7 February 2021 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Holy Souls NDL

Charles Molyneux RIP


Dec members of the Ryan family




Church is closed for public worship, for the time being  




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



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.

1st Reading: Job 7:1-4, 6-7, Restlessly I fret till twilight falls
Psalm 146: Praise the Lord, who heals the broken-hearted
2nd Reading: I Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 I should be punished if I did not preach the Gospel
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39, He cured many who suffered from diseases of one kind or another
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.  Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be consoled.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall have their fill.

Today’s Gospel sees Jesus carrying out healing on a grand scale, starting with Simon’s mother-in-law.  We are told that ‘the fever left her and she began to wait on them’.  This may seem like a strange observation and even an unfair one: the poor woman has just recovered from a fever and immediately sets to work, serving the men!  But perhaps it is also saying that she had recovered so fully that she was able to do this physical work right away, without any need to convalesce.
Another interesting thing about this Gospel is that Jesus cast out many devils ‘but he would not allow then to speak because they knew who he was.’  So it was the Devil who knew who Jesus was and not the good people!  But why did Jesus not want then to let others know who he was?
Jesus was healing people because he had a genuine compassion for them, not so that they would follow him.  As we see in other parts of the Gospels, Jesus wants people to follow him by taking up their cross and not by becoming ‘camp-followers’ of a faith-healer.

This reflection is from Bernard Keyworth, a parishioner of St Teresa, Upholland.
This week’s Gospel is all about the many miracles of Jesus.
Stories of miracles were paramount in my primary school Catholic education. I really believed God could and would perform miracles, if asked for them in prayer. During these primary school days, my pet hamster became ill and I prayed that God would make him better, but he didn’t. My hamster died.
A few years later, my grandad became ill, and again I asked for a miracle, for God to interfere in time and space on my behalf. Again, nothing and my beloved grandad died in hospital. These and other similar requests troubled me, if I’m honest with myself, right through into adulthood.
Maybe I didn’t pray hard enough, wasn’t good enough, or maybe it was for some unseen good that my wishes were not granted, or maybe (the coverall) it was a mystery. Miracles do exist. I hear about them all the time. I believe that God does, at times, interfere in time and nature, but that doesn’t necessarily help me personally.
So, let me ask myself, what if miracles were commonplace? What would happen if devoted Christians lived reasonably good lives, prayed earnestly enough, and in the right way? Would they have their requests granted by God? If so, very quickly, the world would say, “These Christians are on to something.” Soon enough the whole world would be converted to Christianity. These “Christians” would be praying for favours from the almighty, supported by YouTube hints and tips on how to do this effectively. On face value this might sound like a good thing. However, there is an obvious catch: Do the right thing and good things will happen. Don’t do the right thing and good things won’t happen. In other words, do the wrong thing and bad things will happen. In that case, whatever the new universal relationship with God was, it would not be founded on love.
God wants us to love him. Love at some point in any relationship means giving without reward. That is what love is. God doesn’t want us to have faith in him out of a sense of duty, or fear, or direct cause and effect. God has given us free will and with that free will he wants us to love him. There is the message of the New Testament namely, don’t fear God, rather, love God. Love God for he is worthy of our love. Yet loving freely will, at times, be without obvious reward, for that is what love is. If we can learn to love God, unconditionally, which may well take a lifetime and beyond, we can at the same time learn to love ourselves unconditionally and then our neighbour as ourselves.
I know New York exists, but I have never been there. I have it on the authority of others that it exists. One day I hope to go there. When I see, hear, smell, and taste the City, I will truly know with all my being that it exists. Good people in my life show me that unconditional love is possible, the saints even more so, and the Gospels of Jesus most of all.
If I can learn to love God, myself and my neighbour unconditionally, I will know with all my being that it exists and therein lies the kingdom of heaven. Thank God for miracles.
Thank God that miracles are (by the dictionary definition) an extraordinary event.

Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by Gabriela Mistral.
My heart swells that the Universe like a fiery cascade may enter.
The new day comes and its coming leaves me breathless.
I sing. Like a cavern brimming I sing my new day.
For grace lost and recovered I stand humble.
Not giving. Receiving.
Until the Gorgon night, vanquished,

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 February:
We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded.

We pray for our sisters and brothers in America as a new Presidency begins …
that they will grow together in unity, forgiveness, and compassion.

We pray for the countries in our world where there is a limited supply of vaccines against the coronavirus …
that the most vulnerable will be given preferential treatment.

We pray for all who are called to the contemplative life …
that their gift and ministry might bear much fruit.

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!

Special Days of prayer this week
8 February – Day for Victims of Human Trafficking (St Josephine Bakhita)
10 February – St Scholastica (sister of St Benedict and first Benedictine nun)
11 February – World Day for the Sick / Our Lady of Lourdes – Our Lady’s 1858 call to the world for penance and prayer

Wednesday 17 February – Ash Wednesday
Sunday 21 February – 1st Sunday in Lent
Sunday 28 February – 2nd Sunday in Lent & CAFOD Family Fast Day

Looking forward to commemorating the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, this lovely song, ‘Mary Did You Know’, was performed by One Voice Children’s Choir in December in a truly beautiful arrangement.  
Mary Did You Know? (Official Music Video) | One Voice Children’s Choir cover – YouTube

Another chance to enjoy This Blessing (based on the Book of Numbers, 6:24-26) which was put together by children from the UK, the USA, Australia, S Africa, New Zealand and many other nations last May.  Really uplifting and good for the soul.
(46) THE BLESSING [KIDS] – featuring kids from different nations – YouTube

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)

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.
THIS MONTH’S CATHOLIC PICTORAL Please use this link to access a really user-friendly (and free!) version of the Catholic Pic: https://issuu.com/merseymirror/docs/catholic_pic_february_2021

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

FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE: You may also like to check out:
St Josephine Bakhita Feast Day: 9 February 2021  –  Tuesday 9 February 2021 7:00 – 8:30pm
An Economy without Human Trafficking with Sr Imelda Poole IBVM (The Tablet Sept 2020)
We are delighted that Sr Imelda will join us virtually from Albania. We will also be able to view a short film produced by RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) and guided by Sr Imelda.
Julia Bayton who works with early action anti-trafficking support from Refugee Women Connect will also give some input from a local perspective. 
There will be an opportunity for small group discussion followed by a Q&A with Sr Imelda and Julia.
Please do register and join us to help understand Human Trafficking and what we can do.
Registration for Zoom Link: http://jp.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk or www.liverpoolsouthpastoralarea.org.uk
This event is open to all people of faith and of none. All are welcome.

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.

Residents can book an appointment if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid19 via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Many parishioners have already received notification about their vaccine – or have received the first dose.
It is important to wait to be contacted. 
Please, please don’t ring your surgery – wait to be contacted and don’t phone up asking when you can have the jab, as spending time dealing with all these calls is slowing down the vaccine service.
Please also note that the Catholic Church has given its full support to the vaccine (all three of them) and is keen to assure Catholics that there are no moral issues linked to the science of the vaccines, whatsoever.  The vaccines are safe. The Archbishop of Liverpool is anxious to dispel any myths and urges Catholics to have the vaccines.  Cardinal Vin Nichols had his first vaccine last week – and hospital chaplains have also received their first doses.
Unfortunately some people are trying to exploit the fears of others, so be on the alert for so-called vaccine scammers, who will try and charge you for a vaccine. 
There is NO CHARGE.
The vaccines are free. 
GP surgeries are not paid.  The government is paying for the whole programme.

Please also note that there are some scammers pretending to be the NHS.  There is only one official NHS email address, which is www.nhs.uk

The NHS will never ask for details like family maiden names of bank accounts / credit & debit cards.  Nor will they require you to pay anything for the vaccines.  If you are contacted by a group claiming to be the NHS and they’ve asked for these details, it is a scam and you must ignore it.  Then report it!

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