21 February 2021 – 1st Sunday of Lent




Dec members of the Davis family

Holy Souls NDL

Alice & John Molyneux RIP




Church is closed for public worship, for the time being  




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




RECENTLY DIED: Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the souls of Robert & Mollie Horridge.  May they rest in peace.

Here are a few of the ways in which, as individuals and as a parish, we can mark the season of Lent this year:
Almsgiving: We seek out opportunities to give money to charity or time to help those in need. Even a phone call to someone who is lonely – this is giving!
Fasting: We deny ourselves some food or luxury during Lent, and so remind ourselves that our deepest need is for God, not material things.
Private Prayer: During Lent we should all try to make a little more time for quiet prayer with God.
Stations of the Cross: An opportunity to meditate on our Lord’s last journey, when he shows such deep love for us.  Many churches will be streaming their Stations during this Lenten ‘lockdown’.
Attending a virtual weekday Mass: Many local churches are holding weekday Masses anyway and particularly so during Lent.
Confession: This sacrament is available by appointment, so please ring the office to arrange a time.  The week before Easter tends to be very busy, so please think about making your confession earlier in Lent.
Talks: The Archdiocese and other churches / organisations are holding online talks and presentations during Lent.  Look out for details in the Newsletter over the coming weeks.  Or, if you hear of any, please contact the office (email of phone) with the details.
Spiritual Reading: Pick up a good spiritual book and feed your soul during Lent!

1st Reading: Genesis 9:8-15, God’s covenant with Noah after he had saved his from the waters of the flood
Psalm 24: Your ways Lord, are faithfulness and love to those who keep your covenant
2nd Reading: I Peter 3:18-22, That water is a type of baptism which saves you now
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15, Jesus was tempted by Satan, and the angels looed after him
Gospel acclamation: Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!  Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.  Praise to you O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Communion antiphon: The Lord will conceal you with his pinions and under his wings, you will trust.

Today’s Gospel sums up the whole theme of Lent: ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel’.  Lent is, first and foremost, a time of spiritual renewal.  It is a time when we try to review our way of living and shake off the ‘dust’ which has accumulated in our souls and which blocks our relationship with God. 
There are times when we may feel overwhelmed by the cares of the world.  We may have allowed ourselves to become involved in thoughts, ideas and actions that distance us from God’s loving kindness and generosity. We’ve been easily distracted.
Today though, Jesus is gently reminding us that the Kingdom of God is ‘close at hand’ – that we don’t know when this earthly existence of ours will be over, so we therefore need to think about how we can make preparations for the next life, while we have the opportunity.
Traditionally, people have often seen Lent as a time for making small sacrifices and adjustments to their way of life eg giving up certain foods or behaviours, as a gesture towards achieving a more focussed and spiritual life.  Whilst this can be regarded as laudable – and often beneficial – course of action, Jesus and the saints remind us that this is only half the story.  They tell us repeatedly, that the only way to strengthen our relationship with God (and our love for God), is to love our neighbours, as much as we love ourselves.  This is easy when we naturally like or love our ‘neighbour’ (friend, relative, colleague), but so much harder when the ‘neighbour’ is someone we’re not naturally drawn to, or may not even like particularly.  This is where the good God steps in (if we ask him to), to strengthen our weak and limited willpower and help us to become more like him.
Let us make this Lent a time where we can demonstrate God’s loving kindness to everyone, regardless of how we feel about them; putting their needs before our own and looking after them, just as we expect God to be looking after us.

This reflection is from MaryAnne FCJ who is based at the FCJ Centre at St Hugh’s, Wavertree.
Today is the first Sunday in Lent and the Gospel shows Jesus just about to start his public ministry. Before he is ready to say, ‘The time is fulfilled, … the Kingdom of God is near’, he is driven to the wilderness and there tempted.
When I think about the temptations of Jesus, the long narrative that we find in Matthew’s Gospel comes to mind, and so today’s reading catches me by surprise. Just one sentence is all that Mark gives us, and yet there is a lot to ponder. First of all, Satan is not made into the main character here. You blink, and you miss him completely. He is given part of a sentence and then we don’t hear about him anymore. It’s as if Mark is telling us that Jesus is faced with darkness, with evil, and is able to see it as it really is and overcome it.
I know in my own life that it is not that easy. And yet it is encouraging to know that Mark seems to be saying that Jesus has broken the foothold of evil and so it will not have the last word in the life of Jesus … or in my life. In the wilderness, Jesus is not alone. There are no human friends, but there are wild beasts and angels. These two are positive presences, accompanying him in his solitude, helping him to prepare to proclaim God’s Kingdom. The angels connect him with God, his ‘Abba’ and possibly remind him of his mission, while the wild beasts connect him with creation, with what is of-the-Earth. It is interesting to notice that these wild beasts do not seem to be scary or threatening to Jesus, they are good companions. This is a hopeful sign – Jesus has come to bring all creation to fulfilment.
There is hope and an echo of the Garden of Eden here, or of Isaiah’s prophecy: ‘the lion lies with the lamb’. There is much in our world at this time that seems like the wilderness. The COVID pandemic is causing much suffering all over the world. There is poverty in our city as well as in countries far away from us. Our entire planet is in great danger of irreversible damage as division and injustice abound. What can we learn from Jesus about facing the wilderness?
It seems to me that this Gospel is inviting me to keep three things in mind. First, I need to remember that Jesus is God-with-us. He has been through the wilderness first, has faced the darkness and knows how to guide me through it. Second, I must be on the lookout for angels – the messengers of God – who remind me of God’s constant presence with me and the mission that God has entrusted to me.
And finally, I need to look to the wild beasts, to God’s creation, taking time to contemplate its beauty and let it guide me to God’s light.

Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this sonnet for Lent by Malcolm Guite.

All the Kingdoms of the World
‘So here’s the deal and this is what you get:
The penthouse suite with world-commanding views,
The banker’s bonus and the private jet,
Control and ownership of all the news,
An ‘in’ to that exclusive one percent
Who know the score, who really run the show,
With interest on every penny lent
And sweeteners for cronies in the know.
A straight arrangement between me and you,
No hell below or heaven high above,
You just admit it, and give me my due
And wake up from this foolish dream of love…’
But Jesus laughed, ‘You are not what you seem.
Love is the waking life, and you are the dream.’

As a result of your reflection, offer some prayers of intercession for the people and situations in our world today that seem to you to be most in need.


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.

We join Pope Francis in his prayer intention for February:
We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded.

We pray for all our sisters and brothers around the world, particularly those without access to the water they need in order to flourish …
that God will renew our resolve to work with them to end poverty and injustice.
We pray that the six weeks of Lent may be a source of renewal for all.
We pray for our diocese’s continuing Synod journey …
that the Holy Spirit will lead us to wise discernment of the decisions we need to make in order to be the Church we are called to be.
We pray for all who struggle with temptation of any kind …
may they find support in God’s unconditional love and acceptance.

We pray now in the words Jesus gave us:
Our Father, who art in heaven…

Special Days of prayer this week
22 February – Feast of the See of St Peter the Apostle
Sunday 28 February – 2nd Sunday in Lent & CAFOD Family Fast Day

This will take place from 10th– 18th March 2021 at St Joseph’s Church in Maidenhead.  In this Year dedicated to St. Joseph, the Mill Hill Missionaries are preparing for the Feast of St Joseph, their patron, with a special Novena of Masses and prayers to ask for God’s blessing on their Society’s missionary outreach, and for the intentions of all those who support their work.  
Masses are on Wednesday to Friday (10-12 March), at 7.30pm, Saturday, 13 March at 10am, Sunday, 14 March at 11.00am, Monday –Thursday (15-18 March) at 7.30pm.
If you would like to join in from home, for the first time this year, Masses from St. Joseph’s Church will be available to follow on Zoom and YouTube via the parish website: stjosephsparish.co.uk and the Mill Hill website: www.millhillmissionaries.com/novena, where you will also find the Novena prayer leaflet.   
You can also join in by praying the daily Novena prayer.  You are welcome to send in your petitions and/or to request a printed Novena prayer leaflet.  Please write to the Novena Director, 41 Victoria Road, Liverpool, L37 1LW, or email novenamhm@gmail.com

This Lent, CAFOD invites you and the whole Catholic community of England and Wales to join their ‘Big Walk for Water’ virtual event.
Abdella lives in a mountainous region of Ethiopia.  He walks ten hours a day, every day, to fetch safe water for his family.  He has no time to himself or to do any of the things he wants to do.

There are a number of activities you might wish to consider taking part in – or you might be happy to support someone you know who could do them on your behalf:
Help give the boot to water poverty by walking a 5-mile route on Saturday 20 February at 2pm.
Alternatively, you might like to ‘Walk for Water’ as a personal challenge by walking 10,000 steps every day, for 40 days.
£10 can by sturdy water containers so families can store water safely.
£40 can bring safe drinking water to a hard-to-reach school
£750 can provide a whole community with a safe supply of water.
Any amount, no matter how small, will help to make a difference.
For more information and ideas, please see www.cafod.org.uk/walk

Donate online at www.cafod.org.uk/give or by using a CAFOD envelope – please contact the parish office to arrange to collect / or for the envelope to be dropped off  at your house.

You can also donate via text; text LENT 10 to 70460 to donate £10. Or add the amount you’d like to donate eg LENT 20, to donate £20 and LENT 30 to donate £30 etc.  (If you do not wish to receive any marketing communications, please text LENTNOINFO to 70460)

This week, a particularly lovely version of the popular hymn, Be Not Afraid.  The images that accompany the video are powerful reminders of the beauty of our world – in spite of everything.  A feast for the ears and the eyes (and specially our wellbeing).   Be not afraid I go before you always lyrics. – YouTube
And another chance to hear last week’s hymn from China: This haunting hymn is a wonderful testament to the strength of the faith of China’s struggling Christian community: O Lord, I Praise You :: Christian Song from Chinese House Church (English) – YouTube

The Global Catholic Movement invites you to “Global Healing.”
In 2015, Pope Francis published his ground-breaking letter on the  environment Laudato Si’. Since then, millions of people worldwide have joined the global movement to address the environmental crisis our world is facing. This Lent, we are inviting YOU to join us for a series of reflective evenings with inspiring speakers, prayer and discussion, using the film-based resource “Global Healing”. These engaging documentaries will inform and challenge people to respond to Pope Francis’ call to Care for Our Common Home. Suitable for all who are concerned about what is happening to our world and who want to take action.
When? Six Thursdays from 18th February – 25th March 2021, 7.30pm – 8.30pm
How to join? To register please click HERE
or email jane@catholicclimatemovement.global

Hosted by GCCM ‘Laudato Si’ Animators in the UK.
Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience…Truly, much can be done!” (Laudato Si’, 217, 180

Denis Blackledge SJ, Jesuit Parish Priest of Saint Francis Xavier’s Church in Liverpool delivers a series of armchair retreats.
​Each week Fr Denis chooses a couple of scripture passages to break open the living word in a homely way to give fresh encouragement, and deepen the daily living of folk as friends and followers of Jesus.
Please use this link: Armchair Retreats | Liverpoolcatholic (liverpoolcatholicresources.com)

Congratulations to this month’s winners:
1st – Mrs P O’Keefe
2nd – Mrs H Boardman
3rd – Mr S J Thompson


As you may be aware, our Bishops have lifted the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
To keep Sundays holy, it might be helpful to spend some time reading the Scriptures.  Besides your Bible, the Magnificat publication can be a wonderful aid to prayer and of course, you also get the readings for Mass for every day of the week!  At a cost of less than £1 a week, you may be interested in subscribing now: tel. 020 7448 3618; email: uk@magnificat.com or visit the website: www.catholic-herald.myshopify.com
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. 
If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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.

Locally, there is St Clare’s, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood: www.saintclares.co.uk which streams Mass daily at 9.30am.  Please follow the easy links on the website. 
https://www.vaticannews.va/enPope Francis
https://www.churchservices.tv/whats-on-now/  Great selection of Masses and other Church serviceshttps://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 (Sky Channel 588)) or the Archdiocese to access daily Masses
On the radio: Catholic Radio Sky 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.

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.
PRAYER CARDS FOR THE YEAR OF ST JOSEPH: Prayer cards are available – please notify the Parish Office and we will send one out to you so that you can say the prayer to St Joseph during the week.  We know we can rely on his guidance and protection in every difficulty and challenge.  And his intercessions are certainly much-needed by us all at the moment!

CATHOLIC NEWSPAPERS: These are available to order directly from the publisher (www.thecatholicuniverse.com  or 0161 820 5722). It can be posted to you each week. Introductory offers: printed copies for three months – £25; twelve months – £99; or digital copy £55 for twelve months.
THIS MONTH’S CATHOLIC PICTORAL Please use this link to access a really user-friendly (and free!) version of the Catholic Pic: https://issuu.com/merseymirror/docs/catholic_pic_february_2021

Please click on the link below and identify this Sunday’s video.
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!

World Day of Prayer, is a worldwide, women-led, ecumenical prayer movement. On the first Friday in March every year a service is held where a chosen country produces materials for the world to worship. 
This year, the women of Vanuatu have put together prayers and resources for services that will be taking place all round the world.  Due to the pandemic, most will be held virtually via Zoom, Skype, or Teams. 
We should be hosting a service here in Mawdesley this year, but for obvious reasons, we will be postponing it until the end of April – when, hopefully, most people have been vaccinated.
Further news and details will follow over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, you may like to find out more about the WWDP and this year’s prayer theme (‘Build on a Strong Foundation’) by using the following link: www.wwdp.org.uk

Many thanks to generous parishioners who continue to support the parish during this extremely challenging year.
Instead of putting money in offertory envelopes each week, those who are able to make an offering are asked to either:

  • Write a monthly cheque (payable to ‘Ss Peter & Paul Church’) and post to the presbytery with a covering letter and one offertory envelope for gift aid purposes.
  • Contact the office (by phone or email) to request a Standing Order mandate for your bank –

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.


It is important that we all follow the rules for the Tier 5 National Lockdown in order to protect all age groups, but especially the most vulnerable.
Check out the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home to find out what the restrictions (and exceptions) are, and to keep abreast of changes in the future
The good news, though, is that the Covid-19 vaccination programme started in  Lancashire on 15th December. The NHS contacts those eligible for a vaccine to arrange an appointment.

Residents can book an appointment if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid19 via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Many parishioners have already received notification about their vaccine – or have received the first dose.
It is important to wait to be contacted. 
Change of Advice: Please contact your local surgery if you are over 70 and have not yet been given a date for your vaccination.
Please also note that the Catholic Church has given its full support to the vaccine (all three of them) and is keen to assure Catholics that there are no moral issues linked to the science of the vaccines, whatsoever.  The vaccines are safe. The Archbishop of Liverpool is anxious to dispel any myths and urges Catholics to have the vaccines.  Cardinal Vin Nichols has had his first vaccine.  So has the Pope  – and hospital chaplains have also received their first doses.

Unfortunately some people are trying to exploit the fears of others, so be on the alert for so-called vaccine scammers, who will try and charge you for a vaccine. 
There is NO CHARGE.
The vaccines are free. 
GP surgeries are not paid.  The government is paying for the whole programme.

Please also note that there are some scammers pretending to be the NHS.  There is only one official NHS email address, which is www.nhs.uk

The NHS will never ask for details like family maiden names of bank accounts / credit & debit cards.  Nor will they require you to pay anything for the vaccines.  If you are contacted by a group claiming to be the NHS and they’ve asked for these details, it is a scam and you must ignore it.  Then report it!

Only essential food shops remain open (and post offices)
Leave home to exercise once a day only
No meeting of groups, even outside
No mixing of households
Travel allowed for key / essential workers only
Follow instructions to self-isolate if alerted by Track and Trace
Take regular Covid tests (whenever possible), especially if you’re not displaying symptoms.

It is essential to continue to observe the ‘basics’: hand hygiene, face masks, social-distancing – and lots of good ventilation – at all times