MASS INTENTIONS THIS WEEK – Both parishes
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OUR LADY’S and Ss PETER & PAUL’S – Both churches are now open for Sunday Vigil and Sunday Masses only. There are no weekday Masses currently, nor are the churches able to open for private prayer as yet. Social distancing rules require all parishioners wishing to attend, to contact the relevant parish office in order to reserve their place at Mass each week. Please wear a mask.
THE RE-OPENING OF OUR CHURCHES
Please continue to contact the parish office on Thursdays to reserve your place(s) at Our Lady’s on 01772 812242 between 10.30am and 3pm – or email email@example.com – and on Fridays to reserve your place(s) for Ss Peter & Paul on 01704 822618 between 10.30am and 3pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that, due to social-distancing rules, stewards may struggle to accommodate anyone who has not reserved a place at Mass. Contact the parish office on Thursdays and Fridays (10.30am – 3pm).
Your help on this is greatly appreciated – it helps us to keep everyone safe.
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.
READINGS FOR 6 SEPTEMBER
1st Reading: Ecclesiasticus 27:30-28:7, Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven
Psalm 102: The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy
2nd Reading: Romans 14:7-9, Alive or dead, we belong to the Lord
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35, I do not tell you to forgive seven times, but seventy-seven times
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia!. I give you a new commandment: love one another just as I have loved you, says the Lord. Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of men seek shelter in the shadow of your wings.
PRAYER INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
We pray for the Church: that she may be a beacon of hope throughout the world, reminding us all of our responsibility to care for and protect God’s precious gift of creation.
Lord, in your mercy…
We pray for those people who are already facing droughts, floods and storms: that God may grant them strength and hope for the future as they work to adapt to the changing climate.
Lord, in your mercy….
We pray for our parish and our local community: that through the grace of God we may hear the urgent cry of the earth and of the poor and be inspired to respond at this crucial time.
Lord, in your mercy…
SPIRITUAL REFLECTION FROM ‘OUR FAITH ON SUNDAY’
The Gospels are full of examples of God’s mercy towards sinners: the prodigal son, Zacchaeus the tax collector, the woman taken in adultery and many more. We learn from today’s Gospel that forgiveness has a condition: as God forgives us, so we must forgive anyone who have offended us. The hypocrisy shown by the servant in today’s story is obvious to all who read it, but there is a great danger that we may fall into the same trap ourselves.
Usually it is pride that makes us behave in such a way. Deep down we think that we are better than others and while we tend to overlook our own sins, we judge our neighbour very harshly.
The fact is that we all have in us that potential to do wrong, the fruit of original sin – and we can only overcome that tendency, that ability to resist temptation, through the grace of God. If we think the merit is all ours, then we are seriously mistaken. In the Our father, we say, “Forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us”. It would help us, whenever we say this, if we could check with ourselves that we are actually doing that!
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL REFLECTION FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE
The reflection on the Gospel is provided by Fr Chris Thomas, Director of the Irenaeus Project.
Frankie is a drug addict. His parents broke up when he was very small, and he was unable to cope living first with one and then the other. He was a vulnerable, anxious child, insecure and frightened. He entered into his teenage years and became extremely difficult to handle. He was aggressive and violent. His parents, who loved him very much, were unable to control him. He was expelled from school and was educated in a special unit which made him, sadly, more difficult.
As Frankie’s life spiralled into chaos, he began to take drugs, so-called soft ones at first, and then harder ones as time went on. Over the last twenty years he has been in and out of rehabilitation centres paid for by his Dad. He has been in prison several times for dealing to finance his habit. Each time Frankie has been in prison, his Dad has said the same thing, ‘No more!’ Yet each time he has come out of prison, his Dad has paid again for specialist rehabilitation. When that has finished, his Dad has found him a job working within the family firm and a flat to live in. It does not matter what Frankie does, and despite his own protestations at times, his Dad is always there for him.
I asked Ed, Frankie’s Dad, what would have to happen for him to give up on his son. He looked me straight in the eye and said ‘I often wish I could say and mean this is the last time, but he’s my son. Only death would make me give up on him. I love him more than I love myself’.
Ed showed me something powerful during that conversation. He helped me to sense the presence of
God. It seems to me that forgiveness is a mystery to be found in the heart of humanity. It is caught up with the reality of love. It is a facet of love and whenever we experience forgiveness, we get a tiny glimpse of the reality of a God who has forgiven humanity and every individual. We are forgiven for the mess we make of our own lives, the lives of others and the life of this planet that we have been given. That’s what we see in the action of the king in releasing his steward. The transformative moment is when we begin to realise it and begin to see who God is. In the face of such immensity, and aware of our own smallness and pettiness, all we can do is say thank you and live lives of forgiveness ourselves.
The whole of chapter 18 of Matthew’s gospel is a reflection on how we’re to live and our main characteristic is to be forgiveness. We have the story of the lost sheep and this parable of the unforgiving servant as well as the way to deal with those who sin against the community that we listened to last week. It’s constant forgiveness and mercy and compassion. Yet so many of us act like the steward in the Gospel. He was willing to accept the forgiveness of his master but not to allow forgiveness to flow through into the life of the one who owed him money. We can be willing to accept the forgiveness of God yet not allow that forgiveness to flow into the lives of others.
For the sake of humanity, we need to share and receive forgiveness as an illustration that it is possible and that it really is the only way to peace-filled lives. It’s a process and it’s hard, but we have within us the presence of God, the power of the Spirit so we can do anything. I often think of the words of Corrie Ten Boom who was preaching in Germany about forgiveness and saw, in the congregation, an SS officer who had treated her sister Betsy very badly. She knew she had to forgive him and as she stood before him, she cried out within herself ‘Lord, I can’t do this but you can’ and then, she found herself embracing him.
I was once on a course where the leader told us that the greatest sign of the kingdom of God is forgiveness. God loves us and constantly pours out forgiveness upon us. One way of showing others that truth is to allow his forgiveness to flow through us into the lives of others.
PRAYER REFLECTION FOR TODAY’S THEME
Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by the late Patrick Purnell SJ.A
I created you to praise, reverence and serve me
Do not ever be afraid of me
Even if you sin monstrously,
Because I do good to those who do not do good,
Even to those who hate me.
I bless those who curse me;
I love those who do not love me;
And I am kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
If you were my enemy, I would still love you.
Were you to steal from me,
I wouldn’t ask for it back.
I am merciful; I don’t judge; I don’t condemn;
And I forgive, O yes I forgive,
Even if you come back to me to be forgiven
Seventy times seven every day.
Now are you beginning to understand
Why so many people do not believe I exist?
They can’t believe in such goodness.
THE ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
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.
FINAL CALL – OFFERTORY BOXES
Offertory boxes for this next year are now available for collection at Mass or from the parish offices during office hours on Thursdays (Our Lady’s) and Fridays (Ss Peter & Paul). Alternatively, please leave a message at the parish offices if you would like to have your box posted out to you. Many thanks.
WE STILL NEED YOUR LOCKDOWN PHOTOGRAPHS FOR OUR JOINT PARISH CALENDAR!
Many thanks to those parishioners – children, young people and adults – who have already sent in some truly lovely photographs. There are still a few months that need filling, so please get snapping with cameras or mobiles! Photographs must be in landscape format and may have been taken at any time over the last 5 – 6 months
The theme is ‘All Things Bright & Beautiful in West Lancs’
Please convert to a jpeg file and identify the photograph, when you send the email.
There will be a vote for the cover photograph next month. Closing date is FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER
The calendar will be available to purchase in time for Christmas and would make ideal gifts for family and friends!
Proceeds will be shared between our two parishes and another registered charity.
FINAL CALL! OUR LADY’S TARLETON – VIRTUAL COFFEE MORNING / 200 CLUB DRAW: SUNDAY 20 SEPTEMBER
A virtual coffee morning will be held on Sunday 20 September, from 10.30am to 11.10am. It will be a lovely opportunity to meet up (virtually) with friends and parishioners whom you may not have seen over the last few months, along you’re your favourite brew and a couple of chocolate digestives! This will be held via Zoom (very easy to use) , so please email the parish office by THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER at the latest, if you would like to take part, and we will send the link out to you.
200 Club: There will be a draw for the lockdown months of March – October. Regrettably, falling numbers of subscribers mean that the 200 Club will be closing in October, with a view to re-launching in the future. Many, many thanks to all those members who have supported the Club so loyally over many years.
SPECIAL COLLECTION THIS WEEKEND (12 &13 September)
A number of special collections were missed when churches were closed during Lockdown. The Bishops of England & Wales have therefore re-allocated some of these important collections to dates between now and December.
There will now be a special collection for the Holy Places at Masses on 12 and 13 September.
SPECIAL COLLECTION NEXT WEEKEND: 19 and 20 September – HOME MISSIONS
OFFERTORY DONATIONS DURING THE LOCKDOWN
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 either your 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 either ‘Our Lady Help of Christians Church’ or ‘Ss Peter & Paul Church Mawdesley’) and post to the presbytery with a covering letter and one offertory envelope for gift aid purposes.
Donating by text / online: Please check the May Newsletters and use the links provided
MASSES ONLINE WILL CONTINUE TO BE STREAMED INDEFINITELY
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.
FEAST DAYS THIS COMING WEEK
14 September – Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated today as an instrument of salvation
15 September – Our Lady of Sorrows
16 September – Ss Cornelius (Pope, 251AD) & Cyprian (Bishop, d.258AD), both martyrs
17 September – St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Italian Jesuit and leader of the Counter-Reformation
19 September – Ss Theodore of Canterbury and Januarius: St Theodore was born in Turkey and made Archbishop of Canterbury in 666AD; a great reformer of the early Church. St Januarius (c.305AD), Italian bishop and martyr
APPLICATIONS FOR BISHOP RAWSTORNE ACADEMY: One of the entry requirements of C of E schools requires evidence of the commitment of one of the parents or guardians of the prospective pupil to the Christian faith, ie fortnightly worship for a period of at least one year. Please note that the Church is contacted to verify attendance for the year preceding entry. For pupils hoping to enter in Sept. 2021, the period of assessment started on 1 Sept 2020. Please pass this info on to parishioners who may not always manage to see the Newsletter.
THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSE & TIMES: SPECIAL OFFER! Weekly editions of The Universe (incorporating The Catholic Times) are on special offer at the moment: only £22 for 3 months! To order your own copy of The Universe/Catholic Times, please ring 0203 538 9753 or email: email@example.com
CATHOLIC PICTORIAL: To order your own copy of the Catholic Pic please ring 0151 709 7567 or email Kim O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.orgSt John Fisher, scholar and bishop
Please use this link to access July’s edition of the Pic: https://catholicpic.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0c53c885ba6459a91db50c18c&id=9a4891ad1a&e=be09e47358
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES OR NEED ANY HELP, PLEASE CONTACT FR ANDERS AT THE PRESBYTERY IN TARLETON ON 01772 812242, OR EMAIL EITHER OFFICE.
WITH EVERY BLESSING FOR THE COMING WEEK