MASS INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
Veronica & Edward O’Leary RIP
Winifred, John & Mary Cobham RIP
WELCOME TO THE NEW WEBSITE FOR SS PETER & PAUL, MAWDELSEY!
Church is open for public Masses on Saturday (5pm Vigil Mass) and Sunday (11.15am). Contact the parish office to reserve seats. Booking is essential as numbers are limited. Thank you.
BOOKING MASSES OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD
Sat 2 and Sunday 3 January: Deadline = 12 noon on Tuesday 29 December.
MASS ON SUNDAYS
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.
READINGS FOR 27 DECEMBER
1st Reading: Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3, Your heirs shall be your own flesh and blood
Psalm 104 – He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant forever
2nd Reading: Hebrews 11:8-19, The faith of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac
Gospel: Luke 2: 22-40, The child grew, filled with wisdom
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he spoke to us through his Son. Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: Our God has appeared on the earth and lived among us
SPIRITUAL REFLECTION FROM ‘OUR FAITH ON SUNDAY’ – 27 December
And the child was ‘filled with wisdom’. Wisdom that he gives to us with the gift of his Holy Spirit. Wisdom has two aspects: one the one hand, it is obedience to reason and on the other, it is obedience to the movement, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, obedience to God.
Wisdom is the source of peace, the peace that we all long for and St Augustine says, “Peace is the tranquillity of order”. If we look at the adult life of the Child ‘filled with wisdom’, we will notice that he lives both according to reason (His parables are full of examples) and even more so, in obedience to God his Father (the work he does in the power of the Holy Spirit). We will see with what tranquillity he lived, even amongst those who constantly opposed his; with what tranquillity he died: “Father, into your hands…”
By his gift to us of his Spirit, he enables us, invites us, to share in that tranquillity, that peace, to gain true wisdom.
Sadly, it does not follow that all accept the Gift. There are many, as we know, who, like the Pharisees and possibly for the same reason, jealously, violently, oppose, rather than accept. Nevertheless, it remains true that this Child of God ‘filled with wisdom’ as he is, is the source of peace for all the world.
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL REFLECTION FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE
This reflection is from Deacon Paul Mannings from the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool
The perfect family: who can find it?! They come in all compositions, shapes, sizes, degrees of closeness and separation, eccentricities and levels of wisdom, united by blood, friendship, or community. Each one is definitely unique. On this Sunday of The Holy Family, just three days into the octave of Christmas we may be rejoicing at the closeness of our families at this time, or longing for their departure home, or not experiencing anything like family bonding at all. We all have our own stories of family and home in the good times and the bad; places where we are enabled to be ourselves, supported by mutual emotional security and belonging; or places that are causes of pain, rejection and hurting. People will rejoice and reminisce about family ties whilst others will use their experiences of family only to serve as an example upon which to learn for the better from its mistakes.
The family circumstances of Mary, Joseph and Jesus can resonate with many in our world today. They were exiles, with few possessions, seeking safety from the evils of oppressive rule. They eventually settled and gained the security of living in Nazareth amidst what might have been the ordinariness of a routine household of that time, wherein Jesus learnt the trade of carpentry from his foster father, with Mary as the homemaker. Surely, they too had their everyday pressures. It was here that Jesus would have gained the formative life – experiences that prepared him for his ministry. In this Gospel we see a family doing what their faith required by presenting their child at the Temple. We immediately meet Simeon and Anna, two people, both advanced in age and full of faith, who share the wisdom of their years. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah who is the Light of Salvation for His people and enabled him to prophesy that pain, likened to a sword, would pierce her heart.
That same Spirit gave Anna the knowledge and understanding to recognise Jesus as the Messiah and to reveal that to all present in the Temple. What did Mary and Joseph make of all of this? It is fair to say they would have had little idea of Jesus’ full identity or destiny. What is clear is the fact that Mary and Joseph provided for him an environment in which to thrive. It was this that enabled him to grow up ‘strong, filled with wisdom’ with ‘the favour of God upon him’. He was nurtured to bond, to belong, to be himself. Their legacy was that gift of preparedness for leaving the nest and making his way. This is what good family life provides for our own children. Parents, too, learn by their own mistakes, usually different to the ones made in their own upbringing! Hopefully in a Christian family of whatever structure, we are loved unconditionally and in all circumstances. Such a family is a prime example that shares something of the love of God; a proof that God does not do it all alone but enables others to provide the example. In the midst of the turmoil and tribulations of such a family, God is there at its heart. Surely the anywhere-near ideal family is a community who lives love not in any cheesy way but, like Joseph and Mary, is always there for their children in the good times and bad. What’s more, each member is responsible in contributing to making the family work. However, it’s this shared responsibility that is causing serious problems for many at this time. In the last couple of weeks, we have learnt from the news about children and young people; seriously affected by the anxieties of the grown-ups they love in their homes, trying desperately to make ends meet.
These youngsters are trying hard to help, amidst the lure of criminals only too ready to exploit their vulnerability. Our role, of course, is to pray and to respond to the call to serve them and to protect them in the best ways we can. Making the family work out well is a key challenge provided by the gospels, to nurture loving everyday holiness in all that we do within and outside of the family. There was once a family who were totally bereft when their only son left home to study and eventually forge his own career. There was something missing that to them was akin to a bereavement. One experienced and wise listener gently told them that if they kept the home loving and welcoming, they would never see the last of him, washing and all. He was so right!
May Jesus, Mary and Joseph look upon us and all of our families at this time, whatever their make-up. Under their guidance may everyone be given someone, a group or community, that provides a family connectedness. Help each member respond to the lifelong challenge of giving and taking, loving, bonding and re-inventing, with you Lord, always at the helm!
PRAYER INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
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,
Prayers this week:
We pray for Christian parents across the world …
may they appreciate the importance of their vocation and find joy and blessings within the everyday events of their family lives.
We pray for families experiencing difficulties and challenges in the coming year …
may they be strengthened by the support of loving communities committed to practical means of reaching out to those in most need.
We pray for those who live alone, those who have no remaining living relatives and those who face the bereavement of a close relative …
that the love of the family from Nazareth will be a source of strength and hope for them.
THE ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
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 DONATIONS DURING THE LOCKDOWN
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.
MASSES ONLINE WILL CONTINUE TO BE STREAMED INDEFINITELY
Locally, there is St Clare’s, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood: www.saintclares.co.uk which streams Mass daily at 9.30am (New time). 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.
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.
ADVENT / CHRISTMAS RESOURCES FOR YOU, FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE
Care for Creation:
- Living Laudato Si’ – Your Parish and Your Planet, Zoom Retreat, 22-25 January 2021. Speakers include: Trish Sandbach, John Paul de Quay, Sr Margaret Atkins and panel discussion for sharing advice on practical projects. Further details see attachment and also website.
Other resources for Christmas:
- Bishop Peter Brignall has created – At the Manger: Family Crib Services for the Eight Day of Christmas.
- Teresa Brown from Northampton Diocese has created a YouTube video on the Annunciation: From Gabriel to Mary with her own music and various artists’ portrayal of the event.
HELP US TO HELP MARY’S MEALS!: Don’t forget to place your orders (email or phone) for the calendars: 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 Paul & Peter Club).
CALENDARS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT MASS
MARY’S MEALS: In spite of the horrors inflicted by the pandemic, Mary’s Meals has managed (miraculously) to keep their promise of a daily meal for more than 1.6m children in the world’s poorest communities. They have also been able to provide meals for new schools as well. Obviously the work must go on and there are always children to feed. It’s very easy to forget them, especially when everyone is feeling challenged and stressed by this Crisis, but there is some wonderfully encouraging news: the Mary’s Meals ‘Double the Love’ campaign means that any donations made up to 31 January 2021 will be doubled by the UK Government, so the more calendars we can sell, the more money we can raise and the more children we can feed. What a great start to the New Year!If you’ve already got your parish calendar but would like to find out more about Mary’s Meals, please use the link: www.marysmeals.org.uk
Alternatively, you may like to text a donation: text ‘DOUBLE1’ to donate £1 or DOUBLE5’ to donate £5 to 70450.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY – SEE THIS NEW INITIATIVE! ‘The Mark 10 Mission’
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!
A CHRISTMAS TREAT FOR YOU, FROM THE SISTINE CHAPEL: Click on this link to the Vatican website and the Sistine Chapel in order to take yourself on a virtual tour of Michelangelo’s extraordinary masterpiece: a real feast for the eyes and a lovely moment of mindfulness. Enjoy! http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html
LOTTERY WINNERS – December: 1st – Mrs P Harvey, 2nd – Mr S Mercer (Bretherton), 3rd – Mr J Mercer (Euxton)
HELP DURING THE PANDEMIC
It is important that we all follow the rules for our Tier 3 (Very High Alert) area in order to protect all age groups, but especially the most vulnerable.
No mixing of households / support bubbles indoors
Maximum of 6 in parks, public spaces (not private gardens)
Cafes and restaurants closed: takeaways / deliveries only
Avoid travelling out of the area (apart from work / education commitments) and reduce journeys
No overnight stays
Work from home if possible
Churches are open but no mixing with anyone outside of a household/bubble
It is essential to continue to observe the ‘basics’: hand hygiene, face masks, social-distancing – and lots of good ventilation – at all times.
You can find details of current measures on Lancashire County Council’s website https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/coronavirus-restrictions-in-lancashire/.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES OR NEED ANY HELP, PLEASE CONTACT FR ANDERS AT THE PRESBYTERY IN TARLETON ON 01772 812242, OR EMAIL THE MAWDESLEY OFFICE.
WITH EVERY BLESSING FOR THE COMING WEEK