Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Friday 4 March 2022

(click on image to enlarge)

Pope Francis prayer ukraine


Thursday 3 March 2022

Last Sunday, the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Reverend John Wilson, spoke passionately to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community in the UK about the disastrous consequences that war has brought to Ukraine.


The Lord God says this:

‘My plans for you are for peace, not for disaster;
To give you a future, a future filled with hope.’
‘My plans for you are for peace.’ (Jer 29:11)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Dear friends and people of good will.

The news and images from Ukraine in recent days are truly devastating. Our eyes are filled with tears; tears of anguish and tears of sorrow. Our hearts are heavy, weighed down with immeasurable sadness. God’s plan for his people is peace, not disaster, not war. But peace in Ukraine has been stolen and the consequences are disastrous.

Before I say anything else, it is so important for you to know, dear brothers and sisters from Ukraine – and for your fellow countrymen and woman suffering in your beloved homeland – that we stand with you. We stand with you shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, and soul to soul. We stand with you in undivided solidarity, as must every person and nation that believes in peace.

I am British by birth; but like so many people across the globe I have become Ukrainian in spirit. We are one with you. We are one with you in faith, one with you in prayer, one with you in grief, and one with you in hope.

The invasion of Ukraine is an act of unjustified aggression against a democratic and sovereign nation. It has brought war to your people and to Europe. Since early Thursday morning we have watched in desperate disbelief as your country has been violated; and it continues. The death toll is rising. Each day loved ones are being killed. Families are being torn apart and people displaced. Those who, only a few days ago, were residents are now refugees. The sick and the elderly, babies and young children, are forced underground as life is threatened and homes are destroyed. This is outrageous. It is outrageous before Almighty God, it is outrageous before the world.

Dear friends, no right-thinking person, no right-thinking nation, can possibly believe that, in our day and age, this attack is acceptable in any sense. Unwarranted oppression casts its dark shadow across your country and our continent; and we weep. We weep before God who demands that war must cease. We weep before God who demands this war in Ukraine must end. We weep before God for all those who have already lost their lives.

I am not a politician. I am not a statesman. I am a disciple and a shepherd. I follow the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. I, with so many others, long and yearn for all God’s people to be gathered in unity and harmony. Christ our Saviour commands that we love one another; and he permits no exceptions. This is not some fanciful ideal. His commandment to love our neighbour cuts to the heart of what it means to be human, of what it means to belong to the human race, of what it means to share the earth as our common home.

When anyone chooses violence to achieve their goal, nobody wins. Everyone loses in war and the face of humanity is disfigured. We cannot, none of us, be indifferent to the evil taking place in Ukraine. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. We each have responsibility for one another, person for person, and nation for nation.

Today, we heard the Gospel of the Last Judgement as recorded by St Matthew. It makes for exacting hearing, but we must listen attentively. ‘Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters,’ says the Lord Jesus, ‘know that you do it to me.’ Actions have consequences. Everyone, one day, will stand before God to give an account of their choices. What have we done to others? How have we treated the weakest and the poorest? When could we have acted for good, acted in love, acted for peace, but chose not to? When could we have protected the innocent, defended the helpless, and strengthened the weak, but instead imposed our will, trampled down human rights, and extinguished hope? Not all justice is achieved in this life. The ultimate judgement belongs to God. Let the words of Christ thunder from the heavens: ‘What you are doing to the least of my brothers and sisters you are doing to me.’

My friends, we can feel paralysed in the face of military might and political will. We ask ourselves, what difference can I make? I am nothing; nothing but a powerless witness to bloodshed, to a country and people torn apart. There is, and will be, material support that we can and must give. But there is another battle in which we can take up arms from afar. It is the spiritual battle for conversion which can only be won by prayer.

Every war that plays out its ugly terror is first conceived in the heart. It comes from within, from a fixation to dictate, from an obsession to dominate by force. When the Bible speaks about the heart, it refers to the deepest truth of the person. ‘It is from within,’ said the Lord Jesus, ‘from within the human heart, that evil plans emerge.’ (Mk 7:21)

We must pray for the conversion of heart of all those who think war is the answer. We must pray they come to their senses. We must pray the scales fall from their eyes to see that nothing enduring, nothing honourable, nothing true and nothing holy, is ever built through warfare. We must pray that everyone committed to war has their heart broken; broken open to embrace peace.

As we pray in earnest for the people and government of Ukraine, we pray also for the courageous people of Russia who are raising their voices to say ‘no to war.’ Only hearts that seek peace can lay claim to civilised humanity. War should have no place in anyone’s heart. War only ever destroys our present and poisons our future. No to war, yes to peace. Through our words and actions, through the words and actions of governments, we must make this real. No to war, yes to peace.

Today’s Gospel places a question on all our lips: ‘Lord, when did we see you in need and did not come to your aid?’ When did we see you bombed and wounded, oppressed and persecuted, driven from your home, terrorised with fear, and not help you? ‘I tell you solemnly,’ said the Lord Jesus, ‘in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you neglected to do it to me.’ Lord, break every war-filled heart, and give us new hearts for peace. Lord, break every stubborn, arrogant, and selfish heart, and give us new hearts for justice.

We turn to our Blessed Lady, to our Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, and we beg in prayer that she intercede for all her suffering children.

May God’s plan for peace triumph; may God bring forth a new future filled with hope. May God bless everyone who is working for peace. Amen.


Ash Wednesday, 2 March 2022


Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Ukraine

Mass sheet we will be using in church:    Ash Wednesday Mass Sheet 2022

Prayer Sheet to use at home:    Ash Wednesday at Home 2022

(Don’t worry if you don’t have any ashes, it’s perfectly okay to use a little soil from the garden instead)

Some ideas for Lent:    Some Ideas for Lent 2022

Prayers for Ukraine:    Prayers for Ukraine


Tuesday 1 March 2022 – Feast of St David, Patron of Wales


Just a reminder – Pope Francis invites us to keep tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Ukraine.

Some prayers which may be helpful:    Prayers for Ukraine

Ash Wednesday

Ashes will be blessed and distributed during Mass as follows:

11.00 am Mass at St Benedict’s
7.00 pm Mass at St Oswald’s

There will also be services for the children in our schools.


Monday 28 February 2022




Prayers for Ukraine:    Prayers for Ukraine


8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) – 27 February 2022

sun 8c

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Sunday 8C) 2022

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Sunday 8C) 2022

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-8th-sunday-otc-2022


CAFOD’s Prayer for Ukraine

Loving God,
We pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them.

We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.

We pray for the world
that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.

May we walk in your ways
so that peace and justice
become a reality for the people of Ukraine
and for all the world.



Some Funnies





nhs and man united


God bless,
Fr Dave

Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Friday 25 February 2022

Message from Pope Francis (click to enlarge)

Message from Pope Francis


Thursday 24 February 2022

As Russia invaded Ukraine in the early hours, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spoke on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day:

To wake up to the news of war is terrible.  To wake up to its reality is orders of magnitude worse.

Shakespeare refers to war as chaos – the loosing of the dogs of war – and calls for one of his characters to cry out the warning about what it means.

Those in the Ukraine will be thinking about their relatives on the front lines, or the friends on the front lines. We are thinking, where is it going to go next? Politicians are thinking, what do we do?

In all of the thinking, in all of the responses, there is the great uncertainty which is the worst enemy of good decisions. Uncertainty leads to fear, fear leads to overreaction. How do we react well? How do politicians in the cloud of war, not really knowing what’s going on, but knowing they have no opportunity to wait – how do they make up their minds?

They will rightly call for all of us, and for themselves, to have resolution, courage, determination, a willingness to sacrifice whatever is necessary in order to ensure that peace may come and justice may be done.

Peace and justice. They often seem to contrast, and yet they are opposite sides of the same coin.  We seek peace and justice, and that must end with those involved in conflict not having solutions imposed on them but finding for themselves the way forward to reconciliation and peace.

Right at the end of his life, Jesus Christ, on the eve of his crucifixion, spoke to his disciples and he said something very memorable. ‘In the world you will have trouble, but do not be afraid, I have overcome the world.’

For me and for many of faith, the great certainty in the world, the only certainty, is that we know that God does not change. Let us find our resolution, our peace, our certainty not by screwing up our courage, but in the knowledge of the eternal arms that hold us.

May God be with those who suffer today.


Wednesday 23 February 2022

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski

Image (c) Ukrainian Catholic Church in the UK

In an interview a couple of weeks ago, Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of the Holy Family of London, said:


Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, which I think is surprising for many people to find out. It is larger than Germany and larger than France and has a population of about 46 million people. It stands, in many ways, between the Russian Federation and the European Union, with its borders bordering Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldavia and Romania, and of course, the Black Sea and Russia on its Eastern borders.

Why is Mr. Putin so interested in Ukraine? Well, he has said that the greatest tragedy of this past century is the collapse of the Soviet Union – a statement that I think is very hard for us to understand when the greatest tragedies of this past century have to have been the Second World War, the First World War, the Holocaust, the Holodomor in Ukraine and other devastating things that have happened – including the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. So if we have a person in charge of the Russian Federation who feels that the greatest tragedy in the past century was the collapse of the Soviet Union, it’s no wonder that he is interested – at all costs – in reforming such an organisation.

Let’s be frank, war kills. People are dying. People are being maimed. Households are being destroyed. Families are being torn apart. This is a tragedy that is unfolding before our very eyes.

What can we do?

We can pray. In fact, we know that Pope Francis has said that prayer for peace is stronger than any weapon. We can pray along with the Ukrainian people and people of goodwill throughout the world for peace because it will not only be Ukrainians or Ukrainian citizens who will suffer in this, it’ll also be Russian citizens whose fathers, brothers, husbands will be involved in the fighting and will also be suffering.

The Jesus Prayer

One of the simplest prayers is the Jesus Prayer – the prayer of the heart – where we admit to ourselves, to our God that we are all sinners, that we all need redemption, and that we place ourselves in the loving hands of Our Lord. The prayer is one that is very simple. It doesn’t take a lot of memory and it’s a prayer that we can repeat and you can live with.

Jesus, Lord Jesus,
Son of the Living God,
have mercy on me, a sinner


Tuesday 22 February 2022

Eparchy Logo

Message from the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of the Holy Family of London to the Catholic community in England and Wales:

“Hello. This is Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski. I’m the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of the Holy Family of London.

Today I’m speaking to you again, asking and thanking you all for your prayers for peace in Ukraine, as echoed by Pope Francis and also Patriarch Sviatoslav, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the world. We are seeing the escalation of war that has been waged for the last eight years in Ukraine, and we need prayers, we need calm and we need support.

I know that the Ukrainian community here in Great Britain is very appreciative of that solidarity. And as we communicate this solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, who are, of course, very concerned and worried at this time, it’s much appreciated.

So I ask you to continue to hold Ukraine in your prayers so that no more families have to mourn the loss of their sons and daughters in this war, both from the Ukrainian side and, of course, from the Russian side as well.

Thank you again, and may God bless all of you.”


pastoral plan

Pastoral Plan Update

Pastoral Plan update – February 2022 – YouTube


7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) – 20 February 2022


Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Sunday 7C) 2022

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Sunday 7C)

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-7th-sunday-otc-2022-1


Some Funnies

you thought smoking at pump


new diet


joseph and son carpentry

God bless,
Fr Dave

Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Friday 18 February 2022

A beautiful tweet from Pope Francis:

“Our love for God and neighbour is our passport to heaven. Our earthly possessions are dust that scatters, but the love we share – in our families, at work, in the Church, and in the world – will save us, for it will endure forever.”


Thursday 17 February 2022

Buddy Bench


Wednesday 16 February 2022

Pope Francis has chosen the theme for this year’s World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.  He writes:

“In old age they will still bear fruit” (Psalms 92:15). I have chosen this theme for the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, to be held on 24 July 2022, to promote dialogue among the generations, especially between grandparents and grandchildren.

The elderly should be cared for like a treasure of humanity: they are our wisdom, our memory. It is crucial that grandchildren remain close to their grandparents, who are like roots from which they draw the sap of human and spiritual values.

It is very important to bring together the wisdom of the elderly and the enthusiasm of the young. The encounter between grandparents and grandchildren is key, especially in this moment of economic and social crisis that humanity is undergoing.


Tuesday 15 February 2022

come to me all you who labour


Monday 14 February 2022

archdiocese & coat of arms

The Archdiocese of Liverpool is currently revising its Governing Structures in line with the Synodal Pastoral Plan and Effective Governance.  As a result, the Archbishop and the Trustees are advertising for experienced and qualified lay people/deacons to serve on a number of committees to give advice to them in relation to various areas of Archdiocesan life.

The various bodies are:

The Pastoral Development Committee

The purpose of this committee is to develop proposals for Archdiocesan policy and strategy in relation to mission and parish development.  It would also oversee the work of the Pastoral Development Department and associated projects.

The Safeguarding Committee

The role of this committee will be to assist, support and advise the Trustees in discharging their duties in safeguarding – operating within the procedures of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency and in accordance with all legal and regulatory standards.

The Education Committee

The purpose of this committee will be to develop Archdiocesan Policy in relation to Education matters.  It will oversee the work of the Archdiocesan Education Department, promote Religious Education and religious worship in the schools of the Archdiocese, and promote high standards of educational achievement across all our schools.

The Finance Committee

The role of this committee will be to ensure detailed oversight of all the financial business of the Archdiocese, and to ensure effective stewardship of resources in order to deliver the Archdiocesan mission and its charitable objectives.  It will also be involved in management accounts, budgeting and overseeing financial operations.

The composition of these committees will incorporate representatives of the Trustees, Archdiocesan officers, clergy and experienced lay members.  There are vacancies for at least three lay representatives on each of these committees.

If there are any suitably experienced parishioners who are willing to volunteer to serve on one of these committees, please contact Fr Dave for more information and an application form.


6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) – 13 February 2022


Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Sunday 6C) 2022

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Sunday 6C) 2022

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-6th-sunday-otc-2022


Racial Justice Day

Today is the annual Day of Prayer for Racial Justice.  The theme is “In the image and likeness of God” celebrating different presentations of the Holy Family from different countries and cultures.  There’s lots of information here:  www.cbcew.org.uk/rjs22

We are invited to pray these words of Pope Francis from his encyclical letter, ‘Fratelli Tutti – on fraternity and social friendship’:

Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves.


Some Funnies

Dylan ate Sue Gray Report


fat has accepted jesus


car cover


God bless,
Fr Dave

Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Thursday 10 February 2022

Yesterday, I was reading an article by Fr Seamus Ahearne OSA, an Augustinian priest serving in the Archdiocese of Dublin.  He’s in his 70’s now and writes regularly for the Association of Catholic Priests.  He inspires me.  This paragraph of his latest article particularly resonated with me.  It’s not hopeless, but hopeful.

Times they are a changin.’  Bob Dylan had it right.  It wasn’t just Covid.  It is the reality of a new Church being born.  The pregnancy may be rough.  That birth will also be difficult.  Covid has made the obvious, real.  The numbers coming to Church have dropped.  The age of those attending has risen.  Many of the stalwarts have died.  The young don’t see the need.

God is missing and not missed.  Church and Religion are on the periphery.  The daily work of life hasn’t time for such matters.  The income to the Church has dropped dramatically.  The clergy have got very old.  There are no replacements.  The women Religious have also gone.  We are ancient.  The Religious priests in parishes have absconded into retirement.

We can now build a new church.  A new Liturgy.  A new sense of Sacrament.  Our way of being church, has to adapt and adjust.  We are now a mission land.  We can’t graft on the story of history or the language of the past.

See I am doing a new thing. Can you not see it?’ (Is 43.19).

I liked the old model.  An open door.  An open house.  An open table.  An open phone.  An open email.  Open homes for visiting too.  A never ending day.  No office hours – just always available.  A day off or holidays weren’t part of the plan.  But it cannot be like that anymore.

A new world in the morning.  We also have to be humble enough to learn the new language.  The creative juices have to be awakened.  God hasn’t gone away.  God still speaks.  The New Song is being prepared.  The music is being composed.  The harmonies will shortly be ready.



Wednesday 9 February 2022

The following hymn was written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire.  It was part of yesterday’s Morning Prayer from ‘The Divine Office’.  I think it’s a beautiful prayer to start the day.

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 forever
In happiness and peace.


Tuesday 8 February 2022

Bakhita_Szent_Jozefina public domain

Today we keep the memory of St Josephine Bakhita.  She was born in Darfur in 1869.  At the age of nine, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery.  The trauma she experienced was such that she forgot her own name, so her kidnappers gave her the name ‘Bakhita’ meaning ‘fortunate’.  She eventually found freedom and peace in the religious life.  She is the patron saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Pope Francis:  “Human trafficking is violence! The violence suffered by every woman and girl is an open wound on the body of Christ, on the body of all humanity, a deep wound that affects every one of us too. Let’s pray together for the victims of human trafficking, a crime that primarily affects women and girls. Let’s work together for an economy of care and to eliminate all inequalities(8 February 2022).


Monday 7 February 2022

what do you gain by praying


5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) – 6 February 2022


Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Sunday 5C) 2022

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Sunday 5C) 2022

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-5th-sunday-otc-2022


Some Funnies

queen and boris


dominic raab


novak djovak


God bless,
Fr Dave