Corpus Christi – Covid 19
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi - the Body and Blood of Christ as we receive him in Holy Communion. I discussed this a few weeks back when, sadly, the children couldn’t make their First Holy Communion.
We had expected the Church to be open for private prayer from this Monday and then for Mass from about mid July. Unfortunately this is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. So here is the
LATEST INFO RE CHURCH OPENING
Because of the stringent rules of safeguarding and cleaning, the Archbishop has decided that only two churches per Deanery can open for private prayer. We are lucky that he has now given permission for three churches in our Pastoral Area to open up next week for private prayer. There is no mention of when Mass will be allowed..
St Benedict’s, St Joseph in Penketh and St Mary’s Shrine in the Town Centre are the three chosen because they are normally open each day for private prayer. They are also covered by CCTV cameras and other security measures which allowed them to be opened all day even before “Lockdown “
St Mary’s Shrine : will open from Monday 15th June at the following times :
Monday to Saturday 8.00 – 10.00 am
4.00 – 6.00 pm
Sunday 2.00 – 5.00 pm
St Benedict’s will be open from Tuesday 16th June at the following times :
Monday to Friday 10.30 – 2.30 pm
Sunday 10 am - 12.30 pm
St Joseph’s Penketh will open from Wednesday 17th June at the following times :
Monday – Friday 10.00am – 1.00 pm
If you call into any of these churches, you will be asked to sanitise your hands on entering and leaving, keep to a one-way system and be guided to where you can sit or kneel. Social distancing must be followed at all times. Unfortunately, toilet facilities will not be available.
Please note : There is no obligation to come to church, and praying in our own way at home remains the norm at this time. As Sister Margaret writes in the Times magazine – ‘While we all long to be in that sacramental presence and nourished with The Eucharist as soon as possible perhaps we have learned through the restrictions something more of the God who is present in our very being. The God ‘In whom we live and move and have our very being’. Let us rejoice in this and take time to stay in this presence through our prayers - wherever we are.
I am sure like me, you are all disappointed with this news but if all goes well in these three churches I am sure we will be open in a short while.
This week I have enclosed a short reflection for you to peruse during the week. I hope you find it helpful.
SIX LITTLE STORIES WITH LOTS OF MEANING
1 Once all villagers decided to pray for rain , on the day of prayer, all the people gathered , but only one boy came with an umbrella. This is faith.
2 When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know that you will catch them. That is trust.
3 Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up. That is hope.
4 We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. That is confidence.
5 We see the world suffering , but still, we get married and have children. That is love.
6 On an old man's shirt was written a sentence "I am not 80 years old; I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience." That is attitude.
Have a happy day and live your life like these six stories. Remember - Good friends are the rare jewels of life, difficult to find and impossible to replace.!!
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Standing in the Church doesn't make you a Christian
Standing in the garage doesn't make you into a car!!!
Trinity Sunday ( Covid 19 )
Today is Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is one God with three persons.
I see God as an all embracing term – like humanity. There is only one humanity made up of millions of individuals. There is only one God made up of three persons – the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit.
You don’t really have a relationship with “humanity“. Your relationships are with individuals. It is the same with God. You love the Father as you love a parent. You love the Son as your brother and The Holy Spirit as a beloved counsellor or mentor.
Last Wednesday, if you recall, was wild, windy, rainy and cold.
I lit the fire and as I gazed into it I remembered St Hildergard of Bingen’s illustration of The Trinity. She was a German Nun who died in 1179AD so this idea is not new:
God can be compared to a good fire. It has a red hot centre – that’s the Father burning with love for us. It has flames reaching out – that’s the Son reaching out to envelop us with his love.
Above all, something we cannot see but we can feel and be affected by, is the fires’ warmth - and that’s the Holy Spirit who comes from the Father and the Son and overwhelms us with love, well being and contentment.
So stay safe, be patient and share your love.
God be with you all.
Thought of the week :
“ In one minute of anger, you lose sixty priceless seconds of joy in life”
LATEST NEWS :
RE ….Opening of the Church
It had been hoped to open our Churches for private visits next week, but the Government have not yet given us permission. However, before anything can be done a risk assessment must be made and volunteers found to steward the visits and clean down after each person has left the church.
The Archdiocese will help with this. It will supply all cleaning materials, helpful “what to do signs” and advice / information for leaving the premises. The Diocese will also be responsible for the risk assessment and training of volunteers.
So, for the moment we need a list of people who are prepared to help us.
All Churches have been sent a form to fill in asking if we want to open and at what times. Not every Church will be given permission to open !
We have submitted these times :
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11am – 1pm
Wednesday 7 – 8pm
We won’t get permission if we can’t get the volunteers to cover the stewarding and cleaning. So, anyone willing to help please will you kindly drop an envelope into the priest’s house with you name, address and telephone number enclosed. The training will probably be in our own church by means of a DVD on our wall TV.
It would be great if we could get enough volunteers to help steward the church on opening times. I am sure as always you will be as generous as ever in volunteering. May I suggest 16+ age as youngest…oldest 90 years !!!
Pentecost Sermon – Corona Virus Period
Good Morning and “ Happy Birthday “ everyone !!!
Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles. This gift from God both fired and enthused them and, as a result, they went out full of excitement to tell everybody about Jesus. It was the birth of the church and hence my greeting to you with a “ Happy Birthday “
Notice there are 7 candles on the altar. These are there to remind us that the Holy Spirit gave us 7 gifts. But, you know if we are to benefit from gifts given to us, we need to open them !! Sometimes I have received a gift and have asked myself “ What is it ? “ and only after much thought have I worked out what it is and how to use it.
So, what are these 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit ?
5. 5. Fortitude
7. Fear of the Lord. ( which translated means…Respect for God}
When speaking to the children, who find it hard to remember all 7, I tell them to remember just 3 because these 3 contain the other 4..
- Wisdom :
- Respect for God :
After I had the stroke 2 years ago now, I was in France and in sympathy they all spoke one word to me….“ Courage “. That word gave me great fortitude: the gift of courage had been opened for me.
Many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit have been unwrapped in these past few months during lockdown :
Wisdom, Courage and Respect for God in particular We have seen the need to share equally and we as Christians have turned to God for help. It has been hard to understand our lives and live with the virus. But people for example have learnt through wisdom and understanding to keep the isolation rule. The doctors, nurses and key workers have carried on with great courage. Relatives and friends unable to be with their loved ones at their time of death have accepted the necessity of this advice. Neighbours have realised that nobody needs go hungry or be alone. There is enough love and food in the world for us to look after each other and especially take care of vulnerable people living in our communities. Humanity has faced the fact of its inadequacy and many people now are turning to God for help and to put their trust in Him.
Truly the gifts of The Holy Spirit have been unpacked these past months. Let us hope they will continue to be used when the pandemic is over.
Recently I heard of a conversation between God and the devil :
“ The devil gleefully said to God :
“ I have closed all the Churches !
And God laughing, replied : “Maybe, but I have opened a church in every home ! “
I’d like to finish with a Blessing for you and all your families :
Come, Holy Spirit, bless and renew the face of the earth !
Come, Holy Spirit, bless each one of us with a new vision of love !
Come, Holy Spirit, bless us with the hope that overcomes despair and the faith that overcomes all doubt.
Amen ! Alleluia !
May Almighty God Bless you all, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Have a lovely week, stay safe and hopefully see you all soon in church
Thought for the week
" The mind grows rich from what it receives, the heart from what it gives"
Ascension of the Lord into Heaven
Hi Everyone and greetings on this the 7th Sunday of Easter; or more importantly for The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven, which we celebrated last Thursday.
Jesus appeared to the apostles many times after he had died and rose again, to get them used to the idea, that, though he was risen from the dead, he now lives in a different way than when he was on earth and moved among them. Pope Benedict 16th expressed it this way “It would be a mistake to interpret the Ascension as the ’temporary absence of Christ from the world’. Rather, ‘we go to heaven to the extent that we go to Jesus Christ and enter into him’. Heaven is a person: Jesus himself is what we call heaven.’
If we want to create heaven on earth, we need to BE like Jesus. He doesn’t want us to just DO the good things that he did, but to BE what he is. So you need to BE a loving person, BE a just person, BE an honest, forgiving, compassionate and joyful person. So that these things come naturally to you.
May is the month of Mary, the Queen of Heaven and last Friday we were to hold a procession in her honour and the children were to crown her statue singing ‘ O Mary we crown you with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May’
The procession is always followed by Benediction and we receive the blessing of Jesus as the ‘Bread of Heaven, ’singing these words :
“O bread of heav’n beneath this veil,
thou dost my very God conceal;
My Jesus, dearest treasure, hail;
I love thee and adoring kneel;
each loving soul by thee is fed
with thine own self in form of bread”
On Thursday last, the children held their Collective Worship in school in honour of Our Blessed Lady. You can now watch this video sharing the children’s prayer moments with Our Lady Queen of Heaven.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
" The best vitamin for making friends.... B1"
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
If you want happiness for an hour.... take a nap
If you want happiness for a day.... go fishing
If you want happiness for a year.... inherit a fortune
If you want happiness for a lifetime.... HELP SOMEBODY !!!
HIDDDEN HEROES !!!
Hi Everyone. Remember last week we agreed we needed to be good shepherds looking after each other ? Well, this week we see the apostles declaring that they couldn’t cope with all the preaching and spreading of the word about Christ and also look after the needy. They wanted help. So the community rallied round and chose people to help. This Sunday’s readings have a letter from St Peter in which he writes – ‘You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood a consecrated nation, a people set apart ‘ Christ in the gospel says to us ‘I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself ’ which were, of course, heal the sick look after the needy etc.; and something appropriate for to day, ‘I call you out of the darkness [corona virus?] into my own wonderful light’
Over these past months I have become aware of how much hidden but wonderful work is going on within our parish during this lockdown.
Around St Peter’s, many of you are shopping for those people unable to get to the supermarkets, others ringing up those who are having to live on their own…. checking that they are ok , having a chat and making sure they are not cracking up ! Dropping off newspapers, pints of milk and other daily bits and bobs.
A parishioner has been home delivering food to NHS and Care Workers direct to their homes to save them queuing in supermarkets after their shifts. He is also donating food to families struggling due to no work. On hearing this, people have donated money to help and extend this work.
Food is still being donated to our local food banks. Thanks to someone opening their home for such donations.
Watts App photos, poems, reflections, national articles, jokes, videos and even songs have been circulating around to keep us in touch, keep us informed, laughing and occasionally even crying. It keeps us grateful for our own safety and sanity !
Facebook even showed a video of how much our School is missing the children!!! (take a look at the start of our website)
A few of you have come to the parish grounds and both cleared and re flowered Our Lady’s grotto area and plant pots around the house. It really looks lovely especially the azaleas ! See the photo/ slideshow below !
We have a wonderful parish website that is up-dated and sent out each week with notices / Mass times etc, important info on Covid 19, my weekly ‘words’, the odd fun project and occasionally photos etc. It was even recently up-dated by someone - you should now be able to more easily find your way around it.
It has been suggested to maybe print copies of weekly articles and drop them into people who don’t have access to the website….. maybe you know someone you could do that for ?
Some of you, especially those unable to get out, have been praying for us all. How lovely to feel that spiritual support. Prayers have been said for victims of the virus and their families. Prayers to give us all strength to be strong, positive, and not feel alone.
Thank you one and all. If I missed any other good work going on….THANK YOU!!!
I don’t always pick up ALL the news!!
God Bless all you parishioners of St Peter’s, and may we meet up soon to celebrate Mass together, celebrate Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Marriages and funerals that allow all family and friends to attend.
Have you missed the meetings???
Keep safe. Keep practising your faith. Keep smiling!
I hope you all enjoyed either via TV or road / garden parties celebrating the 75 years since V.E. Day in 1945. Enclosed is a lovely photo of one of our ex-service men Arthur Wilkinson saluting in tribute to those who gave their lives.
Thought for the week:
“Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart “
God bless. Fr. G
Let us this week pray for those really suffering during this crisis both here in our parish and those around our country and overseas. Let us pray for those still working in whatever capacity to keep us all in good health, fed and watered. Keep strong, keep your faith and keep loving your families, friends and Parish priest! !
May God bless you all and keep you safe.
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Hi everyone. Greetings from the presbytery. Are you still full of the joy of Easter despite these challenging times? Today we concentrate on Christ as the Good Shepherd leading us on the path of life and rescuing us if we stray and end up in a bad place. This is what St. Pope John Paul the second once prayed, when talking about the Good Shepherd:
‘Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd of our souls, you who know how to reach man’s heart. Stir the hearts of those who would follow you but who cannot overcome doubts and fears and who in the end follow other voices and other paths which lead nowhere. Conquer with your Spirit the resistance and delays of indecisive hearts; arouse in those whom you call, the courage of love’s answer: “Hear I am, Lord, send me”’
John Paul is talking about vocations here. I think that the knowledge of vocations has come home to us during the present crisis. One of the nurses, when asked ‘why do you continue to work when you know that you are putting your life in danger?’ answered, ‘I’m a nurse and that’s what I do’. Her calling to help the sick, in other words, was her first consideration. And the world at large has been able to see that in people. Let’s hope that the attitude of governments and businesses will change and not put profit first. Perhaps, now we have time to think, we may consider our own vocations. Most people have more than one. Vocations to be parents, to be husbands or wives, to be parent-teachers all are being challenged during lockdown. As Christians, in virtue of our baptism in Christ we need to be helping our neighbours in their needs. Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and the children would normally be taking their good shepherd collection to the cathedral. Obviously not this year, BUT, CAFOD are desperate for money in all the places they are working. In third word countries the plight of the people has trebled because of the corona virus.
Please see the CAFOD appeal above
Maybe the donation you would have given to the good shepherd fund you could send to CAFOD. Either directly or via the priest’ house.
Retain the JOY of Easter and God bless Fr G.
A letter from me to you.
I hope you are all still coping. I get the impression people are now getting a bit frustrated - myself included…perhaps, dare I say fed up of staying in - no Friday night out for a meal or to the pub or pictures, no footy on the TV, no Masses in Church, no shopping for new clothes, no visit to Nan, friends or Mum or Dad, It is certainly getting harder and normality seems a long time ago. I think what keeps me going is the old saying “There is always someone worse off than me….”
Most of us DON’T…. work on the frontline in our hospitals or Care Homes / live in an apartment on the 9th floor with 3 young children / HAVN’’T lost our job or home.
Most of us HAVE.... food on the table for our family; a mobile or telephone link to family and friends; good friendly neighbours; a home to live in and opportunities to walk in a semi rural area. So, rather than getting fed up take a look at this video and I hope it makes you smile:-
Third Sunday of Easter
Greetings from your parish priest: I trust that you are all keeping well.
Not having a congregation when I say Mass each day has helped me to realise what we are missing and what really makes life fulfilling.
After the resurrection there were two disciples of Christ returning home, dejected because their dreams of a great new era with Christ as their king had been dashed. They explained this to a stranger they met who told them that they had misunderstood who Christ really was. He then interpreted the bible for them in a way that had never occurred to them before. Their whole body began to tingle with excitement for this is what they had been waiting to hear all their lives. They were so excited that as
they arrived home they begged the stranger to stay with them. He agreed. And it was while they were at supper and he blest the bread that they realised that HE was the Christ. Through his words explaining the bible, his action during the meal and the fact of at least three of them were together, they understood that, through his Resurrection, he had
made known to them the true way of life; and he had, and would continue to fill them with gladness through his presence; SO - ‘the Word, the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread, the companionship of other followers are what make us realise how truly that, with Christ ‘we have life : life in abundance’.
Companionship, community is what I am missing from the Mass.
However I was sent the following song during the week that while not mentioning Christ or the resurrection certainly implies what the resurrection contains. So, have a listen, have a sing-along even, and, hopefully this will put a smile on your face.
So remember “YOU ARE WONDERFUL"
Enjoy and May God Bless you and all your loved ones.
Second Sunday of Easter
Good morning. ‘Peace be with you.’
I have used the greeting ‘Peace be with you’ purposefully.
In the gospel for this Sunday, Christ greets his apostles with the very same words. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you’.
It is interesting that the gospel starts “ the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews.” For ‘Jews’ substitute corona virus and we have our own lock down. We have had three weeks of it and now, have at least another three weeks. Living with the fear of catching the virus, and, on the other hand, worried that the family living in close proximity for so long, will end up becoming more bad tempered or irritable, we need the ‘peace that only Christ can offer’ more than ever.
At Mass we say each day, after the Our Father, the peace prayer which most of you know. May I suggest that each day you say either as individuals, or, as a family…. The Our Father and The Peace Prayer. Being together is a great opportunity to bond together and become a more loving family. Talk to each other and come to understand each other. Remember the other members of the family, no matter how young or old are not always wrong!!!
The second half of the gospel tells us about doubting Thomas. Christ said to him ‘give me your hand; put it into my side; doubt no longer but believe’. Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and My God’. Jesus said to him: ‘You believe because you can see me, Happy are those who have not seen me and yet believe.
During this time we need to keep our faith and not forget about Jesus. Being away from Mass and not seeing or meeting our fellow parishioners there is a danger that we may fall away from our faith. So make sure you keep saying your prayers - especially as a family.
The family that prays together; stays together
Happy Easter Everyone. Hope you are all safe and well!
Katy has asked me to say a few words on video. I will start with Pope John Paul 11’s expression ‘We are the Easter People and Alleluia is our name’ Christ is risen…. Alleluia Alleluia’.
The Easter Mass just oozes with joy. That’s not a word used much these days but it is a brilliant word to describe Easter. The excitement of lighting the new fire, the buzz we get lighting our candle from the big Pascal candle and the thrill within us as the darkened church is gradually filled with light and we realise that Christ is the light of the world.
We hear the great Easter proclamation. ‘Exult, be glad, let earth be glad, ablaze with light from her eternal king. O truly blessed night, worthy alone to know the time and hour when Christ rose from the dead.’ All this followed by the ringing of the bells and singing the Gloria in excelsis to welcome Easter.
During this Mass we bless the baptismal water and celebrate the new life in the Spirit something everybody is talking about at the moment, as they hope that the new spirit of co-operation and concern for others will continue even after the virus has gone, and a nicer world will arise.
The word JOY expresses all this. Notice the letters……………
First J is for Jesus whose love we can trust in and who rose to a new life
Second O is for others. During the virus people have been putting their concern for others before themselves
and last Y is for yourself….. you are important but…. be prepared to take a back place. Think of yourself last . PAUSE
With that concept you will for sure find JOY in your life
After washing the apostle’s feet Jesus said to them ‘I have longed and longed for this meal together. Then he sat down with them and entered into a long discussion with them about his relationship with God his father. He emphasised that he and the Father are one. Then he prayed that we may all be one, ‘as I am in you so may you all be one in me’.
To accomplish this he took bread and wine and said ‘This is my body take it and eat; this is my blood take and drink’ and then he said ‘do this in memory of me’.
The next day he was to die the horrible death on the cross.
When we eat something it becomes totally at one with us. So when Christ said do this in memory of me he gave us, in the Mass the most complete way to be one in him.; but it is the crucified Christ that we receive, so we are at one with him in love and in the sacrifice and suffering that was the consequence of that love.
Today, Good Friday, we commemorate the Passion and Death of Jesus and try to understand that even today, it is our sins of being unloving in situations that are the same sins that put Jesus on the Cross.
Holy Thursday: Washing of the feet
9th April Today is Holy Thursday. A
I will be saying THE MASS OF THE LAST SUPPER at 7.00pm tonight. If you don’t have time to watch the Mass streaming on the Liverpool Archdiocesan web site then may I suggest that as a family you read the gospel of the day together; it relates how, before the meal, Jesus washed the feet of the apostles and then during the meal he instituted the Eucharist and gave himself to us in Holy Communion.
It is Thursday so at 8.00pm we will all go to our front gates to clap in appreciation all the health worker in the NHS.
Jesus washed the feet of the apostles - WHY. To make sure the apostles and ourselves truly understood what he was all about and why he had to die. Love, respect, and appreciation of all people; that is Christ’s message To do that you will have to serve and sacrifice. The corona virus has brought that out of people. The doctors nurses and ancillary staff have been the prime example of concern for others even to sacrificing their own lives in the bid to save others. When this crisis is over let us pray that that concern for others will remain in society and be practised by rich and poor alike.
Holy Thursday Corona virus
Tomorrow is Holy Thursday when we remember the Last Supper. Christ washed the feet of the Apostles, gave himself to us in Holy Communion and underwent his agony in the Garden.
Today I want you to concentrate on his agony in the Garden.
Jesus, at 33, knew his life was to end and he was scared stiff of the horrific and pain filled way that it was going to happen. Further more he knew that he couldn’t rely on his close friends. Judas was going to betray him, Peter was going to deny he even knew him and the rest were going to run away. He was alone. No wonder he threw himself on the ground and sweated blood; he was terrified: the fear of being alone was almost as bad as the physical suffering itself. – He didn’t want this. Then he remembered that God his Father was always with him – HE would never desert him. With this he was reassured and knew he could face the future. God never asks us to do anything without giving us the strength to do it.
With this corona virus we have had to self isolate. Many will be lonely and the old and ill especially will be scared because they know they will be facing death if they catch it; and the fact that Boris Johnson, who seemed so healthy, is now in intensive care won’t reassure them.
Also, we must remember all those whose lives will be changed because they have lost their jobs or businesses. We have uncounted something man can’t control. We need God our Father.
This Sunday is PALM SUNDAY. I have blest our parish palms ( see photo ) and will leave them on my front doorstep if any of you are passing on Saturday / Sunday. I suggest you pick them up with gloves on and I recommend you wash them when you get home.
We have had a strange Lent this year. You may have chosen to do some penance yourselves but you have had plenty of restrictions imposed on you because of the corona virus. Palm Sunday begins Holy Week when we consider the suffering and passion of Christ and understand that he did it out of love for us. Many are usual busy or distracted at Easter but this year let us take advantage of our lock down to engage with Christ and what our Christian faith is all about. As a family you could find on the internet the services for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday and together follow them. If that is too much for you why don’t you, as a family read the gospel and discus it between you and say a prayer together.
This Sunday we can think of the fickleness of humans who are capable of wanting to glorify and praise somebody one day and within a week want to vilify and destroy them. Jesus’ experience of being loved and hated, of being welcomed and then rejected, provides us with the strength to endure the caprices and injustices of our own life.