24 January 2021 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time



John Edge RIP / John Reid RIP

Ann & Anthony Horridge RIP

John Sefton Molyneux RIP






Church is closed for public worship, for the duration of the current lockdown. 




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



During this octave of prayer for Christian unity let us pray for our fellow Christians from other traditions.  We are all called to be one in Christ!
Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit is the theme for this year’s week of prayer.

TIER 5 NATIONAL LOCKDOWN:  Given the soaring rates of infection and the worryingly high death rates and following advice from the Archbishop in his recent letter to all parish priests, the Deanery and Directors of Health in Lancashire, there will be no public Masses or services in our church
We know that parishioners will understand and welcome this decision.
We all have a moral responsibility to protect the lives of those around us, not just our families, but those in the wider community, especially those who are most vulnerable.
We can do that by observing all the rules regarding social-distancing, wearing face masks, self-isolating and regular sanitising – and also ensuring that we get the Covid-vaccine when we are called to do so.

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.

SUNDAYS IN ORDINARY TIME: What is ‘Ordinary Time’? These days, we are frequently reminded that we live in ‘extraordinary’ or ‘unprecedented’ times. No one alive today has ever lived through anything like this. Yet at Mass, we are now back in what the Church calls ‘ordinary time’. It’s ‘ordinary’, because it’s not Lent or Advent or one of the great feasts of the year. But can time, especially time with God, ever be ‘ordinary’? We know that Jesus is with us at all times; this may make His presence, including His presence at Mass, seem quite ordinary to us, but in reality it is astonishing: Jesus, the Son of God, the Word made Flesh, accompanies us every moment of our lives. He is always there for us if we turn to Him. What could be less ordinary than this reality? So, even in unprecedented times, there is a deeper truth that remains with us: in Jesus, God Himself is with us.
On the ‘ordinary’ Sundays of the year, the colour used at Mass is green. It reminds us of the growth of the natural world, and encourages us to see this time, this ‘ordinary’ time, as a real time of growth in our spiritual lives. Progress in our journey towards God is not just for Advent or Lent; it is for every day of the year. Let’s allow that spiritual progress to become something which is never out of the ordinary for us, but something which is truly an aspect of our daily lives.

1st Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10, The people of Nineveh renounce their evil behaviour
Psalm 24:Lord, make me know your ways
2nd Reading: I Corinthians 7:29-31, The world as we know it is passing away
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20, Repent and believe the Good News
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! The Kingdom of God is close at hand; believe the Good News.  Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: I am the Light of the World, says the Lord; whoever follows me will ot walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

“Repent and believe!”  Believe in the Good News.  Belief is not an easy matter – it requires convincing assurance of truth.  A doctor is believed when she/he gives a diagnosis, because their medical authority is trusted.  The disciples were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah: his words and actions convinced them, so they were prepared to believe and follow.
In the case of both the doctor and Our Lord, belief does not always bring happiness.  The diagnosis might be a cause for deep anxiety.  The disciples were asked to ‘leave everything’: family, home, job, security.  The doctor offers medical help –  but Jesus offers ‘the Good News of the Kingdom’.
Medical help may not always work, but the joy of the Kingdom is guaranteed because it rests on the power and authority of God – his love and his truth.
But this belief has its challenges – it demands a great deal of us.  It demanded a lot of Our Lord himself, who therefore understands our struggles only too well.  The love of Our Lord ensures that we are not alone in this struggle.  His Spirit is always on hand to comfort, strengthen and to keep us going and to keep us believing.


This reflection is from Bernard Keyworth, a parishioner of St Teresa, Upholland.
Today’s Gospel is on face value a simple story about four followers of Christ giving everything up to follow him. As a Christian, I know that I am called to do the same and I regularly pat myself on the back for doing so. I give up my time and energy through involvement in ministry and in the local Christian community. I make sacrifices for my faith, but does it bring me happiness, or perhaps more importantly, does it bring me joy? Does my faith bring me the sort of joy that Simon, Andrew, James and John must have felt when they dropped everything in an instant to follow Jesus?
I find that I can happily sacrifice my time, money, energy and patience well enough, but if it hurts, then that is another story. I can give £10 to the weekly collection or a pound coin to a beggar because I can afford it. If I was asked to give ten times that amount, asked to give ‘til it hurts, then that certainly wouldn’t be a joyful experience. I can happily be a comfortable Christian, but not a joyful uncomfortable one!
This following example is easy for me to understand. Money is a commodity that has its uses. If I don’t have enough money and I give away more than I can afford, then I or my family might go hungry. That is not something that Christ would want, for sure. What is more difficult to grapple with, is the sacrifice that I think Jesus is really interested in; the giving ‘til it hurts sacrifice of my heart. I cannot “Serve two masters”. But how do I know which master I serve?
My ego tells me, particularly when I have just been at Mass, or said my prayers, or indeed whilst writing this reflection, that I serve God. If that is the case, why am I not joyful, as the apostles were? Let’s examine the evidence. Honest daily reflection can for me, be the best form of prayer there is. How many times during this day have I done things or not done things to serve my own purpose? How often do I say things, that I know people want to hear, to ensure my standing in their eyes is not diminished; even if it is pure courtesy to make them feel better about themselves? How often this day have I faked good humour to impress people that I am a jolly good fellow? How much satisfaction does the writing of this very reflection give me, by believing that those who hear it will think how insightful and holy I am?
If I am honest with myself, being a Christian by following Christ can, to the outside world, serve my purpose of reassuring myself and my ego, that I am a good person who deserves to be saved. Asking me to sacrifice this self-image, for the sake of following Christ would be a different matter. How difficult and indeed psychologically and spiritually painful would this be, for me, this day? And therein lies the rub! I think this gospel is literally demanding me to give up everything to follow Christ and boy does that hurt!
The apostles gave up, and were prepared to give up work, money, status, family and their freedom. They risked immediate arrest and uncertainty for their futures. None of this mattered. What they truly gave up in the instant they left their nets were their other masters, namely their hearts.
For me, today, what does this mean? Well, I think it means that by giving up my heart to Christ, I am sacrificing my ego. That same ego would otherwise convince me that I can save myself. How misguided that would be. Giving up the misguided part of the faith in myself, my pride and my self-assurance is difficult, painful and all too often fleeting. Yet in those moments where I can see my true self, my true motives and forsake them for his sake, I throw myself on his mercy and ask for his help.
Here I do feel the joy that must have overwhelmed Simon, Andrew, James and John as they left their nets to follow him. That joy is the best evidence I have that I am on the right path to the kingdom; a kingdom full of love and joy, a kingdom that starts now.

Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by Malcolm Guite.
The Call of the Disciples
He calls us all to step aboard his ship,
Take the adventure on this morning’s wing,
Raise sail with him, launch out into the deep,
Whatever storms or floods are threatening.
If faith gives way to doubt, or love to fear,
Then, as on Galilee, we’ll rouse the Lord,
For he is always with us and will hear
And make our peace with his creative Word,
Who made us, loved us, formed us and has set
All his beloved lovers in an ark;
Borne upwards by his Spirit, we will float
Above the rising waves, the falling dark,
As fellow pilgrims, driven towards that haven,
Where all will be redeemed, fulfilled, forgiven.

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 January:
May the Lord give us grace to live fully in fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other religions,
praying for one another, open to all.

We pray for our young people for whom, yet again, their education is severely disrupted …
that they might nevertheless make the most of the resources being provided by their teachers, parents, and others.
We pray for parents having to juggle all the demands of home working and home schooling …
may they find the inner strength required to maintain a happy home and experience moments of calm within each day.
We continue to pray for all involved in caring for the most vulnerable in our communities at this time …
may they know the healing presence of Christ in their own lives.

We pray now in the words Jesus gave us:

Our Father, who art in heaven…

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/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 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.

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.

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.
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!

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)

For the last ten years, Christ Church in Southport has hosted a public inter-faith Service, which is attended by the Mayor of Sefton, MPs, local faith leaders and supported by UNISON.  Unfortunately, the pandemic means that organisers will not be able to stage a live Service this year.  Instead, they are asking people to log on to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s website, where they will be able to reserve a place at an on-line national Memorial Service.  Type in the following link in order to register your place at www.hmd.org.uk for the Service, which will take place on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm.
The theme of this year’s Service is ‘Be a Light in the Darkness’ – and couldn’t be more relevant in the current crisis.  It is a call to action for everyone marking Holocaust Memorial Day, which asks everyone to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example: identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example: resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.
Increasing levels of denial, division and misinformation in today’s world mean it is important to remain vigilant against hatred and identity-based hostility. Powerful social media, a turbulent political climate, and world events beyond anyone’s control can leave people feeling helpless and insignificant.
However, there is a way for everyone to stand together and represent the best of our shared humanity. We can choose to be the light in the darkness in a variety of ways and places – at home, in public, and online.  And here’s one way: after the on-line Service on 27 January, organisers are asking households across the UK to light a candle and put it in their window to:

  • remember those who were murdered for who they were
  • stand against prejudice and hatred today

Light a candle and put it in your window at 8pm on 27 January 2021  – as long as  you are able to do so safely.

A MUSICAL TREAT FOR THE WEEK: The Our Father, sung beautifully, in Aramaic – the everyday language that Our Lord Jesus spoke – the language of ancient Persia.
Follow this link and enjoy: https://youtu.be/_AdPiRWIam0

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.

THE DRAMA DISPLAYED: A free series of online talks examining the key moments of salvation history, with the aid of great works of art. At 7:30pm every second Thursday, from 14th January to 25th March. For info and registration: https://christianheritagecentre.com/events/the-drama-displayed/
We are invited to pray for deeper unity amongst the followers of Christ and to work, wherever possible, for greater cooperation with Christians of other denominations. The theme for this year is “Abide in my love and you shall bear fruit” (John 15:1-17).

ECHOES OF GOD: A 7 week look at Old and New Testament Scripture on Mondays at 7-8pm on Zoom starting on 18 January 2021. Using David McLoughlin’s scripture sessions that start with Exodus and end with St Paul’s Letters, an opportunity to read, reflect and share facilitated by Pastoral Associates. Registration and materials (free). 7 Week Course – Echoes of God – The God Who Speaks 2020



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


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!

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.
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