22nd Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 5 September 2020

Debunking a few myths about wearing face coverings or masks:

 

Friday 4 September 2020

eharmejwoama55_

Pray for Lebanon

A month ago, while Lebanon was already going through the worst economic and political crisis in its history, an explosion tore through the city of Beirut.  Today, Pope Francis invites all Christians across the world to join him in prayer for the people of Lebanon as a way of standing with them and being close to them.

God of refuge,
hear our prayer
as we hold the people of Beirut
in our hearts at this time.
Fill us with compassion
and move us to reach out in love.

In your mercy,
bring comfort to those who mourn,
healing to those who are injured,
shelter to those who are homeless,
and sustenance to those who hunger.

Give strength to those who are working
to rebuild shattered lives,
and protect those who are vulnerable,
especially in a time of pandemic.

Lead us in your ways
so that together we may bring
the light of new hope
wherever there is destruction and despair.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

(CAFOD)

 

Thursday 3 September 2020 – Feast of St Gregory the Great

Happy Feast Day to St Gregory’s Catholic High School in Warrington.

Another prayer for those returning to school:

(Click on image to enlarge)

blessing-for-those-returning-to-school

(Source unknown)

 

t-00601-ol

School of Prayer

School of Prayer is a new series from the Archdiocese which seeks to enable people to explore different ways of praying.

Session 4 – An Exploration of Centering Prayer (click on the link below):

school-of-prayer-4

Picture above (c) Elizabeth Wang from her website: www.radiantlight.org.uk

 

Wednesday 2 September 2020

toppng-com-back-to-school-600x520

If your child is feeling anxious about going back to school, here are some tips on how you can support them:

https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/supporting-a-child-returning-to-school-after-lockdown

Returning to school for the whole community – children, staff, parents – may raise anxiety in all.  Anxiety may be masked by behaviours and not be immediately recognisable, leaving our response at odds with the individual.  ‘Trauma Informed Schools UK’ have put together some common indicators and ways to respond:

(click on the images to enlarge)

egz4htewoaae4sn

egz4htpxgaajw8_

 

Children’s Prayer for the Beginning of a New School Year

God our Father,
Bless us as we begin this new year with our friends.
Bless our teachers and all who help us in our school.

May our school be a happy place
where we can grow together in mind, body and spirit.
Help us to listen
and to know the best words to use when we speak.

We thank you for our friends.
Help us love and care for each other.
May we try not to say or do anything
to hurt the feelings of others.
May we always be ready to say sorry
and to forgive as you forgive.

Bless our school and keep us safe.
Be with us as we travel each day.
Bless our families.

God our Father,
you made us and you know all our names.
You love us and hold us
in the palm of your hands.
Thank you for your love.
Amen.

(Source unknown – adapted)

 

Prayer for School Staff

God our Father,
we ask that, during this school year,
your Holy Spirit will guide us in all we do:

in our relationships with colleagues –
that we will always be supportive of each other,
in our teaching – that we may inspire
a love of learning in our children,
in our interactions with our children –
that, no matter how difficult,
we will always remember that each is a child of God,
in meeting with parents – that we will be the friendly face,
and caring soul they need to meet when they sit in front of us.

We pray that we may always be inspired
by the teaching of your Son;
that we will remember to make space
for silence and reflection in our own lives;
and that we will always use the gifts you have given us
to enable our children to discover their own gifts
and become the best people they can be.

May our school community
be a place of faith, hope and love.

(Source unknown – adapted)

 

Tuesday 1 September 2020

season-of-creation-2017

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Today, 1st September, is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.  The day was introduced into the Church’s calendar by Pope Francis in 2015, but it’s been observed by our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Church since 1989.

The day marks the beginning of the Season of Creation which lasts until the feast of St Francis on 4th October.  During these five weeks, we are invited to pray and care for creation, ‘our common home’, which is God’s gift to us and to future generations.  We’ll mark the season during Mass next Sunday and with a little focus for action each week.

Today, we could pray this prayer from Pope Francis:

All-powerful God,
you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognise that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.

(From the encyclical, Laudato Si’, by Pope Francis)

 

Monday 31 August 2020

calm sea under golden clouds

Picture (c) Jonathan Bean, Freshwater West, UK

Thought for the Day

If we truly love our neighbours,
we refrain from saying anything prejudicial to them.
We support everyone as we would like to be supported.
We try to give the example that we would like to receive from others.
We excuse and forgive the blunders of others
as we would like ours to be forgiven and excused.
We rejoice in the happiness of others and are sorrowful in their pains,
just as we would like them to respond to us in ours.
We graciously help others in their needs both by prayer and actual service
because in this way we truly show our goodwill and love.

From ‘The Selected Letters of St Jane de Chantal’ (Burns and Oates, 1918)

 

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 30 August 2020

sun22a

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 continuing to shield, 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-on-night-light

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

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

st-stephens

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-3

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

live-stream-masses

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:

candle-small

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-22a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-22a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-sun22a

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

 

3)  For Children:

child-praying-hands-1510773_960_720

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-sun22a

 

kidz-zone_we-are-cafod-illustration_opt_fullstory_small

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…

pianists-drying-socks

bar-in-shower

God bless you,
Fr Dave


21st Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 29 August 2020 – The Passion of St John the Baptist

I think this is worth sharing again… (click on the image)

let-yourself-rest

 

Friday 28 August 2020 – St Augustine

Olive & Mabel

Have you been wondering how Olive and Mabel are getting on?  Let’s join sports commentator, Andrew Cotter, and his two dogs…

 

Many thanks Andrew, Olive and Mabel

 

Thursday 27 August 2020 – St Monica

Simply this…

be-a-kindly-light

 

Wednesday 26 August 2020 – Blessed Dominic Barbari

t-00601-ol

School of Prayer

School of Prayer is a new series from the Archdiocese which seeks to enable people to explore different ways of praying.

Session 3 – An Exploration of Imaginative Contemplation (click on the link below):

school-of-prayer-3

Picture above (c) Elizabeth Wang from her website: www.radiantlight.org.uk

 

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Thinking of the refugees trying to cross the English Channel, especially the young boy who lost his life last week, this is worth a watch:

 

Monday 24 August 2020

This will make you smile…

 

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 23 August 2020

sun21a

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 continuing to shield, 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-on-night-light

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

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

st-stephens

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-3

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

live-stream-masses

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:

candle-small

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-21a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-21a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-sunday-21a

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

 

3)  For Children:

child-praying-hands-1510773_960_720

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-sunday-21a

 

kidz-zone_we-are-cafod-illustration_opt_fullstory_small

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…

laptop-breville

 

russian-vaccine

 

God bless you,
Fr Dave


20th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 22 August 2020

A simple prayer for today – click on the image to make it larger:

appreciate-good-things

Image: source unknown

 

Friday 21 August 2020

candles

A beautiful prayer from Fr James Martin SJ, which he prayed last night at the Democratic National Convention in the United States:

Loving God,
Open our hearts to those most in need:
The unemployed parent worried about feeding his or her children.
The woman who is underpaid, harassed or abused.
The Black man or woman who fear for their lives.
The immigrant at the border, longing for safety.
The homeless person looking for a meal.
The LGBT teen who is bullied.
The unborn child in the womb.
The inmate on death row.
Help us to be a nation where
every life is sacred,
all people are loved,
and all are welcome.
Amen.

 

Thursday 20 August 2020

migrants-refugees-channel

As migrants and refugees continue to cross the English Channel,
let us pray that we may reach out with help rather than punishment,
a willingness to listen to their stories instead of thinking we know everything,
and the compassion we hope others would show us if we were in their shoes.

 

Wednesday 19 August 2020

t-00601-ol

School of Prayer

School of Prayer is a new series from the Archdiocese which seeks to enable people to explore different ways of praying.

Session 2 – An Exploration of Lectio Divina (click on the link below):

school-of-prayer-2

Picture above (c) Elizabeth Wang from her website: www.radiantlight.org.uk 

 

Tuesday 18 August 2020

night-photo

Night Prayer
A prayer for the end of the day by Fr Austin Fleming aka Twitter’s Concord Pastor:

Some nights when I come to pray, Lord,
I don’t have words to say,
not even a voice to speak with,
no song to sing…

Sometimes I just can’t put the words together,
sometimes I’m just too lazy,
and sometimes it’s because I’m tired and sleepy…

When I can’t find my voice, Lord,
when my words can’t find my lips:
then be my prayer and speak for me,
be the voice of my silent heart,
be my song and sing the lyrics
locked inside my soul…

I know that if I trust in you, Lord:
you’ll be my strength,
you’ll lift me up,
you’ll be my everlasting love
and yes, you’ll be my song…

Protect me, Lord, while I’m awake
and watch over me as I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace…

Amen.

(c) Fr Austin Fleming

 

Monday 17 August 2020

Yesterday, Pope Francis gave a beautiful address after the Angelus on this Gospel passage:

Matthew 15: 21-28

Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, “Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.” But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. “Give her what she wants,” they said, “because she is shouting after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “help me.” He replied, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.” She retorted, “Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.” And from that moment her daughter was well again.

pope-francis-angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good day!

This Sunday’s Gospel (see Mt 15:21-28) describes the meeting between Jesus and the Canaanite woman. Jesus is to the north of Galilee, in foreign territory. The woman was not Jewish, she was Canaanite. Jesus is there to spend some time with His disciples away from the crowds, from the crowds whose numbers are always growing. And behold, a woman approached Him seeking help for her sick daughter: “Have mercy on me, Lord!” (v. 22). It is the cry that is born out of a life marked by suffering, from the sense of the helplessness of a mamma who sees her daughter tormented by evil who cannot be healed; she cannot heal her. Jesus initially ignores her, but this mother insists; she insists, even when the Master says to the disciples that His mission is directed only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (v. 24) and not to the pagans. She continues to beg Him, and at that point, He puts her to the test, citing a proverb. It’s a bit…this seems almost a bit cruel, but she puts her to the test: “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs” (v. 26). And right away, the woman, quick, anguished, responds: “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (v. 27).

And with these words, that mother shows that she has perceived the goodness of the Most High God present in Jesus who is open to any of His creatures necessities. And this wisdom, filled with trust, touches Jesus’s heart and provokes words of admiration: “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish” (v. 28). What type of faith is great? Great faith is that which brings its own story, marked even by wounds, and brings it to the Lord’s feet asking Him to heal them, to give them meaning.

Each one of us has our own story and it is not always a story “of export”, it is not always a clean story… Many times it is a difficult story, with a lot of pain, many misfortunes and many sins. What do I do with my story? Do I hide it? No! We must bring it before the Lord. “Lord, if You will it, you can heal me!” This is what this woman teaches us, this wonderful mother: the courage to bring our own painful story before God, before Jesus, to touch God’s tenderness, Jesus’s tenderness. Let’s try this story, this prayer: let each one of us think of his or her own story. There are always ugly things in a story, always. Let us go to Jesus, knock on Jesus’s heart and say to Him: “Lord, if You will it, you can heal me!” And we can do this if we always have the face of Jesus before us, if we understand what Christ’s heart is like, what Jesus’s heart is like: a heart that feels compassion, that bears our pains, that bears our sins, our mistakes, our failures. But it is a heart that love us like that, as we are, without make-up: He loves us like that. “Lord, if You will it, you can heal me!” This is why it is necessary to understand Jesus, to be familiar with Jesus.

I always go back to the advice that I give you: always carry a small pocket-size Gospel and read a passage every day. There you will find Jesus as He is, as He presents Himself; you will find Jesus who loves us, who loves us a lot, who tremendously wants our well-being. Let us remember the prayer: “Lord, if You will it, you can heal me!” A beautiful prayer. Carry the Gospel: in your purse, in your pocket and even on your mobile phone, to look at. May the Lord help us, all of us, to pray this beautiful prayer, that a pagan woman teaches us: not a Christian woman, not a Jewish woman, a pagan woman.

May the Virgin Mary intercede with her prayer so that the joy of faith might grow in every baptized person as well as the desire to communicate it through a consistent witness of life, that she give us the courage to approach Jesus and to say to Him: “Lord, if You will it, you can heal me!”

© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary – 16 August 2020

corby-eisbacher-jump-for-joy

Image: ‘Jump for Joy’ (c) Corby Eisbacher

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 continuing to shield, 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-on-night-light

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

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

st-stephens

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-3

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

live-stream-masses

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:

candle-small

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-assumption

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-assumption

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

sunday-plus-assumption

 

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

 

3)  For Children:

child-praying-hands-1510773_960_720

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-assumption

 

kidz-zone_we-are-cafod-illustration_opt_fullstory_small

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…

ventriloquist

next-weeks-covid-19-news

 

God bless you,
Fr Dave


19th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 15 August 2020

vj-day-logo

VJ DAY 75

On this day seventy-five years ago, 15 August 1945, the Second World War finally came to an end with the surrender of Japan.  It followed the end of the war in Europe which was marked by VE Day (Victory in Europe) in May.

The Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, will lead a televised two-minute silence at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire at 11.00 am.  Following the silence, there will be a fly-past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, observed by a number of veterans.

A Prayer for VJ Day

God our Father,
in the dying and rising of your Son, Jesus Christ,
you have brought life and salvation out of cruelty and death.
We mark Victory in Japan in gratitude
for the courage of the Allied forces
who suffered for freedom in the Far East campaign,
and in sorrow for all that hinders the coming of your kingdom of peace.
Give us wisdom to learn from the bitter memories of war,
and hearts that long for the unity of all nations.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
in whom there is no east or west, no north or south,
but one fellowship of love across the whole earth.
Amen.

(c) Praxis 2020, the Church of England

 

Friday 14 August 2020

alan-kurdi

Migrants and Refugees

Liam Allmark, Head of Public Affairs for the Bishops’ Conference, has written a blog post for premierchristianity.com stressing that our fundamental starting point should be the protection of human life as refugees continue to risk their lives crossing the English Channel.

Alan Kurdi would be around eight years old today if he had not drowned during the early hours of 2 September 2015. For a short time, images of his body on a Turkish beach changed how we talked about refugees. Not as a political problem to be solved, but as human beings who deserve protection.

Compare that to the response this summer as desperate women, men and children risk their lives crossing the English Channel. Amid the clamour of politicians talking about law enforcement or sending the navy to stop boats, the words ‘person’ or ‘human’ are conspicuous by their absence.

Meanwhile parts of the British press have taken to broadcasting live footage and running commentary as people struggle towards safety in overcrowded dinghies, like they are contestants in a dystopian reality TV show.

This spectacle could not be more at odds with our fundamental Christian belief that everyone is made in the image of God. Perhaps now more than ever, we have an imperative to ensure the person does not get lost in the politics.

There are many reasons why a small number of people driven from their homes by war, poverty or persecution are currently trying to reach the UK from mainland Europe. Some have family here. Others have been mistreated by the authorities and are scared to remain where they are. Several know basic English, so have better life chances this side of the Channel. Essentially, they are making the kind of decisions any of us would in their circumstances.

The journeys of refugees have always been complicated. Jewish people fleeing the Nazis arrived through lots of different routes, often crossing multiple borders and sometimes moving onwards after a short time in the UK. My own family escaped Myanmar’s military dictatorship, via Thailand, to settle in London because, as part of the Anglo-Indian community, they already spoke English and had connections here.

The debates currently raging about where people should claim asylum and whether they could stay in other supposedly safe countries are far more nuanced than they first appear. They are also a distraction from what should be our fundamental starting point: protecting human life.

At this stage our government faces a decision. By prioritising more resources for search and rescue efforts we may help to avert the tragedy of Alan Kurdi’s death being repeated on the South coast of England. On the contrary, turning back unsafe boats in order to enforce draconian immigration controls will only put more people at risk. From a Christian perspective the choice is clear.

At the same time, there is an urgent need for more safe and legal routes to the UK, so that people do not have to undertake dangerous journeys in the first place. This is essential for saving lives, but also integral to our understanding of one global family, in which we all must take responsibility for those who are most vulnerable.

Of the world’s eighty million displaced people, only a tiny fraction seek sanctuary in the UK. The vast majority are accommodated by the world’s poorest countries and many of our European neighbours play a much bigger role than us. Extending opportunities for resettlement and family reunification causes championed by so many of our churches, is surely now a more urgent moral duty than at any time in our recent history.

This is also a critical moment to confront questions of justice and peace, particularly concerning the UK’s complicity in displacing people from their homes. Last year hundreds of Christians protested outside London’s Excel Centre, where our government was running Europe’s largest arms fair and hosting regimes responsible for some of the world’s most prolific human rights abuses.

Many of those being refused sanctuary are fleeing precisely because our own country has fuelled conflicts and repression across the globe. As Christians we are called to both care for our neighbour and welcome the stranger, twin obligations that should shape our response to this hypocrisy.

Around two thousand years before Alan Kurdi and his family set out on in search of safety, Jesus and his family began their own flight as refugees. And when his death reminded the world that every refugee is a human being, Christians were among those at the forefront of demanding that our governments act with humanity and compassion.

Today, as more desperate families risk their lives trying to reach the UK’s shores, let’s raise our voices once again.

 

Thursday 13 August 2020

t-00601-ol

School of Prayer

School of Prayer is a new series from the Archdiocese which will enable people to explore different ways of praying.

Session 1 – An Introduction to Prayer (click on the link below):

school-of-prayer-1

Picture above (c) Elizabeth Wang from her website: www.radiantlight.org.uk 

 

Wednesday 12 August 2020

synod-theme2

A Sharing Church

The link below will take you to a third video from Fr Chris Thomas, Director of the Irenaeus Project, who has begun a series reflecting 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 11 August 2020 – St Clare of Assisi

woman-upset-1-1200x800-1-1140x641

Practical Booklet on Domestic Abuse

In order to raise awareness within the Catholic community of domestic abuse and the impact upon victims and their children, the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) has released a booklet that offers pastoral care and guidance.

Commending the booklet, the Bishops’ Conference Liaison to the NBCW, Abbot Hugh Allan, O.Praem, believes its publication is particularly timely:

“At a time when the crisis around the pandemic has seen an increase in cases of domestic abuse, this timely booklet from the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) is an excellent resource for all of us.  The masterpiece of creation is a human being.  This great dignity is the birth right of everyone.  The welfare and safety of all God’s children is a something every Christian has a responsibility to act upon.  No one should ever live in fear of violence, or of any kind of abuse.”

The booklet contains notes on Church teaching on violence in relationships – including extracts from the 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia – and provides useful links and resources to help both those suffering in various situations of domestic abuse and also survivors who need time, space and help to recover.

Preventing and combating domestic abuse is a shared responsibility and the booklet contains a section offering simple, practical guidance to Catholics in England and Wales who want to play their part.

You can read the booklet here:

nbcw-domestic-abuse-a4-booklet

Please pass it on to anyone you know who may find it helpful.

Lord,
protect me
Guide me
Keep me safe.
Grant me the strength, wisdom and good judgement
To know what to do in any situation.
Help me to know when and who to ask for help.
Help me to value myself as you value me
And expect the love and respect you intend for me.
Help me to break old patterns that have harmed me
And put me at risk.
Help me to remember that I can say no to anything
That is not in my best interests.
Help me to remember that you made me to be in your image
As a precious child of God.
With my unique gifts and contributions to this wonderful world.
Help me to remove or avoid anything
That stands between me and my path,
My journey and all that makes me the best that I can be.
Let me feel worthy of love
And let your love in
To mend this broken heart, mind and life
So that I can be whole and wonderful.
In you I place my love and trust.
Protect me, Lord. Amen

Prayer from Nikki Dhillon Keane’s book, ‘Domestic Abuse in Church Communities: a safe pastoral response’ (published in 2018).

 

Monday 10 August 2020

I’ve just seen a news clip on TV of a large group of evangelical Christians in America defying local authorities by holding a massive rally.  They said, “It’s our right! You can’t cancel Jesus!”  When challenged about Covid-19, they said: “Jesus will look after us!”  When asked about wearing masks, they replied: “It’s not American! Authority comes from the people, not the government!”  When asked about unwittingly spreading the virus, they replied:  “It’s all being blown out of proportion! People should stay away if they’re sick.”

You know, Jesus expects us to help him to help us and each other.  This kind of selfish attitude is the opposite of being Christian.  It’s misguided and dangerous.  It’s all about ‘me’ and nothing to do with Jesus and other people.

And then I saw the image below, and I was reminded that for all the selfishness in the world, there are a lot of good, humble and holy people too.  This does my heart good…

teacher-pick-up-truck

 

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 9 August 2020

19th-sunday-in-ordinary-time-year-a-silas-baisch-ceito2rldgc-unsplash

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-on-night-light

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

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

st-stephens

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-3

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

live-stream-masses

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:

candle-small

Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-19a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-19a

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

sunday-plus-19a

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

 

3)  For Children:

child-praying-hands-1510773_960_720

You might like to use the following sheet:

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

look-19a

kidz-zone_we-are-cafod-illustration_opt_fullstory_small

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…

where-should-we-go-to-church

santa-in-quarantine

God bless you,
Fr Dave


18th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 8 August 2020

Sent in by a parishioner… a bit risky for a parish website maybe, but it will make you smile…

Just a Social Girl by Jan Beaumont

I’m normally a social girl
I love to meet my mates
But lately with the virus here
We can’t go out the gates.

You see, we are the ‘oldies’ now
We need to stay inside
If they haven’t seen us for a while
They’ll think we’ve upped and died.

They’ll never know the things we did
Before we got this old
There wasn’t any Facebook
So not everything was told.

We may seem sweet old ladies
Who would never be uncouth
But we grew up in the 60s –
If you only knew the truth!

There was sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll
The pill and miniskirts
We smoked, we drank, we partied
And were quite outrageous flirts.

Then we settled down, got married
And turned into someone’s mum,
Somebody’s wife, then nanna,
Who on earth did we become?

We didn’t mind the change of pace
Because our lives were full
But to bury us before we’re dead
Is like a red rag to a bull!

So here you find me stuck inside
For 4 weeks, maybe more
I finally found myself again
Then I had to close the door!

It didn’t really bother me
I’d while away the hour
I’d bake for all the family
But I’ve got no bloody flour!

Now Netflix is just wonderful
I like a gutsy thriller
I’m swooning over Idris
Or some random sexy killer.

At least I’ve got a stash of booze
For when I’m being idle
There’s wine and whiskey, even gin
If I’m feeling suicidal!

So let’s all drink to lockdown
To recovery and health
And hope this bloody virus
Doesn’t decimate our wealth.

We’ll all get through the crisis
And be back to join our mates
Just hoping I’m not far too wide
To fit through the flaming gates!

 

Friday 7 August 2020

compassion

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

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

 

Thursday 6 August 2020 – Feast of the Transfiguration

transfig-irish-bishops

On this feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, we pray:

May the heavenly nourishment we have received, O Lord, we pray,
transform us into the likeness of your Son,
whose radiant splendour you willed to make manifest
in his glorious Transfiguration.

(Prayer after Communion)

The feast of the Transfiguration also marks the day, 75 years ago, when a nuclear weapon was detonated over Hiroshima and, three days later, over Nagasaki.  Today, let’s pray with the people of Japan.  With them, let’s remember the tens of thousands of people who were killed – some immediately, others in the months and years that followed.  Let’s remember too those who survived – many with injuries and sickness.  Above all, let us pray for peace and for an end to weapons of mass destruction.

Last November, Pope Francis visited Nagasaki and made this profound address:

pope-nagasaki-vatican-image

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This place makes us deeply aware of the pain and horror that we human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another. The damaged cross and statue of Our Lady recently discovered in the Cathedral of Nagasaki remind us once more of the unspeakable horror suffered in the flesh by the victims of the bombing and their families.

One of the deepest longings of the human heart is for security, peace and stability. The possession of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction is not the answer to this desire; indeed they seem always to thwart it. Our world is marked by a perverse dichotomy that tries to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security sustained by a mentality of fear and mistrust, one that ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing any form of dialogue.

Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation. They can be achieved only on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation in the service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the whole human family of today and tomorrow.

Here in this city which witnessed the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of a nuclear attack, our attempts to speak out against the arms race will never be enough. The arms race wastes precious resources that could be better used to benefit the integral development of peoples and to protect the natural environment. In a world where millions of children and families live in inhumane conditions, the money that is squandered and the fortunes made through the manufacture, upgrading, maintenance and sale of ever more destructive weapons, are an affront crying out to heaven.

A world of peace, free from nuclear weapons, is the aspiration of millions of men and women everywhere. To make this ideal a reality calls for involvement on the part of all: individuals, religious communities and civil society, countries that possess nuclear weapons and those that do not, the military and private sectors, and international organizations. Our response to the threat of nuclear weapons must be joint and concerted, inspired by the arduous yet constant effort to build mutual trust and thus surmount the current climate of distrust. In 1963, Saint John XXIII writing in his Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, in addition to urging the prohibition of atomic weapons (cf. No. 112), stated that authentic and lasting international peace cannot rest on a balance of military power, but only upon mutual trust (cf. No. 113).

There is a need to break down the climate of distrust that risks leading to a dismantling of the international arms control framework. We are witnessing an erosion of multilateralism which is all the more serious in light of the growth of new forms of military technology. Such an approach seems highly incongruous in today’s context of interconnectedness; it represents a situation that urgently calls for the attention and commitment of all leaders.

For her part, the Catholic Church is irrevocably committed to promoting peace between peoples and nations. This is a duty to which the Church feels bound before God and every man and woman in our world. We must never grow weary of working to support the principal international legal instruments of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. Last July, the bishops of Japan launched an appeal for the abolition of nuclear arms, and each August the Church in Japan holds a ten-day prayer meeting for peace. May prayer, tireless work in support of agreements and insistence on dialogue be the most powerful “weapons” in which we put our trust and the inspiration of our efforts to build a world of justice and solidarity that can offer an authentic assurance of peace.

Convinced as I am that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security. We need to ponder the catastrophic impact of their deployment, especially from a humanitarian and environmental standpoint, and reject heightening a climate of fear, mistrust and hostility fomented by nuclear doctrines. The current state of our planet requires a serious reflection on how its resources can be employed in light of the complex and difficult implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in order to achieve the goal of an integrated human development. Saint Paul VI suggested as much in 1964, when he proposed the establishment of a Global Fund to assist those most impoverished peoples, drawn partially from military expenditures (cf. Declaration to Journalists, 4 December 1964; Populorum Progressio, 51).

All of this necessarily calls for the creation of tools for ensuring trust and reciprocal development, and counts on leaders capable of rising to these occasions. It is a task that concerns and challenges every one of us. No one can be indifferent to the pain of millions of men and women whose sufferings trouble our consciences today. No one can turn a deaf ear to the plea of our brothers and sisters in need. No one can turn a blind eye to the ruin caused by a culture incapable of dialogue.

I ask you to join in praying each day for the conversion of hearts and for the triumph of a culture of life, reconciliation and fraternity. A fraternity that can recognize and respect diversity in the quest for a common destiny.

I know that some here are not Catholics, but I am certain that we can all make our own the prayer for peace attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

In this striking place of remembrance that stirs us from our indifference, it is all the more meaningful that we turn to God with trust, asking him to teach us to be effective instruments of peace and to make every effort not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

May you and your families, and this entire nation, know the blessings of prosperity and social harmony!

Text (c)  Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Image (c) Vatican News

 

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