MASS INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
Veronica & Edward O’Leary RIP
Winifred, John & Mary Cobham RIP
WELCOME TO THE NEW WEBSITE FOR SS PETER & PAUL, MAWDELSEY!
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.
As we approach the celebrations around the birth of our Saviour at Christmas, I would like to thank everyone for their continued support, despite the difficult and stressful circumstances we have all been experiencing due to the global pandemic.
Thank the Lord that we now have some vaccines, but we must still be very careful for a few more months yet!
You are all in my prayers each day and Holy Mass is celebrated in our church privately during the week and publically for the Sunday liturgies – and as always – one of the Sunday Masses is offered up for your intentions.
So many of you have still managed to give of your time in the mission of the Church, whether at home, praying for each other and those in need, or actively assisting in the communities. In addition, together, we have done what we can to prepare for and celebrate the sacraments, the church is cleaned and the grounds are maintained – thank you.
Two other things this year have proved to be especially helpful: our new websites for accessing information directly and our team of volunteer stewards and sanitisers, without whom we would not be allowed to celebrate Mass at the moment under the present laws and restrictions. Thank you all for giving up some of your time at the service of those who wish to come to Mass.
I wish you and all your loved ones a very Happy and Peace-filled Christmas.
God bless and stay safe!
CHRISTMAS MASSES: Both Masses are now full and therefore regretfully, we’re unable to take any more bookings.
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.
BOOKING MASSES OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD
Sunday 27 December: Deadline = 3pm on Monday 21 December
Sat 2 and Sunday 3 January: Deadline = 12 noon on Tuesday 29 December.
MASS ON SUNDAYS
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 20 DECEMBER
1st Reading: II Samuel 7:1-5, The kingdom of David will always stand secure before the Lord
Psalm 88 – I will sing forever of your love, O Lord
2nd Reading: Romans 16:25-27, The mystery, which was kept secret for endless ages, is now made clear
Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38, Listen! You are to conceive ad bear a son
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! I am the handmaid of the Lord: let what you have said be done to me. Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name will be called Emmanuel
SPIRITUAL REFLECTION FROM ‘OUR FAITH ON SUNDAY’ – 20 December
We are so familiar with this passage from the Gospel that it is not easy to take in its immensity. Like the Christmas story, it can come across as a beautiful fairy tale. However, it is worth reading slowly through this Gospel and reflecting on its significance in human history.
The fact that God chose a young woman to give birth to his Son is almost unbelievable. In fact, it requires the gift of faith to truly understand it. In her ‘Yes’ to God, Mary becomes an integral part of the story of salvation. It is often said that Mary is a model for all Christians. Why? Because her ‘Yes’ allowed Jesus to be born. When we say our own ‘Yes’ to God and set ourselves to do his will, we too can, in a sense, ‘give birth’ to Christ, in the midst of our contemporary world. The most powerful way in which we can do this is by loving one another as Jesus commanded us to do.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says that where two or three are gathered in his name, he is in their midst. Wherever we put this mutual love in to practice, we are doing what Mary did -we are giving Jesus to the world.
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL REFLECTION FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE
This reflection is from Deacon Paul Mannings from the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool
In my own humble opinion this beautiful season of joyful preparation moves forward and ends all too quickly! Here we are, already at the landmark story of the Annunciation, the wonderful prelude to what is to come. The angel tells Mary she has been chosen. However long Mary took to make up her mind during that visit, she offered her very self as the servant of the Lord. She made a totally committed response to God’s messenger.
Why was Mary chosen? There is no explanation other than the fact that this story doesn’t begin with her. It begins with God and God’s plan for Mary. God has made the decision and given Mary the graces. Mary’s own human frailty meant that she had the choice to refuse. She said yes and left the future to God. Surely, she was terrified by the fact that her life was now turned upside down in the space of a meeting.
How would Joseph respond? What about her community? Would she even survive? Mary had the faith to leave all of that to God when she said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.” It was that faith that led her forward rather than any confidence in herself or her own worthiness. I guess that many of us have been at meetings where elections are taking place. People are reluctant to come forward and then one poor soul is invited and told that nobody is more suitable, nobody else could do the job anywhere near as well. It might be true but for the most part it can be flattery caused by an ulterior motive. The person chosen may or may not accept the challenge albeit under pressure. Somebody has to do the job!
God works differently, by inviting us every day of our lives to let God find a home in our hearts. Do we really listen to that call? Instead, are we so carried away by our own schedules that we don’t make a response? God’s is a call that comes with no ulterior motives. God’s way for each of us is mapped out and planned. Our mission is to go with it, to let God into our lives and hearts. Now we come to a big hurdle in our own human frailty, namely the need to be in charge of our own destiny. In so many ways we can be, but as John Lennon quoted in Beautiful Boy, “Life is what happens to you (while) you’re busy making other plans.”
Personal circumstances can change in seconds for better or for worse. Inviting the Lord to live within us means that the load is shared. It is a call to be in partnership with God and to take our own serious part in making it work. God will shine a light into our way of life and so provide direction. The same light will also expose some of our weaknesses which may need attention. God will encourage, cajole and be there as a constant. God’s are the only plans for us that matter. Advent is the prime starting place to respond to that invitation, even in its last week. The effects will penetrate every other season of our lives.
On this fourth Sunday we particularly honour expectant motherhood; those who will go on to sow the seeds of faith into their children and, throughout their lives, provide love that nurtures God’s tenderness within them. Over this next week maybe you can call into the Cathedral or simply bring up an image to see that great statue in the Lady Chapel of Mother and Child. Mary embraces the child Jesus, whose arms are outstretched to remind us of His eventual crucifixion. His mother remained constantly at His side during good times and bad. The golden tones of the coloured glass in the background, represents the warmth, joys and all too often the willing sacrifices of lifelong motherly commitment.
Like Mary, we too are challenged to say “Yes” to the Lord and so put our freedom at His service. He believes we are worth it! Do we?
PRAYER INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
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,
Prayers this week:
We pray for the Church and its leaders …
that where difficult decisions and choices have to be made, they will be given the gifts of wisdom, courage and compassion.
We pray for all those awaiting the birth of a child …
may they find support and practical encouragement within their families and from their friends.
For all who have lost loved ones in this last year and face a first Christmas filled with their absence …
may the memories they hold of precious times together,
and sustain them in days to come. Amen
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.
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 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.
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 9.30am (New time). 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.
ADVENT / CHRISTMAS RESOURCES FOR YOU, FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE
Care for Creation:
- Living Laudato Si’ – Your Parish and Your Planet, Zoom Retreat, 22-25 January 2021. Speakers include: Trish Sandbach, John Paul de Quay, Sr Margaret Atkins and panel discussion for sharing advice on practical projects. Further details see attachment and also website.
Other resources for Christmas:
- Bishop Peter Brignall has created – At the Manger: Family Crib Services for the Eight Day of Christmas.
- Teresa Brown from Northampton Diocese has created a YouTube video on the Annunciation: From Gabriel to Mary with her own music and various artists’ portrayal of the event.
HELP US TO HELP MARY’S MEALS!: 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).
CALENDARS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT MASS
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.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY – SEE THIS NEW INITIATIVE! ‘The Mark 10 Mission’
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: A big THANK YOU to our extremely kind and generous parishioners who donated Christmas and other essential food items. Your food has been very gratefully received by the foodbank at St Mary’s Leyland.
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.
HELP DURING THE PANDEMIC
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/.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES OR NEED ANY HELP, PLEASE CONTACT FR ANDERS AT THE PRESBYTERY IN TARLETON ON 01772 812242, OR EMAIL THE MAWDESLEY OFFICE.
WITH EVERY BLESSING FOR THE COMING WEEK