Fr Dave's Blog

15th Week in Ordinary Time

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

sun15a

Sunday Mass 

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

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

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

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

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

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

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

st-stephen-warrington-1

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

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

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

 

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

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

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

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-15a

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

sunday-plus-15a

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

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You might like to use the following sheet:

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

look-15a

cafod

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

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

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

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

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

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

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

statues-fight-back

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


14th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 11 July 2020 – Feast of St Benedict, Abbot

st-benedict-fort-worth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer of St Benedict

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

 

Friday 10 July 2020

mercy

Thought for the Day

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

Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI

Psalm 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thursday 9 July 2020

online-masses-healthcare

Mass for the Sick and Front-line Care Workers

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

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

Prayer

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

Rev Jennie Hurd, Chair of the Cymru Methodist District

 

Wednesday 8 July 2020

synod-update

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

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

 

Tuesday 7 July 2020

rejoice

Open for Mass!

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

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

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

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

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

Temporary Mass Times at St Benedict’s

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday 6 July 2020

Another beautiful prayer from Raymond Friel:

Night Prayer

May the knots
of this day
loosen

May the storms
of this day
pass

May the wrongs
of this day
wither

May the good done
take root
and last

Raymond Friel

 

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

sun14ai

 

Sunday Mass

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

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

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

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

st-stephen-warrington-1

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Sunday Plus:  (click on image to enlarge)

   sunday-plus-14a

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

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

You might like to use the following sheet:

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

look-14a

cafod

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

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

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

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

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

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

social-distancing-baptism

ooom

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


13th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 4 July 2020

Could I ask you to think about signing this petition?  

Halt Trident renewal and spend the funds on fighting the coronavirus

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

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

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

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

 

Friday 3 July 2020 – Feast of St Thomas the Apostle

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

 

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

 

Thursday 2 July 2020

votive-candles

Prayer for the Sick

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

From ‘Prayers before the Blessed Sacrament’ by Timothy Menezes

Quotes from the Saints

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

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

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

 

Wednesday 1 July 2020

eucharist

CELEBRATING MASS FROM 7 JULY 2020

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

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

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

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

 

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

Tuesday to Friday

Mass will be celebrated at 11.00 am

Sunday

There will be two Masses:  10.00 am & 12.00 noon

 

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

Monday to Friday:   10.30 am – 2.30 pm

 

Why isn’t St Oswald’s open?

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

God bless,
Fr Dave 

 

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Life After the Pandemic – Pope Francis

life-after-pandemic

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

life-after-the-pandemic

 

Monday 29 June 2020

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

 

And one from the archives…

 

Solemnity of SS Peter & Paul – 28 June 2020

peterpaul

Pastoral Letter

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

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

Message from Cardinal Nichols:

 

Sunday Mass

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

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

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

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

st-stephen-warrington-1

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

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

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

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

cafod

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

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

 

4)  Isolated but not alone! 

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

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

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

working-from-home

 

zoom-meeting-etiquette

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


12th Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday 27 June 2020

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

 

Friday 26 June 2020

church-reddiness-1200x800-1-1140x641

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

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

✠ Vincent Cardinal Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

✠ Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool

✠ Bernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

✠ John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark

 

Caring for our Pets

hot-weather-dogs

dogs

cats-in-hot-weather-1

cats-in-hot-weather

 

Thursday 25 June 2020

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

Thought for the day

washing-of-feet

To be ‘Catholic’

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

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI

 

Wednesday 24 June 2020 – Nativity of John the Baptist

care

Coronavirus Letter to Humanity

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

And so I was born…

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

The earth cried out for help…

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

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

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

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

But now I am here.

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

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

How does that feel?

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

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

And I made the world stop…

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

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

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

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

Because next time I may come back even stronger….

Signed,
Coronavirus

By Vivienne R Reich

 

Tuesday 23 June 2020

yannick-pulver-fau2ni1uixg-unsplash

Image (c) Yanu

The 7 Cardinal Rules of Life

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

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

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

 

Monday 22 June 2020

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

Copyright (c) BBC.

 

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

pope-baby-kiss

Day for Life

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

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

care-for-dying

Sunday Mass

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

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

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

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

st-stephen-warrington-1

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

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

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

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

cafod

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

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

 

4)  Isolated but not alone!

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

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

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

The Last Supper on Zoom!

last-supper-on-zoom

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

plan-for-mass

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


11th Week of Ordinary Time

Saturday 20 June 2020

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

let-yourself-rest

 

Friday 19 June 2020 – Sacred Heart

free-clipart-sacred-heart-of-jesus

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

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

In the presence of the Holy One

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thursday 18 June 2020

Grandparents

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

grandparents-by-juan-lucena

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

Prayer for Grandparents by Pope Benedict

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

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

 

Wednesday 17 June 2020

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

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

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

 

Tuesday 16 June 2020

candles

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey

 

Monday 15 June 2020

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

 

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

with-you-always-2

Sunday Mass

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

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

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

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

st-stephen-warrington-1

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

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

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

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

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

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

cafod

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

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

 

4)  Isolated but not alone!

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

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

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

 

dog-on-beach

 

without-wanting-to-offend

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


10th Week of Ordinary Time

Saturday 13 June 2020

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

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

 

Friday 12 June 2020

Reopening of Churches in Warrington

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

p7020300_575_768_80-2016_06_02-17_41_42-utc

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

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

Sunday
2.00 – 5.00 pm

3054181_e3275da7-2017_03_20-16_58_14-utc

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

Monday to Friday
10.30 am – 2.30 pm

Sunday
10.00 am – 12.30 pm

st-joseph-penketh

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

Monday to Friday
10.00 am – 1.00 pm

 

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

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

ask-for-a-test

 

Thursday 11 June 2020

Phased Reopening of Churches

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

Message from Cardinal Nichols

 

 

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

 

Wednesday 10 June 2020

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

 

How good is that?

Just remember to wash the sock first!

 

Tuesday 9 June 2020

pope-francis

Prayer from Pope Francis

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

Source: Vatican News

Remember Me

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

https://www.rememberme2020.uk

 

Monday 8 June 2020

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

Reopening of Churches and Places of Worship

Statement from Cardinal Nichols

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

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

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

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

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

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Government Guidance

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

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

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

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

Full version of the press release:

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

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

 

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

trinity-sunday

Sunday Mass

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

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral

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

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

st-stephen-warrington-1

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

www.st-stephens-warrington.co.uk

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-1

Fr Peter now uploads Mass from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

online-masses-healthcare

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-7-june

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

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

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

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

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

cafod

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

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

 

4)  Isolated but not alone!

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

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

 

5)  And finally, a little humour…

cliff-richard

Twitter can be cruel…

twitter-is-cruel

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


9th Week of Ordinary Time

Saturday 6 June 2020

360891

Prayer to Overcome Racism

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

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

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

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

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

Amen.

(c) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Friday 5 June 2020

season-of-creation

When this is all over
by Laura Kelly Fanucci

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

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

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

 

Thursday 4 June 2020

This will cheer you up…

Modern Global Pathogen

 

Wednesday 3 June 2020

A Simple Prayer

votive-candle

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

Funeral of Bishop Vincent Malone

 bishop-vincent

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

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG8aKUEHZ64  

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

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE7dJeyyQ5c

 

Tuesday 2 June 2020

prayer-hands-clipart

When I can’t pray

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

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

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

 

Monday 1 June 2020 – Mary, Mother of the Church

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

 

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Pentecost Sunday

Solemnity of Pentecost (A) – 31 May 2020

pentecost2

Message for Pentecost from the Archbishop

 

Two Cathedrals Service

The traditional ecumenical service for Pentecost will be brought to us on-line this year with contributions from Merseyside Church Leaders. It is scheduled to go live at 3.00 pm today, the time the Pentecost Walk would normally take place. Here is the link to the Service, entitled ‘Our Service of Hope’ https://youtu.be/be6wXf_cuJQ

cathedrals

 

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-pentecost

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-pentecost

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-31-may-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-31-may-2020

Children’s Liturgy Sheet:    ichthus-31-may-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…

dads-army-school

anty-bodies

 

With my prayers,
Fr Dave


7th Week of Easter

7th Saturday of Easter – 30 May 2020

pope-francis

Below is the third talk Pope Francis gave on prayer during his General Audience recently:

The Mystery of Creation

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

Let us continue the catechesis on prayer, by meditating on the mystery of Creation. Life, the simple fact that we exist, opens mankind’s heart to prayer.

The first page of the Bible resembles a great hymn of thanksgiving. The narrative of Creation has a rhythm with refrains, where the goodness and beauty of every living thing is continually emphasized. With his word, God calls to life, and every thing comes into existence. With his word, he separates life from darkness, alternates day and night, interchanges the seasons, opens a palette of colours with the variety of plants and animals. In this overflowing forest that quickly vanquishes the chaos, the last one to appear is man. And this appearance inspires an extreme exultation that amplifies his satisfaction and joy: “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31). Very good, but also beautiful: the beauty of all creation can be seen!

The beauty and mystery of Creation create in the human heart the first impulse that evokes prayer (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2566). The eighth Psalm which we heard earlier states: “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?” (vv. 3-4). The one praying contemplates the mystery of the life around him; he sees the starry sky that lies above him — and that astrophysics shows us today in all its immensity — and asks himself what loving plan must there be behind such ponderous work!… And, in this boundless expanse, what is man? ‘Almost nothing’, another Psalm states (cf. 89:48): a being that is born, a being that dies, an extremely fragile creature. Yet, in all the universe, the human being is the only creature aware of the great profusion of beauty. A small being who is born, who dies; he is here today and gone tomorrow. He is the only one who is aware of this beauty. We are aware of this beauty!

Mankind’s prayer is closely linked to the sentiment of wonder. The greatness of man is infinitesimal when compared to the dimensions of the universe. His greatest conquests seem quite small… However man is not nothing. In prayer a sentiment of mercy is powerfully confirmed. Nothing exists by chance: the secret of the universe lies in a benevolent gaze that someone meets in our eyes. The Psalm states that we are made little less than God; we are crowned with glory and honour (cf. 8:6). The relationship with God is man’s greatness, his enthronement. By nature we are almost nothing, small, but by vocation, by calling, we are the children of the great King!

It is an experience that many of us have had. If life’s events, with all their bitterness, sometimes risk choking the gift of prayer that is within us, it is enough to contemplate a starry sky, a sunset, a flower…, in order to rekindle a spark of thanksgiving. This experience is perhaps the basis of the first page of the Bible.

The people of Israel were not experiencing happy days when the great biblical narrative of Creation was written. An enemy power had occupied their land; many had been deported, and they now found themselves slaves in Mesopotamia. There was no more homeland, nor temple, nor social and religious life, nothing.

Yet, precisely in starting from the great narrative of Creation, someone began to find reasons for thanksgiving, to praise God for his or her existence. Prayer is the first strength of hope. You pray and hope grows, it moves forward. I would say that prayer opens the door to hope. There is hope but I open the door with my prayer. Because people of prayer safeguard basic truths; they are the ones who repeat, first and foremost to themselves and then to all the others, that this life, despite all its toils and trials, despite its difficult days, is full of a grace that is awe inspiring. And as such it must always be defended and protected.

Men and women who pray know that hope is stronger than discouragement. They believe that love is more powerful than death, and that surely one day it will triumph, even if in times and ways that we do not understand. Men and women of prayer bear gleaming reflections of light on their faces: because, the sun does not stop illuminating them, even in the darkest of days. Prayer illuminates you: it illuminates the souls, it illuminates the heart and it illuminates the face. Even in the darkest times, even in times of greatest suffering.

We are all bearers of joy. Have you considered this? That you are bearers of joy? Or do you prefer to bring bad news, things that sadden? We are capable of bearing joy. This life is the gift that God gave us: and it is too short to consume it in sadness, in bitterness. Let us praise God, happy to simply exist. Let us look at the universe, let us look at beauty and let us also look at our crosses and say: ‘You exist, you made us like this, for you’. It is necessary to feel that unrest of the heart that leads to thanking and praising God. We are children of the great King, of the Creator, capable of reading his signature in all of Creation. We are not safeguarding that creation today, but that creation holds the signature of God who made it out of love. May the Lord make us understand this ever more deeply and lead us to say “thank you”; and that “thank you” is a beautiful prayer.

 

7th Friday of Easter – 29 May 2020

The Church of England has produced a lovely little book of prayers for use during the current pandemic.  You can download it here:

prayer-book-church-of-england

 

7th Thursday of Easter – 28 May 2020

Today, a little something to make you smile.

First, sports commentator, Andrew Cotter, with another episode of Olive and Mabel:

 

Ever played peekaboo? …

 

And finally, watch this cat trying to understand snooker…

 

7th Wednesday of Easter – 27 May 2020

the-lords-prayer

The Lord’s Prayer
A reflection on the prayer Jesus taught us written by Raymond Friel:

Our Father
Not a frightening God
But the loving father of all humanity

Who art in heaven
Not far away but very close
Heaven is where we find the presence of God

Hallowed be thy name
We place your name above all other names
We praise you, we honour you, we thank you

Thy kingdom come
May the world look like the kind of place
God wants it to be, just and compassionate

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
We all want different things
But it’s what you want for us and the whole world that matters

Give us this day our daily bread
Give everybody what they need to live, physically and spiritually,
Give us the grace to help them

And forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
If we don’t forgive other people
We won’t be able to feel forgiven

And lead us not into temptation
Protect us from the glamorous path
The world sets before us

But deliver us from evil
Spare us from the terrible things human beings are capable of and help us to stand against evil in our world when we can

Amen.
Let all this be so.

 

7th Tuesday of Easter – 26 May 2020

Alive Publishing www.alivepublishing.co.uk have produced a little brochure of prayers and thoughts which may be helpful.  Click on the images below:

inspiration-in-times-of-isolation-p14

inspiration-in-times-of-isolation-p23

 

7th Monday of Easter – 25 May 2020

grandparents

Missing You
A  prayer for grandparents and grandchildren missing each other

Lord,

I am missing their tiny hands in mine,
I miss their wrinkles and their smile.

I am missing their visits and our weekly walks,
I miss their voice and our face to face talks.

I am missing hearing all about their day,
I miss them showing me the way.

I am missing hugs and kisses,
I miss sharing fun and wishes.

I am missing tucking them in on sleepovers,
I miss story time snuggled under the covers.

I am missing joining our hands in prayer ,
I miss just having them there.

I am missing seeing them grow,
I miss them sharing all the things they know.

I am missing the rites of passage that have passed,
I miss them being with us at Mass.

I am missing the grandchildren’s ring on the door bell,
I miss granny and grandad and hope they are well.

I am missing their presence day and night,
I miss my grandparents, my guiding light.

Please bless my grandchildren, and keep them safe and sound,
Pease mind granny and grandad until we can have them around.

By Brenda Drumm

 

7th Sunday of Easter (A) – 24 May 2020

wcd-donate-1200-800-1140x641

World Communications Day

Today is World Communications Day when we pray especially for all those who work in the media.  You might spare a prayer for a good friend of mine – Peter Heneghan.  Peter is the Archdiocesan Press Officer and a great support to the parishes and priests of the diocese.

Before the pandemic, Pope Francis wrote a letter for today entitled, “That you may tell your children and grandchildren”.  You can read it here:

pope-francis-world-communications-day-2020

eb_07dcomeholysp

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-easter-7a

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-easter-7a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-24-may-2020

 

3)  For Children:

prayer-table-photo

Collective Worship for Children:    collective-worship-for-children-24-may

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-24-may-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…

ascension-humour

cat-breaking-lockdown

 

With my prayers,

Fr Dave


6th Week of Easter

6th Saturday of Easter – 23 May 2020

During May, Pope Francis began a catechesis on prayer during his weekly General Audience.  The Vatican has just released his second talk:

pope-francis

The God of Love

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

Today we take our second step in the journey of catechesis on prayer that we began last week.

Praying with our hearts

Prayer belongs to everyone: to men and women of every religion, and probably also to those who profess none. Prayer arises in our innermost self, in that interior place that spiritual authors call “heart” (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2562-2563). Therefore, it is not something peripheral that prays within us, it is not some secondary and marginal ability that we have, but rather it is our most intimate mystery. It is this mystery that prays. Feelings pray, but one cannot say that prayer is only feeling. Intelligence prays, but praying is not simply an intellectual act. The body prays, but one can speak with God even having the most serious disability. Thus the entire man prays if he prays with his “heart”.

Prayer is an impulse; it is an invocation that goes beyond ourselves: something that is born in the intimacy of our person and extends, because it senses the nostalgia of an encounter. That nostalgia which is more than a need, more than a necessity: it is a path. Prayer is the voice of an “I” that fumbles, that proceeds unsteadily in search of a “You”. The encounter between the “I” and the “You” cannot occur via calculators: it is a human encounter and we often proceed unsteadily in order to find the “You” that my “I” is seeking.

Jesus reveals God to us

Instead, the prayer of a Christian arises from a revelation: the “You” did not remain shrouded in mystery, but rather entered into a relationship with us. Christianity is the religion that continually celebrates God’s “manifestation”, that is, his epiphany. The first feasts of the liturgical year are the celebration of this God who does not remain hidden, but rather offers his friendship to mankind. God reveals his glory in the poverty of Bethlehem, in the contemplation of the Magi, in the baptism in the River Jordan, in the miracle of the wedding at Cana. The Gospel of John concludes the great hymn of the Prologue with a concise affirmation,: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (1:18). It was Jesus who revealed God to us.

The prayer of a Christian enters into a relationship with the God of the most tender face, who does not wish to instill any fear in men and women. This is the first characteristic of Christian prayer. While men and women had always been accustomed to drawing near to God somewhat intimidated, somewhat fearful of this fascinating and tremendous mystery, while they had been accustomed to worshiping him with a servile attitude, similar to that of a vassal who does not wish to disrespect his lord, Christians instead address him by daring to  call him intimately with the name, “Father”. Indeed, Jesus uses the other word: “Dad”.

God is a Father, a Mother

Christianity has banned all “feudal” relationships from the bond with God. In the heritage of our faith there are no expressions such as “subjection”, “slavery” or “servitude”; but rather, words like “covenant”, “friendship”, “promise”, “communion”, “closeness”. In his long farewell discourse to his disciples, Jesus says this: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (Jn 15:15-16). But this is a blank cheque: “whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will give to you”!

God is a friend, an ally, a spouse. In prayer one can establish an intimate relationship with him, so much so that in the “Our Father” Jesus taught us to address to him a series of questions. We can ask God everything, everything; explain everything, recount everything. It does not matter if we feel flawed in our relationship with God: we are not good friends, we are not grateful children, we are not faithful spouses. He continues to love us. It is what Jesus shows definitively at the Last Supper when he says: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Lk 22:20).

Opening our heart’s door

With that gesture in the Upper Room, Jesus foreshadows  the mystery of the Cross. God is a faithful ally: if men and women cease to love him, he nevertheless continues to love, even if love leads him to Calvary. God is always close to our heart’s door and he waits for us to open it to him. And sometimes he knocks on the heart, but he is not intrusive: he waits. God’s patience with us is the patience of a father, of one who loves us dearly. I would say it is the combined patience of  a father and a mother. Always close to our heart, and when he knocks he does so with tenderness and with much love.

Let us all try to pray this way, by entering the mystery of the Covenant. To place ourselves through prayer into the merciful arms of God, to feel enveloped by that mystery of happiness which is Trinitarian life, to feel like guests who were not worthy of so much honour. And to repeat to God in the wonder of prayer: how can you know only love? He does not know hatred. He is hated but he does not know hatred. He knows only love. This is the God to whom we pray. This is the incandescent core of all Christian prayer. The God of love, our Father who waits for us and accompanies us.

 

6th Friday of Easter – 22 May 2020

A Message from Archbishop Malcolm for yesterday’s Solemnity of the Ascension:

 

Pentecost Novena

thy-kingdom-come-2020

During these days between the Solemnity of the Ascension and the Feast of Pentecost in ten days time, we’re invited to join in praying with Christians across the world for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives, in the Church and throughout the world.  You can join in the Novena here:

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/pentecost-novena

pentecost-novena-booklet

 

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (A) – 21 May 2020

madonna-clipart-4

On this fortieth day of Easter, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.

1)  If you want to mark this day at home, there is a simple prayer service here:

celebrating-the-ascension-at-home

2)  If you prefer to join in Mass online:

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

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

There will also be plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites:

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

 

6th Wednesday of Easter – 20 May 2020

bishop-arnold

This evening at 6.00 pm, Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford and Chair of CAFOD, will be celebrating a special Laudato Si’ Mass at Salford Cathedral to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical “on care for our common home”.  You can join in the Mass, which will be streamed live, on the link below:

https://www.churchservices.tv/salfordcathedral

 

6th Tuesday of Easter – 19 May 2020

This Sunday, 24 May, marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, “on care for our common home”.  Clink on the picture below to see the prayer:

prayer-card-web-en-690x450

 

6th Monday of Easter – 18 May 2020

vm

Bishop Vincent Malone, RIP

It is with great sadness that the death is announced of the Right Reverend Vincent Malone, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Liverpool and Titular Bishop of Abora. Bishop Malone died this morning, Monday 18 May, at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. He was admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

Bishop Vincent trained for the priesthood at St Joseph’s College, Upholland, and was ordained priest at St Oswald’s Church, Old Swan, Liverpool on 18 September 1955. After a number of years spent in the teaching profession, mainly at Cardinal Allen Grammar School, Liverpool, he became chaplain to the University of Liverpool in 1971 and then Administrator of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in 1979.

On 13 May 1989 he was named as Titular Bishop of Abora and Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, and received episcopal consecration the following 3 July. His resignation as Auxiliary Bishop was accepted on 26 October 2006, shortly after his 75th birthday, but he continued in his roles as Vicar General and Trustee of the Archdiocese until last year and as Canon of the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter until his death.

We give thanks to God for Bishop Vincent’s long and faithful ministry among us.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

votive-in-hand

I came across these words of wisdom yesterday:

Some perspective!

1. There are no bombs raining on our heads.
2. I am not a prisoner held in solitary confinement, as millions are.
3. I am not a refugee trying to escape with my life.
4. I am not standing in line waiting to fill a pot of water.
5. I have access to fresh food and I’m not starving.
6. I have hot running water.
7. My country has not been ruined by years of war.
8. I can reach my friends by phone and check in on them.
9. My friends check in on me because they care about me.
10. Any whiplash I feel about this strange turn of events is itself a sign of privilege.
11. More than half of the world would gladly trade their everyday problems for the modest inconveniences I am experiencing.
12. I may have anxious dreams but I’m dreaming them on a proper bed and I’m not sleeping on the sidewalk.
13. By staying at home, I’m helping the planet rest.
14. As long as I have my mind I can create, imagine, dream and not be lonely.
15. This global crisis connects me to people around the world and reminds me of our common humanity. This is a good thing.
16. When something tragic happens to another country next time, I will respond to it not with superiority, but humility and recognition.
17. I will fight for positive changes and economically just policies in my own country.
18. I am surrounded by books.
19. I am surrounded by love.
20. The trees have already begun to bloom.”

And most importantly, I am held in the palm of God’s hand!

How blest we are.

Attributed to Fr Eamon Graham, Parish of Lavey, Magherafelt, Co Derry

 

6th Sunday of Easter (A) – 17 May 2020

easter-6a

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 Facebook and YouTube:

The Facebook address is:

www.facebook.com/liverpoolmetrocathedral

The YouTube address is:

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

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-easter-6a

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-easter-6a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-17-may-2020

 

3)  For Children:

img-20200509-wa0004

Collective Worship for Children:    collective-worship-for-children-17-may

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-17-may-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…

the-hills-are-closed

social-distancing-shoes

With my prayers,

Fr Dave


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