Saturday, 27 August 2016

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Please remember in your prayers:

Sick and housebound: Joan Anders, Martin Dwyer, Janet Whitehead, Maria Twigg,

Margaret Coyne, June McCaffrey, Margaret Rebecca McDonough,

Lately Dead: Mary O'Connor, Fr Jim Dalziel, Fr Anthony Grimshaw, Irene Holt, Michaeli Benedetto, Glenys Murtagh

Anniversaries: Geoff Moss, Gerard Kehoe, Joan Eyles, Peter & Jean Wood, Rita Kelly, Anne Laycock, Ann Duckworth,


Masses this week:

Tues: 9.30am Mass                        Wed: 9.45am Requiem Mass for Irene Holt

Thursday: 6.30pm Mass followed by Exposition

Friday: 12noon Mass followed by CAFOD Soup Lunch


The Parish Office will be open 10am -1pm Tuesday & Thursday & 9 - 12noon on Friday this week.


The APF Mission Books are ready for collection from the sacristy by promoters


Celebration of Missionary Discipleship in the Year of Mercy I have received four tickets for a Mass at Salford Cathedral for the Feast of St Ambrose Barlow on Saturday 10th September at 12 noon. If anyone would like to attend, please speak with Fr John. He will be taking his car so transport will be provided leaving here at 10.45am. Two tickets have so far been requested.


Importance of the Laity I have copied an excellent article from "The Tablet" and making it available for people to read on a separate sheet. It is written by a parish priest in Dorset where they have to work with fewer priests and recognise the value of the laity. Please take a copy and read it and reflect on it. If you have any thoughts on it please let me know. Fr John


September Monthly Newsletter This will be published next weekend. If you have anything that you feel ought to be mentioned, then please submit by Tuesday evening.


Children's Liturgy The Children's Liturgy will re-start over the weekend of 10th/11th September. If you would like to help out with the children's education then please let us know as soon as possible, as by law there needs to be an Enhanced Safeguarding Certificate (DBS) issued before any parent/helper can take part. To apply for a certificate please see either Pam Kornecki, who is the Parish Safeguarding Officer, Fr John or Jean Partington, our Parish Secretary.


Replacement of the heating system and restoration of the roof above the Marian Chapel

The situation now is that the Hyndburn Planning Office has rejected our plan to put on a new roof over the Marian Chapel. So we now have to fix the problem knowing that we can't permanently fix it due to a design fault. There is another meeting planned this week to look at the work that needs to be done along with the heating, which we hope to upgrade this autumn. You will be kept updated as things progress.


Statue of Our Lady AS a result of the fire we are still looking to repair/replace the statue of Our Lady and the altar after the fire damage. Again a meeting is due to take place this week to look at the damage and see what can be done. Will the statue need replacing or can we restore it? The wood panels also need to be assessed as to whether they can be saved or not.


Holidays As we approach the end of the school holidays we hope those of you who have managed to get away will have returned refreshed.  No doubt some have yet to get away and have a rest. Rest is vital for the soul. If you have been away, then "welcome back." To those who have had exam results recently, be thankful for the abilities that you have and may you find that your talents will find a place in which to bring greater benefits to others. If you feel that you can do something in the parish then let us know.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Please remember in your prayers:

Sick and housebound: Joan Anders, Martin Dwyer, Janet Whitehead, Maria Twigg,

Margaret Coyne, June McCaffrey, Margaret Rebecca McDonough, Glenys Murtagh

Lately Dead: Mary O'Connor, Fr Anthony Grimshaw, Gerpel Gersel

Anniversaries: Elezabeth Elengickal, Varkey Elengickal, Douglas Thomson, Lisa Jordan, Evelyn Partington, Mary Stella Ward


Masses this week:

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

Thursday: 10.30am Requiem Mass for Mary O'Connor

Friday: 9.30am Mass


The Parish Office will be open 10am -1pm Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday this week.


The APF Mission Books are ready for collection from the sacristy by promoters


Celebration of Missionary Discipleship in the Year of Mercy I have received four tickets for a Mass at Salford Cathedral for the Feast of St Ambrose Barlow on Saturday 10th September at 12 noon. If anyone would like to attend, please speak with Fr John. He will be taking his car so transport will be provided leaving here at 10.45am. Two tickets have so far been requested.


Requiem Mass for Fr Anthony Grimshaw is provisionally arranged to take place at Salford Cathedral on Wed 31st August at 12.10pm. If anyone knew Fr Grimshaw and would like transport then Fr John will be attending.


From Pope Francis' General Audience this week


Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. In Saint Matthew's account, Jesus wishes to withdraw and pray, but seeing the multitudes, is moved by compassion and chooses to remain with them. By instructing his disciples to feed the crowd, he teaches them to have faith and invites them to share in his concern for those in need. The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is a concrete sign of that merciful concern. Matthew, in telling us that Jesus took the bread, looked up to heaven, then blessed and broke it for the crowds, clearly evokes the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. Through our partaking of the Eucharist, we not only receive spiritual nourishment, but, conformed ever more fully to the Lord, we become signs of his merciful presence to those around us. May all of us, as members of Christ's body, seek to bring to our families and communities, and especially to those most in need, the nourishment of God's closeness, mercy and love.


On reflecting on what the Pope is calling us to do we are reminded that we are called to bring the love of God to others. When we are fed by the Eucharist we are sharing in the work of Christ. We are not here to speak and listen about compassion, we are called to be compassionate to those in need. This requires great strength and willingness and the spiritual food we receive from the Eucharist gives us strength to share in the Church's mission. It is not a matter of watching others do it but making compassion our own mission in life. Only the week before, Pope Francis reminded us that we are impelled "to work to improve the conditions of earthly life, especially of our weakest brothers and sisters". He went on to pray, in that same sermon, "May the Virgin Mary help us not to be people and communities dulled by the present, or worse, nostalgic for the past, but striving toward the future of God, toward the encounter with him, our life and our hope."


This is a prayer that we can make our own as we move forward as a Church, and people, facing many new challenges.                                                       

                                                                                                                        Fr John

Friday, 12 August 2016

Lourdes Friday

Friday: we are now preparing to return home with everyone packing at the moment. We will have Mass this morning in thanksgiving for a wonderful week. This afternoon we will leave a large candle at the Grotto on behalf of everyone who has helped us. We will the say the rosary before concluding our pilgrimage at the Crown Virgin Statue. There seems to be an air of quietness around the group today as we realise that this is our last day. There have been great times together in the company of the Lord at the invite of Our Lady.
When in Lourdes it is very easy to forget what day it is and looking back at the blogs I have missed a day out. However, we have taken part in the Torchlight Procession, the Blessed Sacrament Procession and everything required of this pilgrimage in the steps of St Bernadette.

Our thanks go to Maxine Pollard who, along with Paul Millen, organised it all and co-ordinated the pre pilgrimage visits, transport, and medical clearances. Thanks also to Adam, Callum, Eileen, Eric (for the music), Harold and Hilda, Joan, John B, Michael, Paul D, Pauline and Phyllis.
Signing off, Fr John

Sent from my iPad

Lourdes Thursday

Thursday: today is a day for a bit of relaxation in each others' company away from the clamour of Lourdes. With an earlier start than normal, we headed off to Bartres where Bernadette spent part of her life working on her Auntie's farm, usually looking after the sheep. We celebrated Mass in the parish Church of St John the Baptist. This is where the young Bernadette would regularly pray before the High Altar. We reflected on the link between John the Baptist and St Bernadette, whose proclamations were quite similar. We then took our packed lunches to the Lac de Lourdes, thanks to Paul Millen arranging the transport. It was another beautiful day and it wasn't long before the lads took to the water for naval battles in pedaloes. Good fun and water fights were had by all. We then returned to Lourdes, calling in at the Parish Church so as it avoid the weddings and funerals that we seemed to clash with on previous visits.
In the evening we decided that it would be good to visit the Grotto as a group and place are petitions there. The Grotto seems to lack a presence of Brancardiers this year so getting through the Grotto seemed to take a lot longer. Having been through the Grotto we then prayed the Rosary before heading back to the hotel for a good night's sleep after a long active day.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, 8 August 2016

Lourdes Blog. August 2016

Note - Latest entry first!

What is happening? 
We woke up to low cloud and fine rain? 
Not expecting this! 
So change of plan. 
Think flexibility!

So this morning we decided to have Mass in the Hotel Chapel. Feast of St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, better known to many as Edith Stein.

Fr. John spent time reading up about her marvelous witness, which in many ways relates to us today. She believed in asking questions and challenging the authorities at the time, especially the Nazi regime, which she saw as a blight against the poor and the person of Jesus. So we reflected on how we move forward, how we base our lives on prayer and reach out to the poor as "Missionary Disciples".

After Mass we went to a local cafe to relax, nothing more we could do with the weather.

As the weather began to clear, after lunch we went out to do the Stations of the Cross, which was another moving experience leading up to the opportunity for people to go to Confession, if they so wished, or find some space for private prayer. 

The weather continued to clear in the afternoon getting hot and humid. So space and time for people was important so they could relax, pray and meditate. Road blocks are also being put into place as security tightens with an expected huge crowd over the weekend. Things being as they are in France reminds us of the need to pray for peace in the world, for respect of all faiths and the call to forgiveness. The Stations of the Cross reminded us of the suffering we endure which is part of the Cross. God's way is not always man's. We all have crosses to bear and we learn from our experiences. 

Asking God to be with us on our journey is central to our theme today.

Another superb evening meal was enjoyed, all before an evening of entertainment.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we plan to have an early rise and Mass in Bartres before travelling to the Lac de Lourdes for a morning of relaxation in each other's company.

We are remembering you all in our prayers, thanking God for your love and support. People are coming out of themselves with some fantastic results. We are truly blessed to be here.

Fr John



Today we all awoke to glorious weather, not a cloud in the sky, but also not too hot as humidity was low. However, keeping in mind that this is a week in Lourdes it is important to go at a gentle pace. However, gentle is not the same as slow. 

Getting the group to work together as a team is important in early stages so that we are able to understand who is responsible for what and that everyone is looked after, especially in crowds. Flexibility is also the key when you find that somewhere may not be accessible when you turn up. This can be a regular thing when you realise that churches are beautiful to view but also functional. 
So planning to visit the Grotto or various churches may not always be as easy as it seems. The grotto was again packed to capacity so making a visit difficult, a Mass going on in the Rosary Basilica, also putting that visit on hold, same too for the Pius X Church. 

We managed to look around the Crypt though before returning for lunch. 
When it is hot in the afternoon a later start is helpful so a mid afternoon start and a visit to the are opposite the Grotto to pray the Joyful Mysteries, relating them to modern life was a time to pray together, before heading to the Sept Dolours Chapel for Mass. After Mass we had a cafe stop at the Terrasse Cafe before dinner (evening meal for some). At night some of the group went to watch the torchlight procession whilst others enjoyed some free time.


another beautiful day ahead, with concerns about how hot it may get. We had an earlier start with Mass this morning at 9am at the Poor Clare's Convent Church on the Feast of St Dominic. After Mass we headed to the Parish Church again, only this time to find a Requiem taking place, so again re visit the plans. 
A trip up to the Fort enables people to get an excellent aerial view of Lourdes and see the old town in relation to the new, with all the hotels. After many years visiting Lourdes it is always good to come across something new. Paul Millen took us to a garden area at the foot of the Fort where there were some French games set out. After many attempts of throwing wooden hoops at a board with hooks on it only John Burton and Callum were successful, easy when you know how was the look they gave the rest of us mortals.

With the heat increasing back to the hotel for another excellent meal before a siesta. In the afternoon some wanted to visit the baths, but even the queue for the male baths was longer than the female queues for the baths, so a washing ceremony on the Prairie was favoured before the Blessing of the Sick in the Underground Basillica. The kneelers in there are not comfortable by any means.
After dinner we went down to the Torchlight Procession to play a full part. There being a bit of a breeze made keeping the candles lit a challenge, too much for some of us. Returning eventually to the hotel saw the guitar come out and various renditions being performed which other groups enjoyed being part off.
Well done Eric and Michael for the entertainment. 

Good day had by all in high heat. 

Team really beginning to gel as people get to know each other.

Fr John




Having left Ossy after the Nuptial Mass for Jon and Vicky Lane on Friday, we arrived at Manchester Airport in good time.

Getting through security is always a necessary inconvenience, but with one of the party having lost his medication we were held up somewhat, only to later find it was now in his pocket!

A good flight out to Toulouse saw us land 25 minutes early and Paul Millen waiting to welcome us all. 

Then with a two hour drive to Lourdes via our coach, we arrived tired and in on piece to a supper. some went straight down to the Grotto whilst others unpacked and went to bed after a long day.

Saturday morning was cloudy but mainly sunny, a good first day's weather, so after breakfast we headed to the Crown Virgin Statue to begin our pilgrimage. The domain was fairly busy and, with a Mass on in the Grotto, we decide to circumvent around the area and pause opposite the Grotto on the far side of the River Garve, mainly where we could find shade as the sun began to grow stronger.

With a few places to point out we were making ourselves aware of our surroundings. Whilst most of us have been before, Lourdes is still changing, new bridges have been constructed since the floods, and we also had to learn the pace of the group, never too quick on the first day. 

Back to a nice lunch, we then headed up to the town to start following to life of St Bernardette. The Cachot, the family room where the Soubirous Family lived after the liquidation of the Boly Mill, was nice and quiet so we had time to reflect on those who live in poverty today, or have no homes, or are rejected by society.

After this we made our way to the Parish Church only to find we couldn't enter because of a wedding. So we made our way to the former family home of Bernadette and the Boly Mill before our first cafe stop. Cake seemed to be the main priority of some and the waiters found it difficult to keep up with the order, or at least the constant changing of minds as to what people wanted!!

Eventually we got back to the hotel where we had our first Mass together, thanking God for our safe journey. Being the Feast of the Transfiguration we reflected on the mountains we had to climb in our lives with Jesus by our side, leading us to further reflect on "it is wonderful for us to be here". 

After dinner had a couple of meetings before settling down to Bingo, with Callum winning after various others making false calls. 
Good laugh had by all though despite the mayhem.

More to follow.......................