Monday, 31 August 2015

22nd Sunday of the Year

"Stay with us Lord on our Journey"

Please remember in your prayers:

Sick and housebound: June McCaffrey,

Lately Dead: Joan Eyles, Margaret Westwell, Winifred Bernadette Bradshaw, Stephen James Cooney

Anniversaries:  Doug Thomson, Wendy Mack, Annie Metcalf, Geoff Little


Masses this week: Tues: 18.30pm - Mass followed by Exposition

Wed: 10.15am - Requiem Mass for Winifred Bernardette (known as Bernie) Bradshaw

Thurs: 10.30am - Requiem Mass for Joan Eyles

Fri: 10.15am - Requiem Mass for Stephen Cooney

Sat: 12noon - Wedding Service for Christopher Beaghan & Nikki Foster


Fr John will be away from Thursday afternoon and returning Saturday morning. He is attending his niece's wedding. Fr McLaughlin will celebrate the Requiem Mass on Friday


On the Monthly Newsletter it reads that the Gift Aid rebate was £6,943.14 and then says (see note below). As I was in a rush I forgot to add the note. So, thanks to everyone who has enabled us to reclaim tax relief from their weekly donations. After the diocese has taken its handling fee off for all the administration we have received this amount. Many thanks also to Sean Mullen who administers the gift aid for the parish. This amount is so important in getting various projects done and bills paid. Thank you, Fr John


Pope Francis on the Importance of Prayer in the Family


"We all know how important prayer is, yet it seems so difficult to find time for it. Perhaps we need to ask if we truly love God, as he asks us to, with all our heart, and all our mind and all our strength. For the heart of prayer is the love of God, the source of our life, who constantly "caresses" us with his own love. A heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or a small gesture of devotion a moment of prayer. The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray, to call God our Father, and to grow daily in his love. Our families need to ask for the gift of the Spirit!


Through prayer, even in the busiest times, we give time back to God, we find the peace that comes from appreciating the important things, and we encounter the joy of God's unexpected gifts. Through daily prayer may our homes become, like the house of Martha and Mary, places where Jesus always finds a warm welcome."


Prayer is a very important part of our lives and it is in the family that I believe we learn to pray. It is most important that as a family you pray together. I still remember as a child when Mum & Dad would call us all downstairs into the front room to kneel and pray the rosary around the fire. With the month of October approaching it can be a time when we can make an effort to set a time to pray together in your own home with everyone gathered together. Fr John


Bill on Assisted Dying


You may have noticed that the discussion is ramping up in the media on this subject, with more discussion seeming to come from the pro lobby. It is vital that if we are to stand up for the right to life and protect the vulnerable that we make our feelings known to our local MP. There are still a few postcards in Church to send to your MP. If you have not acted yet please consider doing so.


There will be coffee & tea served after Masses next weekend 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

21st Sunday of the Year

"Stay with us Lord on our Journey"

Please remember in your prayers:

Sick and housebound: June McCaffrey

Lately Dead: Margaret Westwell

Anniversaries:  Elezabeth & Varkey Elengical, Gertrude Henry, Geoff Moss, Tom Francis Lee, Evelyn Partington, Ann Duckworth, Stella Ward


Masses this week:   Tues: 9.45am Requiem Mass for Margaret Westwell

Wed: 12 noon Mass followed by packed lunch

Thurs: 6.30pm Mass followed by Exposition                                     Fri: 9.30 am Mass


There will be a Month's Mind Mass for Father Denis Dwyer at St Philip's, Slade Lane, Padiham on Wednesday 26 August at 7pm. As you know Fr Dwyer died recently in Ireland so this is the first Mass in this area to mark his death.


Articles for September's newsletter need to be submitted by this Tuesday evening.


APF Magazines can be picked up from the sacristy.


Assisted Dying Bill - postcards can be picked up at the back of church to send to your MP.


Making Choices


A friend of mine once said that even when he is holiday he has to make serious choices such as should he go swimming or sunbathe, should he swim crawl, breaststroke or backstroke, or should he go for a walk? Even on holiday he could not get away from making choices!


Yes there are minor choices and there are major choices. In the past couple of weeks many of our young people have had big choices to make having received their exam results. Should they stay on at school, should they go to university, and if so which one? Should they take on an apprenticeship or take a gap year, or even what do they want to commit their life to? Others, a bit older, are committing themselves to another in marriage whilst others are deciding not to. Life is made up of making many important decisions that are life-changing.


In today's readings we hear of Joshua asking the people to make a choice as to who they wish to follow, either God or one of the other gods. In the Gospel Jesus puts his teachings before the disciples and asks them to make a choice, are they going to accept or reject what he says. We are told "that many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him."


The choices we make are important. Some we make out of conviction, like the apostles who respond through Peter, "Lord, who shall we go to?"


Today, those of you here at Mass have chosen to come whilst many have chosen not to, for whatever reason. Many can't come due to illness or other commitments, but many also choose just not to. Through evangelisation we are asked to have another go at reaching out to those who may be looking for a way back, however we have to accept that many have made a choice never to be part of the Catholic faith. We must now continue to work with what we have and show a commitment to our choice.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

19th Sunday of the Year

"Stay with us Lord on our Journey"

Please remember in your prayers:

Sick and housebound: Thomas James McIntyre, Alan James Baron, Martin Dwyer, Fr Peter Birmingham, Hugh Patrick Hughes

Lately Dead: John Scribbens, Martin Doherty, Maureen Brereton

Anniversaries:  Fr Jack Grimshaw, Michael Coyne


Masses this week:

Tues: 9.30am Mass                                    Wed: 12 noon Mass followed by packed lunch

Thurs: 6.30pm Mass followed by Exposition                        

Fri: 9.30 am Mass

2.30pm a Wedding Service for Simon Berry & Shelley McKelvey


Pope Francis speaking at his Audience this week


Dear Brothers and Sisters:  We return now to our catechesis on the family, by reflecting on the situation of our brothers and sisters who have divorced and entered a second union.  Though their unions are contrary to the Sacrament of marriage, the Church, as a Mother, seeks the good and salvation of all her children.  As these situations especially affect children, we are aware of a greater urgency to foster a true welcome for these families in our communities.  For how can we encourage these parents to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of Christian faith, if we keep them at arm's length?  I am especially grateful to the many pastors, guided by my Predecessors, who have worked diligently to let these families know they are still a part of the Church.  There is no easy solution for these situations, but we can and must always encourage these families to participate in the Church's life, through prayer, listening to the Word of God, the Christian education of their children, and service to the poor.  As the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep, so the Church as a Mother gives her life for all her children, by being always the "house of the Father, with doors wide open".  May everyone, especially Christian families, imitate the Good Shepherd, who knows all his sheep and excludes no one from his infinite love.   


There has been different reaction to this address. Some areas of the Church believe that the sanctity of marriage can not be challenged and that the Pope is speaking out of turn, Others feel that we have to show pastoral care to those who are feeling cut off from the Church through no fault of their own. The Times published the following article on Thursday:


The Pope has told Roman Catholics to welcome those who have divorced and remarried outside the church in a message that will infuriate Vatican conservatives, who will oppose his ideology at a synod on the family in October.

"People who started a new union after the defeat of their sacramental marriage are not at all excommunicated, and they absolutely must not be treated that way," the Pope told 7,000 pilgrims and tourists at a general audience in the Vatican yesterday.

The Pope's attempts to find a more compassionate response to the needs of divorced and gay Catholics met fierce opposition from conservative clerics at last autumn's synod on the family.

Critics have launched an online "filial appeal" to the Pope, signed by more than 425,000 people, urging him "to reaffirm categorically the Catholic teaching that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion and that "homosexual unions are contrary to divine and natural law".


What do you think? There is much to ponder on this whole question and the Pope sees the need for the Church to discuss the issue this October at the Synod of Bishops.



Saturday, 1 August 2015

18th Sunday of the Year

"Stay with us Lord on our Journey"

Please remember in your prayers:

Sick and housebound: Thomas James McIntyre, Sheila Barnes, Alan James Baron, Martin Dwyer, Fr Peter Birmingham, Marie Foster (Baby), Hugh Patrick Hughes

Lately Dead: David Grimshaw, Martina Lockwood

Anniversaries:  Alice Neville, Raymond Davitt, Fr Jeremiah Smith, Brian Metcalf


Masses this week:

Tues: 9.30am Mass                                    Wed: 12 noon Mass followed by packed lunch

Thurs: 6.30pm Mass followed by Exposition                         Fri: 9.30 am Mass


Pope Francis Preaches about the Loaves and Fishes


This Gospel presents the great sign of the multiplication of the loaves, in the account of John the Evangelist (6:1-15). Jesus is on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and is surrounded by "a multitude", who were attracted by "the signs which he did on those who were diseased" (v. 2). Acting in Him is the merciful power of God, who heals every evil of the body and spirit. But Jesus is not only healer, he is also teacher: indeed, he goes up into the hills and sits, with the typical attitude of a teacher when he teaches: he goes up to that natural "pulpit" created by his Heavenly Father. At this point Jesus, who fully understands what he is about to do, puts his disciples to the test. How can they feed all these people? Philip, one of the Twelve, quickly calculates: by taking up a collection, they might collect 200 denarii at most, which would not be enough to feed 5,000 people.


The disciples reason in "marketing" terms, but Jesus substitutes the logic of buying with another logic, the logic of giving. It is here that Andrew, one of the Apostles, the brother of Simon Peter, presents a young lad who offers everything he has: five loaves and two fish; but of course, Andrew says, they are nothing for that multitude (cf. v. 9). Jesus actually expecting this. He orders the disciples to make the people sit down, then he takes those loaves and those fish, gives thanks to the Father and distributes them (cf. v. 11). These acts prefigure the Last Supper, which gives the bread of Jesus its truest significance. The bread of God is Jesus Himself. By receiving Him in Communion, we receive his life within us and we become children of the Heavenly Father and brothers among ourselves. By receiving communion we meet Jesus truly living and risen! Taking part in the Eucharist means entering into the logic of Jesus, the logic of giving freely, of sharing. And as poor as we are, we all have something to give. "To receive Communion" means to draw from Christ the grace which enables us to share with others all we are and all we have.


The crowd is struck by the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves; but the gift Jesus offers is the fullness of life for a hungering mankind. Jesus satiates not only material hunger, but the most profound one, the hunger for the meaning of life, the hunger for God. Before the suffering, loneliness, poverty and difficulties of so many people, what can we ourselves do? Complaining doesn't resolve anything, but we can offer the little that we have, like the lad in the Gospel. We surely have a few hours of time, certain talents, some skills.... Who among us doesn't have "five loaves and two fish" of his own? We all have them! If we are willing to place them in the Lord's hands, they will be enough to bring about a little more love, peace, justice and especially joy in the world. How necessary joy is in the world! God is capable of multiplying our small acts of solidarity and allowing us to share in his gift.


May our prayer sustain the common commitment that no one may lack the heavenly Bread which gives eternal life and the basic necessities for a dignified life, and may it affirm the logic of sharing and love. May the Virgin Mary accompany us with her maternal intercession.