6 December – 2nd of Advent



Peter Broome RIP

Foundation Mass


Elsie Redmond RIP





RE-OPENING OF CHURCHES NEXT WEEKEND: Public worship re-commences on 5 and 6 December.  Reserved seats only. 


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



We are open for public Mass on Saturdays (5pm Vigil) and Sundays (11.15am).   There are no public weekday Masses.  It is still essential that anyone wishing to attend should reserve their place(s) by 3pm on FRIDAYS at the latest.  Please ring the Parish Office / email.  Please note the deadline is 3pm on Friday.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ‘NORMAL’ RULES STILL APPLY: No candles may be lit, face masks must be warn at all times, social-distancing is vital (2m), no moving around church to talk to people and the church doors will remain open throughout, to allow for ventilation.

CHRISTMAS MASSES:  Further information regarding Mass times and reserving places will be available next week on the website / via email / telephone.

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: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11, Prepare a way for the Lord
Psalm 84, Let us see O Lord your mercy, and give us your saving help
2nd Reading: 2 Peter 3:8-14, We are waiting for the new heaven and new earth
Gospel: Mark 1:1-8, Make his paths straight
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia!  Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.  Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: Jerusalem arise and stand upon the heights, and behold the joy which comes to you from God.

Today’s gospel is not easy for a 21st century mentality to understand.  Why?  Probably because it starts off by talking about the forgiveness of sins.  It says, ‘And as they were baptised by him [John the Baptist] in the Rover Jordan, they confessed their sins.’Pope John Paul II said on various occasions, that society nowadays has lost a sense of sin. 
What did he mean by that?  He meant that we had lost sight of the fact that in front of God, we are all sinners.  If we refuse to acknowledge this, then we put humankind as the arbiter of right and wrong.  When we do this as a society, then we reap the fruits of it.  We will have a society where the most important things are not people but profit, not the sanctity of human life, but disregard for the perceived ‘unproductive’ members of society: the old, those with disabilities, the poor.
Jesus’ constant message to us is to ‘repent’ and believe in the Gospel.

This reflection is from Chris Thomas of the Irenaeus Project.

Many years ago, in Dublin, I met a man called Michael. Michael had thirteen children and lived totally by faith. He was a charming, gentle man who trusted in God for everything, even his daily bread. His work was to do what the Lord placed before him. The amount of work he did was incredible. Michael could be found speaking all over Ireland and Europe as he encouraged people to trust only in the things of God and not in the things around them. He worked with young people in schools and led retreats. He could be found with alcoholics and the prostitutes in Dublin’s red-light area. His very lifestyle challenged those who thought faith was about respectability and church going. He was not a comfortable man to be with because despite his gentleness and his charm, he had a core of steel running through him. He was never frightened of challenging anything inside the Church or outside it.

Many people thought Michael was crazy living as he did but I knew that I had met a prophetic man. Eugene Kennedy in his book ‘The Joy of Being Human’ writes of John the Baptist, ‘John stands as prophets do to this very day, as an unyielding presence, unsettling us and leaving us not quite sure of how we feel about him. He seems hard to know, hard to like even though we stand back in admiration of him, we react the same way to most absolute figures.’ Mark introduces John the Baptist quoting the prophet Isaiah whom we heard in the first reading when he said, “Look I am going to send my messenger before you, he will prepare your way. A voice cries in the wilderness, prepare a way for the Lord, make his path straight.”

So, John the Baptist appears, and this is very important in Mark’s story of Jesus. John puts us in touch with the Jewish roots of our faith. He’s the last of the Old Testament prophets. His clothes and actions would remind any good Jew of the prophet Elijah who in Jewish tradition is to return to announce the coming of the Messiah. I guess we would call him a religious fanatic but maybe that’s because we want to miss what he’s saying. It’s amazing how often we can label and judge people so that we can ignore their message.

Essentially, the Baptist’s message is about change and if we are going to be honest, none of us really want to change. John the Baptist is telling us to turn around and undo everything. We’re told in the story that John’s baptism was for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. The Greek word that captures this is metanoia and basically what it means is, be willing to let God turn your life upside down. Look at the way you live and take radical steps to change so that you can understand what God is doing and be a sign of the presence of God.

It’s so hard to do that in our middleclass western version of Christianity because often it’s calling us to a change in lifestyle. It’s calling us to look beyond ourselves and focus on the needs of others and that can bring us into conflict with the ways of the world. So, we don’t go there because we don’t really want to rock the boat or be seen to be different. I think the truth is that most of us don’t like prophets. We don’t like people who turn our world upside down. The Baptist calls us to let go of our own petty understandings and change. That’s the word of God for us, ‘Change’. Fall into grace and let God change you.

So, the word that every gospel begins with is a call to change; a call to metanoia, to deep radical change in the very nature of who we are, where we begin to know at an experiential level that Jesus is the Son of God. That in turn affects the way in which we live our lives and our willingness to stand for the values of justice, truth and solidarity. As we continue our Advent journey let’s pray for the courage to be open to metanoia and the message of John the Baptiser.

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.

Prayers this week:
We pray for Christians throughout the world as we enter this second week of Advent and especially those in the land of Jesus’ birth …
may they know true peace in these troubled times.
We give thanks for the advances being made in the search to find effective vaccines against the coronavirus…
may they be shared generously across the world, especially in the poorest countries.
We pray for all who feel their work is undervalued …
may this time of prayerful preparation bring them peace.
We pray for those who are ill in mind or body …
that the healing and unconditional love of God will make a difference in their lives.
For all who have recently died …
may they know eternal life.

Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem We Wait: An Advent Poem by Brittany Longsdorf, a university Chaplain at Boston University.

As a child watches the window for signs of first snow,we wait for you oh, infant Christ
We have stooped low at the river Jordan with John the Baptist,
plagued by uncertainties,
our world in turmoil,
tempest-tossed days

We have been righteously called out,
over-taxed, burdened, found wanting on our journey
We have knocked at the Inn,
found rejection, uncommon hope,
deep warmth in the unlikely places

We have gathered here,
compassion and community,
sifting through the darkness,for one white flake,
one flurry of light for the world.

We are watching at the manger,
we wait for you oh, infant Christ.

A prayer to pray before listening to grief
Loving Lord,This is a deep moment of privilege and trust
I’m being welcomed to be alongside another
as she or he opens a broken heart.
Grace me with a listening heart,
so that I may catch hold somehow
onto what can’t be put into words just now.
Let me be a living hug over the phone,
a real presence.
Let that be enough.

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.

ORDER YOUR FUNDRAISING JOINT PARISH CALENDAR NOW!: Don’t forget to 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.  The photos are stunning, so don’t miss out.
Price: £10 each (cheques payable to ‘Ss Peter & Paul, Mawdesley’). 

SYNOD 2020 – A BIG THANK YOU: Thank you so much to all those parishioners who clearly spent much time and effort reflecting on the many proposals to give us their feedback.  It’s been really interesting to gather the responses and discern the thoughts and feelings amongst parishioners.  We are now collating the information in order to submit our parish proposals and affirmations to the Synod next week.  Our parish proposals will then be published in the newsletter.

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!

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 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
Your donations will be taken to St Mary’s in Leyland, for distribution. If you are unable to come to church and would like items to be collected, please email the Parish Office and we will arrange that for you.

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

SENDING CHRISTMAS CARDS TO JERUSALEM: Last year, many parishioners joined together to send Christmas cards to our ‘partner’ parish of St Jospeh’s in Jifna.  Fr Johny Bahbah was delighted to hear from us and his parishioners have asked him to pass on their thanks, appreciation and blessings to everyone for their kind thoughts.  If you would like to send a card again this year, you can be assured that it will make a lot of people very happy.  Please select a small card (for ease of posting) and write your message inside, saying that you are from Ss Peter & Paul.  Address it to ‘Fr Johny Bahbah, St Joseph’s, Jifna and put it through the presbytery door by Monday 7 December.  All the cards will then be parcelled up and sent off.

NATIONAL GRIEF AWARENESS WEEK – 2 to 8 DECEMBERThe Archdiocese has a number of resources available to help those who would like to support anyone dealing with bereavement and loss.   Please use the following link to find these resources  https://www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/bereavement

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/.

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