Fourth Week of Easter

Thursday 25 April 2024 – Feast of St Mark

Pastoral Reflection on Gender

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have issued a pastoral reflection on gender entitled, Intricately Woven by the Lord: A Pastoral Reflection on Gender.

Bishop David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton, said:  “We have published this document because we know that those working in pastoral settings can find this issue complex. It is also an issue that needs to be handled sensitively.

“Accompaniment is crucial to the journey of faith, and we wish to emphasise that everyone is welcome in the Church. It is vital that as followers of Christ we imitate the boundless mercy and compassion of God as we deal with the complexity of another’s life.

“But this needs to be done with a clear understanding of the Catholic vision and understanding of the human person and a holistic view of human sexuality.”

To read or download the document:

Bishops issue pastoral reflection on gender  – Catholic Bishops’ Conference (cbcew.org.uk)

 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Enjoy what you have

“We live with constant pressure, from without and from within, to see more, consume more, buy more, and drink in more of life. The pressure to increase the dosage is constant and unrelenting. But this is precisely where a deliberate, willful, and hard asceticism is demanded of us. To quote Canadian theologian and author Mary Jo Leddy, we must, at some point say this, mean it, and live it: It’s enough. I have enough. I am enough. Life is enough. I need to gratefully enjoy what I have.”

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI

 

Tuesday 23 April 2024 – Solemnity of St George, Patron of England

st george

Happy Feast Day!

Today is the Solemnity of St George, Patron and Protector of England.

St George was a Roman soldier who was martyred on this day in 303 AD during the persecution of Christians in what is now present day Israel.  He became a favourite saint for the Crusades and his feast day has been kept in England since 1222.

Let us ask St George to pray for us and for all the people of our country.  Here is the prayer for today’s feast in the Roman Missal:

God of hosts,
who so kindled the fire of charity
in the heart of Saint George your martyr,
that he bore witness to the risen Lord
both by his life and by his death;
grant us through his intercession, we pray,
the same faith and power of love,
that we who rejoice in his triumph
may be led to share with him
in the fullness of the resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

 

Monday 22 April 2024

creation

Earth Day

Heavenly Father,
you have taught us, through your servant St Francis,
that all creation is your handiwork.
Grant us your grace that we may
exercise wise stewardship of this Earth;
tread lightly upon it;
and cherish its resources;
that our children may enjoy its riches, throughout all generations,
and your name be glorified through all that you have made.
Amen.

Rt Revd David Walker
Bishop of Manchester

 

4th Sunday of Easter (B) – 21 April 2024

good-shepherd2

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Easter 4B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Easter 4B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-easter-4-year-b-2024-1

pray for priests lzw

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Pastoral Letter:    Pastoral letter Archbishop Malcolm 2024

Message from Fr Ron Johnson:    Message from Vocations’ Director

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave 


Third Week of Easter

Wednesday 17 April 2024

faith

Source unknown

 

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Forgiveness

“The ability to forgive is more contingent upon grace than upon willpower. What makes forgiveness so difficult, existentially impossible at times, is not primarily that our egos are bruised and wounded. Rather, the real difficulty is that a wound to the soul works the same as a wound to the body; it strips us of our strength.”

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI

 

Monday 15 April 2024

Hillsborough

hillsborough-golden-book

Today, we remember all those who died at Hillsborough thirty-five years ago.  We remember especially Ian Whelan from St Oswald’s and his parents, Doris and Norman.

Lord,
comfort the families and the friends of the 97 who died
and all who feel their loss.
Hold them in the love that holds their loved ones.
Through Christ our Lord.

Pray for Peace

“I am following in prayer and with concern, even pain, the news that has reached us in the last few hours regarding the worsening of the situation in Israel, due to the intervention by Iran.  I make a heartfelt appeal to halt any action that might fuel a spiral of violence, with the risk of dragging the Middle East into an even greater military conflict.

No-one should threaten the existence of others.  May all the nations instead take the side of peace, and help Israelis and Palestinians live in two States, side by side, in safety.  It is their deep and legitimate desire, and it is their right!  Two neighbouring States.

Let there be a ceasefire in Gaza soon, and let us pursue the paths of negotiation, with determination.  Let us help that population, plunged into a humanitarian catastrophe; let the hostages kidnapped months ago be released!  So much suffering!  Let us pray for peace.  No more war, no more attacks, no more violence!  Yes to dialogue and yes to peace!”

Pope Francis, 14 April 2024

 

3rd Sunday of Easter (B) – 14 April 2024

easter-3b

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Easter 3B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Easter 3B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-easter-3-year-b-2024

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave 


Second Week of Easter

Thursday 11 April 2024

stay close to the shepherd

 

Wednesday 10 April 2024

(c) professor christina pagel

Holy Spirit
still me
in your presence,

sit with me
awhile in this
life of mine.

Spirit of God
what is your
desire for me?

Who do you
want me to be
that I ignore,

what do you
want me to do
that I resist?

Give me a heart
for the life you
want me to live.

(c) Raymond Friel

 

Tuesday 9 April 2024

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Praying for Peace

Let us pray for peace, especially for martyred Ukraine and for Palestine and Israel. May the Spirit of the Risen Lord enlighten and support those who work to reduce tensions and encourage actions that make negotiations possible.

Pope Francis

 

Monday 8 April 2024

Words from our Lord in yesterday’s Gospel:

“Peace be with you”

“Receive the Holy Spirit”

“Give me your hand”

 

2nd Sunday of Easter (B) – 7 April 2024

easter-2

 

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Easter 2B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Easter 2B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-year-b-easter-2-2024

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave 


Easter Octave 2024

Easter Friday – 5 April 2024

“The joy of the Gospel consists in this: that God loves us with tenderness and mercy. We are called to make this joyful message resound throughout the world, testifying to it with our lives. May everyone discover the beauty of the love of God manifested in Jesus.”

Pope Francis

 

Easter Thursday – 4 April 2024

prayer exhaling inhaling

 

Easter Wednesday – 3 April 2024

Archbishop Patrick

Archbishop Malcolm writes:  “On 3 April 1984, Mgr Patrick Kelly was ordained bishop of Salford.  In 1996, he was translated to Liverpool to take up the pastoral leadership of our local church.  We give thanks for his 40 years of episcopal service and ministry to the church, particularly as our Archbishop and his service to the Holy Land and to the Catholic Deaf Association.  Please offer a prayer for him.”

 

Easter Tuesday – 2 April 2024

thumbnail_Irenaeus Come and See April 24

 

Easter Monday – 1 April 2024

Compassion

Someone sent me a little video over the weekend of a boy with down syndrome stepping out from a crowd to help Jesus during a Passion Play.  I don’t know the location and my apologies if posting this infringes copyright, but it lifted my heart.

Thank you to this little boy for reminding us of all the goodness that still exists in the world.


Holy Week 2024

Easter Sunday – 31 March 2024

easter-3

“This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
(Psalm 117)

Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!
Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!
Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał!
Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!
Le Christ est ressuscité! En verité il est ressuscité!
Tá Críost éirithe! Go deimhin, tá sé éirithe!
Atgyfododd Crist! Yn wir atgyfododd!

A very happy Easter to you all!

May the joy of this day – the greatest day of the year for Christians – lift your spirits, renew your hope, and bring peace to your hearts.

 

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Easter Sunday Mass Sheet 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-easter-sunday-year-b-2024

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave 

 

Holy Saturday – 30 March 2024

holy-saturday

The Easter Vigil

On this Holy Saturday night, the holiest night of the year, we keep the ‘mother of all vigils’ (St Augustine).  The Vigil begins with the lighting of the big Easter candle proclaiming “The Light of Christ”.  Then, in the light of the candle, we will listen to stories of what God has done for his people through the ages.  After the Gospel of the Resurrection, we will renew our Baptism and welcome new members into the Church.  Finally, we will celebrate Christ’s risen presence with us always in the Eucharist.

The Easter Vigil will take place at 8.00 pm at St Oswald’s.

If you’re not able to join us in church this evening, you might like to join in one of the many celebrations online.

 

Good Friday – 29 March 2023

Good Friday 4

Today, all over the world at 3.00 pm, Christians stop whatever they are doing (if they can) to celebrate the Passion of the Lord.  In a very simple but ancient liturgy, we listen to St John’s account of the Passion of the Lord, pray for the needs of the Church and the world, and venerate the Cross.

The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord will take place at 3.00 pm at St Oswald’s.

In addition, there will be Stations of the Cross for Children at 11.00 am at St Benedict’s and Stations of the Cross at 12.00 noon at St Oswald’s.

If you’re not able to join us in church today, you might like to use this little prayer service at home:

Good Friday at Home 2024

 

Holy Thursday – 28 March 2024

holy-thursday

This evening, we enter into the Easter Triduum – a three-day celebration of our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.  We begin by recalling what Jesus did on the night before he died – how he washed the feet of his disciples and shared the Last Supper with them.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will take place at St Benedict’s at 7.30 pm, followed by ‘Watching’ until 9.30 pm.

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Holy Thursday Mass Sheet 2024

 

Wednesday of Holy Week – 27 March 2024

Chrism Mass 2024

Coach leaves St Oswald’s at 6.10 pm and St Benedict’s at 6.20 pm.  Places still available.

 

Tuesday of Holy Week – 26 March 2024

penance-service

Holy Week Penance Service

Service of Reconciliation at St Oswald’s this evening at 7.30 pm

“God never tires of waiting for us. When we turn away, he comes looking for us; when we fall, he lifts us to our feet; when we return to him after losing our way, he waits for us with open arms. His love is not weighed in the balance of our human calculations, but unstintingly gives us the courage to start anew. This teaches us resilience, the courage always to start again, each day. Always to start over after our falls. God is patient.”

From ‘Custodians of Wonder – Daily Pope Francis’, edited by Joseph Halldorf (Silentium, 2023).

 

Monday of Holy Week – 25 March 2024

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Hope in the midst of despair

Yesterday, Vatican News reported:  “The Catholic community in Gaza continues to show the world an incredible testimony of faith. Today, despite the war and its dangers, the Holy Family Parish celebrated Palm Sunday in the most solemn way. May their courage be an example to everyone.”

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Images (c) Vatican News

 

Palm Sunday (B) – 24 March 2023

palm2

Palm Sunday at Home:    Palm Sunday at Home (B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-palm-sunday-year-b-2024

St Mark’s Passion:    St Mark’s Passion

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave


Fifth Week of Lent

Monday 18 March 2024

“God is love. Jesus is love enfleshed. Disrespect, hatred, division, and revenge may never be preached in God’s or Jesus’ name, no matter the cause, no matter the anger, no matter the wrong. This doesn’t mean that we cannot have disagreements, spirited discussions, and bitter debates. But disrespect, hatred, division, and revenge (no matter how deeply they may in fact be felt inside us) may not be advocated in the name of goodness and Jesus.”

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI

 

5th Sunday of Lent (B) – 17 March 2024

lent-5

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Lent 5B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Lent 5B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-lent-5-year-b-2024

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave


Fourth Week of Lent

4th Sunday of Lent (B) – 10 March 2024

lent4b

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Lent 4B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Lent 4B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-lent-4-year-b-2024

 

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave


Third Week of Lent

Friday 8 March 2024

Day of Prayer for the Holy Land

11.00 am Mass for Peace at St Benedict’s followed by Stations of the Cross.

5.00 pm Mass for Peace at the Cathedral preceded by Exposition at 3.00 pm.

ceasefire now

A Prayer from Pope Francis for Peace

Let us pray with one heart and one soul:
Lord come to our aid, grant us peace, teach us peace,
guide our steps in the way of peace.

Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say:
‘Never again war’.

May the weapons be stopped: they will never lead to peace,
and may the conflict not widen!
Enough! Enough, brothers!
In Gaza, let the wounded be rescued immediately, let civilians be protected,
let far more humanitarian aid be allowed to reach that stricken population.
May the hostages be freed, including the elderly and children.
Every human being, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, of any people or religion,
every human being is sacred, is precious in the eyes of God
and has the right to live in peace.
Let us not lose hope: let us pray and work tirelessly
so that the sense of humanity may prevail over hardness of heart.”

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Thursday 7 March 2024

goddard-e1529660661321

This evening, the Archbishop will formally install Fr Matthew Goddard, FSSP, (above) as the new Rector of St Mary’s Shrine in Warrington.

Please pray for Fr Goddard, FSSP, and his assistant, Fr Gwilym Evans, FSSP (below).

Fr_Gwilym_Evans_FSSP_WPFSSPUK

I will be attending the Installation at St Mary’s along with other clergy from the Deanery.  Parishioners are also very welcome.  The service begins at 6.00 pm and will be followed by refreshments at the Salvation Army on Academy Street.

 

Wednesday 6 March 2024

“I desire neither death nor life. Were the Lord to offer me a choice, I would not choose. I will only do what he wills, and I am pleased with whatever he does. I have no fear of the last struggle, or of any pain, however great, which my illness may bring. God has always been my help; he has led me by the hand since I was a child, and I count on him now. Even though suffering should reach its furthest limits, I am certain he will never forsake me.”

St Therese of Lisieux

Day of Prayer for the Holy Land – Friday 8 March
11.00 am Mass for Peace at St Benedict’s,
followed by Stations of the Cross

 

Tuesday 5 March 2024

God loves us

Day of Prayer for the Holy Land – Friday 8 March
11.00 am Mass for Peace at St Benedict’s,
followed by Stations of the Cross

 

Monday 4 March 2024

Friday 8 March has been set aside as a Day of Prayer for the Holy Land.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols writes:

“As we are all aware, the situation in the Holy Land has not improved, with failed negotiations, increasing humanitarian distress and a rising death toll…

I ask that, on Friday 8 March, there is a special focus of prayer for the Holy Land. This could take the form of a dedicated time of prayer, perhaps before the Blessed Sacrament, for peace in the Holy Land. It could be as simple as making any regular Lenten devotions you may be having on that day for this intention.”

 

3rd Sunday of Lent (B) – 3 March 2024

lent-3b

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Lent 3B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Lent 3B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-lent-3-year-b-2024

 

Pastoral Letter from the Archbishop

Video:    Pastoral Letter 3rd Sunday of Lent (youtube.com)

Text:    Pastoral Letter 3 Lent 2024

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave


Second Week of Lent

Wednesday 28 February 2024

I knew a hermit who lived by himself for over 35 years. Living alone, his existence was known to few people. Yet, paradoxically, his life was really larger-than-life. He was the most connected man I knew. When he prayed at night, alone, by his own description, he “felt the very heartbeat of the planet, and felt the joys and sufferings of everyone.” That’s the very opposite of an experience we so commonly have when, inside the very buzz of our lives, we feel nothing but our own obsessive restlessness and the smallness of our lives.

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI

 

Tuesday 27 February 2024

no matter what you do

 

Monday 26 February 2024

“Let us pray together for the tormented Ukrainian people and for Palestine, for Israel, and for the many peoples torn apart by war. Let us think of the huge amount of suffering; let us think of the wounded, innocent children.”

Pope Francis, 25 February 2024

 

2nd Sunday of Lent (B) – 25 February 2024

lent-2a

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Lent 2B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Lent 2B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-lent-2-year-b-2024-2024

 

Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2024

Pope Francis Lent 2024

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave


First Week of Lent

Friday 23 February 2024

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Funeral Mass for Maureen Knight

Today at 1.45 pm in Our Lady of Walsingham, Netherton.
The link to the livestream is  https://vimeo.com/event/4101516/a67b9532fa

CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day

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Today is CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day – one of two days in the year when we reach out to poorest of the poor in countries around the world.  You can find out more here:

Family Fast Day (cafod.org.uk)

CAFOD’s Fast Day Prayer

Loving God,
when our boat is rocked
by poverty, illness or disaster,
you quiet the waves,
and lead us safely to shore.

When we work hard,
but still go hungry,
you walk beside us,
calling, “cast out your nets”,
there is enough for all.

Lead us, Lord, to play our part
in calming the storm
and sharing your gifts
so all people
may look to the future with hope.
Amen.

 

Thursday 22 February 2024 – Feast of the Chair of St Peter the Apostle

Yesterday, Parliament’s International Development Committee reported back on conditions in Gaza.  Speaking on their return from Al-Arish, Chair of the Committee, Sarah Champion MP, said:

“Nothing that has been reported braces you for the true scale of the horror in Gaza. We’re simply not getting accurate information about the levels of destruction and brutality.

“Listening to seasoned humanitarians tell us that what they’ve witnessed in Gaza makes it the worse disaster they’ve ever seen really brought home the savagery befalling civilians. Aid workers repeatedly questioned why international law wasn’t being followed or upheld in relation to civilians, humanitarians and medics.

“They also expressed a deep feeling of dread and inevitability of Israeli forces carrying out their threat to escalate the assault into Rafah. A senior aid worker described Rafah as water in the bottom of a glass with the pressure getting more and more intense.

“We learned about the lawlessness in Gaza, with Hamas police being killed and civilians getting increasingly desperate. Personally I fear that unless something happens to stabilise the situation, the remaining UN support will withdraw leaving Palestinians utterly alone.

“Politicians around the world need to demand an immediate end to the violence, full access for aid and a long term strategy to rebuild Gaza; both its infrastructure and its society.”

You can read the full report here:

Committee Members report back on conditions in Gaza – Committees – UK Parliament

 

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Prayer to Our Lady (source unknown)

As my mum’s health deteriorated and she found it difficult to walk, she drew great strength from this beautiful prayer:

Take my hand, O Blessed Mother, hold me firmly lest I fall.
I am nervous when I am walking and to thee, I humbly call.
Guide me over every crossing, watch me when I’m on the stairs,
let me know that you’re beside me, listen to my fervent prayer.
Bring me to my destination, safely every day,
help me with each undertaking as the hours pass away.
And when evening falls upon us and I fear to be alone,
take my hand, O Blessed Mother, once again and lead me home.
Amen.

 

Tuesday 20 February 2024

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Monday 19 February 2024

“We are all wounded. Take those wounds to the Eucharist. Every time you go to a Eucharist, stand by an altar, and receive communion, bring your helplessness and paralysis to God, ask God to touch your body, your heart, your memory, your bitterness, your lack of self-confidence, your self-absorption, your weaknesses, your impotence. Bring your aching body and heart to God. Express your helplessness in simple, humble words: Touch me. Take my wounds. Take my paranoia. Make me whole. Give me forgiveness. Warm my heart. Give me the strength that I cannot give myself.”

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI

 

1st Sunday of Lent (B) – 18 February 2024

lent-1

Mass Sheet we will be using in church:    Mass Sheet (Lent 1B) 2024

Bidding Prayers:    Bidding Prayers (Lent 1B) 2024

Reflection on the Readings:    prego-lent-1-year-b-2024

 

Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2024

Pope Francis Lent 2024

 

Some Funnies

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God bless,
Fr Dave