22 November – Christ the King




Holy Souls NDL

Holy Souls NDL

Holy Souls NDL





2nd NATIONAL LOCKDOWN: Ss Peter & Paul Church is now closed for public worship for the time being.  However, it is possible to visit for private prayer on Sundays only, between 11am and 12 noon.  Please wear a mask.


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



The latest restrictions announced by the government last weekend mean that our churches can no longer open for services / masses.  Weddings and funerals can still take place, subject to specific guidelines.
However, we are able to open for private prayer, with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament each week (Sundays only), as follows:
Sunday 22 and 29 November : 11am to 12 noon
Our volunteer stewards will be on hand to help with sanitising and to guide you to your place.
You will not be required to book in advance (unlike for Mass)

Please note that the main doors will be left open to allow for proper ventilation – you may wish to dress warmly!

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: Ezekiel 34: 11-17, As for you my sheep, I will judge between sheep and sheep
Psalm 22, The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, He will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father, so that God may be all in all
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46 He will take his seat on his throne of glory, and he will separate men from one another
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David! Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: The Lord sits as King forever.  The Lord will bless his people with peace

Today’s Gospel is the continuation of last Sunday’s.  Jesus explains to his disciples what will happen when we appear before him to be judged.  He says that the sheep will be separated from the goats – the good from the bad.  Each of us will be asked how we have loved our fellow human beings when they were in need.  But Jesus says, ‘I was hungry….I was thirsty….I was in prison….’  He equates loving/serving the hungry, the naked, the imprisoned with serving him personally.

Some Christians insist that only Christians can be saved, because Jesus says that the only way to the Father is through him.  In this Gospel, we see that there will be people who come before Jesus, who never knew that they had encountered him during their earthly existence and yet who, feeding the hungry, were actually feeding him. 

There are many people who, through no fault of their own, never came to know Jesus in a direct way.  Does that mean that the Gates of Heaven are closed to them?  Today’s Gospel makes it clear that that is not the case.

This reflection is from Chris Thomas of the Irenaeus Project.
Years ago, I met a man called Peter who worked tirelessly for the poor. He spent hours each day trying to find accommodation, visiting hospitals and medical centres, to get treatment for people. One day, I asked him why he did all that he did. He began to tell me a story and as he did his eyes filled up. Many years earlier he had been working for a multi-national oil company. He lived the lifestyle of a top executive, flying all over the world, eating in the most expensive restaurants and staying in the most exclusive hotels. One day he was sent to Dar es Salaam. After a meeting and dinner, he went to a club. As he was leaving, he almost fell over a woman lying in the street. She touched him, begging for money. He shook her off and as he walked away, he heard her call, “Help me, I too am a child of God.”

It struck me then, as it has many times, that all our theological arguments, all our religious rituals and all the questions that we ask, matter little to God. All that matters is love. We can be good Catholics and not have an ounce of love in our hearts for the stranger, the orphan, the asylum seeker and those who live on the fringes. I wonder what God thinks when looking at what really goes on inside us and not at the religious things we do? In the Document Gaudium et Spes, one of the great lines that the Church fathers give us is that we as Church are to give people reasons for living and hoping. What word of hope does the Church have to offer the world if it’s not unconditional love? The world is tired of our ideas, theologies and religious practices that we try and force people to be part of. It will believe love. It will believe life that is given and received.

Sadly, we’ve lived in our heads for so long, just as the Scribes and the Pharisees did. Consequently, the world no longer listens to us. People vote with their feet as they search for what brings life abundantly. I was reading something this morning that I found quite challenging. It was this: ‘Until we Christians give evidence that there is life on this side of death, the world does not need to believe our dogmas and giant churches. It doesn’t need our words of hell. It needs our promise of heaven’.

Unless we love we have no hope to offer the world. That’s what today’s Gospel is all about. Jesus uses typically rabbinic language to persuade, as he reminds us of the heart of his message: that we love one another, and that the more we love particularly the poorest of the poor, the more we are loving Christ present within them. The feast of Christ the King is a reminder to us that the Kingdom of God will only be seen in and through love.

Ronald Rolheiser says, ‘Jesus is clear, as were the great Jewish prophets, that, at a point, religion is about how we care for the poor, pure and simple. There is perhaps no more frightening text in scripture than Jesus’ teaching on the last judgement in Matthew’s gospel, Chapter 25. He tells that, on the last day, we will be judged by God on one basis: did we care for the poor? Did we give bread to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked?’  It’s asking us the question: are you prepared to be love in the world, not for what you’ll get out of it, the virtuous didn’t realise they were responding to Jesus, but simply because our hearts have been so touched by love that we can’t help it?

That’s when the Kingdom will be seen to be a reality. That’s when people will be drawn to Christ and recognise that he is King of love and his kingdom is all about love.

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.  Amen.

We pray for all who follow Christ ….
may they work to make the kingdom of God a reality.
We pray for people in positions of power …
may they always seek truth and justice.
We pray for all who work for an end to hunger and want …
may they find support and encouragement for their efforts.
We pray or ourselves …
may our everyday words and deeds show that Christ rules our hearts.
We pray for all who have died and those on their last journey … may they be welcomed into the Kingdom of God and rest in peace.

POPE’S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR NOVEMBER: We pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve mankind.

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.

Please return all the sheets that you’ve marked up to either presbytery by 30 November at the latest (extended deadline), so that we can collate them all and give a final report to the Synod Office.  Please make sure your voice is heard!
You can of course do this on line directly via the Synod Office at www.synod2020.co.uk

ORDER YOUR FUNDRAISING JOINT PARISH CALENDAR NOW!: Please place your orders (email or phone) for the calendars.  Calendars are being snapped up already!   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 Peter & Paul, Mawdesley’). 

NATIONAL YOUTH SUNDAY – 22 NOVEMBER: A Message from Fr Simon Gore, Director of Animate Youth

National Youth Sunday 2020 (NYS) takes place on Sunday 22nd November, the feast of Christ the King. National Youth Sunday represents an opportunity to explicitly recognise young people – their gifts, talents and uniqueness. It also provides the Church with an opportunity to thank them for and affirm their contribution to the life of the local and universal Church. Nationally 
CYMFed has produced resources to help facilitate the celebration of National Youth Sunday in parishes and at home.
They can be accessed at www.nationalyouthsunday.com   Resources are split into four categories; For You; For Parish; For School; and For Family.
Animate have created a video to celebrate Youth Sunday. It can be found on the Animate You Tube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/AnimateYouth  Then search for ‘Youth Sunday 2020’).
We hope the video recognises the great gifts young people bring to the Church in our diocese, whilst also encouraging and challenging those young people to be ‘Saints of the third millennium’.
Also, on the You Tube Channel are other videos we are uploading monthly:
November – Taize style prayer at home
December – Advent Youth Alive Mass
January – Praise and Worship hymns and prayer
February – Lenten retreat
March – Lent Youth Alive Mass
The videos are suitable for parishioners of all ages. And once uploaded can be watched at any time, not just on one particular day or in one specific month.

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 to see the latest episode (Series 2 Ep2) which delivers this Sunday’s Gospel, gives a short reflection, leads the children in prayer and then concludes with worship.
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!

HELPING PRISONERS’ CHILDREN AT CHRISTMAS (PACT):  PACT is launching Operation Elf, with the support of Caritas Westminster and other Dioceses.  Last year PACT was able to collect 3,000 toys and books for the children of prisoners.  This year is more challenging but it is still possible to help: Please buy a book token to the value of £10 that can be sent in a Christmas card to a prisoner’s child – preferable National Book Tokens that can be purchased online from bookshops.  Deadline: 30 November.  Please send your book token to: ‘Operation Christmas Elf’, PACT, 29 Peckam Road, London SE5 8UA.  Your generosity will help even more children to feel loved and remembered.

CHRISTMAS FOODBANK:  Given the hardships facing so many families in our area this year, we would like to collect Christmas food items as soon as churches can re-open (hopefully at the beginning of December).   Many of us, over the next few weeks, will be putting an extra ‘Christmas’ item in our food trolleys eg mince pies, chocolate logs, Christmas cakes (please remember to check the sell-by dates!) etc, to help families and especially children to have a bit of joy this Christmas.  The deadline is Sunday 13 December

ORDER TRAIDCRAFT CHRISTMAS CARDS: Cards can be viewed online: https://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/christmas/charity-christmas-cards

NOVENA FOR NOVEMBER:  The Liturgy Office at the Archdiocese have sent out a Novena for those who would like to take part.  Please click on the link that follows, to access all the prayers.

November is the month when Catholics traditionally remember loved ones who have died and offer services and support to those who have been bereaved. This November, we are particularly aware of the millions of people who have died from Covid-19 and those whose bereavements have been particularly painful since they were unable to be with their loved one when they died.

The Novena can be prayed at any time during November but might be especially appropriate this year leading up to the Feast of Christ the King when we have the Gospel in which Jesus says to those who have lived good lives: ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world’.

We know that few of us die ready to hear those words – but, equally, few of us have done enough evil to hear Christ tell us to go away. Most of us will continue our journey towards perfection – sustained by the prayers of all the saints (canonised and un-canonised) and those we have left behind whose love extends beyond death.

Our prayer, then, is that those who have died with be borne on the wings of our prayers to the moment when they are ready to enter fully into their eternal home.


IRENAEUS PROJECT:  Please use the link to access the November newsletter, from Fr Chris Thomas.  It provides details of a number of talks via Zoom (Advent Reflections on Isaiah, and the book of Galatians), plus some uplifting words from other contributors.


HELP DURING OUR 2nd NATIONAL LOCKDOWN: We are now in our 2nd national lockdown and face a number of additional restrictions to help curb the pandemic. 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