Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

Saturday 2 January 2021

pope-francis-audience

Excerpts from Pope Francis’ Homily for New Year’s Day

Be a blessing for others

“Our Lady teaches us that blessings are received in order to be given.  She, who was blessed, became a blessing for all those whom she met: for Elizabeth, for the newlyweds at Cana, for the Apostles in the Upper Room…  We too are called to bless, to “speak well” in God’s name.  Our world is gravely polluted by the way we “speak” and think “badly” of others, of society, of ourselves.  Speaking badly corrupts and decays, whereas blessing restores life and gives the strength needed to begin anew each day.  Let us ask the Mother of God for the grace to be joyful bearers of God’s blessing to others, as she is to us.”

Take care of others

“This year, while we hope for new beginnings and new cures, let us not neglect care.  Together with a vaccine for our bodies, we need a vaccine for our hearts.  That vaccine is care.  This will be a good year if we take care of others, as Our Lady does with us.”

Find time for God and neighbour

“It would be good to find time for someone.  Time is a treasure that all of us possess, yet we guard it jealously, since we want to use it only for ourselves.  Let us ask for the grace to find time for God and for our neighbour – for those who are alone or suffering, for those who need someone to listen and show concern for them.  If we can find time to give, we will be amazed and filled with joy, like the shepherds.  May Our Lady, who brought God into the world of time, help us to be generous with our time.  Holy Mother of God, to you we consecrate this New Year.  You, who know how to cherish things in your heart, care for us, bless our time, and teach us to find time for God and for others.”

 

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – 1 January 2021

new-year

As we enter a New Year,
may the Lord be a sure path beneath our feet,
a bright light before us,
a kindly shepherd with us,
this day, and every day.
Amen.

Adapted from a Blessing for the Feast of Saint Columba

 

7th Day within the Octave of the Nativity – 31 December 2020

NEW YEAR’S EVE

pope-francis-nativity-quote

A Prayer for New Year’s Eve by Father Denis McBride, CSsR

Dear friends,
we are a community of memory that looks back;
we are a community of Spirit that looks forward.
It’s important, though not easy,
to look back with kindness,
and to look forward in hope.

This year is closing down
and a new year beckons.
Let us hand over the past to God
for his healing blessing.
Let us ask the Lord to face the future with us
because we do not want to face it alone.

Let us pray for each other,
and for all those we love and cherish:
that each one might know the promise of the Lord
that brings the Gospel to a close:

“Know this,
I will be with you
even unto the end of the world.”

 

A Prayer for New Year’s Eve by Raymond Friel

Holy Spirit
wipe away the mist of this year,
walk with me through the times I lost heart,
when I wondered where you were in all this.
Open my eyes to the moments of grace,
the gift of the quiet word,
a spill of light far out at sea.
Give me a heart for the way ahead.

 

6th Day within the Octave of the Nativity – 30 December 2020

tier-4

As from tomorrow, Warrington will enter Tier 4.  The Warrington Guardian gives a good summary of the restrictions in this tier:

Warrington Covid rules: What you can and can’t do in tier 4 | Warrington Guardian

Places of worship have been allowed to remain open because of all the safety protocols we have in place.

Key changes for churches: 

  1. Weddings should only take place in exceptional circumstances with no more than 6 people.
  2. Funerals – no more than 30 people may attend.
  3. Baptisms – no more than 6 people may attend.
  4. Mass – current restrictions and safety protocols must be followed.

You are allowed to leave your home to attend Mass in Tier 4, but must not mix with anyone who is not in your household or bubble.

 

Feast of St Thomas of Canterbury – 29 December 2020

thomas-113x150

In these days immediately following Christmas Day, the Church honours those saints who witnessed to Christ by giving their lives for him:   St Stephen, the first martyr (26 December);  St John, the beloved disciple (27 December);  and the Holy Innocents (28 December) – the first to give their lives for Christ.  On this 5th day of Christmas, we remember St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral on this day in 1170.

Thomas Becket was Chancellor of England during the reign of King Henry II.  Henry and Thomas became great friends, so when the See of Canterbury became vacant in 1162, Henry saw an opportunity to gain more control over the Church in England by appointing Thomas as Archbishop.  However, in his new position, Thomas changed.  He resigned as Chancellor and dedicated himself to serving the Church.  Arguments ensued and Thomas ended up in exile in France.

Six years later, in December 1170, Thomas returned to Canterbury.  While he was greeted with great celebration by the monks of the Cathedral and the people of Canterbury, the authorities loyal to Henry were less than pleased.  Before the year was out, four knights travelled to Canterbury to arrest the Archbishop.  The monks begged Thomas to hide in the Cathedral for safety, but the knights followed him.  Thomas clung to a pillar to avoid being dragged from the building.  It was then that a knight struck Thomas’ head with a sword.  A second strike followed.  The third strike killed the Archbishop.

 580d07fd94d53511fff6d0fd2dab7818

In their shock and grief, the monks of the Cathedral placed the body of their Archbishop in the crypt.  As word of his murder spread, people gathered at the Cathedral to pay their respects.  Such were the crowds, that the monks had to move the Archbishop’s body into the Cathedral.  Within days, there were reports of miracles attributed to the Archbishop.  Word spread to Europe and people flocked to Canterbury.  Within three years, the Pope canonised Thomas – one of the fastest canonisations in history!  A year later, in 1174, Henry undertook public penance for his role in the murder of the Archbishop.

26-martyrdom-150x150

The picture above is of the Martyrs’ Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral.  The cross and swords hanging on the right mark the place where St Thomas Becket was murdered.

This year, 2020, marks the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Thomas Becket.  Many events were planned to commemorate the occasion but they have had to be postponed because of the current pandemic.  However, there will be a special service of Choral Evensong today at 5.30 pm in Canterbury Cathedral which will be broadcast live on YouTube:

Canterbury Cathedral – YouTube

Order of Service:    201229-martyrdom-of-thomas-evensong

 

The Holy Innocents – 28 December 2020

coronavirus

Covid-19 Update

It never ceases to amaze me how many people, especially some journalists, MPs and even clergy – misuse the platform they have to peddle misinformation about Covid-19.  In effort to respond to this culpable ignorance, Dr Rupert Pearse, who works in an intensive care unit in a London hospital, shared the following on twitter yesterday:

“Situation in London continuing to deteriorate as expected. Many doctors are worried that other parts of the UK will follow. A lot of misinformation around, so some fairly blunt observations here, for which I apologise. But we all need to understand the equation.

As with the first wave, the sharp rise in people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, will be followed by a sharp rise in hospital admissions for COVID-19, and then a similar rise in excess deaths in January. But like all disasters, for every death we can expect many more people to be injured and survive. And so it is with COVID-19. Most hospitalised patients will survive but they will take a long time to recover. Many will experience so-called ‘Long COVID’.

It’s a false dichotomy to suggest we are choosing between the health impacts of COVID and the economic impacts of lockdowns. Poor health causes poor wealth. When an economically active person is too ill to work, their dependents are affected, all become poorer. Like all diseases, COVID-19 affects the poor more than the wealthy…

COVID is not a disease of older people. Half the patients admitted to intensive care are less than 60 years of age while four out of five are independent (needing no assistance in daily activities: washing, dressing, cooking, etc)…

For society, death is quick, simple and relatively inexpensive. But survival with serious complications is the much more likely outcome from COVID, and for many people a worse one. Also worse for the economy. Ill people need care from their family and the state.

So if (as some suggest) we lock up the old and sick, then let the virus rip, we would see many young people die of COVID, but many more survive with long-term disability, with the greatest impact on the poorest in society. The economy would get much worse, not better.

We must accept that the virus SARS-CoV-2 will be with us for years. When we finally manage to control the pandemic, we will still see a long period where the virus is endemic (widespread) in both UK and global society. Ignoring the pandemic won’t make it go away.

Thank you for your hard work and commitment to Hands Face Space. Please engage those who need convincing and exclude those who spread denial. Many lives depend on our collective responsibility. Freedom to ignore the pandemic is the freedom to put the lives of others at risk.”

Thank you, Dr Pearse (who backs up what he says with data from the Office for National Statistics).

 

Feast of the Holy Family (B) – 27 December 2020

3830-2016_06_02-17_41_42-utc

Statue of the Holy Family in the Church of the Holy Family, Boothstown

Sunday Mass 

Although Warrington moved into Tier 3 yesterday, churches have been allowed to remain open.  So we are able to gather together in church to celebrate Mass this weekend.  However, if you are not able to come to church, or if you prefer to pray at home at this time, the following maybe helpful:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

liverpool-met

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

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

st-john-henry-newman

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass at 10.00 am from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

st-paul-of-the-cross

Fr John Schofield continues to upload Mass on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Tonyat999/videos

livestream-mass

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:

barbara-forbes-home-prayer-space

This weekend’s Mass sheet:    mass-sheet-holy-family-b

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-holy-family-b

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-holy-family-b

Pastoral Letter from the Archbishop:    

pastoral-letter-for-the-feast-of-the-holy-family-2020

Archdiocese:    

www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/sunday-reflections-readings 

 

3)  For Children:

angelo-rosa-maria-2

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-holy-family-b

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

 

And finally, a little humour…

someone-guessed-what-they-were-getting

brexit-dinner

did-you-book-the-hotel

God bless you,
Fr Dave


Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2020

nativity

A very happy Christmas to you all!

If you’re not coming to church today, the following resources maybe helpful for a time of prayer at home:

Mass Sheets we’ll be using in church:   

christmas-eve-mass-sheet

christmas-day-mass-sheet

A Time of Prayer:    celebrating-christmas-at-home

A Time of Prayer for Children:    celebrating-christmas-at-home-for-children

silent-night-2

Christmas Eve

BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, at 3.00 pm (repeated on BBC Radio 3 on Christmas Day at 1.00 pm).

BBC 1 will be broadcasting Midnight Mass from Clifton Cathedral at 11.45 pm.

Christmas Day

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

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

Fr John Schofield will be uploading Mass on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Tonyat999/videos

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

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

 

Christmas Thoughts

picture1

“God came into the world as a child to make us children of God. What a magnificent gift! This day, God amazes us and says to each of us: ‘You are amazing’.”  Pope Francis

 

Christmas Day on your own?

It’s okay spending Christmas Day on your own!

But, because many others are gathering together, we can feel left out, and that can make us feel miserable.  So, most importantly, if you’re going to be on your own, plan your day.

What are you going to do when you wake?  Are you going to church or will you join in Mass online?  What are you going to have for lunch? – choose something you really enjoy.  Are there family members and/or friends that would appreciate a phone call?  What about entertainment? – a good book you’ve been meaning to read, something on TV or a good film you may have.  What about going for a walk and simply marvelling at the wonder of God’s creation – the fresh air (breathe it in), the beauty of nature and the way the trees and plants adapt…

It’s okay spending Christmas Day on your own!  You may find you even prefer it.  Enjoy it.  It might just be the gift you need for yourself.

But, most importantly, plan it.

 

A finally, a little humour…

cat-in-crib

santa-alcohol-meal

wise-men-socially-distancing

God bless you,
Fr Dave


Fourth Week of Advent

Website

Apologies… there seems to be some lag again when clicking on pages on the website.  We will try to fix this over Christmas.  For now, all you need is on the front page.  Fr Dave

 

4th Wednesday of Advent – 23 December 2020

journey2

Christmas Thoughts during Covid-19

“Instead of complaining in these difficult times about what the pandemic prevents us from doing, let us do something for someone who has less: not the umpteenth gift for ourselves and our friends, but for a person in need whom no-one thinks of!” Pope Francis, Angelus, 20 December 2020.

“My message is that we should discourage people from taking risks. And Church life isn’t just what happens within the Church walls – real joy comes from reaching out and helping others.” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin.

“It would make the child Jesus happy if in these holy days we did not forget those who are alone, sick, or in need. Even a phone call is enough to convey a ray of Christmas light.”  Pope Francis, General Audience, 23 December 2020.

Christmas Day on your own?

It’s okay spending Christmas Day on your own!

But, because many others are gathering together, we can feel left out, and that can make us feel miserable.  So, most importantly, if you’re going to be on your own, plan your day.

What are you going to do when you wake?  Are you going to church or will you join in Mass online?  What are you going to have for lunch? – choose something you really enjoy.  Are there family members and/or friends that would appreciate a phone call?  What about entertainment? – a good book you’ve been meaning to read, something on TV or a good film you may have.  What about going for a walk and simply marvelling at the wonder of God’s creation – the fresh air (breathe it in), the beauty of nature and the way the trees and plants adapt…

It’s okay spending Christmas Day on your own!  You may find you even prefer it.  Enjoy it.  It might just be the gift you need for yourself.

But, most importantly, plan it.

Fr Dave

 

4th Tuesday of Advent – 22 December 2020

night-christmas

Preparing for Christmas

If your path is menaced by shadow,
may the Lord circle you, keep light within, and darkness out.

If your path is targeted by conflict,
may the Lord circle you, keep love near, keep hatred afar.

If your path is threatened by worry,
may the Lord circle you, keep peace within, and fear without.

We have waited long for you, oh Lord.
Deep has been the darkness.
We long for you to come, right here among us where we are now.

We will not fear the shadows that surround us
because you are coming among us.

We await the sound of a cry in the night,
the joy that follows pain,
the coming of Hope into our world.

Sr Patricia Murray
Executive Director of the International Union of Superiors General
christmas-music

School Christmas Carol Service

This year’s Carol Service at St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School had to be held virtually this year.  You can watch it here:

St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School – What’s New (secure-dbprimary.com)

 

4th Monday of Advent – 21 December 2020

nativity

To the children at St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School and St Oswald’s Catholic Primary School

Dear Children,

I hope you are enjoying the first day of the Christmas holidays.

At our Christmas Mass last week, you may remember that I asked you to lead a little service at home on Christmas Day if you are not able to come to church.  I suggested three things:

  1. Ask your mum or dad if you can lead a little service on Christmas Day and at what time.
  2. Make a poster advertising the service to remind your family.
  3. Prepare the service, e.g. read the Christmas story in St Luke’s Gospel (see sheet below), write a few short prayers for those who need our prayers on Christmas Day, and say the ‘Our Father’.

If it helps, I’ve prepared a little service you could use.  You can download it here:    celebrating-christmas-at-home-for-children

Why not get someone to take a picture of you leading the service and bring it into school at the beginning of term?

Good luck – and thank you for doing this.

Fr Dave

 

4th Sunday of Advent (B) – 20 December 2020

advet4

Sunday Mass 

This weekend, we are able to gather together in church again to celebrate Mass.  However, if you are not able to come to church, or if you prefer to pray at home at this time, the following maybe helpful:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

liverpool-met

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

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

st-john-henry-newman

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass at 10.00 am from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

st-paul-of-the-cross

Fr John Schofield continues to upload Mass on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Tonyat999/videos

livestream-mass

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:

barbara-forbes-home-prayer-space

This weekend’s Mass sheet:    mass-sheet-advent-4b

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-advent-4b

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-advent-4b

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

 

3)  For Children:

angelo-rosa-maria-2

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-advent-4b

Advent Calendar for Children:    advent-children-calendar  

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)  Advent Peace

God-with-us,
you made your home among us,
loved by your mother Mary,
and bringing her joy.
As we prepare to celebrate your birth,
be with us now,
especially with those
who are seeking refuge.
Comfort us all and bring us joy.
Amen.

(c) CAFOD’s Advent Calendar

 

And finally, a little humour…

ornaments-are-history

what-else-could-go-wrong

last-time-i-bite-xmas-lights

God bless you,
Fr Dave


Third Week of Advent

3rd Saturday of Advent – 19 December 2020

Someone sent me this, so I thought I’d share it.  Click on the image to read:

this-year

 

3rd Friday of Advent – 18 December 2020

happy-sad-website

Here’s a great website:    www.happyoksad.org.uk

The website is a mental health site for people of all ages who live or work in Warrington.  The site includes details of:

  • Simple things people can do to look after their mental wellbeing.
  • Services that can offer information, advice, support or treatment.
  • Support available if someone can’t cope and needs help right now.
  • Sow to access free mental wellbeing training and resources.

Do have a look.  You may find something helpful for yourself or someone you know.

Here’s a sheet from the site that you may find helpful if you’re beginning to struggle during the current pandemic:

five-ways-to-wellbeing

 

3rd Thursday of Advent – 17 December 2020

come-adore

Getting ready for Christmas

Today, the focus of Advent changes.  So far, we’ve been looking forward to the time when Christ will come again at the end of time.  Now, for the next eight days, we prepare for Christmas by looking back to the events that led to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem all those years ago.

NHS Healthcare Workers

nurse

Every time I go into Warrington Hospital to visit those who are sick and dying, I am utterly humbled by the doctors, the nurses, the cleaners, the security, and so many other staff.  Despite exhaustion gripping many after nine months of dealing with Covid-19, they still keep smiling and serving with great love and tenderness.

So it saddened me to receive the following from a parishioner the other day.  It’s penned by an NHS worker:

The respect is gone. The appreciation is gone.
The “thank you so much for working through this” has been replaced by, “this is ridiculous”.
Understandably frustrated patients and their relatives are at an all time high. The annoyed eye rolls and huffy sighs when you tell them “it shouldn’t be much longer, we are doing the best we can” are really starting to chip away at our morale.
The free coffee and meals are a thing of the past.
The hotel lights in the shape of hearts aren’t on anymore.
The neighbours that waved us off to work and told us to “stay safe” have gone back inside.
And the local rag is back to pointing out our short comings.
We are still here. We are still fighting. We are working harder than we ever have.
We are exhausted.
We are frustrated.
We are so emotionally and physically drained.
We are skipping breaks.
We are going in early and coming home late.
We are missing time with our families. We are doing THE BEST WE CAN.
We aren’t “healthcare heroes” anymore. We have become slaves to this pandemic, and it is really exhausting.
Respect the NHS.
Respect all Key Workers.

Let’s keep our NHS staff and all key workers in our prayers, especially in these next days, and let’s never forget to say “Thank you” to the many people who serve us in the community.  Those two little words mean so much.

Happy Birthday and Thank You, Pope Francis!

happy-birthday-pope-francis-1

84 today!

 

3rd Wednesday of Advent – 16 December 2020

A simple thought for today…

simple-christmas

 

3rd Tuesday of Advent – 15 December 2020

I think this prayer for grandparents and their grandchildren from earlier in the year is worth repeating.  Click on the image below to read the prayer:

prayer-for-grandparents-and-grandchildren

 

3rd Monday of Advent – 14 December 2020

The Holy Family in “Angels Unawares”

Last Friday, the Nativity scene and a large Christmas tree decorating St Peter’s Square were inaugurated in Rome.  At the same time, the Holy Family – among the migrants and refugees in the Angels Unawares sculpture – was illuminated.

angels-unawares-christmas-2020

The Angels Unawares sculpture was installed in St Peter’s Square in 2019.   It is the work of Canadian artist and sculptor. Timothy Schmalz.

The bronze sculpture depicts a vessel with nearly 150 migrants and refugees from historic periods, different cultural and racial backgrounds.  The three figures of the Holy Family, Mary, the baby Jesus and Joseph, are spotlighted.  Highlighting the Holy Family in this way helps to remind us that Jesus, along with Mary and Joseph, were forced to flee as refugees to save his life in Egypt.

“We have realised that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other” (Pope Francis, 27 March 2020).

Photograph courtesy of Governatorato-di-Citta-di-Vaticano

 

3rd Sunday of Advent (B) – 13 December 2020

advent3a

Sunday Mass 

This weekend, we are able to gather together in church again to celebrate Mass.  However, if you are not able to come to church, or if you prefer to pray at home at this time, the following maybe helpful:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

liverpool-met

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

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

st-john-henry-newman

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass at 10.00 am from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

st-paul-of-the-cross

Fr John Schofield continues to upload Mass on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Tonyat999/videos

livestream-mass

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:

barbara-forbes-home-prayer-space

This weekend’s Mass sheet:    mass-sheet-advent-3b

Pastoral Letter:    pastoral-letter-131220

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-advent-3b

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

 

3)  For Children:

angelo-rosa-maria-2

You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-advent-3b

Advent Calendar for Children:    advent-children-calendar  

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)  Advent Joy

God of all,
John the Baptist
came to bear witness to your light.
Fill us with faith
and the courage to act upon it,
so that we may shine a light
in the darkness of these uncertain times.
Amen.

(c) CAFOD’s Advent Calendar

 

And finally, a little humour…

cat-and-santas-village

christmas-dinner

christmas-shopping

God bless you,
Fr Dave


2nd Week of Advent

2nd Saturday of Advent – 12 December 2020

Website

Sorry I couldn’t post yesterday – we had website problems.  Many thanks to Tom Wright, our webmaster, for getting us up and running again.  We still have some ongoing issues with loading pages, so I will post the weekly newsletter on the front page as well as the newsletter page for now.

Fr Dave

Here’s tomorrow’s newsletter:

13-12-20

 

2nd Thursday of Advent – 10 December 2020

advent-hope

Some more useful resources

Warrington Public Health Bulletin for December includes information loneliness and mental well being, mental health support and working from home healthily:

public-health-campaign-bulletin-dec-2020

Sleep problems during the current pandemic:

sleep-problems-during-coronavirus

The importance of laughter in our daily lives:

laughter-is-the-best-medicine

Relaxation techniques:

relaxation-techniques-for-stress-relief

And finally, a prayer when baking a Christmas cake!

prayer-when-baking-a-christmas-cake

 

2nd Wednesday of Advent – 9 December 2020

st-joseph-b-1200-800-1140x641

Year of St Joseph

Yesterday, in a new Apostolic Letter entitled, ‘Patris corde’ (‘With a Father’s Heart’), Pope Francis proclaimed a special ‘Year of St Joseph’ beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the feast in 2021.  The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.

The Holy Father wrote Patris corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day.  In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”

Saint Joseph, in fact, “concretely expressed his fatherhood” by making an offering of himself in love “a love placed at the service of the Messiah who was growing to maturity in his home,” writes Pope Francis, quoting his predecessor St Paul VI.

For more information:

Pope Francis declares Year of St Joseph | ICN (indcatholicnews.com)

safeguarding-clipart-7

Safeguarding Reforms

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have appointed Carol Lawrence to oversee the immediate implementation of wide-ranging reforms to safeguarding structures and processes in the Church.

The bishops have accepted all the recommendations made by the Elliott Review, a ‘root-and-branch’ review of safeguarding in the Catholic Church, and wish to adopt them without delay.

They have asked Mrs Lawrence, the Financial Director of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, to take up the six-month post of Project Implementation Director with immediate effect to ensure all of the improvements are fully and swiftly implemented.

Mrs Lawrence sat on the panel of the Elliott Review and was a key member of the team that devised the proposed changes.

Her secondment signifies the firm intentions of the bishops to drive meaningful changes in safeguarding throughout the whole of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

For more information:

Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

 

2nd Tuesday of Advent – 8 December 2020

romero-liverpool

Christ loved and awaited

Christ is now in history.
Christ is in the womb of the people.
Christ is now bringing about the new heavens and the new earth.

Christ became a man of his people and of his time:
He lived as a Jew,
he worked as a labourer of Nazareth,
and since then he continues to become incarnate in everyone.

If many have distanced themselves from the church,
it is precisely because the church has somewhat
estranged itself from humanity.
But a church that can feel as its own all that is human
and wants to incarnate the pain, the hope,
the affliction of all who suffer and feel joy,
such a church will be Christ loved and awaited,
Christ present.
And that depends on us.

The Christian knows that Christ has been working
in humanity for twenty centuries
and that the person that is converted to Christ
is the new human being that society needs
to organise a world according to God’s heart.

Advent should admonish us to discover
in each brother or sister that we greet,
in each friend whose hand we shake,
in each beggar who asks for bread,
in each worker who wants to use the right to join a union,
in each peasant who looks for work in the coffee groves,
the face of Christ.
Then it would not be possible to rob them,
to cheat them, to deny them their rights.
They are Christ,
and whatever is done to them
Christ will take as done to himself.

This is what Advent is:
Christ living among us.

St Oscar Romero, adapted from ‘The Violence of Love’

 

2nd Monday of Advent – 7 December 2020

advent

More ideas for Advent

Creatively Sacred provides beautiful videos and reflections for children and adults focusing on Advent during the pandemic.  Click here to link to this site:

Comfort My People ~ Advent 2020 – Emmaus Productions

Online Retreat – from the authors of ‘Pray As You Go’ and ‘Sacred Space’.  Sessions last about 20-25 minutes and are released week by week.  Click here to link the site:

Pray as you go (pray-as-you-go.org)

Kindness Calendar

kindness-calendar-december-2020

 

2nd Sunday of Advent (B) – 6 December 2020

advent2a

Sunday Mass 

This weekend, we are able to gather together in church again to celebrate Mass.  However, if you are not able to come to church, or if you prefer to pray at home at this time, the following maybe helpful:

 

1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

cathedral2

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

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

blessed-john-henry-newman-latchford-3

Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass at 10.00 am from St John Henry Newman:

www.newmanparishwarrington.com

st-paul-of-the-cross

Fr John Schofield continues to upload Mass on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Tonyat999/videos

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

This weekend’s Mass sheet:    mass-sheet-advent-2b

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-advent-2b

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-advent-2b

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:    look-advent-2b

Advent Calendar for Children:    advent-children-calendar  

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)  Advent Love

Merciful God,
you sent John the Baptist to preach repentance.
Forgive us for the times when we have done wrong,
when we have hurt other people and damaged our earth.
Lead us to make a change,
to live differently,
preparing a way
and making your paths straight.
Amen.

(c) CAFOD’s Advent Calendar

 

And finally, a little humour…

This video is hilarious:  NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A CORONA CHRISTMAS – YouTube

(Apologies in advance for some of the ‘colourful’ language)

noddy-on-the-voddy

gingerbread-house

cat-christmas-tree

 

God bless you,
Fr Dave