you are coming to Mass tomorrow, please read the leaflet below so that you know what to expect.

cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

Prayer of St Benedict

Gracious and Holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive you,
intelligence to understand you,
diligence to see you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate on you,
and a life to proclaim you.
Through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord
Amen.

 

Friday 10 July 2020

mercy

Thought for the Day

“Our lives are a dialogue between God’s mercy and our weaknesses:  we are forever falling short at something, no matter the strength of our sincerity, good intention, and willpower.  Only mercy, receiving it and giving it, can lead us out of the choppy waters of our own anxieties, worry, and joylessness.  Only in knowing mercy do we know gratitude.”

Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI

Psalm 50

Have mercy on me, O God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

My offences truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.

That you may be justified when you give sentence
and be without reproach when you judge,
O see in guilt I was born,
a sinner was I conceived.

Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may thrill.
From my sins turn away your face
and blot out all my guilt.

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

In your goodness, show favour to Sion:
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
holocausts offered on your altar.

From The Psalms: A New Translation © 1963 The Grail (England) published by HarperCollins.

 

Thursday 9 July 2020

online-masses-healthcare

Mass for the Sick and Front-line Care Workers

The weekly Mass for the Sick and Front-line Care Workers continues online every Thursday at 7.00 pm.  This evening, Bishop Tom Williams will celebrate the Mass from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and it will be live streamed here:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw 

Prayer

Gracious God,
when the flame of our faith burns low;
when we are tempted to despair,
remind us that this is your world
and that your love and justice will prevail.
Take our small flame of faith and fan it into life.
Empower us to work for our common good.
Amen.

Rev Jennie Hurd, Chair of the Cymru Methodist District

 

Wednesday 8 July 2020

synod-update

When we set off on our Synod journey with the words, ‘Together on the Road’, we never imagined what God had in store for us.  The last few months have been unexpected and they have taught us that the road has many twists and turns on it.  As our Synod journey continues, God is calling us to listen, often in new and exciting ways.

Archbishop Malcolm has issued a video message and a revised Synod timetable has been published.  Our Synod weekend will now take place on 18, 19, and 20 June 2021.  You can watch the video message below, and you will find full details of the changes on the Synod 2020 website: synod2020.co.uk

 

Tuesday 7 July 2020

rejoice

Open for Mass!

St Benedict’s Church reopened three weeks ago for private prayer.  Each day, there has been a steady trickle of people coming to pray quietly.  This has only been possible because of the parishioners who have been able to volunteer as stewards.  Thank you so much to each one of them.

Yesterday, we closed the church for a deep clean and prepared the building so that we can celebrate Mass safely together once again.

Today, at 11.00 am, we will celebrate Mass in church for the first time in 15 weeks – nearly 4 months!  I am feeling excited, joyful and relieved at the thought.

If you’re coming to Mass this week, please read this brochure so that you know what to expect and what to do:

cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

Temporary Mass Times at St Benedict’s

Tuesday to Friday at 11.00 am
Sunday 10.00 am & 12.00 noon

The church will continue to be open for private prayer:  Tuesday to Friday, 10.30 am – 2.30 pm.

With social distancing in place, the church can only accommodate 50 people.  So if you can come to Mass during the week instead of Sunday, please do.  The Sunday obligation remains suspended.

Next week, I will publish the numbers attending Mass so that you have an idea of how the land lies, as it were.

Remember:  there is no obligation to come to Mass.  If you are unwell in any way or vulnerable, it is best to stay at home.  If you don’t feel ready to come back to church or feel it is too soon, please trust your instincts.

 

Monday 6 July 2020

Another beautiful prayer from Raymond Friel:

Night Prayer

May the knots
of this day
loosen

May the storms
of this day
pass

May the wrongs
of this day
wither

May the good done
take root
and last

Raymond Friel

 

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 5 July 2020

sun14ai

 

Sunday Mass

Although we can’t celebrate the Eucharist in church this weekend, there are still ways we can pray together on this, the Lord’s Day.

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin is uploading Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter is live streaming Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Celebrating Sunday at Home:    celebrating-sunday-at-home-sunday-14a

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-14a

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

   sunday-plus-14a

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    (click on image to enlarge)

look-14a

cafod

CAFOD are hosting a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

social-distancing-baptism

ooom

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


13th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 4 July 2020

Could I ask you to think about signing this petition?  

Halt Trident renewal and spend the funds on fighting the coronavirus

“Britain should halt its programme of Trident renewal and all work on its nuclear weapon systems, applying the funds, research and technology resources instead to provide vital equipment for the NHS and support the struggle against the coronavirus.

“At a time of national and international crisis, Britain can no longer afford to squander vast sums and scientific resources on a policy designed to counter the remote and improbable threat of nuclear attack. The finance and technology involved is now desperately needed to counter a real and actual threat to the lives of millions. Britain should set an example to the other nuclear powers and urge them to take similar initiatives, but it cannot wait for multilateral action which has not been achieved in fifty years. When the crisis is over there can then be a thorough review of strategic priorities.”

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/311638

Looking at the figures spent on Trident and the cost of the current pandemic, I think it’s safe to say the money spent on Trident could cover the costs of the pandemic with plenty of money left over!

 

Friday 3 July 2020 – Feast of St Thomas the Apostle

A short video from the Archdiocese about coming to Mass when churches reopen next week:

 

And a leaflet:  cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

 

Thursday 2 July 2020

votive-candles

Prayer for the Sick

Lord Jesus,
healer of bodies and souls,
we intercede for those
who are living with sickness.
Your own wounds of suffering during your Passion
and your agony in the garden
bring you close to all those who suffer.
Be a source of comfort and hope
to all those who carry the burden of sickness
in body or mind.
Bless all those whose vocation is to care,
whether professionally or through the bonds of family.
May your loving gaze
bring wholeness to brokenness
and light in darkness. Amen.

From ‘Prayers before the Blessed Sacrament’ by Timothy Menezes

Quotes from the Saints

“Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”
St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in his goodness, sends to us day after day.”
St Gianna Molla

“Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him. That is all the doing you have to worry about.”
St Jane Frances de Chantal

 

Wednesday 1 July 2020

eucharist

CELEBRATING MASS FROM 7 JULY 2020

The Archbishop has given permission for churches to celebrate Mass and other public services under strict conditions for the prevention of infection and the protection of those attending. Permissions will be reversed should rates of infection rise.  Please understand – this is not a return to normal.

Because of social distancing, we will have to limit the numbers in church to 50, so you are encouraged to attend weekday Mass, if possible, as an alternative to Sunday Mass.  Please note:  the Sunday obligation remains suspended.

Mass will be different to the way we are used to celebrating, but this is to ensure everyone’s safety.  The Archdiocese has produced this useful guide which I ask you to read and share:

cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print

 

TEMPORARY MASS TIMES AT ST BENEDICT’S FROM 7 JULY 2020

Tuesday to Friday

Mass will be celebrated at 11.00 am

Sunday

There will be two Masses:  10.00 am & 12.00 noon

 

The church will continue to be open for private prayer as follows:

Monday to Friday:   10.30 am – 2.30 pm

 

Why isn’t St Oswald’s open?

The Archbishop has advised those parishes with more than one church to pool resources and only open one church for the time being.  I chose to open St Benedict’s because I’m ‘on site’, as it were, and the building is easier to manage.

God bless,
Fr Dave 

 

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Life After the Pandemic – Pope Francis

life-after-pandemic

The Vatican Publishing House has released a free eBook, “Life After the Pandemic”, a collection of interventions by Pope Francis, with a preface by Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ, to reflect on the vision of the world that is emerging after the pandemic and to which we are called to accompany. It is available to read or download here:

life-after-the-pandemic

 

Monday 29 June 2020

You may remember Olive and Mabel – two dogs that belong to sports commentator, Andrew Cotter.  They entertained us earlier on in the lockdown.  Shall we see how they’ve been getting on…

 

And one from the archives…

 

Solemnity of SS Peter & Paul – 28 June 2020

peterpaul

Pastoral Letter

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England about the resumption of public worship:

message-from-the-metropolitan-archbishops-of-england

Message from Cardinal Nichols:

 

Sunday Mass

Although we can’t celebrate the Eucharist in church this weekend, there are still ways we can pray together on this, the Lord’s Day.

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin is uploading Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter is live streaming Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Celebrating Sunday at Home:    celebrating-sunday-at-home-ss-peter-paul

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-ss-peter-paul

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-28-june-2020

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You may like to use one or both of the following sheets:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-ss-peter-paul

Children’s Liturgy Sheet:    ichthus-ss-peter-paul

cafod

CAFOD are hosting a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

working-from-home

 

zoom-meeting-etiquette

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


12th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 27 June 2020

A Message from Cardinal Nichols about celebrating Mass in church again:

 

Friday 26 June 2020

church-reddiness-1200x800-1-1140x641

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England regarding the resumption of collective worship in England:

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

On Tuesday we heard the announcement that, from the 4 July this year, places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services. We welcome this news with great joy. Since the lockdown began, members of all faiths have faced restrictions on how they have been able to celebrate important religious festivals. Our own experience of Easter was unlike any other we have known. Now, in our churches, and with our people, we can look forward again to celebrating the central mysteries of our faith in the Holy Eucharist.

The recent reopening of our churches for individual private prayer was an important milestone on our journey towards resuming communal worship. Our churches that have opened have put in place all the measures needed to ensure the risks of virus transmission are minimised. This includes effective hand sanitisation, social distancing, and cleaning. We remain committed to making sure these systems of hygiene and infection control meet Government and public health standards.

We want to thank everyone within the Catholic community for sustaining the life of faith in such creative ways, not least in the family home. We thank our priests for celebrating Mass faithfully for their people, and for the innovative ways in which they have enabled participation through live-streaming and other means. We are grateful for the pastoral care shown by our clergy to those for whom this time of lockdown has been especially difficult, and, in particular, towards those who have been bereaved. We recognise too the chaplaincy services that have played a vital role in supporting those most in need. Gaining from the experience of all that we have been through, and bringing those lessons into the future, we must now look forward.

With the easing of restrictions on worship with congregations, we tread carefully along the path that lies ahead. Our lives have been changed by the experience of the pandemic and it is clear that we cannot simply return to how things were before lockdown. We remain centred on the Lord Jesus and His command at the Last Supper to “do this in memory of me.” We must now rebuild what it means to be Eucharistic communities, holding fast to all that we hold dear, while at the same time exploring creative ways to meet changed circumstances.

It is important to reaffirm that, at present, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended. A significant number of churches may remain closed as they are unable to meet the requirements for opening for individual prayer. Fulfilling these requirements is a precondition for any church opening after the 4th July for the celebration of Mass with a congregation.

Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass in our churches. This will determined locally in accordance with social distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary practices. This next step is not, in any sense, a moment when we are going ‘back to normal’.

We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to Mass. Our priests may need to consider whether it is possible to celebrate additional Masses at the weekends. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for more people.

Moving forward, there will still be many people who cannot attend Mass in person. We therefore ask parishes, wherever possible, to continue live-streaming Sunday Mass, both for those who remain shielding and vulnerable, and also for those unable to leave home because of advanced age or illness.

When we return to Mass there will some differences in how the celebration takes place. For the time being, there will be no congregational singing and Mass will be shorter than usual. None of this detracts from the centrality of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist. We ask everyone to respect and follow the guidance that will be issued and the instructions in each church.

“As I have loved you,” said the Lord Jesus, “so you must love each other.” (Jn 13:34) The lockdown has brought forth remarkable acts of charity, of loving kindness, from Catholics across our communities as they have cared for the needy and vulnerable.

We have seen love in action through charitable works, and through the service of many front-line keyworkers who are members of our Church. Now we can begin to return to the source of that charity, Christ himself, present for us sacramentally, body, blood, soul and divinity, in Holy Communion. As we prepare to gather again to worship, let us, respectful of each other, come together in thanksgiving to God for the immense gift of the Holy Eucharist.

✠ Vincent Cardinal Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

✠ Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool

✠ Bernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

✠ John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark

 

Caring for our Pets

hot-weather-dogs

dogs

cats-in-hot-weather-1

cats-in-hot-weather

 

Thursday 25 June 2020

Guest what?  Six months today will be Christmas Day!  I bet that cheered you up… NOT!

Thought for the day

washing-of-feet

To be ‘Catholic’

The opposite of being “Catholic” is not being “Protestant”.
The opposite of “Catholic” is being narrow, exclusive, and overly selective in our embrace.
The opposite of being “Catholic” is to define our faith-family too-narrowly.
“Catholic” means wide, universal.
It means incarnating the embrace of an abundant and prodigal God whose sun shines on all indiscriminately, the bad as well as the good.
Jesus once defined this by saying: “In my father’s house there are many rooms.”
God’s heart is wide, abundance, prodigal, and universally embracing, a heart that takes care to pray for those “other sheep who are not of this fold”.
To be “Catholic” is to imitate that.

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI

 

Wednesday 24 June 2020 – Nativity of John the Baptist

care

Coronavirus Letter to Humanity

The earth whispered but you did not hear.
The earth spoke but you did not listen.
The earth screamed but you turned her off.

And so I was born…

I was not born to punish you..
I was born to awaken you..

The earth cried out for help…

Massive flooding. But you didn’t listen.
Burning fires. But you didn’t listen.
Strong hurricanes. But you didn’t listen.
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn’t listen.

You still don’t listen to the earth when…
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters.
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate.
Severe drought.

You didn’t listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.
Non-stop wars.
Non-stop greed.

You just kept going on with your life…
No matter how much hate there was…
No matter how many killings daily…
It was more important to get that latest iPhone
than worry about what the earth was trying to tell you…

But now I am here.

And I’ve made the world stop in its tracks.
I’ve made you finally listen.
I’ve made you take refuge.
I’ve made you stop thinking about materialistic things…

Now you are like the earth…
You are only worried about your survival.

How does that feel?

I give you fever… as the fires burn on earth.
I give you respiratory issues… as pollution fills the air.
I give you weakness… as the earth weakens every day.

I took away your comforts…
Your outings.
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.

And I made the world stop…

And now…
China has better air quality…
Skies are clear blue because factories
are not spewing pollution into the earth’s air.
The water in Venice is clean and dolphins are being seen
because the gondola boats that pollute the water are not being used.

You are having to take time
to reflect on what is important in your life.

Again I am not here to punish you…
I am here to Awaken you…
When all this is over and I am gone…
Please remember these moments…

Listen to the earth.
Listen to your soul.
Stop Polluting the earth.
Stop Fighting among each other.
Stop caring about materialistic things.
And start loving your neighbours.
Start caring about the earth and all its creatures.
Start believing in a Creator.

Because next time I may come back even stronger….

Signed,
Coronavirus

By Vivienne R Reich

 

Tuesday 23 June 2020

yannick-pulver-fau2ni1uixg-unsplash

Image (c) Yanu

The 7 Cardinal Rules of Life

In 1995, Studio Ghibli, a Japanese anime company, released a movie called ‘Whisper of the Heart’. It’s about two high school students struggling with their artistic callings, their feelings for each other, and coming of age.

About a decade ago, someone extracted seven rules from the film and released them online. The original source remains lost, but they’ve been making the rounds ever since.

  1. Make peace with your past so it won’t mess with your present.
  2. Time heals almost everything, so give it time.
  3. What others think of you is none of your business.
  4. Don’t compare your life to others, and don’t judge them because you have no idea what their journey is all about.
  5. Stop thinking so much, it’s alright not to know the answers.
  6. No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
  7. Smile, for you don’t own all the problems in the world.

 

Monday 22 June 2020

Ever have trouble with your computer?  This will cheer your day.  With thanks to the BBC…

Copyright (c) BBC.

 

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 21 June 2020

pope-baby-kiss

Day for Life

Today is the annual Day for Life – the day in the Church’s year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death.  For resources and information on subjects which cover the journey of life, as well as documents and publications released by the Catholic Church on key issues, checkout the dedicated website which is excellent:  http://www.dayforlife.org

We thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.
Every human life is your gift to the world.
Each person is unique,
with a task you have entrusted to them alone.
Help us always to promote the basic rights of all,
and to recognise that we are all parts of one body,
dependent upon one another,
and called to share a common life.
Amen.

care-for-dying

Sunday Mass

Although we can’t celebrate the Eucharist together this weekend, there are still ways we can pray together on this, the Lord’s Day.

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin is uploading Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter is live streaming Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Celebrating Sunday at Home:    celebrating-sunday-at-home-sunday-12a

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-12a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-21-june-2020

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You may like to use one or both of the following sheets:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-21-june-2020

Children’s Liturgy Sheet:    ichthus-sunday-12a

cafod

CAFOD are hosting a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone!

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

The Last Supper on Zoom!

last-supper-on-zoom

So some churches are now open for private prayer, but what about Sunday Mass?

plan-for-mass

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


11th Week of Ordinary Time

Saturday 20 June 2020

I saw this on Twitter yesterday and thought it contained a lot of common sense.  Click the on the picture to make it larger.

let-yourself-rest

 

Friday 19 June 2020 – Sacred Heart

free-clipart-sacred-heart-of-jesus

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  We celebrate the great love God has for each one of us.  Mass will be live streamed from the Cathedral at 11.00 am today here:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw 

In the presence of the Holy One

Lord, in your presence
we have nothing to say, nothing to bring,
nothing that will make you love us more,
or convince you of our worth,
nothing to prove.
Nothing.

We will never be able to capture in words
your abundance, your steadfast love, your forgiveness,
but only catch a glimpse, perhaps,
like the kingfisher’s wing flashing past us.

Help us to let go –
to unstrap our armour,
let down our defences,
and sit here in the presence
that does not judge,
does not calculate,
does not change.

We can only bring our poverty,
our confession that we are sinners,
our open, wounded hearts,
our silence,

and in the silence make room for you,
let you come alive in us,
hear our name spoken,
and know that we are loved
and called.

From ‘At Your Side’ © 2020 Raymond Friel & David Wells. Published by Redemptorist Publications.

 

Thursday 18 June 2020

Grandparents

I came across this picture yesterday.  It’s a painting by the Spanish artist, Juan Lucena, in honour of all those grandparents who have died of Covid-19 and were not able to say goodbye to their grandchildren.  It’s a very powerful image.  Click on the picture for a larger view.

grandparents-by-juan-lucena

Let’s pray for grandparents today, especially those who are isolated and haven’t seen anyone during the last three months, and for those who are in hospital and not able to receive visitors.  Let’s pray too for all those who have died during the pandemic, especially those who died without seeing their families for the last time.

Prayer for Grandparents by Pope Benedict

Lord Jesus,
you were born in the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment
for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them!  As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardians of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and role of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of life without end.  Amen!

 

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Yesterday, we were able to open St Benedict’s Church for private prayer.  It was very much appreciated by those who called in and so good to see familiar faces again.  The church will be open Monday to Friday 10.30 am – 2.30 pm, and on Sunday 10.00 am – 12.30 pm, with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament throughout.

Archbishop John Wilson, the Archbishop of Southwark, offers a thought about coming to church in these days:

Transcript of the Archbishop’s talk:    archbishop-john-wilson

 

Tuesday 16 June 2020

candles

This is a beautiful prayer.  It’s the hymn for today’s Morning Prayer.

O Christ, the Light of heaven
And of the world true Light,
You come in all your radiance
To cleave the web of night.

May what is false within us
Before your truth give way.
That we may live untroubled,
With quiet hearts this day.

May steadfast faith sustain us,
And hope made firm in you;
The love that we have wasted,
O God of love, renew.

Blest Trinity we praise you
In whom our quest will cease;
Keep us with you for ever
In happiness and peace.

(c) Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey

 

Monday 15 June 2020

A Message from the Archbishop for yesterday’s feast of Corpus Christi:

 

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (A) – 14 June 2020

with-you-always-2

Sunday Mass

Although we can’t celebrate the Eucharist together this weekend, there are still ways we can pray together on this, the Lord’s Day.

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin is uploading Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter is live streaming Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Celebrating Sunday at Home:    celebrating-sunday-at-home-corpus-christi-a

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-corpus-christi

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-14-june-2020

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You may like to use one or both of the following sheets:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-14-june-2020

Children’s Liturgy Sheet:    ichthus-14-june-2020

cafod

CAFOD are hosting a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone!

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

 

dog-on-beach

 

without-wanting-to-offend

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


10th Week of Ordinary Time

Saturday 13 June 2020

A beautiful prayer of blessing by Diana Macalintal, Director of Worship for the Diocese of San Jose in California:

a-litany-of-blessing-in-time-of-grief-final

 

Friday 12 June 2020

Reopening of Churches in Warrington

The Archbishop has given permission for three churches in our Pastoral Area to open next week:  St Benedict’s, St Joseph’s in Penketh, and St Mary’s Shrine.  These churches have been chosen because they are normally open each day for private prayer.

p7020300_575_768_80-2016_06_02-17_41_42-utc

St Mary’s Shrine will open from Monday 15 June at the following times:

Monday to Saturday
8.00 – 10.00 am & 4.00 – 6.00 pm

Sunday
2.00 – 5.00 pm

3054181_e3275da7-2017_03_20-16_58_14-utc

St Benedict’s will open from Tuesday 16 June at the following times:

Monday to Friday
10.30 am – 2.30 pm

Sunday
10.00 am – 12.30 pm

st-joseph-penketh

St Joseph’s, Penketh, will open from Wednesday 17 June at the following times:

Monday to Friday
10.00 am – 1.00 pm

 

If you call into any of these churches, you will be asked to sanitise your hands on entering and leaving, keep to a one-way system, and be guided to where you can sit or kneel.  Social distancing must be followed at all times.  Unfortunately, toilet facilities, holy water and votive candles will not be available.

Please note:  there is no obligation to come to church, and praying in our own way at home remains the norm at this time.

ask-for-a-test

 

Thursday 11 June 2020

Phased Reopening of Churches

Following the Government’s announcement that places of worship may reopen from 15 June, the Archbishop has given permission for two churches in our Pastoral Area – St Benedict’s and St Joseph’s – together with St Mary’s Shrine, to open next week.  There is a lot of work to do in order to open these churches safely.  Details of dates and times of opening will be posted over the weekend.

Message from Cardinal Nichols

 

 

Transcript of Cardinal’s message:    cardinal-nichols-on-opening-catholic-churches-for-private-prayer

 

Wednesday 10 June 2020

This is rather good.  From Sweden (I think) – how to make a face mask out of a sock!

 

How good is that?

Just remember to wash the sock first!

 

Tuesday 9 June 2020

pope-francis

Prayer from Pope Francis

Loving God,
Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained.
Open our minds and touch our hearts,
so that we can be part of Creation, your gift.
Be present to those in need in these difficult times,
especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Help us to show creative solidarity
as we confront the consequences of the global pandemic.
Make us courageous in embracing
the changes required to seek the common good.
Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent.
Enable us to succeed in listening and responding
to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.
May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs
of a more fraternal and sustainable world.
We pray through Christ our Lord,
under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians,
Amen.

Source: Vatican News

Remember Me

The Prince of Wales and Cardinal Nichols are among those backing the ‘Remember Me’ project – an online memorial book for victims of Covid-19. This is accompanied by a simply beautiful video of a special anthem from the choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, recorded Zoom-style in their individual gardens and homes.

https://www.rememberme2020.uk

 

Monday 8 June 2020

church-door-closed-1200-800-1140x641

Reopening of Churches and Places of Worship

Statement from Cardinal Nichols

I am grateful to the Prime Minister for his decision that our churches may now open again for individual prayer. I thank the Secretary of State for Communities, Mr Robert Jenrick and the Minister of State, Lord Stephen Greenhalgh, for their leadership of the Task Force which helped bring about this important step.

This is a first, measured step in restoring the more normal practice of our faith and will be welcomed by so many, who have waited with great patience since 23 March when our churches were closed, by Government decision, as part of the fight against this pandemic.

I thank everyone for that patience. It is important that every care is taken to ensure that the Guidance given for this limited opening is fully observed, not least by those entering our churches. Our preparation is taking place with thoroughness. Visiting a church for individual prayer, benefitting from the sacredness of that space, can be done safely and confidently.

Not every Catholic Church will be open on 15 June. Local decisions and provision have to lead this process. But it is a great blessing, for individuals and for the benefit of all in society, that church doors will again be open to all who long to pray there for the peace and grace we need today.

This first step enables us to learn and prepare for those that will take us to a fuller use of our churches, for the celebration of Mass and other sacraments. We await that time with deep longing but patient understanding that the protection of the health of our society, especially of the most vulnerable, is a proper cause for caution and care.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Government Guidance

Extract from the UK government’s press release on the move to re-open churches and places of worship for individual prayer on 15 June 2020:

“New guidance will be published shortly to ensure the limited re-opening of places of worship can be done safely and in line with social distancing guidelines. This will recommend the thorough cleaning of shared spaces, hand cleansing at entry and exit and asking worshippers to bring their own items such as a prayer mat or religious text instead of sharing or using communal ones.

“Individual prayer will be permitted from 15 June, but communally led prayer, worship or devotion such as services, evensong, informal prayer meetings, Mass, Jummah or Kirtan will not be possible at this stage.

“The Government will continue to work with the Taskforce towards the full reopening of places of worship as soon as the scientific advice allows.”

Full version of the press release:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/places-of-worship-to-re-open-for-individual-prayer

Fr Dave writes:  I cannot guarantee that we will be ready to open some of our churches in Warrington next Monday, 15 June.  We are awaiting Government and Archdiocesan guidance, as well as training material for volunteers, signage, sanitising materials, etc.  We will do our best to open on 15 June or as soon as we can safely do so after that date.

 

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (A) – 7 June 2020

trinity-sunday

Sunday Mass

Although we can’t celebrate the Eucharist together this weekend, there are still ways we can pray together on this, the Lord’s Day.

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCOiDR9mRmfnAu05Yg3ifyMw

st-stephen-warrington-1

Fr John McLaughlin is uploading Mass from St Stephen’s:

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter now uploads Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

www.churchservices.tv and https://www.mcnmedia.tv

 

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:

the-scriptures-are-the-word-of-god-clipart-2

Celebrating Sunday at Home:    celebrating-sunday-at-home-trinity-sunday-a

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-trinity-sunday

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-7-june

Archdiocese:    www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You may like to use one or both of the following sheets:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-7-june-2020

Children’s Liturgy Sheet:    ichthus-7-june-2020

cafod

CAFOD are hosting a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:

https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

 

4)  Isolated but not alone!

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12590/isolated-but-not-alone-resources-for-catholics

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

cliff-richard

Twitter can be cruel…

twitter-is-cruel

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


9th Week of Ordinary Time

Saturday 6 June 2020

360891

Prayer to Overcome Racism

Mary, friend and mother to all,
through your Son, God has found a way
to unite himself to every human being,
called to be one people,
sisters and brothers to each other.

We ask for your help in calling on your Son,
seeking forgiveness for the times when
we have failed to love and respect one another.

We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son
the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism
and to build a just society.

We ask for your help in following your Son,
so that prejudice and animosity
will no longer infect our minds or hearts
but will be replaced with a love
that respects the dignity of each person.

Mother of the Church,
the Spirit of your Son Jesus
warms our hearts:
pray for us.

Amen.

(c) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Friday 5 June 2020

season-of-creation

When this is all over
by Laura Kelly Fanucci

When this is over,
may we never again
take for granted:

A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbours
A crowded theatre…
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine check-up
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.

When this ends,
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be and may we stay
that way – better for each other
because of the worst.

 

Thursday 4 June 2020

This will cheer you up…

Modern Global Pathogen

 

Wednesday 3 June 2020

A Simple Prayer

votive-candle

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know I am with you.

Funeral of Bishop Vincent Malone

 bishop-vincent

Yesterday, Bishop Malone’s funeral took place at Allerton Cemetery.  The simple ceremony was recorded and can be found here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG8aKUEHZ64  

The day before, Archbishop Malcolm offered Mass for Bishop Vincent in the Cathedral.  A recording of the Mass can be found here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE7dJeyyQ5c

 

Tuesday 2 June 2020

prayer-hands-clipart

When I can’t pray

Lord, I can’t pray, I don’t know how to pray.
I don’t even know if I want to pray.
The well has run dry.
I’m so busy these days, how can I find time for prayer?
I don’t even know what to say any more.
When I was a child we said our prayers, it seemed so simple,
but now I wonder, what’s the point?
If we’re all praying for different things,
why do some prayers get answered and some don’t?
And why is it that good people who pray still suffer
and others, who don’t, seem to flourish?
Prayer feels like I’m talking to myself in an empty room.

My child, so many questions,
so much anxiety in your heart.
Do not be afraid, do not worry, I am with you,
whether you know that or not,
whether you feel it or not.
I know you struggle with prayer,
I know that you don’t know how to pray
but you don’t have to: my Spirit will pray in you.
All you need to do is bring your troubled heart to the well.
There I will meet you.
Let go of your fears, extend your hand to me.
That is all I want, more than anything:
an open hand and heart, a humble heart.
There I will find a home.

From ‘At Your Side’ © 2020 Raymond Friel & David Wells. Published by Redemptorist Publications.

 

Monday 1 June 2020 – Mary, Mother of the Church

Yesterday, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis gave an inspiring message to all Christians.  Below is the video (with subtitles) and the full text.

 

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With joy, I join Archbishop Justin Welby and all of you to share some thoughts from the heart.  This is Pentecost: we celebrate the day on which the Spirit of God came down with power.  Since that day, God’s life dwells among us, bringing us new and previously  unknown hope, peace and joy.  At Pentecost God “infected” the world with life.  How different this is from the contagion of death that has ravaged the earth for months now!  Today, more than ever, it is necessary to implore the Holy Spirit to pour forth into our hearts the life of God, who is love.  Indeed, if there is to be a better future, our hearts must change for the better.

On the day of Pentecost, people who spoke different languages assembled and encountered one another.  In these months, however, we have been required to observe appropriate and necessary measures to keep our distance from one another.  Yet we have also come to understand, perhaps better, what others are experiencing: we have been brought together by fear and uncertainty.  How many troubled and broken hearts are in need of comfort!  I think of how, when Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit, he used a particular word: Paraclete, that is, Comforter.  Many of you have experienced the consolation brought by the Spirit, that inner peace which makes us feel loved, that gentle strength that always inspires courage, even amid suffering.  The Spirit assures us that we are not alone, that God sustains us.  Dear friends, we must give in turn the gift that we have received: we are called to share the comfort of the Spirit, the closeness of God.

How can we do this?  Let us think about all those things that we long for: comfort, encouragement, someone to care for us, someone to pray for us, someone to weep with us and help us face our difficulties.  Everything we would like others to do for us, let us do for them instead (cf. Mt 7:12).  Do we want to be heard?  Let us first listen. Do we need encouragement? Let us give encouragement. Do we want someone to care for us? Let us care for those who are alone and abandoned.  Do we need hope for tomorrow?  Let us give hope today.  Today our world is experiencing a tragic famine of hope.  How much pain is all around us, how much emptiness, how much inconsolable grief!  Let us, then, become messengers of the comfort bestowed by the Spirit. Let us radiate hope, and the Lord will open new paths as we journey towards the future.

I would like to share with you something about this journey that we are making together.  How greatly I desire that, as Christians, we can be more deeply united as witnesses of mercy for the human family so severely tested in these days.  Let us ask the Spirit for the gift of unity, for only if we live as brothers and sisters can we spread the spirit of fraternity.  We cannot ask others to be united if we ourselves take different paths.  So let us pray for one another; let us each feel responsible for the other.

The Holy Spirit bestows wisdom and good counsel.  In these days let us invoke his aid upon those charged with making complex and pressing decisions, that they may defend human life and the dignity of work.  For this is what must be invested in health, employment, and the elimination of inequalities and poverty.  Now as never before we need a vision rich in humanity: we cannot start up again by going back to our selfish pursuit of success without caring about those who are left behind.  And even if many are doing precisely that, the Lord is asking us to change course.  On the day of Pentecost, Peter spoke with a bold courage (parrhesia) prompted by the Spirit.  “Repent” (Acts 2:38), he urged, be converted, change the direction of your lives.  That is what we need to do: go back, turn back to God and our neighbour: no longer isolated and anaesthetized before the cry of the poor and the devastation of our planet.  We need to be united in facing all those pandemics that are spreading, that of the virus, but also those of hunger, war, contempt for life, and indifference to others.  Only by walking together will we be able to go far.

Dear brothers and sisters, you are proclaiming the Gospel message of life and you are a sign of hope. I thank you from my heart. I ask God to bless you and I ask you to pray that he blesses me. Thank you.