21 March 2021 – 5th Sunday of Lent




Alan Silcock RIP

Geof Martin RIP

Rosemary & Felix Jacquier RIP




Church will open for public Masses on Palm Sunday (27 and 28 March)




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




We are looking forward to being able to welcome parishioners back to Mass – very cautiously – as from Easter.
The same Covid-secure measures still need to be in place for some time yet, in order to protect everyone, so please bear with us.  A reminder that these include:

  • Booking a place(s) on Fridays, between 10.30am and 3pmapart from Good Friday. No other time / day.
  • Face masks must be worn at all times
  • Stewards will be on duty to guide you to socially-distanced seating
  • The doors will remain open throughout Mass (ventilation is crucial), so please dress warmly
  • Hand sanitiser will be used on entry / exit
  • Candles will be pre-lit
  • Mass will be shorter than usual
  • No singing
  • Minimal speaking

Palm Sunday Vigil: Saturday 27 March at 5pm
Palm Sunday: Sunday 28 March at 11.15am
Holy Thursday: 1 April at 7pm
Good Friday: 2 April at 3pm
BOOKING FOR THESE SERVICES: FRIDAY 26 MARCH, between 10.30am to 3pm only

Easter Sunday Mass: Sunday 4 April at 11.15am
Easter Monday: Monday 5 April at 11.15am (for those unable to attend on Sunday)
BOOKING FOR THESE MASSES: FRIDAY 2 APRIL, between 10.30am to 12 noon only. (Please note: the office will be closed from 12 noon on Good Friday).

Demand is likely to be high for these Masses, however there will only be a limited number of places available, so apologies if you are unable to secure a place.
Both Pope Francis and the Bishops of England & Wales suggest that the faithful watch one of the many online services from their local diocesan cathedral, as a symbol of unity within our Mother Church.
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.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 31: 31-34, I will make a new covenant and never call their sin to mind
Psalm 50: A pure heart create for me, O God
2nd Reading: Hebrews 5:7-9, He learnt to obey and became for all the source of salvation
Gospel: John 12:20-33, If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvest
Gospel acclamation: Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!  If a man serves me, says the Lord, he must follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too.  Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! 
Communion antiphon: Amen, Amen I say unto you: unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single grain.  But if it dies, it bears much fruit.

This reflection is from Sr Mary Ann FCJ who is based at the FCJ Centre at St Hugh’s, Wavertree.
Today’s Gospel story starts with some Greeks who have come up to the festival. Why are they here? Have they recently come to Judaism, or are they just curious visitors? They are certainly identified as different, as foreigners.
However, they are interested in Jesus. Had they heard of his healing ministry, or his teaching, or maybe the recent incident with the sellers in the temple? They go to Philip and say that they ‘wish to see Jesus’. In John’s Gospel this means that they want to be disciples… so their interest is a bit more than curiosity. Philip must have been somewhat confused. Jesus had not had non-Jews as disciples before. He is not quite sure what to do and so goes to Andrew. Andrew is decisive. He has seen Jesus with people, and he knows that no one is considered a nuisance. All are welcome. Anyone who seeks will not be turned away.
Both Andrew and Philip have experience of bringing people to Jesus. In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, Andrew brings his brother Simon, and Philip brings Nathaniel to Jesus, both of them with the invitation to ‘Come and See’. Jesus does welcome them, and their arrival makes him realise that ‘the hour has come’. The time has come for his ministry to go to the gentiles, and Jesus sees that when his life, like the seed, falls into the earth and dies, it will bear much fruit. The fruit here is the life of the new community that will begin. A community made up of Jews and Greeks, of insiders and outsiders.
What does all this have to say to us? We might want to ask ourselves, who are the outsiders in our communities and parishes? How would Jesus have welcomed them? What can they teach us about the Kingdom of God? In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis says: “Each of us can learn something from others. No one is useless and no one is expendable. This also means finding ways to include those on the peripheries of life. For they have another way of looking at things; they see aspects of reality that are invisible to the centres of power where weighty decisions are made.” [Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti #215] How do we invite others to ‘Come and See’? How are our words, our manner, our lives, an invitation to others to see God’s love, God’s kindness and God’s welcome?
Finally, when have we experienced in our life a failure, a dying that seemed like the end, but which later bore fruit in our lives and maybe the lives of those around us? When have we been afraid of sharing something with others in fear that we will lose it, and then found that we gained so much more?
As we hear and read this Gospel today, how are we invited to be with Jesus in his self-giving, his openness and his great desire to bring people into a life-giving love of the Father?

Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by Philip Larkin
The Trees
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old?
No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In full grown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

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 March:
That we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God

Let us pray…
That the recent visit by Pope Francis to Iraq, will result in improved inter-faith relationships and hasten peace for all in that troubled country.
That, as the Roadmap unfolds, we will all remember the lessons learned during Lockdown and value the safety of all and keep the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities in our minds and hearts.
That those suffering from mental health issues caused or made worse by the restrictions of the last year and especially for young people affected in this way, will be supported and encouraged as our communities begin to open up once more.

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

Special Days of prayer this week
23 March – National Day of Reflection (See message from Cardinal Nichols & Archbishop Malcolm below)
23 March – St Turibius of Mongrovejo
25 March – Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Fr Chris Thomas offers a series of reflections on Lent. 
A series of three reflections, approx. 30 minutes in length.
Please use the following link Lent Reflections | Liverpoolcatholic (liverpoolcatholicresources.com)

THE DRAMA DISPLAYED – Talks from the Heritage Christian Centre
A series of online talks concludes this month.
On Thursday 25 March Sr Emanuela Edwards will speak on “The Life to Come” and Michelangelo’s Last Judgement: https://christianheritagecentre.com/events/the-drama-displayed/

The event will livestream on ACN’s YouTube channel – simply search Aid to the Church in Need on YouTube or use this link. If the date and time don’t suit you, feel free to watch it later.

  • Prepare your own Sunday lunch on the day—we’ll be enjoying starters, mains and puddings during the course of our time together!
  • Set up your device so you can watch from your dining table.
  • Click on the link provided any time from 12:30pm on the day and get ready for a fantastic line-up of prayer, personal testimony, interviews, cookery demonstrations, music and more.
  • As we eat together and enjoy each other’s (virtual) company, you’ll have the chance to make a donation to support the life-changing work of the St John the Merciful Table.
  • You’ll enjoy your Sunday lunch, join the ACN family for the afternoon and feel great because we’ve worked together to feed those unable to feed themselves or their families.

Find out more about the work of Aid to the Church in Need and support them at www.acnuk.org

Since the first UK Covid-19 lockdown began in 2020, millions have been bereaved.  The National Day of Reflection, coordinated by the charity Marie Curie and officially supported by the Church of England, will designate a special day to reflect on collective loss and grief. All denominations are invited to encourage their parishioners to take part.
Extract from the Statement from the Presidency of the Bishops of England & Wales, signed by HE Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon
We welcome the designation of Tuesday 23rd March as a National Day of Reflection to mark the anniversary of the first national lockdown with a minute’s silence at midday and doorstep vigils of light at 8pm.
We ask you all to make this not only a Day of Reflection but also a Day of Prayer. In reflection we ponder on all that has taken place; in prayer we bring this to our Heavenly Father. For all who live by faith in God, reflection and prayer always go hand in hand. Prayer completes reflection. Reflection informs prayer. Prayer opens our life to its true horizon. Without prayer we live in a foreshortened world and are more easily swamped by its clamour and tragedy. Throughout this difficult year, so many have been inspired by prayer, so much effort sustained in prayer, in every place. So let us make the 23rd March truly a day of prayer….
Christian prayer is, of course, centred on Jesus Christ, the one who is “lifted up” before us “so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him” (John 3.13). We pray with Jesus, in him and through him, for he is the one who carries us, and our prayers, into the embracing presence of his Father. He is our comfort in sorrow, our strength in the face of need, our rejoicing in the gifts we celebrate and our hope in the face of the weighty darkness of death.
May Tuesday 23rd March be a great day of prayer that this pandemic comes to an end and that the gift of God’s Holy Spirit will carry us all forward to a new and better life, both here and in the world to come.
Signed: V Nichols, M McMahon

There will be a minute’s silence at 12 noon on 23 March to create a moment that shows support for the millions of people who’ve been bereaved. It might also be a day to connect with someone who is grieving. This might be in simple ways such as having a chat with them, sending a card, a message, or giving them some spring flowers.
Other things we can all do:

  • plant a seed, a bulb, a bush as a sign of hope
  • tie yellow ribbons to a prayer tree or railings as sign of prayer and support for all who are bereaved
  • Use the 8.00pm ‘share the light’ moment to light candles and lanterns in window.

For more information and details, please use the link: National Day of Reflection 2021 | Church Support Hub

Fr Chris Thomas will lead three days of reflection for Holy Week on 1, 2 and 3 April, entitles, ‘Dying and Rising with Christ’.
Please email Jenny at jenny@irenaeus.co.uk for more details / to register.

Fr Denis will be leading an online retreat this Lent, based on his two books Reflecting with Paintings Vol 1 and Vol 2.  There is no charge.
Each video will be uploaded to the site first thing on each given date for you to watch. Once released, you can choose to watch each video at a day/time that suits you. Each video, once released, will stay on the webpage.

  1. Fifth week in Lent –  Wed 24 Mar
    Bearing up – Peasant Woman with Buckets and a Child by Kasimir Malevich
  2. Palm Sunday – Sun 28 Mar
    Hat trick – Pilate’s Wife by Sebastien Champion
  3. Good Friday – Wed 31 Mar
    Letting go – Pieta by Vincent Van Gogh
  4. Easter – Sun 4 April
    When words are not enough – The Reconciliation of Peter by Iain McKillop


Fr Anders and Anna Hitchen attended (via Zoom) an information day last week where Synod leaders outlined the next steps.
They collated over 4000 responses in January, from parishioners across the Archdiocese and then framed them in to 19 Recommendations (that fall under 6 headings / themes), which will parishioners will again be asked to reflect on and consider over the next few months.
There 19 Recommendations will be available for you to look at over Easter – e-versions and hard copies – but if you wish to see them now (and also learn how the Recommendations were discerned from the 4000+ responses) please see the Synod 2020 website: Synod 2020 Recommendations

You Tube animated stories and songs each week.  

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)

The lovely hymn, Unless a Grain of Wheat Shall Fall, is the obvious choice for this week and this is a particularly meditative and reflective arrangement of these very comforting words: Unless a Grain of Wheat By Bernadette Farrell – YouTube
Another chance to hear – and see – this creative performance of Rutter’s favourite blessing: The Lockdowns have – amongst other things – certainly encouraged an enormous amount of artistic creativity, which is great for all of us!
The Lord Bless You And Keep You – John Rutter arr. Bobby Goulder (one-man choir) – YouTube


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.

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!

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.

Many residents have now received their first dose of the vaccine, but it is important to note that protection doesn’t kick in for a number of weeks after the vaccine, so it is vital that everyone remains vigilant and ensures that they follow all the rules to keep themselves and everyone else safe.
The number of positive cases in the NW has increased in recent weeks.

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.
Please contact your local surgery if you are over 50 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