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

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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.