13 December – 3rd of Advent




Elsie Redmond RIP

Veronica & Edward O’Leary RIP






Church is open for public Masses on Saturday (5pm Vigil Mass) and Sunday (11.15am). Contact the parish office to reserve seats.   Booking is essential as numbers are limited.  Thank you. 



This Week    
E. Minister Reader
Next Week    
Ministry E. Minister Reader



We are open for public Mass on Saturdays (5pm Vigil) and Sundays (11.15am).   There are no public weekday Masses.  It is still essential that anyone wishing to attend should reserve their place(s) by 3pm on FRIDAYS at the latest.  Please ring the Parish Office / email.  Please note the deadline is 3pm on Friday.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ‘NORMAL’ RULES STILL APPLY: No candles may be lit, face masks must be warn at all times, social-distancing is vital (2m), no moving around church to talk to people and the church doors will remain open throughout, to allow for ventilation.

CHRISTMAS MASSES:  Numbers are still limited so we will still require parishioners to reserve places beforehand.
Reservations can be made by phone or email between 12th and 18th December for Christmas Masses on
Thursday 24 December, 5pm (Christmas Vigil)  This Mass is now FULL
Friday 25 December, 11.15am (Christmas Day) A few places are still available
Sadly, because of social-distancing guidelines and the need to keep everyone safe, we cannot guarantee a place for anyone who has not reserved one.
There is no Mass on Boxing Day, but there will be a Mass on Sunday 27 December.  Again, booking for 27 December is essential.  Please contact the Parish Office on Monday 20 December by 3pm at the latest.

CHRISTMAS LISTS:  One of the Masses at Christmas will be offered for all the intentions on your Christmas List.  Please write your intentions and put them in an envelope marked ‘Christmas List Mass Intentions’.  You can leave them in the offertory basket in the porch when coming to Mass, or push them through the presbytery door.

Don’t forget that Masses will continue to be live-streamed and televised for many months yet, so you can still take part in Sunday worship and the Act of Spiritual Communion will continue to be an important part of people’s worship for the foreseeable future. Please remember that the Sunday obligation remains lifted. This is especially important for those over 70 and those with underlying health issues, who may be wary of attending public events.
If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

1st Reading: Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11, I exult for joy in the Lord
Psalm – Luke 1:46-50, My soul rejoices in my God
2nd Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, May you all be kept safe, spirit, soul and body, for the coming of the Lord
Gospel: John 1: 6-8, 19-28, There stands among you, unknown to you, the one who is coming after me
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! The spirit of the Lord has been given to me.  He has sent me to bring good news to the poor.  Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: Say to the faint of heart: Be strong, do not fear.  Behold, our God will come and he will save us.

Advent is the season in the Church year when we prepare for the coming of Christ.  It is therefore appropriate that today’s Gospel tells of John the Baptist, whose task was to prepare the Jews for the coming of Christ.
John is a somewhat mysterious character who lives a very austere life and who is clearly not understood by many of his compatriots.  Yet it is John who is the link between the Old and the New Covenants.  He precedes Jesus, announces his coming and then fades in to the background.  Like Jesus, he is regarded with suspicion by the Pharisees, as we can see by the way they question him in this Gospel.
He also precedes Jesus in that he loses his life because of his fearless proclamation of the truth.  But he makes it very clear that he is not the Messiah.  It can also happen to us like that: if we are living a good Christian life, people are attracted to us and to what we say.  This can be dangerous if we take this as our merit.  We must, like John the Baptist, acknowledge that we are only servants of the Lord.

This reflection is from Deacon Paul Mannings from the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool
Reflecting on this Gospel I’m called yet again to wonder at the personality of John the Baptist. Yes, in the wider context of the gospels, we are told he lived in the wilds, dressed in animal skins and fed off whatever he could find in those barren lands. I wonder, did he show any personal signs of joy? Did he show the light of happiness amongst the darkness of the lives of the people to whom he was sent to minister? Perhaps he was a strong, seemingly emotionless prophet with a mission to undertake and did so with seriousness and bite.

What is certain, is his clear love of the Light, the Good News, and as the Lord’s witness, the torch-bearer, he was going to make that news known to those in his own communities far and wide. Indeed, he was a voice in the wilderness, yet a voice that was heard, was listened to and acted upon by so many. He shone that light as the witness, a testifier of the love of God. There can be no doubt that his testimonies would have caused serious upset in many sectors of the communities he was serving. Yet John had the essential ingredient that is vital to proclaiming and living to share the Light, namely a charisma, an ability to win followers, to encourage others to put his words into action. His was not a charisma of showmanship or performance. Rather it was entirely about offering himself, his life, his lifestyle and his passionate faith in lighting the darkness for those who were seriously in need of it; his belief in the continuous presence of God and thereby calling people to respond to the invitation to accept that presence into their lives.

We hear that this had such an impact as to cause others to think that he was the Messiah. In response he was quick to claim that he had no knowledge of who the Messiah was. He was even speedier in making clear that the Messiah wasn’t him!  He wasn’t the Light. Instead, he was urging the people to take light from the torch passed on to him, to guide their way of serious preparation and where necessary, personal conversion, so as to herald the One who was coming after him.

On this third Sunday of Advent, we are traditionally called to be joyful that the Lord will come soon. Being joyful is especially difficult for us at this time. As so many suffer the very tangible experiences of grief, health issues and impacts of lockdown, it is an even greater call to respond to the effort of being an example for others. I guess the first task is to realise that we too are called to be torchbearers in a wonderful world that for the time being has so many landscapes of darkness. To that end, we can start with ourselves. We can rekindle our own relationships with the Lord by resolving to serve with energy and determination, drawing upon the examples of so many around us. John challenged his people and in the same way we can challenge ourselves and each other in making our paths straight.

Yes, we too can give bread to the hungry and clothes to those who have little. We can be that essential listening ear for the benefit of each other; listening with care and attentiveness rather than rushing in with solutions. All of us can reflect on our daily lives to determine how just and fair we are to ourselves and to people in our communities. Only then can we be confident that we are moving as close as we can, just like John’s people, to being so filled with God, as to face the realities of our situation.

Our challenge as well is to live in this way and with the same degree of humility as John; to be conscientious workers for the one whose sandals we too, are unfit to untie. The fact that we are called to do His work is joy in itself. Let us get on with the task in the here and now and so demonstrate by action that all of us are people truly sent to help prepare the way. Let our true holiness be both our personal and shared struggle to ensure genuine witness through love-filled action as together we carry our torches.

Archbishop Malcolm has asked us to pray the following at this time of crisis:
God Our Father, each person is precious to You.
You are the Giver of life.
Have mercy on us and protect us at this time, as the coronavirus threatens health and life.
You are an ever-present Helper in time of trouble.
Watch over those who are suffering, give strength to those who are aiding the sick and give courage to all in this time of anxiety.
We ask this of you in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ.

Prayers this week:
We pray for Pope Francis …
may his vision of a better, more just and peaceful world, through a fraternity and social friendship which welcomes the contribution of all, be born in our hearts and communities this Advent.
We pray for all who continue to face poverty and hardship …
that they may be guided to services which can provide them with enough for their needs in these days.
For those who grieve and mourn the loss of a loved one …
may they be comforted.

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

Many thanks to generous parishioners who have sent in donations to our churches. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.
Instead of putting money in offertory envelopes each week, those who are able to make an offering are asked to complete a Standing Order Mandate for your bank, from the parish office. We can email the document to you, if you wish, so that you can print off, complete and send to your bank.
Alternatively, you may still wish to write a  cheque (payable to  ‘Ss Peter & Paul Church Mawdesley’) and post to the presbytery with a covering letter and one offertory envelope for gift aid purposes.

Locally, there is St Clare’s, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood: www.saintclares.co.uk which streams Mass daily at 10am. Please follow the easy links on the website.
https://www.vaticannews.va/en Pope Francis
https://www.churchservices.tv/whats-on-now/ Great selection of Masses and other Church services https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/tv-lourdes/ Mass and daily at 2pm, the Rosary in English
https://www.livemass.org Extraordinary Form (1962 Missal)
Use the website links to EWTN, those who have Sky can tune in on Channel 588, or the Archdiocese to access daily Masses
On the radio: Catholic Radio Channel 0147
Also, you may wish to try the Pray as you Go phone app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.foxcode.prayasyougo&hl=en

PRAYERS from the Archdiocese, for Stations of the Cross etc: https://www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/

Please email the Parish Office with details of any other online services you know of that may help parishioners at this very difficult time. We will try to include them in next week’s Newsletter.

YEAR OF ST JOSEPH: With his apostolic letter, ‘Patris Corde’ (‘With a Father’s heart’), Pope Francis has proclaimed a ‘Year of St Joseph’ running from 8 December 2020 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) to December 2021.At the end of the letter, he asks us to pray the following prayer to St Joseph:
Hail Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you, God entrusted his only Son,
In you, Mary placed her trust,
With you, Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
Show yourself a father
And guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage
And defend us from every evil.

ORDER YOUR JOINT PARISH CALENDAR NOW!: Don’t forget to place your orders (email or phone) for the calendars: the proceeds will be split between our two parishes and the amazing work done by Mary’s Meals, to feed children in undeveloped countries, so we’d like to sell as many of these high-quality calendars as possible Price: £10 each (cheques payable to ‘Ss Paul & Peter Club).
MARY’S MEALS:  In spite of the horrors inflicted by the pandemic, Mary’s Meals has managed (miraculously) to keep their promise of a daily meal for more than 1.6m children in the world’s poorest communities.  They have also been able to provide meals for new schools as well.  Obviously the work must go on and there are always children to feed.  It’s very easy to forget them, especially when everyone is feeling challenged and stressed by this Crisis, but there is some wonderfully encouraging news: the Mary’s Meals ‘Double the Love’ campaign means that any donations made up to 31 January 2021 will be doubled by the UK Government, so the more calendars we can sell, the more money we can raise and the more children we can feed.  What a great start to the New Year!If you’ve already got your parish calendar but would like to find out more about Mary’s Meals, please use the link: www.marysmeals.org.uk
Alternatively, you may like to text a donation: text ‘DOUBLE1’ to donate £1 or DOUBLE5’ to donate £5 to 70450.

This is a brand new project created by a small team of young lay people to share the Gospel with children. The video episodes are completely free and have been used in many primary schools across the country each week since September. Please click on the link below:
The Mark 10 Mission team is passionate to see the Gospel shared with children and to help them grow in their relationship with Christ. The website is updated each Friday morning with a new episode, so happy viewing!

CHRISTMAS FOODBANK: Many thanks for your very generous donations.  The deadline is Sunday 13 December.   Your donations will be taken to St Mary’s in Leyland, for distribution. 

STUCK FOR LAST-MINUTE CHRISTMAS GIFTS?:  CAFOD World Gifts  has something for everyone – for those who donate and those who receive these token – but more importantly, the recipients of whatever you chose to ‘give’, whether it’s a school starter pack (£25), a sewing kit (£21), water for a family (£33),  a tree (£8), a vegetable garden (£10), a goat (£28) or some chickens (£20).  Please pick up a catalogue from the porch or see the website: www.cafod.org.uk/worldgifts
Fee delivery of any catalogue items if you order by 16 December.

It is important that we all follow the rules for our Tier 3 (Very High Alert) area in order to protect all age groups, but especially the most vulnerable.
No mixing of households / support bubbles indoors
Maximum of 6 in parks, public spaces (not private gardens)
Cafes and restaurants closed: takeaways / deliveries only
Avoid travelling out of the area (apart from work / education commitments) and reduce journeys
No overnight stays
Work from home if possible
Churches are open but no mixing with anyone outside of a household/bubble

It is essential to continue to observe the ‘basics’: hand hygiene, face masks, social-distancing – and lots of good ventilation – at all times.
You can find details of current measures on Lancashire County Council’s website https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/coronavirus-restrictions-in-lancashire/.

Further information can be found on the Government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-very-high.
The Council webpage also has guidance and the link to the application form for residents who have been asked the self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace and could be entitled to financial support. Please share with members of your household who you think may be entitled to this financial support:

The NHS National Volunteer Responder Programme is still running until at least December – go to https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/services for further information