MASS INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
Mary Siney RIP
Geof Martin RIP
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Church is closed for public worship, for the time being
THIS WEEK’S NOTICES & MASS READINGS / REFLECTIONS
CAUTIOUS RE-OPENING OF OUR CHURCHES
Since the recent Government announcement of a ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, the re-opening of our churches is currently being discussed at deanery level.
More details are to follow.
LIVING LENT DURING LOCKDOWN
Here are a few of the ways in which, as individuals and as a parish, we can mark the season of Lent this year:
Almsgiving: We seek out opportunities to give money to charity or time to help those in need. Even a phone call to someone who is lonely – this is giving!
Fasting: We deny ourselves some food or luxury during Lent, and so remind ourselves that our deepest need is for God, not material things.
Private Prayer*: During Lent we should all try to make a little more time for quiet prayer with God.
Stations of the Cross: An opportunity to meditate on our Lord’s last journey, when he shows such deep love for us. Many churches will be streaming their Stations during this Lenten ‘lockdown’.
Attending a virtual weekday Mass: Many local churches are holding weekday Masses anyway and particularly so during Lent.
Confession: This sacrament is available by appointment, so please ring to arrange a time.
Talks: The Archdiocese and other churches / organisations are holding online talks and presentations during Lent. Look out for details in the Newsletter over the coming weeks. Or, if you hear of any, please contact the office (email of phone) with the details.
Spiritual Reading: Pick up a good spiritual book and feed your soul during Lent!. CTS LENT READING: Pick up some good reading for Lent (physical books or e-books) from the Catholic Truth Society: https://www.ctsbooks.org
*SPENDING TIME WITH GOD
Prayer is not just about asking for the things we need (though, of course, it includes that): rather, it is a yearning for closeness to God, a desire to be with Him, and in some small way, an experience of heaven.
Prayer is about spending time with God, getting to know Him, deepening our relationship with Him.
It is very much like spending time with a friend: it forms and deepens the relationship, so subtly that we don’t even notice; and yet, without that time, the relationship would die.
Just as, when we spend time with friends, sometimes we share our news and our feelings, and sometimes we listen to them, so it is with the Lord. Prayer involves sharing with God the innermost movements of our hearts, revealing everything to Him and inviting Him in. But it also involves an attentive listening, a desire to hear God speak to us.
READINGS FOR 7 MARCH
1st Reading: Exodus 20: 1-17, The Law was given through Moses
Psalm 18: You Lord, have the message of eternal life
2nd Reading: I Corinthians 1: 22-25, Here we are preaching a crucified Christ, an obstacle to men, but to those who are called, the wisdom of God.
Gospel: john 2: 13-25, Destroy this sanctuary and in three days, I will raise it up.
Gospel acclamation: Praise to you O Christ. King of eternal glory! God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son; everyone who believes in him has eternal life. Praise to you O Christ. King of eternal glory!
Communion antiphon: The sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for her young: by your altars O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, forever singing your praise.
SPIRITUAL REFLECTION FROM ‘OUR FAITH ON SUNDAY’ – 7 MARCH
Today’s Gospel recounts one occasion when Jesus (unusually) demonstrates a holy anger: he makes a whip, scatters money and overturns tables. Some Christians might be tempted to use this to justify losing their temper, but it’s likely that their anger has been roused by things other than their love for God.
Nevertheless, in the Gospel, Jesus shows that there is such a thing as justifiable anger. We cannot stand by and ignore behaviour that is morally wrong. When Jesus is challenged by the Jewish leaders, they struggle to understand his response: ‘Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up.’
In fact, the various references that Jesus makes in the Gospels to his death are resurrection are rarely understood, even by his closest disciples. This shouldn’t surprise us, because most of us struggle to grasp things which are expressed in veiled, symbolic terms. As the disciples discovered, it is through prayer and reflecting on the words of Jesus, that God’s plans for us are revealed. We have to trust in him and put him at the centre of our lives – something the Jewish leaders in the Temple had missed.
GOSPEL REFLECTION FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE
This reflection is from MaryAnne FCJ who is based at the FCJ Centre at St Hugh’s, Wavertree.
Today’s Gospel is difficult to explain. It is unusual and maybe uncomfortable for us to see Jesus being angry and even violent. What is Jesus really speaking against here? We might think that Jesus is pointing out abuse and corruption by those who are selling and changing money. Although this might be partly true, there is more to this Gospel than that.
In order for the temple to function, animals were needed for the sacrifice. Pilgrims would have travelled a very long way to get to the temple and so would not have been able to bring animals from their own towns. This meant that it was necessary to have those who would sell doves and cattle. The coins used in ordinary life were all Roman, or Greek and had the image of the emperor on them, which meant that they were not acceptable in the temple. This is why it was necessary to have money changers in order for people to be able to buy what they needed for the sacrifice in the temple. Yet in this passage Jesus seems to be saying that all of this has no place in his Father’s house. He is not simply protesting against corruption but going further by issuing a challenge to the whole of the temple structure.
What is the evangelist John trying to say here? The temple has always been the place where God is encountered by the people of Israel. John is saying to us that this is no longer the case. It is the person of Jesus that has become the place where God is encountered; Jesus is ‘speaking of the temple of his body’. Jesus is not being anti-Jewish here, in fact he is presented as an observant Jew who goes to Jerusalem for the feast, but in the tradition of the prophets, Jesus is challenging the religious institution which seems to have lost its way and is no longer open to encountering the living God.
There are echoes of Jesus’ death and resurrection in this passage but there is also an invitation for us to look at our own lives. It is a challenge for us to start to notice the institutionalism of our own Church, and the clericalism that Pope Francis often warns us about, as well as the ways in which we limit how God can act in our own personal lives. We are invited by this Gospel to be open to new ways of encountering God; to notice the ways in which we have become rigid and inflexible, and the ways we have limited God’s action in our lives by unnecessary structures or practices. We are invited to let the fresh air of God’s word and God’s Spirit speak to our lives, surprise us, and lead us down paths that we had not expected.
How do we do this? By looking at the person of Jesus. In the encounter with Jesus, the Risen Jesus, the Jesus we meet through the Word and in our prayer, our hearts and minds are transformed and freed. It is by deepening this relationship with Jesus that we can continue to be open, continue to be available to God who wants to be God-with-us.
Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by Jean M Watt.
Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf,
Barer than blackthorn in its winter sleep,
Unlike Christmas which decrees
The setting-up, the dressing-up of trees,
Lent is taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
Of surplus and superfluous
Leaving no hiding-place, only an emptiness
Between black branches, a most precious space
Before the leaf, before the time of flowers;
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,
Lest we should miss the stars.
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.
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. Jesus Christ.
We join Pope Francis in his prayer intention for March:
That we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God
Let us pray…
We pray for the Church …
that it will always strive to provide life-giving liturgies which enable those who worship to deeply experience God-with-us in all the circumstances of life.
We pray for the oppressed people of Yemen …
may their cries for justice and peace find a generous response within the international community.
We pray for all who are making their Lenten journey with Jesus …
may we find in Him the true sanctuary and perhaps, the wisdom to know when to disturb the peace.
We pray now in the words Jesus gave us:
Our Father, who art in heaven…
FEASTS THIS WEEK
Special Days of prayer this week
8 March – St John of God, founder of the Brothers Hospitallers
9 March – St Frances of Rome
13 March – 8th anniversary of Pope Francis’ election as Pope
NATIONAL NOVENA TO ST JOSEPH
This will take place from 10th– 18th March 2021 at St Joseph’s Church in Maidenhead. In this Year dedicated to St. Joseph, the Mill Hill Missionaries are preparing for the Feast of St Joseph, their patron, with a special Novena of Masses and prayers to ask for God’s blessing on their Society’s missionary outreach, and for the intentions of all those who support their work.
Masses are on Wednesday to Friday (10-12 March), at 7.30pm, Saturday, 13 March at 10am, Sunday, 14 March at 11.00am, Monday –Thursday (15-18 March) at 7.30pm.
If you would like to join in from home, for the first time this year, Masses from St. Joseph’s Church will be available to follow on Zoom and YouTube via the parish website: stjosephsparish.co.uk and the Mill Hill website: www.millhillmissionaries.com/novena, where you will also find the Novena prayer leaflet.
You can also join in by praying the daily Novena prayer. You are welcome to send in your petitions and/or to request a printed Novena prayer leaflet. Please write to the Novena Director, 41 Victoria Road, Liverpool, L37 1LW, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
LENTEN REFLECTIONS WITH FR CHRIS THOMAS
Fr Chris Thomas offers a series of reflections on Lent, starting with ‘The Mystery of the Forgiveness of God’.
A series of three reflections, approx. 30 minutes in length.
Please use the following link Lent Reflections | Liverpoolcatholic (liverpoolcatholicresources.com)
LENTEN RETREAT WITH FR DENIS MCBRIDE
Fr Denis will be leading an online retreat this Lent, based on his two books Reflecting with Paintings Vol 1 and Vol 2. There is no charge.
Each video will be uploaded to the site first thing on each given date for you to watch. Once released, you can choose to watch each video at a day/time that suits you. Each video, once released, will stay on the webpage.
- First week in Lent – Wed 24 Feb
Praying the Rosary – Old Woman Praying the Rosary by Paul Cézanne
- Second week in Lent – Wed 3 Mar
Growing up hyphenated – Jojo by J W Miller
- Third week in Lent – Wed 10 Mar
Food for thought – The Promenade by Fernando Botero
- Fourth week in Lent – Wed 17 Mar
Facing the truth – Logo for Frankfurt Book Fair, 1998
- Fifth week in Lent – Wed 24 Mar
Bearing up – Peasant Woman with Buckets and a Child by Kasimir Malevich
- Palm Sunday – Sun 28 Mar
Hat trick – Pilate’s Wife by Sebastien Champion
- Good Friday – Wed 31 Mar
Letting go – Pieta by Vincent Van Gogh
- Easter – Sun 4 April
When words are not enough – The Reconciliation of Peter by Iain McKillop
LATEST EDITION OF THE CATHOLIC PIC – MARCH
SYNOD 2020 UPDATE
You may remember that last November, you submitted proposals and affirmations that you felt particularly drawn to. These have now been collated by the Synod Office and Synod members will be receiving and discussing these during a meeting next week, 12 / 13 March.
The results will be published before the end of March.
REFLECTIONS FOR EASTER WEEK WITH IRENAEUS
Fr Chris Thomas will lead three days of reflection for Holy Week on 1, 2 and 3 April, entitles, ‘Dying and Rising with Christ’.
Please email Jenny at email@example.com for more details / to register.
FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE: CARING FOR CREATION & BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MP ON CLIMATE CHANGE
The Archdiocese has arranged for a workshop session for all those keen to involve the local their local MP in the urgent need to preserve and protect our ‘Perfect Planet’. The workshop is run by Hope for the Future and will be delivered on Tuesday 9 March, 7pm to 9pm.
Please use the link to register. There is no charge.
ACN VIRTUAL SUNDAY LUNCH: 21st March
Find out more about the work of Aid to the Church in Need and support them at www.acnuk.org
More details about the virtual Sunday lunch can be found at https://acnuk.org/event/acn-virtual-sunday-lunch/
CHILDREN’S LITURGY – WITH BROTHER FRANCIS
You Tube animated stories and songs each week. This week: Noah’s Ark
MUSICAL TREATS FOR THE WEEK
Lent is the perfect time for us to be offering our love and service to Our Lord and the words of Schutte’s hymn sum this up perfectly. This US arrangement features some excellent voices and lovely harmonies as well as a band. You might need to steel yourself for the (very) ‘American’ ending. It’s still lovely, though! Here I Am, Lord (Schutte/Hayes) – Choir & Orchestra of St. Lillian – YouTube
And a reminder of last week’s – very different – offering: the recently released album from the Poor Clares of Arundel: 16 traditional chants with modern accompaniment. A soothing balm for the soul in today’s challenging world.
The Poor Clares of Arundel – Light For The World (album visualiser) – YouTube
WEEK 26 – ARMCHAIR RETREATS DURING LOCKDOWN
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)
REGULAR WEEKLY NOTICES
MASS ON SUNDAYS
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.churchservices.tv/whats-on-now/ Great selection of Masses and other Church serviceshttps://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 (Sky 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.
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!
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.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY – SEE THIS NEW INITIATIVE! ‘The Mark 10 Mission’
Please click on the link below and identify this Sunday’s video.
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!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OFFERTORY DONATIONS DURING THE LOCKDOWN
Many thanks to generous parishioners who continue to support the parish during this extremely challenging year.
Instead of putting money in offertory envelopes each week, those who are able to make an offering are asked to either:
- Write a monthly cheque (payable to ‘Ss Peter & Paul Church’) and post to the presbytery with a covering letter and one offertory envelope for gift aid purposes.
- Contact the office (by phone or email) to request a Standing Order mandate for your bank –
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.
HELP DURING THE PANDEMIC
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.
Many residents have now received their first dose of the vaccine, but it is important to note that protection doesn’t kick in for a number of weeks after the vaccine, so it is vital that everyone remains vigilant and ensures that they follow all the rules to keep themselves and everyone else safe.
The number of positive cases in the NW has increased in recent weeks.
Residents can book an appointment if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid19 via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
COVID VACCINES – IMPORTANT
Many parishioners have already received notification about their vaccine – or have received the first dose.
Please contact your local surgery if you are over 60 and have not yet been given a date for your vaccination.
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 has had his first vaccine. So has the Pope – 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
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 (email@example.com)
WISHING ALL PARISHIONERS AND THEIR FAMILIES EVERY BLESSING FOR THE COMING WEEK