23 AUGUST – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time



Dennis Farrell (unwell)

Speedy Recovery (MDD)

Holy Souls NDL

Mary Barton RIP




OUR LADY’S and Ss PETER & PAUL’S – Both churches are now open for Sunday Vigil and Sunday Masses.  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


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



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 olhct@rcaol.org.uk – and on Fridays to reserve your place(s) for Ss Peter & Paul on 01704 822618 between 10.30am and 3pm,  or email ssppm@rcaol.org.uk

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.

Thank you to those who have kindly been supporting the parish financially too, throughout this period, by your standing order donations and those who have sent cheque donations. I am very grateful.
If you haven’t already done so, please consider taking out a standing order with your bank. Again, please contact the parish office on Thursdays (Our Lady’s) or Fridays (Ss Peter & Paul) to arrange this.

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: House of Isaiah, 22:19-23 – I place the key of David upon his shoulder
Psalm: 137 – Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands
2nd Reading: Romans, 11:33-36 – All that exists come from him; all is by him and for him
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20 – You are Peter and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! You are Peter and on this rock, I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: The earth is replete with the fruits of your work, O Lord; you bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer the heart.

For all those who are suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19, their families and those who care for them,
Lord, in your mercy…
For those in authority as they make important decisions on our behalf, that the Spirit will guide them in wisdom and compassion,
Lord, in your mercy….
That all citizens throughout the world will recognise their responsibility to protect others by observing medical advice at all times,
Lord, in your mercy…

THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL REFLECTION                                                                                                                                                                  The reflection on the Gospel is provided by Fr Chris Thomas, Director of the Irenaeus Project.

When I was a university chaplain many years ago, I used to take groups of students to the Poor Clare’s when they still had a community in Liverpool. The students were always fascinated by the visit. It seemed to many of them a real waste of time to shut yourself off from the world and pray for the world.
I always found it interesting how the buzz of chatter on the minibus would grind to a halt when we went through the gates to the monastery which would shut behind us. We would then be taken to the parlour by a silent extern sister. There we would wait for the other sisters to arrive. I think the students wondered if we would ever get out.
On one visit, the sisters came into the parlour and began to introduce themselves. There was one ancient looking lady who beamed around at us all and introduced herself as Sister Mary Francis. Almost as one, the other sisters turned around to her and said ‘No you’re not. We’ve told you this before’. It was very funny at the time but what struck me forcibly was the joy that exuded from those sisters. It was almost tangible even from the one who didn’t quite know who she was. It was their relationship with Christ that filled those sisters with gratitude and his revelation of God’s love that flowed from them in their simplicity. It was their experience of the Lord in their lives that mattered to them and that enabled them to be a beacon of light to others.
In today’s Gospel we hear the question that Jesus puts to his disciples, ‘Who do you say I am?’ How are we going to answer it? It’s not enough to come to a dogmatic belief that Jesus is God because that’s what we have been taught. It’s a deeper call than that.
The question is always, ‘Who is Jesus for me?’ Not just who is Jesus, but who is Jesus for me? Do I have a living personal relationship with him? Is he the centre of life for me? For those sisters in an enclosed convent in the heart of Liverpool, that’s exactly who he was. Peter, the spokesman for the first community, stands up and says, ‘You are the Christ.’ The Christ means the anointed one, set apart to give life real meaning. It’s right that Peter should be the one to respond because, just a few chapters earlier, Matthew has him walking on the water. He’s experienced who Jesus is. He knows that it’s his relationship with the Lord that brings him life. He knows that when he fixes his eyes on Jesus he can even walk on water and that when he takes his eyes off the Lord he begins to sink. So he’s able to say. ‘You’re the Christ.’ It’s on that sort of faith that Church can be built. It’s to him that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are given and what are those keys?
Love, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, mercy. They’re the foundations of Church. Ronald Rolheiser says, ‘Jesus gave us the keys to crack it. They can be named: vulnerability, the refusal out of love to protect ourselves, self-sacrifice, putting others before ourselves, refusing to give back in kind when someone hurts us, a willingness to die for others, the refusal to give ourselves over to cynicism and bitterness when things beset us, continued trust in God and goodness even when things look the opposite, and especially forgiveness, having our hearts remain warm and hospitable, even when we have just cause for hatred.’
That way of living is never easy but it’s the way of faith which is always about being vulnerable with one another, seeking goodness, being open, warm and hospitable when it’s the last thing you want to be or in the eyes of the world should be. That’s the reality of Church. The question for us is whether we want to give our lives to that reality or not. Do we want to build a Church based on relationship and all that means, relationship with the Lord and with one another empowered by the spirit or do we want to continue to build up a structure that is weighed down by the scourge of clericalism, and power and authoritarianism?
My sense is that a Church built on those things will ultimately collapse and maybe that’s what we’re beginning to see. However, a Church built on the power of faith in Christ and one another can never be overcome, a Church that is a servant seeking only to love, forgive and let compassion reign will last until the end of time. Let’s have the courage to open ourselves to the Lord and build that Church.

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 boxes for this next year are now available for collection at Mass or from the presbyteries during office hours on Thursdays (Our Lady’s) and Fridays (Ss Peter & Paul)

A CHANCE FOR YOUR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHS TO DARAPPEAR IN OUR JOINT PARISH CALEN FOR 2021!     Amongst other things, the lockdown period has enabled many of us to re-discover the joys of our natural world right here on our doorstep and many children and adults have been using phones and cameras to capture the beauty of God’s world in photographs. We’re inviting our parishioners from both parishes to email their best photographs, so that they can be selected for our first ever joint parish calendar.        There are 3 categories: 9 yrs and under; 10 to 16 yrs and over 17’s.
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.
It might be flowers or vegetables, birds of wildlife in your garden, or scenes of the countryside when you’ve been out walking.
Many thanks to parishioners who have already been sending their entries in.                                                                              Closing date is FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER
You might like to use the following link to find advice on how to photograph wildflowers and birds https://www.countryfile.com/countryfile-tv-show/countryfile-calendar/countryfile-calendar-competition-2021/
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.

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

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.

24 August – St Bartholomew, apostle: tradition has him preaching in India and Amenia before being martyred
26 August – Bl Dominic Barbari: an Italian priest who received St John Newman into the Church and established three churches in England
27 August – St Monica: noted for her patience with a heavy-drinking husband and son (St Augustine) until their conversion. (332-387AD)
28 August – St Augustine: theologian and preacher, pro-active and deeply spiritual; one of the ‘great’ saints
29 August – Passion of St John the Baptist – a commemoration of St John’s martyrdom and act of witness to Christ

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