27 SEPTEMBER – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Foundation Mass

Michael Anthony Kelly RIP

Holy Souls NDL





OUR LADY’S and Ss PETER & PAUL’S – Both churches are now open for Sunday Vigil and Sunday Masses only.  There are no weekday Masses currently, nor are the churches able to open for private prayer as yet.  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



OF YOUR CHARITY: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Evelyn Fletcher, of Hesketh Bank, who died on 26 September.  May she rest in peace.

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

NB Next Friday, 2 October, Ss Peter & Paul office will be closing early at 1pm therefore parishioners are asked to get in touch by 12 noon at the latest in order to reserve their place.

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.
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 18:25-28 When the sinner renounces sin, he shall certainly live
Psalm 24: Remember your mercy, Lord
2nd Reading: Philippians 2:1-11 In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus
Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32 He thought better of it and went. Tax collectors are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! If anyone loves me he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we shall come to him. Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: By this we came to know the love of God: that Christ laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for one another.


We pray for the Church: that she may be a beacon of hope throughout the world, reminding us all of our responsibility to care for and protect God’s precious gift of creation.
Lord, in your mercy…
We pray for those people who are already facing droughts, floods and storms: that God may grant them strength and hope for the future as they work to adapt to the changing climate.
Lord, in your mercy….
We pray for our parish and our local community: that through the grace of God we may hear the urgent cry of the earth and of the poor and be inspired to respond at this crucial time.
Lord, in your mercy…

POPE’S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER: We pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner.


The reflection on the Gospel is provided by Ged Edwards who is CAFOD’s Community Participation Officer working in Liverpool.
In this Sunday’s Gospel we find Jesus again in conflict with the religious authorities, the scribes and pharisees. They had defined how people were acceptable to God which is of course helpful. The trouble was that many people in Israel could never fit the bill. These were the people the authorities called “the sinners” and “the poor”. So, because they were excluded from mainstream society, it was these people who had left it, and flocked to John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Through John, they found their dignity. They discovered that God loved and wanted them to behave as his children. But when John challenged the authorities on this they had him killed. Jesus knew all of this first-hand. He had also travelled the road from Nazareth to see John at the Jordan. When he got there he met people, the poor and sinners of course in huge numbers. And he realised the truth that the people excluded by the authorities were just normal people, but people who had been treated badly by the system and for whom within it there was no hope.
The great theologian Albert Nolan in his book ‘Jesus Before Christianity’ writes that you can tell what sort of person someone is by the decisions they make. John and his disciples stayed at the Jordan baptising people but Jesus chose a different path. He went back into society to try and bring it together. I like to think that he did this because he had seen that people were prevented from being together, lied to and falsely separated, often through no fault of their own. And yet, all the time God loved them and the whole of Israel, not just the few. He saw just how much of a mistake this separation was. Jesus had found his mission. This is what is behind this meeting for Jesus in the Gospel today and his repeating John’s question, “What do you think?” When they reply, he points out the simple facts: that even those they despised most have actually bypassed the system and found themselves as members of God’s family. They had listened to John and found a way to God, simply by admitting their errors, seeking forgiveness and doing what God wanted them to do. Meanwhile, the scribes and pharisees say they will follow God, but they don’t. So, they are actually excluding themselves from God and his Kingdom, and preventing people from being with God, depriving them of even their dignity. The same applies to us today. This story builds on the Gospel story last week about the labourers in the vineyard which reminded us that our lives are about doing our bit in the work of building the Kingdom. This means getting up every day and playing our part when we are called to.
We are in the period called Creation Time when Pope Francis has asked us to reflect on the gift of the earth, and yet how its people and creatures, in all their beauty and mistakes are so often mistreated by economic and religious systems, with all their winners and losers. And we remind ourselves that Jesus’ mission, our mission, is that, as St John reminds us, “they might have life and have it to the full.” Sometimes we say we will do the right thing, to help God build the Kingdom, and then make no plans to do it. Or perhaps today, like the second son, like the tax collectors and prostitutes, like those who have changed their minds because they see differently, we get stuck in too? We can make choices which mean we “hear the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor,” as Pope Francis puts it in Laudato Si’.
So, will you use the car when you could walk? Do we support CAFOD’s appeals and campaigns on climate change? Each of us has such choices today. Let’s pray for and encourage each other along the way. It will not be easy to make the radical changes that are needed. Like Jesus, we will be challenging the prevailing way of doing things if we build a different future. But, like the son who did not want to go to the vineyard, we can change. And we need one another – no-one can cultivate a vineyard alone. We can work together to make something better and be proud to share and to hand on to future generations. Let’s start today!

The Gospels are filled with examples of people who are public sinners and therefore unworthy of being in the company of Jesus. Time and again, his anger is directed at the so-called ‘good’ people, the respectable members of society, especially the Scribes and the Pharisees. Jesus sees through their pride and hypocrisy and warns them that, unless they change, the doors of the Kingdom will be closed to them.
It is all too easy to make judgements of others, especially those whose ‘sins’ and failures are paraded in public by the media. But Jesus is not interested in outward appearances of respectability. He goes beyond the external aspects and sees in to the heart and soul of each person he meets. Pride is often at the root of every sin, especially pride in the belief that we are better than others. Those whose weaknesses have been publicly revealed cannot pretend that they are better than others. Their humiliation makes them suffer, but it is much easier for them to recognise exactly who they are in front of God.
If we fail to recognise that nothingness, we will never build a true relationship with God.

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 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.

Donations go to the Holy See and are used to promote philanthropic works by the Vatican. Please see the website for more details: https://www.obolodisanpietro.va/en.html

In this global crisis CAFOD is working hard to save lives and rebuild hope on the frontlines of this emergency.
Money raised by parishioners is already in action – setting up handwashing stations and providing PPE for health workers, and children with books and pencils so they can study from home while schools are closed, as well as delivering food parcels to city-dwellers.
On Family Fast Day (9 October) we can reach out to our global family by sharing a simple meal – virtually or physically.
Please give what you can to this month’s appeal and donate online at www.cafod.org.uk/give or via text: text CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10. Alternatively, if you are able to attend weekly Mass, please collect an envelope as you enter the church and remember to Gift Aid if you are able. Gift Aid makes a huge difference.

OUR LADY’S ‘200 CLUB DRAW: The final draw was made during the week and winners are as follows:-

Month   1st prize                                2nd prize
April        Stephen Taylor (116)             Carole Moore (192)
May         Mary Mussell (47)                 Gerry Cheetham (97)
June        R Corbishley (133)                 M Stringfellow (160)
July          Elizabeth Cheetham (184)   K Allen (57)
August     Barbara Brady (180)             Mary E Cookson (44)
Sept          Maureen Keijzer (164)         George Wright (66)
October   Sandra Taylor (43)                John O’Hare (167)

The 200 Club has now ceased for the time being so many thanks to all those parishioners who have loyally subscribed over many years. Your generosity has always been very much appreciated.

A big THANK YOU to the children, young people and older parishioners who have already submitted some lovely colourful photos.
It’s not too late to submit a photo.
The theme is ‘All Things Bright & Beautiful in West Lancs’
Closing date is NEXT FRIDAY – 2 OCTOBER
The calendar will be available to purchase in time for Christmas and will be an ideal gift for family and friends!
Proceeds will be shared between our two parishes and another registered charity.

CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME: We celebrate the Season of Creation between 1 September to 4 October. CAFOD ask us particularly to pray the Novena to St Francis https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources/Novena-to-St-Francis

SAINTS, SCHOLARS AND SPIRITUAL MASTERS: Free online talks organised by the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst, taking place Thursdays at 7:30pm over the coming months. To register: https://christianheritagecentre.com/event/saints-scholars-spiritual-masters/  or by email to  events@christianheritagecentre.com

APPLICATIONS FOR BISHOP RAWSTORNE ACADEMY: One of the entry requirements of C of E schools requires evidence of the commitment of one of the parents or guardians of the prospective pupil to the Christian faith, ie fortnightly worship for a period of at least one year prior to the application (and 2 years prior to entry). Please note that the Church is contacted to verify attendance for this 2 year period. Therefore the period of assessment started in Sept 2019 for pupils hoping to enter in Sept. 2021,. Any pupils who will be applying to start in September 2022 will need to begin their period of faith commitment now (Sept. 2020). Please pass this info on to parishioners who may not always manage to see the Newsletter and ask them to check the following link: https://files.schudio.com/bishopr/files/Admissions/Admissions_Policy_for_Sept_2021_Intake(1).pdf


The Archdiocese is running a 6-week course, on Zoom to help anyone currently going though – or who has gone through – a relationship breakdown.  Topics will cover facing the effects of what has happened, communication and conflict resolution, managing other relationships, legal issues, being single and moving forward.  The course is in small groups and is confidential, informative and affirming.  Dates: Monday 12 October to 16 November.
For further details and to book a place on the course, please email Maureen O’Brien on m.obrien@rcaol.org.uk