6 SEPTEMBER – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time



Dec members of the Tuson family

Walter & Jean Cliffe RIP

John Cobham RIP





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



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.

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 33:7-9If you do not speak to the wicked man, I will hold you responsible for his death
Psalm 94:
O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.
2nd Reading:
Romans 13:8-10 Love is the answer to every one of the Commandments
Matthew 18:15-20 If he listens to you, you have won back your brother
Gospel acclamation:
Alleluia, alleluia! Your word is truth, O Lord. Consecrate us in the truth. Alleluia!
Communion antiphon:
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God.

For all those who are suffering from loneliness and feeling isolated, that the Spirit will both comfort them and inspire others to help them,
Lord, in your mercy…
For key workers, medics and especially teachers and staff in schools, colleges and universities, that they may meet the challenges that face them over the course of the next term, with determination, courage, wisdom and compassion,
Lord, in your mercy….
That all citizens throughout the world – and of all ages – will understand more fully, the importance of working together to protect others and resist the temptation to put their own desires first
Lord, in your mercy…


The very last line of today’s Gospel is easy to gloss over, or see as something purely symbolic. In fact, it is a huge gift which Jesus leaves – he is promising to be spiritually present in our midst. All that is required is for two or three (or more) to meet in his name.
Until the Second Vatican Council, this promise of Jesus’ presence had been largely overlooked. After Vatican II, the Church became more aware of Jesus’ invitation to be united in his name, so as to have him present, with us. The Council recognised the Church as being not just a hierarchy, but a real people of God. What Pope Francis has been trying to do from the first day of his papacy is to remind everyone of the reality of this – that the Church is about the people, rather than the clergy, which has led to a culture of clericalism. A culture that Pope Francis is trying to eradicate – with some difficulty.
The beauty of Jesus’ everlasting promise to be with us (in our midst), is that it is inclusive of everyone: ordained, lay, male, female, young and old, whether Catholic or not. The duty of all who claim to be Christians is to love each other. The more we are able to do that, with Jesus in our midst, the more the Church will be able to solve the serious issues that affect it.


The reflection on the Gospel is provided by Fr Chris Thomas, Director of the Irenaeus Project.

Some years ago I met a man called Tony who was a recovering alcoholic. He shared with me his story of brokenness and mess. He had begun drinking at the age of nine to hide the pain of an abusive uncle whom he hated with a passion. He was too ashamed to tell
any adult what was happening to him. Drink seemed to be the only way of obliterating the hurt and pain. He was expelled from school and taken into care where he was educated in a special unit. He joined the army and was thrown out because of continual drunken behaviour.
Drink led to drugs and into the spiral of taking and selling to finance the habit. Tony had several spells in prison and while in his last incarceration, some twenty years earlier, he had met Jim who was a Methodist lay preacher. Jim worked in the prison as a visitor and this wonderful man coaxed Tony into a place of deep awareness of the love and forgiveness of God. Tony told me that it was hard for him to face the reality of what he’d done, and he often ran away inside himself and began to blame others, but Jim was always there to remind him of the truth of his actions. When I met Tony, he was a man full of joy, aware that his past was behind him and forever grateful to God for having found him and revealed the truth of forgiveness.
I doubt that Jim found it easy to face Tony with the things that he’d done wrong but in order to experience the forgiveness of God we have to go there. That’s not because God doesn’t forgive us if we don’t, but because, unless we face things and let go of them then the anger and bitterness that we often have within blocks us from knowing that loving forgiveness is being poured out. I think the invitation of the Gospel today is that we are to be like Jim, the prison visitor, and encourage others to go on that journey of facing and letting go in order to find life, and of course we can only help others on that journey when we’re on it ourselves.
The Gospel gives us a particular format to follow but that was for a specific time and place. Behind the words lie the truth that we are to help others in facing the issues that they have to deal with and not flinch from the difficult places that we might have to go. I think the truth is that very few of us like to name the uncomfortable issues or to be unpopular because of naming difficult things. It’s not an easy road to travel. To engage in the work of reconciliation is never easy. To be a healer and reconciler is never easy but it’s at the heart of our ministry as followers of Jesus.
Henri Nouwen, the great spirituality author, says that compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain. That can never mean barging in with easy answers and quick solutions. It does mean learning to be present and that is the hardest thing to do in the midst of pain because we want the quick fix. We want it to go away. We do not want to feel our own vulnerability even though that is precisely what is needed because that is what Jesus did. Following Jesus was never about escaping from the world but about being transformed so as to live in the world in a radically different way. Our ministry to the world is about learning to be like Jesus who healed and reconciled by being present and helping people acknowledge the truth through love and compassion. The Good News comes right at the end of the Gospel
when Matthew has Jesus say, ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. ’When we set out on the journey to follow Jesus, he is with us every step of the way and when we commit our lives to following him, he will give us the strength and the words we need to help others on their journey. There is no need to be afraid because he is with us.
We have power to be healers and reconcilers in the world because we no longer need our lack of forgiveness and bitterness to hold on to. The power of Agape love flows through us. We have power to bring sight to the blind as we share the truth of the love of God with the world. We have the power to raise the dead as we fill people with hope and life by simply loving them. We have power to heal the sick, set the down-trodden free. That is such good news for a world in which there are many dead people walking around, huge numbers of sick and blind and down-trodden. Let us pray for courage to be free ourselves and help others be the same.

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 parish offices during office hours on Thursdays (Our Lady’s) and Fridays (Ss Peter & Paul).  Alternatively, please leave a message at the parish offices if you would lke to have your box posted out to you.  Many thanks.

We’re inviting our parishioners – both CHILDREN and ADULTS – from both parishes to email their best ‘lockdown’ photographs of local wildlife, so that they can be selected for our first ever joint parish calendar.
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.
A big THANK YOU to those who have already submitted some lovely colourful photos.
Closing date is FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER
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.

A virtual coffee morning will be held on Sunday 20 September, from 10.30am to 11.10am.  It’s a lovely opportunity to meet up (virtually) with friends and parishioners who you may not have seen over the last few months, along you’re your favourite brew and a couple of chocolate digestives! This will be held via Zoom, so please email the parish office by THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER at the latest, if you would like to take part, and we will send the link out to you.
200 Club: There will be a draw for the lockdown months of March – October. Regrettably, falling numbers of subscribers mean that the 200 Club will be closing in October, with a view to re-launching in the future. Many, many thanks to all those members who have supported the Club so loyally over many years.

Thank you for continuing to support the lottery during these “new” normal times. As the Sunday morning coffee was suspended we temporarily suspended the monthly draws, however during August with no “normal” in sight, we drew the outstanding months (behind closed doors) from April till August. All the winners have received their cheques. This method will have to continue until Sunday Coffee is again available, but we will continue to make a monthly draw from now on. Your support is really appreciated. (G. Tyrer)

Please remember to pray for our school children, students, head teachers, teachers, support staff and parents at the start of a challenging new term. May God bless them all.

A number of special collections were missed when churches were closed during Lockdown. The Bishops of England & Wales have therefore re-allocated some of these important collections to dates between now and December.
There will now be a special collection for the Holy Places at Masses on 12 and 13 September.

SYNOD 2020 – Revised Schedule
The next period of activity is from 18 October to 4 December, when parishioners will be able to look at the lists of proposals and discuss them via a Zoom meeting / socially-distanced gathering. Parishioners’ views will then be sent to the Synod office.

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.

8 September – Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 9 months after the 8 December celebration of her Immaculate Conception, as the child of Ss Joachim and Anne
9 September – St Peter Claver, 17th C missionary Jesuit, who cared for African slaves when they arrived in Cartagena (S America). (1580-1650)
10 September – St Ambrose Barlow, Benedictine monk and priest, martyred in Lancaster 1641
12 September – Most Holy Name of Mary

THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSE & TIMES: SPECIAL OFFER! Weekly editions of The Universe (incorporating The Catholic Times) are on special offer at the moment: only £22 for 3 months! To order your own copy of The Universe/Catholic Times, please ring 0203 538 9753 or email: sales@bluemarketmedia.co.uk

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