CROSS

THE PARISH OF OUR LADY AND ST. PATRICK’S
THIS WEEK'S SERVICES

ELEVENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

JUNE 16TH - 22ND
2024


WEEKLY SERVICES
SUNDAY: 10.00am.  12.30pm (Polish Mass)
6.00pm
MONDAY: 12 noon Mass
TUESDAY: 10.00am Mass
There’s a Deanery Conference that day
WEDNESDAY:
12 noon Mass
THURSDAY: 12 noon Mass
FRIDAY: 12 noon Mass
SATURDAY:
12 noon Mass

LIVESTREAMING THIS WEEK

From now on we will be using Twitter to provide online Masses. Either download the Twitter App and search for @PhilipSumner13 or click the pic below

twitter

Then either just watch from there. You can also click Follow if you have a Twitter account.

Weekday Masses and Saturday's 12 noon Mass will continue to be Livestreamed, as will Sunday's 10.00am Mass

Click here for Mass Livestream

The church will normally be open on Mondays to Saturdays from 10.00am for private prayer

Confessions
each Saturday 11.00am-11.50am

Baptisms & Weddings
by arrangement

TENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
(YEAR B)
WEEK: JUNE 9TH - 15TH 2024 

TENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

“Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone, Pauline Howarth, Fr. Derek Woodhead
LATELY DEAD: Dave Tierney
ANNIVERSARIES: Marie Polis, John O’Brien, Terry Mills (Sr), Terry Mills (Jr), Kathleen and Andrew Curran

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £1021.39p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas (Homeless) £20.00; Foodbank £25.00; Candles £535.95
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

POPE FRANCIS’ MONTHLY PRAYER INTENTION THIS JUNE IS FOR “THOSE FLEEING THEIR OWN COUNTRIES
In recent years, the number of people who have been displaced has exceeded that during the Second World War.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2023, there were 110 million people forcefully displaced throughout the world.
In this context, Pope Francis has repeatedly asked throughout his pontificate that migrants be accompanied, promoted and integrated.
The Pope says, “The feeling of uprootedness or not knowing where they belong often accompanies the trauma experienced by people who are forced to flee their homeland because of war or poverty.”

PARISH TEAM MEETING
The Team recognised the ongoing problem of the drains in the Parish Community Centre, preventing its full use. Someone suggested that we make people aware of the polish Community Centre on Chamber Road as an alternative venue.
It was also noted that there used to be a suggestions box at the back of the church for people to let the Team know of their concerns or suggestions. We were not certain if this box was still there and obvious. Frank was asked to make sure that there was a suggestions box that was clearly marked.
Fr. Phil wanted to explore the possibility of buying an interactive screen to be placed at the front of the church for the purpose of showing the words of hymns on a Sunday. Someone from the African community had expressed concern about so much paper being used each week for the words of the hymns. Fr. Phil had asked the headteacher at the school to put him in contact with someone who had expertise in these matters. It was recognised that we need input from people with such expertise before making an expensive purchase. We await a further report back on the matter.

NOTICE ABOUT SCAM EMAIL 
The Diocese of Salford has shared a warning about a scam email that has been circulated to some parishes in our diocese, purporting to be from the parish priest. Please be aware that this is not a genuine email. If you come across any such email, please do not engage with it and simply delete it from your inbox. If you are ever unsure about an email from the parish, please call the parish office and we’d be happy to advise.

THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IS URGENT, SAYS BISHOP ARNOLD
The Lead Bishop for the Environment, Bishop John Arnold, has written to the leaders of the main political parties as they start campaigning for the 4 July election to ask them to take environmental issues seriously in their planning.
Thanking the leaders for their service in public life, Bishop Arnold impressed upon them the urgent need to address global warming and its consequences as predictions now show the earth is warming at a faster rate than previously thought.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Tuesday 11th June – St. Barnabas – he was born in Cyprus and became a companion of St. Paul before returning to Cyprus to preach the Gospel. His name means ‘son of encouragement’.
Thursday 13th June – St. Anthony of Padua – he was born in Lisbon in 1195. He first joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, but later, being inspired by the stories of Franciscan martyrdoms in Morocco, he joined the Friars Minor. Although his desire was to preach in Africa, he ended up in Italy where he established a reputation as a great preacher and theologian. He died in Padua in 1231 aged just 36.
Friday 14th June – The Dedication of the Cathedral.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The growth of social media and the oft-used attempts there to disseminate disinformation and conspiracy theories, result in truth being sometimes so difficult to determine. The BBC has a news programme called ‘Verify’ which tries to recognise when photographs, videos or audio files have been tampered with, or when people have been lying. But it’s not easy. When we add to this all too many politicians who are apparently relaxed about telling untruths concerning their opponents, and computer wizards who deliberately put disinformation out on the web, the situation gets even worse. Truth is manipulated, covered up or denied.
The first reading today sees Adam and Eve using denial as an attempt to shift the blame from themselves. Adam says that it was ‘the woman You put with me,’ blaming both Eve and God. How often have we heard children say something similar; “it wasn’t me; it was my brother”? But there are those too who even when they admit the truth of their misdeeds, immediately try to make their guilt appear less by blaming others for their part in it all.
The Pharisees too, in today’s Gospel story, try to disseminate disinformation about Jesus, suggesting that it is through the devil that he casts devils out. It’s then that Jesus speaks about the unforgiveable sin. It’s when something of the Word of God is expressed in and through humanity to bring healing into the world, but then people try to claim it to be evil, that they sin against the Holy Spirit. It’s when you see and are inspired by truth, love and forgiveness but then try to deny it or to claim it to be evil, that you are lost. In a world in which truth is manipulated, denied and covered up so much, it’s more difficult to see or hear the truth but when we do, we should acknowledge it with praise and thanksgiving.

SOLAR PANELS ON THE ROOF OF THE PRESBYTERY
You know that the proposal to put solar panels on the roof of the presbytery was to be discussed at the diocesan property committee last week. I haven’t heard anything officially yet, but I spoke to someone who was at that committee, and she was fairly sure that the proposal had been passed. But we await the official response. I will write to the diocesan property manager this week to seek confirmation of the decision.

 

CORPUS CHRISTI
(YEAR B)
WEEK: JUNE 2ND - 8TH 2024 

Corpus Christi

“Partaking of the Body of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK:Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone, Pauline Howarth
LATELY DEAD: Janet Lomas, Mary Drinkhill, Clare Kelly
ANNIVERSARIES: Joseph Boyle, Mary Coen, John Coen, Kathleen and Andrew Curran

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £921.20p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas (Homeless) £40.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

NEXT PARISH TEAM MEETING
The next meeting will be this Thursday 6th June at 7pm. If there are items you wish to be discussed please let one of the team members know (Janet Hirst, Frank Wisniewski, Jim Taylor, David Daka, Tina Nufable, Sharon Teefy, Margaret Larrad and Christine Wilson)

NOTICE ABOUT SCAM EMAIL 
The Diocese of Salford has shared a warning about a scam email that has been circulated to some parishes in our diocese, purporting to be from the parish priest. Please be aware that this is not a genuine email. If you come across any such email, please do not engage with it and simply delete it from your inbox. If you are ever unsure about an email from the parish, please call the parish office and we’d be happy to advise.

UPDATE ON OUR DIOCESAN SYNOD
On Saturday 18 May, hundreds of Synod Members from across the diocese gathered for the latest update in our diocesan synod journey. The day focussed around the four principal themes that emerged from the Big Listen stage of the process, which took place between October 2023 and January 2024. The four themes are: Nurturing Faith in Tomorrow’s World, Building Connections, Enabling Access, and Fostering Christ-like Care. To find out more about the latest updates, what’s next for our diocesan synod, or how you can get involved, please visit https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/synod-gathering-1/

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 3rd June – St. Charles Lwanga and companions – The person who was ruler of Uganda from 1885-1887 persecuted Christians of all denominations. Among those executed was Charles Lwanga and 21 companions.
Wednesday 5th June – St. Boniface. – he was born in Devon about 675. He was originally called Wynfrith and was educated at the monastery of Exeter. After years as a monk and teacher, he went to evangelise the Germanic peoples. Ordained a bishop, he was given a wide-ranging commission for the whole of Germany and Gaul (France). He had the support of several Framkish rulers and successive popes. It was one of these popes who gave him the name ‘Boniface’. He founded monasteries and established dioceses, presided at synods and liaised with kings. He is remembered as a determined missionary, whose work shaped the future of Europe. He was killed in the Netherlands in 754.
Thursday 6th June - St. Norbert – He was born in Germany in 1080 and, initially, pursued a life of empty pleasures. Around 1115, he had a conversion experience and became a priest. The manner of his life attracted others to accompany him, and the Premonstratensian (Norbertine) Order was begun. He later became Archbishop of Magdeburg and died in 1134

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Storytelling is a very powerful process. I can remember, as a child, listening, with about 6 other children, to my uncle telling a story. We were on holiday in Wales, and he expertly took us on an imaginary journey through some of the places we had visited during our stay. He then introduced into the story the fact that some prisoners had escaped from a nearby prison and suggested that the police were searching for these dangerous characters. Apparently, they were hiding out in Canaervon Castle, and, in our imaginary journey, we caught a glimpse of them disappearing up one of the dark, winding stairways. They realised that we suspected them and the chase on. We all nearly jumped out of skins when my uncle had taken us, in our imaginations, into what we thought was a safe hiding place and someone (another carefully primed relative) grabbed us from behind.
Stories draw us into them. They become real. The Eucharist is partly about telling a story and, just as my uncle did all those years ago, to mix other elements of our stories and other people’s stories with the stories of the Last Supper and Calvary, so that they all become intertwined. In that sense the Eucharistic stories heal the others. And when one of our stories reflects that of the Last Supper or of Calvary, it also brings healing into the world.
Those who work in mediation in areas where conflict or a breakdown of cohesion has taken place, know the importance of stories for healing. They encourage people from the opposite sides of the conflict to listen to each other’s stories and to hear the pain and anger of the other, and to begin to walk, for a little, in their footsteps. This often enables real understanding and empathy to develop and can be the beginning of finding the ability to speak of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Partaking of the Body of Christ is not just about receiving the host at Mass, but about entering into the stories of the Last Supper and Calvary and bringing our stories with us. It’s also about encountering there the stories of other people and being affected by them. Then communion is not just received but also lived.

SOLAR PANELS ON CHURCH PROPERTY
You may remember that we put in a bid, some time ago, for solar panels to be placed on the lower roof of the church (on the side facing the Sixth Form College). The Diocese agreed to this, but then it became clear that the Historic Churches Committee would have a problem with the scheme unless we could show that we were doing this as part of a much bigger plan to change the heating system in the church. The solar panel company with whom we are working then went away to put forward another scheme, just involving the presbytery. The proposal they have made would result in a cost to the Parish of £16,800 but could mean a saving on utility bills of £63,000 over a twenty-year period (assuming annual electricity consumption of 10,000 kWh. This would also amount to two tons of CO2 being avoided in the atmosphere each year. Of course, I realise that these estimates are probably optimal, but even half of what they claim would be impressive. I have asked the property Manager of the Diocese to go ahead with this plan as soon as possible once the Trustees have given permission (I’m not presuming this but hoping!).

 

TRINITY SUNDAY
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MAY 26TH - JUNE 1ST 2024 

Trinity Sunday

“Everyone moved by the Spirit is a Son of God… sharing his sufferings so as to share His glory.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone, Pauline Howarth.
LATELY DEAD: Jimmy Ryan
ANNIVERSARIES: Elizabeth Ann and Fred Lees

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £915.98p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
CAFOD £473.52
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

CONGRATULATIONS
Congratulations to all our young people who will make / have made their First Communion this afternoon. I pray that God will continue to uncover His face to them in their lives, that they may know His presence with them and experience many blessings.

NEXT PARISH TEAM MEETING
The next meeting will be on Thursday 6th June at 7.00pm. If there are items you wish to be discussed please let one of the team members know (Janet Hirst, Frank Wisniewski, Jim Taylor, David Daka, Tina Nufable, Sharon Teefy, Margaret Larrad and Christine Wilson).

NOTICE ABOUT SCAM EMAIL 
The Diocese of Salford has shared a warning about a scam email that has been circulated to some parishes in our diocese, purporting to be from the parish priest. Please be aware that this is not a genuine email. If you come across any such email, please do not engage with it and simply delete it from your inbox. If you are ever unsure about an email from the parish, please call the parish office and we’d be happy to advise.

UPDATE ON OUR DIOCESAN SYNOD
On Saturday 18 May, hundreds of Synod Members from across the diocese gathered for the latest update in our diocesan synod journey. The day focussed around the four principal themes that emerged from the Big Listen stage of the process, which took place between October 2023 and January 2024. The four themes are: Nurturing Faith in Tomorrow’s World, Building Connections, Enabling Access, and Fostering Christ-like Care. To find out more about the latest updates, what’s next for our diocesan synod, or how you can get involved, please visit https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/synod-gathering-1/

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 27th May – St. Augustine of Canterbury – He was sent by Pope Gregory the Great to England in 597. He had been a monk at the monastery of St. Peter on the Coelian Hill in Rome. He was sent to evangelise the people of Britain. He converted King Ethelbert and founded the See of Canterbury. He died in 605.
Wednesday 27th May – St. Paul VI, Pope. – he was born in 1897 and became Pope in 1963 after the death of Pope John XX111. He brought the Second Vatican Council to its conclusion and died in August 1978.
Friday 30th May -  The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday 1st June – St. Justin, Martyr -he was born in Samaria in about 110 and wrote two great works on the defence of Christianity- the Apology and the Dialogue with Trypho. These give us much information on the practices of the earliest Christian communities. In around 165, he was arrested and condemned to death.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
A few times a year, in Oldham, we hold an “Any questions” event with a panel of people from the different faith communities. I am often asked to be one of the Christian panel members. The idea is for people in the local communities to be able to ask any of the questions they have always wanted to ask about someone’s faith. You can almost guarantee that a Christian in the audience will ask the Muslim panel member about “Jihad”. A Muslim, on the other hand, will almost certainly ask the Christian panel member, “Why do you believe in the Trinity?” I have to say that, when you are asked such a question, it is not so easy to answer. You can’t just point to today’s Gospel and say that Jesus himself clearly referred to the Trinity, because we are fairly certain that this text was amended to reflect subsequent liturgical practice. We might also jump all too quickly into an attempt to explain the Trinity and soon get caught up in complicated ideas that simply succeed in turning the listeners off. Far more worthwhile, from my point of view, is to look to what the Trinity tells us about humanity and about our relationship with God and then to see if that explains our reality.
It’s interesting to me, for example, that Jesus, in today’s Gospel speaks about the disciples being sent out to baptise “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  We trot out this phrase rather like we trot out the claim that we pray “in Jesus’ name”. But what does this phrase mean? It can all too quickly be interpreted simply in the sense of a flag-waving identity. We are Christians, as opposed to being Muslim or Buddhist. But to take on an identity of the Trinity means much more than taking on the name, “Christian” or putting the symbol of a fish on one’s car. God’s identity is portrayed through Jesus as one who reaches out in love to those who might not seem very loveable. It is to give one’s life in service of others. It’s to acknowledge the presence of God in the relationships where genuine love is obvious, and when the other person in one of those relationships is the centre of our world. It’s even, as the second reading today says, “sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.”

SOLAR PANELS ON CHURCH PROPERTY
You may remember that we put in a bid, some time ago, for solar panels to be placed on the lower roof of the church (on the side facing the Sixth Form College). The Diocese agreed to this, but then it became clear that the Historic Churches Committee would have a problem with the scheme unless we could show that we were doing this as part of a much bigger plan to change the heating system in the church. The solar panel company with whom we are working then went away to put forward another scheme, just involving the presbytery. The proposal they have made would result in a cost to the Parish of £16,800 but could mean a saving on utility bills of £63,000 over a twenty-year period (assuming annual electricity consumption of 10,000 kWh. This would also amount to two tons of CO2 being avoided in the atmosphere each year. Of course, I realise that these estimates are probably optimal, but even half of what they claim would be impressive. I have asked the property Manager of the Diocese to go ahead with this plan as soon as possible once the Trustees have given permission (I’m not presuming this but hoping!)

 

PENTECOST SUNDAY
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MAY 19TH - 25TH 2024 

Pentecost Sunday

“When the Advocate comes…he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses...”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone, Pauline Howarth
LATELY DEAD: Zophia Royales, Veronica Short, Jimmy Ryan
ANNIVERSARIES: Bessie Beswick, Anna Siemianczak, Paddy Laydon, Joaquim Silva

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £1014.84p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas (homeless) £20.00; CAFOD £30.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

CONGRATULATIONS
Congratulations to all our young people who were confirmed by the bishop last week. I pray that you will find plenty of opportunity, in the years to come, to be witnesses to the truth you have come to appreciate more.

‘LAUDATO SI' WEEK
This week (19-26 May), we mark Laudato Si' Week - an annual campaign celebrating the anniversary of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical. This year's theme is "Seeds of Hope", which calls us to be those seeds of hope in our lives and in our world, rooted in faith and love.

PARKING IN THE CHURCH CAR PARK
Two weeks ago, we had an incident in church when someone collapsed and needed to be taken to the hospital, but the car park was so full that those who wanted to assist were unable to get their car from the car park. I understand that sometimes people arrive on the last minute and just park where they can, thinking that everyone leaves at the same time. But, in fact, last week’s incident reminds us that there are occasions when people need to be able to leave the car park before the end of Mass. Please, only park if you are certain that every car, already in the car park, will be able to exit if necessary. There are plenty of spaces in the Sixth Form car parks.

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The final meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to next Saturday 18th May at 10am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May at 3pm.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 20th May – Mary the Mother of the Church (Memoria).
Tuesday 21st May – St. Christopher Magallanes.
Wednesday 22nd May – St. Rita of Cascia.
Thursday 23rd. May -  Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest
Saturday 25th May – St. Bede the Venerable – born in 673 and educated by the Benedictines, he joined the monastery and began a life of great erudition, producing many writings. He is particularly remembered for his ‘History of the Church in Britain.” He died in 735.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The Feast of Pentecost was, in Jesus’ day, the celebration of Moses giving the Law to the Hebrews. By tradition it was understood to have taken place 50 days after leaving Egypt. It was said that Moses awoke the Hebrews in the middle of the night to give them the Law, so the Jews would spend all night in vigil, reciting the Psalms and reading the Prophets. Apparently, according to the commentaries, one of the texts that was read during the vigil was that of the Prophet Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams and your young men see visions. Even on the slaves, men and women, will I pour out my Spirit in those days” (3:1-2). Luke, the writer of our first reading, wants us to imagine the Apostles having spent the night in vigil and having listened to the Prophet Joel.
The Hebrew word for Spirit is “Ruah” and it conveys a mixture of meanings. It has a sense of power, and of a blowing wind. It has a sense too of the breath of God that breathes over creation to give it life. The life that Jesus breathes over the Apostles is that of a new relationship that reverses the damage of the Tower of Babel. There, people’s language was confused because of the pride of humanity. But notice that the healing brought by the breath of God does not mean that everybody speaks the same language but that people from all different backgrounds understand as if their own language is being used. God’s healing does not reverse humanity’s failure but uses that very failure to make a good.
To be able to speak someone else’s language normally requires lengthy periods immersed in the language and culture of that person. It brings understanding and genuine communication.
It is living in a real community of difference that requires us to listen and take time to understand the other before we can communicate effectively. Now when the one communicating has also something exciting and encouraging to proclaim about an amazing experience of the Risen Lord here and now, that’s where the power of this feast comes from. That’s where we find real blessings that are worth proclaiming to the world!

SOLAR PANELS ON CHURCH PROPERTY
You may remember that we put in a bid, some time ago, for solar panels to be placed on the lower roof of the church (on the side facing the Sixth Form College). The Diocese agreed to this, but then it became clear that the Historic Churches Committee would have a problem with the scheme unless we could show that we were doing this as part of a much bigger plan to change the heating system in the church. The solar panel company with whom we are working then went away to put forward another scheme, just involving the presbytery. The proposal they have made would result in a cost to the Parish of £16,800 but could mean a saving on utility bills of £63,000 over a twenty-year period (assuming annual electricity consumption of 10,000 kWh. This would also amount to two tons of CO2 being avoided in the atmosphere each year. Of course, I realise that these estimates are probably optimal, but even half of what they claim would be impressive. I have asked the property Manager of the Diocese to go ahead with this plan as soon as possible once the Trustees have given permission (I’m not presuming this but hoping!).

PARISH HALL
I am sorry to report that the problems with the drains for the Parish Hall have still not been fixed, despite the Diocese spending tens of thousands of pounds on them. The problem seems to be that the drains pass under the other school which used to be beside St. Patrick’s. That school was demolished some years ago and the site is now quite overgrown. There’s a complex way of determining who is responsible for the drains in that area. The Diocese owns the land on which the now demolished school stood, but the Council owns the rest of the land surrounding the footprint of the demolished school. We are waiting for the Diocese and the Council to work out who is responsible and if they are prepared to pay the rather large sum that would be required.

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MAY 12TH - 18TH 2024 

Seventh Sunday of Easter

“…keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us.”

 

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK:Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone, Pauline Howarth
LATELY DEAD: Zofia Royales, Pat Kelly, Catherine Griffin, Dominik Nagal, Lidka Pacholec, Jimmy Ryan, Veronica Short
ANNIVERSARIES: Michael & Catherine McGladdery, Franciszek Wisniewski, Terrence Charles Higgins

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £858.96p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas (homeless) £30.00; CAFOD £1,230.00; Foodbank £25.00, Missio £19.62
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

POPE’S MESSAGE FOR WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY (TODAY)
The development of systems of artificial intelligence…is radically affecting the world of information and communication…These changes affect everyone, not merely professionals in those fields. The rapid spread of astonishing innovations, whose workings and potential are beyond the ability of most of us to understand and appreciate, has proven both exciting and disorienting...How can we remain fully human and guide this cultural transformation to serve a good purpose?... Depending on the inclination of the heart, everything within our reach becomes either an opportunity or a threat. Our very bodies, created for communication and communion, can become a means of aggression. So too, every technical extension of our humanity can be a means of loving service or of hostile domination…It is up to us to decide whether we will become fodder for algorithms or will nourish our hearts with that freedom without which we cannot grow in wisdom. Such wisdom matures by using time wisely and embracing our vulnerabilities. It grows in the covenant between generations, between those who remember the past and who look ahead to the future. Only together can we increase our capacity for discernment and vigilance and for seeing things in the light of their fulfilment.

PARKING IN THE CHURCH CAR PARK
Last week, we had an incident in church when someone collapsed and needed to be taken to the hospital, but the car park was so full that those who wanted to assist were unable to get their car from the car park. I understand that sometimes people arrive on the last minute and just park where they can, thinking that everyone leaves at the same time. But, in fact, last week’s incident reminds us that there are occasions when people need to be able to leave the car park before the end of Mass. Please, only park if you are certain that every car, already in the car park, will be able to exit if necessary. There are plenty of spaces in the Sixth Form car parks.

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The final meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to next Saturday 18th May at 10am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May at 3pm.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 13th May – Our Lady of Fatima (Optional Memoria).
Tuesday 14th May – St. Matthias, the Apostle.
Saturday 18th May – St. John I (Pope) – John comes from a strange and dark period of history at the beginning of the sixth century; the Roman Empire in the West was in ruins, and was ruled by Theodoric the Goth. At the same time, the rest of what was the Roman Empire continued in Constantinople and was rule by the emperor Justin who began a ruthless campaign against the Arians, Theodoric was himself an Arian. He sent pope John to restrain the emperor, but the Pope returned without achieving that goal. Theodoric was furious and accused the Pope of plotting, together with the emperor, against him. He had the Pope thrown into prison in Ravenna for the rest of his life.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Numbers are important in the Bible. The number 7 appears over seven hundred times. But other numbers too clearly have significance. In today’s first reading we hear of the 12 apostles, and of Judas’ betrayal, leaving a vacuum. Elsewhere in Scripture, in Matthew’s Gospel, we hear Jesus predicting that the twelve Apostles will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. There’s that sense of continuity with the Old Testament being implied. But that image is damaged if there are no longer twelve apostles. So, Peter encourages the early Christian community to fill the gap left by Judas.
But there’s also, in today’s Gospel, the encouragement to stick together so as to be able to face the difficulties which will inevitably come our way. Jesus was obviously aware of the potential for conflict in his fledgling community and, in the reading, we hear one of the only two examples given in the Gospels of Jesus praying. We hear him praying that they would stay together, that they would be one. They would need to be together to face the great trials the world would put before them. But this communion is not a uniformity. His prayer is that we might be one like them (the Godhead), which is, of course, a Trinity of persons. The unity he speaks of is one that accepts difference and appreciates it. But these differences must also be held in communion.
Jesus also makes it clear that he doesn’t want to remove the Apostles, or, for that matter, us, from the world. Even though the world will hate his apostles, he sends them into that world still.
In the current climate, we might want to withdraw from the world which seems so full of threats. It would be easy simply to pray that God would put a wall around us to protect us. But God doesn’t seem disposed to build walls; he rather seems to build bridges. He reached out to us despite the inevitable consequences and now he invites us to reach out to the broken world around us, acknowledging that we are broken too. The protection that he does give us is that we might be one, to compensate for our weakness! If we know our need of each other, different though we are, we will face the world and succeed in carrying His Word to it. 

PARISH HALL
I am sorry to report that the problems with the drains for the Parish Hall have still not been fixed, despite the Diocese spending tens of thousands of pounds on them. The problem seems to be that the drains pass under the other school which used to be beside St. Patrick’s. That school was demolished some years ago and the site is now quite overgrown. There’s a complex way of determining who is responsible for the drains in that area. The Diocese owns the land on which the now demolished school stood, but the Council owns the rest of the land surrounding the footprint of the demolished school. We are waiting for the Diocese and the Council to work out who is responsible and if they are prepared to pay the rather large sum that would be required.

 

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MAY 5TH - 11TH 2024 

Sixth Sunday of Easter

“…anybody, of any nationality, who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.

 

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK:Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone
LATELY DEAD: Sheila Walker, Zofia Royales, Pat Kelly, Catherine Griffin
ANNIVERSARIES: Suraia Seiros, Alvaro Silva, Joa Luis Silva, Fernando Lopes, Ellie McDermott, Nora Dermott-Buttimere, Molly McDermott, Catherine Duddy, Frank Winterbottom, Michael and Catherine McGladdery

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £1,008.56p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas (homeless) £20.00; CAFOD £50.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

Ascension Day (Holy Day of Obligation)
on Thursday May 9th -
Masses at 12 noon and 6.00pm

POPE’S MESSAGE FOR WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY (12TH MAY)
The development of systems of artificial intelligence…is radically affecting the world of information and communication…These changes affect everyone, not merely professionals in those fields. The rapid spread of astonishing innovations, whose workings and potential are beyond the ability of most of us to understand and appreciate, has proven both exciting and disorienting...How can we remain fully human and guide this cultural transformation to serve a good purpose?... Depending on the inclination of the heart, everything within our reach becomes either an opportunity or a threat. Our very bodies, created for communication and communion, can become a means of aggression. So too, every technical extension of our humanity can be a means of loving service or of hostile domination…It is up to us to decide whether we will become fodder for algorithms or will nourish our hearts with that freedom without which we cannot grow in wisdom. Such wisdom matures by using time wisely and embracing our vulnerabilities. It grows in the covenant between generations, between those who remember the past and who look ahead to the future. Only together can we increase our capacity for discernment and vigilance and for seeing things in the light of their fulfilment.

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to Saturday 18th May at 10.00am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May at 3.00pm.

PARISH HALL
I am sorry to report that the problems with the drains for the Parish Hall have still not been fixed, despite the Diocese spending tens of thousands of pounds on them. The problem seems to be that the drains pass under the other school which used to be beside St. Patrick’s. That school was demolished some years ago and the site is now quite overgrown. There’s a complex way of determining who is responsible for the drains in that area. The Diocese owns the land on which the now demolished school stood, but the Council owns the rest of the land surrounding the footprint of the demolished school. We are waiting for the Diocese and the Council to work out who is responsible and if they are prepared to pay the rather large sum that would be required.

CAFOD EMERGENCY APPEAL
The people of Sudan need our help urgently. We are launching an emergency appeal for donations to get aid to them on the biggest scale we can muster. When violence broke out last year in Sudan between government and paramilitaries, most aid agencies evacuated. Now, humanitarian workers are struggling to get back into Sudan to help, meaning severe delays in getting aid to the people, and the challenges of getting into areas where fighting is still going on remain.  Many borders are shut as the government say they need to keep weapons out. But the Church and our local partners are still there. Please, stand with them today. “At least 25 million Sudanese need immediate, emergency help. Families are already going hungry and famine is looming. This crisis threatens to become the worst in living memory.”   Telley Sadia, CAFOD’s country representative for Sudan.

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

The final meeting date and time: -

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Thursday 9th May – The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord – This is a Holy Day of Obligation – Masses will be at 12noon and 6pm.
Friday 10th May – St John Avila – He was born in Cuidad Real, Spain, c 1500. As a priest he travelled through Andalusia, drawing crowds by his preaching. He was denounced for heresy and imprisoned but went on to play a leading role in the council of Trent. He died in 1569.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The Spirit of God can, of course, work in someone whether they have been baptised or not. In our first reading today, we hear of a group of pagans receiving gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gift spoken of in the reading seems to be the gift of being able to speak in a strange language through which they could proclaim the greatness of God. But the first and most important fruit of the Spirit is love and the language of love can sometimes seem strange, but it proclaims the greatness of God more powerfully than anything else.
Perhaps one example of this love aided the considerable increase in the number of Christians in the second and third centuries. There were two great plagues which spread throughout Europe and the Middle East one hundred years apart, killing over a quarter of the population. Dionysius of Alexandria speaks of the concern shown by the Christians, in contrast to others, at that time. He wrote of many Christians being prepared to risk infection to provide some dignity for the infected, whereas others just pushed them out in the street to die.
The love that we see proclaimed in this story is not like that of Romeo and Juliet. This is not a choice made out of physical attraction but a response to the plight of fellow human beings. In the words of the second reading, it’s not even like our love for God but rather more like “God’s love for us when he sent his son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away”. It’s a preparedness to lay down one’s life for other people because you recognise their dignity as fellow human beings. It was something similar when Ebola was raging in Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014 and different medical staff went from safe countries to help and to swell the numbers of the medical staff who were already there.
Many of our own parishioners, during the Covid Pandemic, (doctors, nurses, ancillary staff, carers, teachers and many others) put their lives on the line for those who had been infected. This is the language of love. It can seem strange to some people, but it loudly proclaims the greatness of God, whether the speaker is religious or not.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

 

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
(YEAR B)
WEEK: APRIL 28TH - MAY 4TH 2024 

I am the true vine

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone
LATELY DEAD: Fr. Billy Molloy, Sheila McCann, Veronica Short, Sheila Walker
ANNIVERSARIES: James Culkin, James Patrick Rothwell, Margaret Miller, Morgan Otoghile, Doreen Alicia Whitehead, William Rainsford, Brenda Taylor, Isabela R Espadilla, Terry Mills

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £3458.10p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas (homeless) £20.00; CAFOD (Gaza) £10.00; Narcotics Anonymous (for the use of the meeting room) £30.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF ABUSE - Tuesday, 30th April 2024. (see below)

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to Saturday 18th May at 10.00am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May at 3.00pm.

DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF ABUSE
Tuesday, 30 April 2024.
The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse is observed on 30th April 2024. It is always marked on the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter in England and Wales. This year’s focus is on communities who have been directly affected by allegations or convictions related to abuse – especially, but not exclusively, within the Church.
At 6.00pm on Tuesday 30th April, Bishop John will celebrate Mass to mark this Day at St. Patrick’s, Livesey Street. Collyhurst. All are warmly invited to join him.

CAFOD EMERGENCY APPEAL
The people of Sudan need our help urgently. We are launching an emergency appeal for donations to get aid to them on the biggest scale we can muster. When violence broke out last year in Sudan between government and paramilitaries, most aid agencies evacuated. Now, humanitarian workers are struggling to get back into Sudan to help, meaning severe delays in getting aid to the people, and the challenges of getting into areas where fighting is still going on remain.  Many borders are shut as the government say they need to keep weapons out. But the Church and our local partners are still there. Please, stand with them today. “At least 25 million Sudanese need immediate, emergency help. Families are already going hungry and famine is looming. This crisis threatens to become the worst in living memory.”   Telley Sadia, CAFOD’s country representative for Sudan.

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

Important meetings dates and times:

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 29th – St Catherine of Siena – She was born in Siena (Italy) in 1347 and entered the Third Order of St. Dominic while an adolescent. She brough peace and harmony between her fellow citizens and worked to renew religious life.
Tuesday 30th – St Pius V (Pope) - born into a poor family in Italy in1835, was ordained and worked as a parish priest for 17 years. He was then made Bishop of Mantua and then, finally, Pope in1903. He worked to avoid war in 1914 but died shortly after its outbreak.
Wednesday 1st - St. Joseph the Worker
Thursday 2nd – St. Athanasius: a Bishop of Alexandria and a fighter against Arianism, for which he was vilified and exiled several times. He died in 373.
Friday – 3rd May – Ss. Philip and James, Apostles. Philip was born in Bethsaida. He had been a disciple of John the Baptist before becoming a disciple of Jesus. The St. James referred to was the son of Alphaeus and a cousin of Jesus. After the Ascension of Jesus, he was to lead the Church in Jerusalem. He was martyred in 62 AD.
Saturday – 4th May – The English Martyrs. On this day in 1535 three Carthusian monks were executed at Tyburn. They were to be the first of many martyrs. 42 of these have been canonised and a further 242 have been declared ‘Blessed’, but the number of those who died either in prison or on the scaffold, or who suffered harsh persecution for their faith over a century and a half, cannot be reckoned. They came from every walk of life and they are remembered for their faith and for their courage.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
In 2006, Richard Dawkins wrote, a book called, “The selfish gene”, suggesting that living beings progress and succeed in evolution by competition. Five years later, Martin Nowak wrote another book, which gave a very different message. His book, “Super-Cooperators”, suggested that, in fact, we need each other to succeed. I suspect that there must be times when we like the peace and quiet of being on our own. But there’s also a natural need, in all of us, to belong to a group in which we believe we play our part. More and more the parish organisations and associations of previous years have been replaced by the television and the internet, cutting people adrift. This was, of course, aggravated by the lockdowns of Covid. As part of every church community, at one time, there were sodalities, youth clubs, drama groups and so many more ways for young or not so young people to gather and to play an active part. Different talents were recognised and outlets for these talents were found. But now most of the groups have disappeared. Is that because we no longer need to belong? When a family is dysfunctional and a child growing up does not feel that sense of belonging either within or beyond the family, all too often that child seeks to associate with groups than can be so destructive. Apparently, as I’ve seen in many of the young people who join gangs, being accepted and being given a role by people who exercise some authority, is attractive. But clearly, some groups are not only destructive of society but, eventually of the very individuals who get drawn in.
Today, we see Paul wanting to be accepted by the Apostles. Initially, he was very much out on a limb. But we see Barnabas playing a mediator role between him and the Apostles to get him accepted. He is then obviously so pleased to be part of the group and to be associated with them.
The Gospel too speaks of the importance of belonging to this group, not just in a passive, institutional way but playing our part in the drama of the sacrament, allowing the story that we relive to affect us. The same group has to be constantly pruned and cared for by the Word and by life. As we are challenged, we receive the support of each other. This is to be part of the vine. Passive or merely institutional membership does not suffice.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
(YEAR B)
WEEK: APRIL 21ST - 27TH 2024 

Fourth Sunday of Easter

“I lay down my life for my sheep.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth, Connie Marrone
LATELY DEAD: Fr. Billy Molloy, Allan Powell, Veronica Short
ANNIVERSARIES: Tom Wadsworth, John and Peter Jennings, Luca Thomas, Geoff Wright; Martin Luca, James Patrick Rothwell, Margaret Miller, Morgan Otoghile, Doreen Alicia Whitehead

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £824.40p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Flowers £45.00; Food Bank £25.00; Caritas £20.00; Indian Community’s further donation to the Parish for use of the church on Good Friday £50.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

TODAY IS VOCATIONS SUNDAY (GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY)
We welcome a visiting seminarian from Oscott College (Birmingham), called Paul Chisnall, who will be preaching at the 10.00am Mass about his own vocation. Paul hopes to be a priest for the Diocese of Salford.

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to Saturday 18th May at 10.00am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May at 3.00pm.

DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF ABUSE
Tuesday, 30 April 2024.
The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse is observed on 30 April 2024. It is always marked on the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter in England and Wales. This year’s focus is on communities who have been directly affected by allegations or convictions related to abuse – especially, but not exclusively, within the Church.

CAFOD NOTICE
A UK general election is due and those standing will want our votes. We have a responsibility as Catholics, to ensure that parties commit to tackling issues such as poverty and injustice. Raising our voices and contacting parliamentary candidates as a parish community will send a strong signal to them. A Year of Encounter; is an initiative by CAFOD and the S.V.P. to equip Catholics to ask the key questions at the key moments. Please see cafod.org.uk/encounter for more information, including online sessions on 25th April and 4th May. Or email sholleron@cafod.org.uk  Tel 077 100 944 54

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

Important meetings dates and times:

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Tuesday 23rd April – St. George, Martyr, and Patron of England – He was martyred in Lydda (Israel) around 303 during the persecutions of the emperor Diocletian.
Wednesday 24th April – St Fidelis – He was born in Germany in 1578. He abandoned his law career and became a Capuchin monk. He was sent to preach in Switzerland but was killed there in 1622.
Thursday 25th April – St Mark the Evangelist – He was a cousin of St. Barnabas. He close contact with St. Peter is reflected in the composition of the Gospel that bears his name. Traditionally, he is credited with establishing the Church in Alexandria (Egypt). .

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Today is ‘Good shepherd Sunday’ and the Gospel reading focuses on one of several ‘I am’ statements made by Jesus in John’s Gospel. Elsewhere, we hear of Jesus saying, “I am the light of the world’, or ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ or ‘I am the way the truth and the life’, ‘I am the bread of life’ or ‘I am the true vine’. But, in today’s Gospel, he says, “I am the good shepherd’. All these statements have great significance. Jesus calls himself a shepherd because of scriptural references in the Old Testament. Six psalms refer to ‘the Lord’ as a shepherd. The most famous of these psalms is, of course psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepherd…). But perhaps the most important scriptural reference from the Old Testament for today’s Gospel is chapter 34 of the Prophet Ezekiel. There, the prophet severely criticises the so-called shepherds, or religious leaders, of his day. “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves!...You have failed to make the weak sheep strong or to care for the sick ones.” We need to be aware that John, in his previous chapter (Chapter 9) has just given an example of Jesus healing a man who had been blind from birth. And, in the following chapter (Chapter 11), he will speak of Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish authorities in the Portico of Solomon. There is the clear suggestion that Jesus has been making the weak strong and has been caring for the sick, whereas the Jewish authorities are too concerned with aspects of the Law. Pope Francis has often criticised those who “take refuge in legalism”. In a General Audience in October 2021, commenting on St Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he reminded his listeners of St. Paul’s hard-hitting words to the legalists of his day, calling them ‘bewitched’. Pope Francis insisted that St Paul’s preaching was completely centred on Jesus and “only on him as a crucified Christ”. Yes, ‘truth’ provides solidity, but we need to remember that this truth is not, primarily, a series of statements, but Christ crucified. It’s on the cross that we see the Godhead manifested in the one who lays down his life for his sheep, Jesus the ‘Good shepherd’ and the new David, spoken of in Ezekiel, who will pasture his flock and be their shepherd.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

YCW EVENT – FIFA 24 TOURNAMENT
Our young people from the YCW Impact group held another event two weeks ago at the Primrose Bank Community Centre, both to enjoy themselves and to make some money for the Terence O’Grady Social Club, for people with learning difficulties. It was another very successful event, as a result of which they made £714.00 for the said project. There were many games played using about four separate screens. Some games were singles matches and some doubles. The overall winner of the singles matches was Peo; he won £60. The second prize in the singles matches went to Trevor; he won £20. The winning pair in the ‘doubles’ competition was Delvon and Konny; they won £30. Finally, there was a match between Peo and Celestino (who had already been adjudged as the YCW’s best player) to see who the GOAT was (the greatest of all time). This was a thrilling match which ended in a victory for Celestino (3-2). There are photographs of the event on the website.

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
(YEAR B)
WEEK: APRIL 14TH - 20TH 2024 

Third Sunday of Easter

“He then opened their minds to understand…that the Christ would suffer…and rise from the dead.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK:Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Denis O’Grady, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth
LATELY DEAD: Gordon Lees, Karen Entwistle, Derek Rowe,
ANNIVERSARIES: Joan Walkden, Maureen Sumner, Michael Hywel, Christopher Frankland, Frank Norcliffe, Helen Donovan, William Melia, Jimmy and Jose McParland, Arthur Heatley, Patricia Lynch, Margaret Miller

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £938.23p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20; CAFOD £10. Polish Community (for use of the Church – the Easter and Christmas collections of the Polish community are given to the Parish every year) £530.50p
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 90652504;  Reference: Contr.
Please note that the bank account has changed because a fault was recurring in the old account which meant that direct debits from other companies were sometimes being set up without my authorisation. Thankfully, we noticed each attempt to do so and stopped the payments. The bank has suggested we should have a new account. If you already pay directly into the old account, don’t worry; we will keep both accounts going for a while and simply transfer everything to the new account over time

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

NEXT SUNDAY IS VOCATIONS SUNDAY
(GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY)

There will be a visiting seminarian from Oscott College (Birmingham), called Paul Chisnall, who will be preaching at the 10am Mass about his own vocation. I’m sure you will make him feel welcome.

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to Saturday 18th May at 10.00am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May.

NEXT PARISH TEAM MEETING
We have had a little break in the calling of Parish Team meetings, because of my own failure to get down to organising a date. Hopefully, now, we will get back to the ordinary run of things. I suggest that the next Parish Team meeting should be a 7.00pm on April 18th.

CEMETERY MASS
A special outdoor Mass will take place at St Joseph's RC Cemetery, Moston, on Monday 27th May. The Mass, led by Canon Paul Daly, will begin at 11am. An additional Mass is also due to take place at the cemetery on Monday 26th August, 11am. In the event of wet weather, Mass will take place at St Dunstan's church. 

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK

There are no special feast days this week. We are still in the Easter period.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Today’s Gospel sees the conclusion of one story and the telling of another, both with similarities. The story being concluded is that of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and takes us back to the first Easter Sunday. One of these disciples is called Cleopas, the other is unnamed. It is argued that ‘Cleopas’ is just another version of the name ‘Clopas’. We are told, in the Gospel of John, that one of the women who remained with Jesus as he was being crucified was Mary the wife of Clopas. It is thought that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus were Clopas and his wife, Mary. The fact that this Mary remained at the foot of the cross until Jesus died perhaps was the reason that Jesus appeared to her and her husband very soon after his resurrection. Jesus came upon this couple as they were utterly disenchanted but then, without them recognising him, he explains the scriptures to them which predicted that the Christ would have to suffer. They spoke of their hearts burning within them as they listened. This is a story of re-enchantment.
But the main story in today’s Gospel is that of Jesus’s appearance to the Apostles after his resurrection. This event also takes place on Easter Sunday. The two disciples who’d met Jesus on the road to Emmaus had returned to Jerusalem that night and were just telling the Apostles of what they had witnessed, when Jesus appeared among them. The first thing he does is to say, ‘Peace be with you’ and then shows them his hands and his feet. He is taking them back to the foot of the cross and forgiving them for their desertion. Then, just as he did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, he goes through the Scriptures to show how all that he went through was foretold there. It’s the mixture of their experience of mercy and the intellectual recognition of something they had never realised before, even though it was clearly foretold.
I’m reminded of the YouTube video of people being asked to watch a team of players throwing a ball to each other. The one watching is asked to count how many times the ball is passed to another person wearing a white sports kit. People often count the number of passes correctly but fail to notice a man dressed in a gorilla outfit who walks through the circle of players. We can often fail to recognise something that is in plain sight, but, when it’s pointed out, we wonder how we could have missed it.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

YCW EVENT – FIFA 24 TOURNAMENT
Our young people from the YCW Impact group held another event last Sunday at the Primrose Bank Community Centre, both to enjoy themselves and to make some money for the Terence O’Grady Social Club, for people with learning difficulties. It was another very successful event, as a result of which they made £714.00 for the said project. There were many games played using about four separate screens. Some games were singles matches and some doubles. The overall winner of the singles matches was Peo; he won £60. The second prize in the singles matches went to Trevor; he won £20. The winning pair in the ‘doubles’ competition was Delvon and Konny; they won £30. Finally, there was a match between Peo and Celestino (who had already been adjudged as the YCW’s best player) to see who the GOAT was (the greatest of all time). This was a thrilling match which ended in a victory for Celestino (3-2). There are photographs of the event on the website.

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
(YEAR B)
WEEK: APRIL 7TH - 13TH 2024 

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER

"My Lord and my God!"

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Rita Goodier, Denis O’Grady, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth
LATELY DEAD: Gordon Lees, Karen Entwistle, Derek Rowe, Afsheed Zahid
ANNIVERSARIES: Joan Walkden, William Sumner, Dr. Saphal Pal, Leighton Ashcroft, Margaret Ursan

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £1,246.82p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20.00; CAFOD £292.02; Food Bank £30.00; Indian community (for use of the Church on Good Friday) £70.00.
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to Saturday 18th May at 10.00am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May.

DIOCESE OF EAST ANGLIA EXAMINES WHY ADULTS DECIDE TO JOIN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
“Their quest was intellectually driven…(but)...Intellectual rationales were insufficient on their own. Intellectual drivers interacted with affective experiences. At various points in the process to become a Catholic, participants experienced particular moments of being profoundly moved in a deep spiritual sense, for example, through Holy Mass or Adoration services, which acted as catalysts.”

NEXT PARISH TEAM MEETING
We have had a little break in the calling of Parish Team meetings, because of my own failure to get down to organising a date. Hopefully, now, we will get back to the ordinary run of things. I suggest that the next Parish Team meeting should be a 7.00pm on April 18th.

Cardinal Nichols and Bishop Swarbrick expressed their solidarity in a letter to Cardinal Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, Archbishop of Juba and president of the Sudan and South Sudan Bishops’ Conference, at a time of “profound distress”.

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

Important meetings dates and times: -

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 8th April – The feast of the Annunciation of the Lord.
Thursday 11th April – St. Stanislaus – He became the Bishop of Krakow in 1071 and took a stand against the brutality of King Boleslaus. The latter responded by killing Stanislaus personally in 1097.
Saturday 13th April – St Martin I, Pope and Martyr – When he became Pope, he called the Lateran Council in 649. He was abducted by the emperor and died in the Crimea in 655.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
In the Gospel, today, we are told that Jesus breathes on his disciples and gives them the Holy Spirit. This is a little confusing because John, the evangelist, seems to be suggesting that they received the Spirit on that first Easter Day; so, what happened on the Feast of Pentecost? But John is also trying to depict Jesus as the one who is creating the world anew and making it whole once more. Just as God was said to have breathed life into Adam in the Book of Genesis, and the Prophet Ezekiel writes of God breathing life into the dry bones in a valley of death, so John depicts Jesus as the one who breathes that healing life into his disciples. When he appears to them, the first thing Jesus does is to say, “Peace be with you”. This greeting of peace includes the notion of forgiveness, but Thomas wasn’t there to receive that forgiveness. Jesus repeats the same greeting when he appears to them again on the following Sunday when Thomas was with them. But, because of Thomas’ refusal to believe in the resurrection, Jesus brings him, in a very intimate way, back to the foot of the cross. “Put your finger here.” For his part, Thomas suddenly learns his lesson. There, metaphorically at the foot of the cross, he hears the unequivocal message, “I love you and I forgive you”. It’s this realisation that enables him to go beyond the rational, to genuine belief. That’s why he’s able to say, “My Lord and my God!” It’s by being drawn out of the world of the purely rational that he’s able to know that Jesus has truly risen.
If we are going to bear witness to the resurrection in our world, our priority should not be to try to convince people intellectually. It should rather be to create a vibrant community where people sacrifice themselves for each other, where forgiveness is lived, and where people feel as though they belong. We heard in our first reading today of just such a community that existed among the early Christians. No doubt this was the reason for the considerable growth of Christianity at that time. We cannot be a community, today, that simply comes together to perform rituals but never really engages with each other.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

TALKS ON THE FOUR CONSTITUTIONS OF VATICAN II
In response to Pope Francis' invitation to revisit the Four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, the Diocese of Salford is holding a series of four evening talks after Easter. The first talk takes place on Wednesday 10th April when Bishop John will explore a little more about Lumen Gentium. The talk begins at 7pm at Cathedral Centre, 3 Ford Street, Salford, M3 6DP. Find out more about the series and register your interest at https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/constitutions-talks/

ATTENDANCES OVER THE EASTER TRIDUUM.
Westminster Cathedral, which has a maximum capacity of 3,000, was forced to stop letting people into the solemn liturgy on Good Friday, so many people wanted to attend. We had similarly very encouraging numbers here for all the services, and, online, we had 298 people watching on Maundy Thursday, 455 on Good Friday and 228 on Easter Sunday. Thank you!

 

EASTER SUNDAY
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MARCH 31ST - APRIL 6TH 2024 

Easter Sunday

"He is Risen! Alleluia!"

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Mary Kain, Gordon Lees, Rita Goodier, Denis O’Grady, Beatrice Tucker. Janet Butterworth
LATELY DEAD: Caroline Hardicre, Derek Rowe, Mrs Afsheen Zahid (the wife of Dr. Zahid Chauhan, the Mayor of Oldham)
ANNIVERSARIES: Veronica Sobieralski, T. Pothen,

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £1,267.65p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20.00; CAFOD £20.00; Narcotics Anonymous £30.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next meeting of the group who will be making their first communion this year will have to be brought forward. It was supposed to be on 25th May, but I will be giving a lecture in London on that day. So, we will bring the meeting forward to the previous week to Saturday 18th May at 10.00am. The First Holy Communions will still be celebrated on 26th May.

CARDINAL AND BISHOP SWARBRICK DECRY “TRAGEDY OF IMMENSE PROPORTIONS” ACROSS SUDAN
A conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began in April 2023, and has resulted in 12,000 casualties, an estimated 9 million displaced, and 12.5 million urgently in need of humanitarian aid, with a catastrophic famine now looming.
Cardinal Nichols and Bishop Swarbrick expressed their solidarity in a letter to Cardinal Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, Archbishop of Juba and president of the Sudan and South Sudan Bishops’ Conference, at a time of “profound distress”.

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

GIFT AID AND ENVELOPES
Thank you to all those who have been able to use Gift Aid to enhance their donations to the Parish in 2023-2024. For 2024-25, boxes of donation envelopes will be displayed for collection at the back of Church again today (Easter Sunday). If you have been using an envelope this past year, please collect the box of envelopes with the same serial number on it again – your name should be on it. Also Gift Aid forms will be available to sign; if you have signed a form in the past, there is no need to sign a fresh one, as the old one remains valid. The only reason to sign a new one is if you are new to making contributions, or have recently become a taxpayer (and are paying sufficient tax to cover your contributions).

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Each of the days of Easter week are considered as Feast Days; we celebrate Easter for the whole Octave.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
When people are going through all sorts of terrible problems, can they really proclaim, “Alleluia” just because it’s Easter. Albert Camus, the absurdist philosopher and author was living in Paris when the Nazi regime invaded. It must have been a terrible and terrifying time. Was it because of his experience then that he wrote, “In the midst of winter, I learned that there was, in me, an invincible summer?
Indeed, I suspect that really to appreciate the resurrection, you must have stood, at least metaphorically, at the foot of the cross.
We might ask if there was a reason that the first people to learn of the resurrection, the three women in the Gospel of the Easter Vigil Mass, were the very same people who had remained at the foot of the cross. Perhaps they had already discovered that the cross was not defeat but victory. Perhaps Mary Magdalene, the one who, according to Luke’s Gospel, had seven demons cast out from her, knew the amazing grace of the healing she experienced both before and then.
There’s a 2019 film called “Mary Magdalene” that could be considered quite controversial. The film rightly separates Mary Magdalene from the woman, in Luke Chapter 7, who was said to have had a bad name in the town and who washed the feet of Jesus. But then it goes on to suggest a real conflict between Peter and Mary Magdalene based on jealousy. The filmmaker’s thesis is that Peter and the other apostles were jealous because she understood the depths of Jesus’ message and they did not. The filmmaker might be wrong about the jealousy, but he was right in terms of her being the one who got it. And she got it because she had stayed at the foot of the cross.
In the readings from Exodus and Ezekiel, read at the vigil, we see that it was in the midst of terrible struggles, either in slavery or in exile, that the Israelites came to know the God who saved them.
Can we really be the Easter people when we are still in the grip of terrible problems in our world? Of course we can, as long as we understand that it’s usually in the midst of winter, that we find the invincible summer within us. To do that, we need to return to the foot of the cross, through the Eucharist, and there discover that invincible summer.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

TALKS ON THE FOUR CONSTITUTIONS OF VATICAN II
In response to Pope Francis' invitation to revisit the Four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, the Diocese of Salford is holding a series of four evening talks after Easter. The first talk takes place on Wednesday 10th April when Bishop John will explore a little more about Lumen Gentium. The talk begins at 7pm at Cathedral Centre, 3 Ford Street, Salford, M3 6DP. Find out more about the series and register your interest at https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/constitutions-talks/

YOUNG CHRISTIAN WORKERS (YCW) IMPACT are hosting a charity ‘FIFA 24’ Video game tournament to make some money for the Terence O’Grady Social Club, for people with learning difficulties. The tournament will be held on 7th April from 12noon -21.30hrs at the Primrose Bank Community Centre, 9 Magnolia Gardens, Oldham, OL8 1HX. Please talk to Tino, Promise or Nilton or one of the other YCW group for further information about how to enter etc.

May you know the new life of Easter amongst us and truly become Easter people! Happy Easter!

 

PALM SUNDAY
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MARCH 24TH - 30TH 2024 

Palm Sunday

"Hosanna! Blessings on the King of Israel!"

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Betti Granelli, Mary Kain, Gordon Lees,
Zophia Royales, Rita Goodier, Denis O’Grady, Beatrice Tucker.
LATELY DEAD: Binny George, Julius Ehiosun Dmodiagbe
ANNIVERSARIES: Paddy McDermott, Henry McDermott, Ronnie Heppenstall, Mr. Thomas, Mary Ann Coen

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £824.94p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £45.00; Donation £90.00; Legacy £1000.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

THE LENTEN PARISH RECONCILIATION SERVICE IS TODAY (Palm Sunday) at 2.30pm.

CONFIRMATIONS 2024
Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

GIFT AID AND ENVELOPES
Thank you to all those who have been able to use Gift Aid to enhance their donations to the Parish in 2023-2024. For 2024-25, boxes of donation envelopes will be displayed for collection at the back of Church on Sundays 17 March, 24 March (Palm Sunday) and 31 March (Easter). If you have been using an envelope this past year, please collect the box of envelopes with the same serial number on it again – your name will be on it. Also Gift Aid forms will be available to sign on those days; if you have signed a form in the past, there is no need to sign a fresh one, as the old one remains valid. The only reason to sign a new one is if you are new to making contributions, or have recently become a taxpayer (and are paying sufficient tax to cover your contributions).

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Thursday, 28th March, Maundy Thursday / Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum (Three days) and the most important part of the Church’s liturgical year, when we are invited to experience the climax of Jesus’ story together. We are called to place ourselves at table with him, or to walk that terrible journey of the cross, or to struggle with the apparent failure of his mission, while retaining, perhaps, a glimmer of hope even then.
Friday, 29th March, Good Friday. Why, on earth, do we call this day “Good” when the images associated with it are full of horror and apparent disaster? It is, of course, because, if we can see beyond the horror, we see an image of perfect humanity (‘Ecce Homo’, says Pilate – behold the man / behold humanity as it should be) someone who is able to trust when everything seems so bleak, someone who is able to love in the face of hate, someone who is able to forgive when he has been treated so cruelly.
Saturday, 30th March. Holy Saturday. This is a “dies non” (a Latin term meaning, basically, a day of emptiness when nothing happens). It’s only at 8pm that we gather for the great vigil. We will, once more, begin with the lighting of the Easter fire in the back garden of the Presbytery. From this we will light the Easter Candle and process into the church. After thanking God for the symbol of the Easter Candle, we’ll proceed into the usual readings which convey the story of the people of Israel and the story on which our faith is based. The vigil then leads into the singing of the Gloria and the proclamation of Easter.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The Isaiah reading is part of the third of four great ‘servant songs’ that come in the second section of the book of Isaiah (what we call ‘Deutero Isaiah’). These have always been interpreted by the Church as showing Jesus what lay ahead for him. He would have read these passages many times and discovered himself in them. Then, in the story that will play out this week, we see the great act of obedience in his acceptance of his destiny for our sake. But, there, we also see an amazing trust in his Father through it all. Yes, on the cross, he will cry out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” but , then, he will say, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit.”
The Philippians reading is that great hymn that speaks of Jesus’ obedience also in his incarnation. The technical term, in theology, is ’kenosis’ or ‘self-emptying’. Even before he came to Calvary, Jesus had already sacrificed so much for his people. The Son of God leaves behind his glory and his equality with God to become a slave /servant, even going further to accepting a terrible death. This reading starts almost mournfully, but by the end is a triumphant hymn of victory gained through sacrifice. “But God raised him high,,,that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord…”
It's in stark contrast to the obedience and trust manifested in Jesus that we see the fickleness of the people who hailed Jesus as the Son of David, the King of Israel, on that first Palm Sunday and then bayed for his blood only a few days later.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

TALKS ON THE FOUR CONSTITUTIONS OF VATICAN II
In response to Pope Francis' invitation to revisit the Four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, the Diocese of Salford is holding a series of four evening talks after Easter. The first talk takes place on Wednesday 10th April when Bishop John will explore a little more about Lumen Gentium. The talk begins at 7pm at Cathedral Centre, 3 Ford Street, Salford, M3 6DP. Find out more about the series and register your interest at https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/constitutions-talks/

 

THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MARCH 17TH - 23RD 2024 

5th Sunday of Lent

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Betti Granelli, Mary Kain, Gordon Lees
LATELY DEAD: Joan Gipson, Eric Lane< Derek McWilliam
ANNIVERSARIES: Myron Patra, Regina Wisniewski, Mary Thomas, Alan Johnstone, Rosie Burke, Paul Davis, James Patrick Rothwell, Michael Robinson, Pauline Jordan, George and Edith Brooks, Vera Melia

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £845.87p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

The next set of envelopes for ‘planned giving’ have arrived and will be distributed from this Sunday; these envelopes start at the beginning of April.

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20.00; Heat and light £500.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

GIFT AID AND ENVELOPES
Thank you to all those who have been able to use Gift Aid to enhance their donations to the Parish in 2023-2024. For 2024-25, boxes of donation envelopes will be displayed for collection at the back of Church on Sundays 17 March, 24 March (Palm Sunday) and 31 March (Easter). If you have been using an envelope this past year, please collect the box of envelopes with the same serial number on it again – your name will be on it. Also Gift Aid forms will be available to sign on those days; if you have signed a form in the past, there is no need to sign a fresh one, as the old one remains valid. The only reason to sign a new one is if you are new to making contributions, or have recently become a taxpayer (and are paying sufficient tax to cover your contributions).

CONFIRMATIONS 2024
Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 3 ~Wednesday 20th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

DATE OF LENTEN PARISH RECONCILIATION SERVICE Sunday 24th March at 2.30pm. This is also Palm Sunday!

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
he final Lenten Station Mass will be on 19th March at St Joseph’s, Mossley.
Mass will start at 7.00pm.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 18th March – St. Cyril of Jerusalem – He became Bishop of Jerusalem in 348. He is renowned for the catechetical instructions he gave to candidates for baptism and for his defence of the faith, for which he was exiled three times.
Tuesday 19th March – St. Joseph – the Husband of Mary
Saturday 23rd March – St Turibius of Mongrovejo – He was born in 1538, trained as a lawyer and became a professor at the University of Salamanca. He was chosen as Archbishop of Lima in Peru. He made special efforts to learned the indigenous Indian dialects so that he could better understand and communicate with the people of his diocese.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
There’s an element in the second reading and the Gospel, today, which might be a little difficult to take for people who’ve grown up in a liberal society; it’s the theme of ‘obedience’. “Although he was Son,” the second reading proclaims, “he learnt to obey through suffering…” Then, in the Gospel, we hear a similar theme. His ‘hour’ had finally come! This suggests that he was following a path laid out for him. From early in John’s Gospel, at the marriage feast of Cana, he said that his ‘hour’ had not yet come. This was when he was asked to address the problem of the wine running out. Then, in Chapter 7 of John’s Gospel, we hear about Jesus going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. There he goes to the Temple and begins to teach the people, claiming to have come from God. This angered the Jews, who, we are told, would have liked to arrest him, but ‘because his time had not yet come, no-one laid a hand on him.’
We know from the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry that he was familiar with the writings of the Prophet Isaiah; he read from chapter 61 of Isaiah when he went into the synagogue in Nazareth, just after his fast of forty days in the desert. He proclaimed that what the Prophet was writing about was being fulfilled in him. But he would have also been familiar with the suffering servant songs of Isaiah, and he would have known that he was to be “a thing despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering…for our faults, struck down in death” (Isaiah 53). His obedience to that plan was truly amazing, but it was also life-giving.
We hear Jesus struggling to accept his destiny. He provides the logical argument: “I know a grain of wheat has to die for it to achieve its purpose.” But then he’s faced with the reality and the logic doesn’t seem to work. He questions if he should ask his Father to save him from his hour. But finally, he knows that his Father has always been with him and will not desert him. Jesus’ hour would ultimately give glory to God’s name. “Thy will be done!”

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7:am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

PILGRIMS OF HOPE JUBILEE 2025
Pope Francis has announced that 2025 will be a Year of Jubilee – an event that happens every 25 years. The theme for the upcoming Jubilee is “Pilgrims of Hope”. To find out more about the Jubilee and this preparatory Year of Prayer, please visit https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/news/jubilee-2025/

 

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MARCH 10TH - 16TH 2024 

4th Sunday of Lent

The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Elizabeth Flanagan, Betti Granelli
LATELY DEAD: Joan Gipson
ANNIVERSARIES: Dr John Duddy, Helen McCaffrey, Necifora Moniza, Myron Patra, Regina Wisniewski, Mary Thomas, Alan Johnstone, Rosie Burke, Paul Davis

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £1,126.01p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

The next set of envelopes for ‘planned giving’ have arrived and will be distributed from next Sunday; these envelopes start at the beginning of April.

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20.00; Missio £50.00; Flowers £45.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

DIOCESE OF SALFORD'S ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
This year's diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place on Saturday 4th May. Fr. Callum is organising a Deanery coach from St Edwards to Walsingham for the Diocesan pilgrimage. The coach will leave 7.00am, at the latest. It is a long way to go for a day, but, very much worth it.  For more details and to register. Please contact Janet; 07989558248.

CONFIRMATIONS 2024
Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 2 ~Wednesday 13th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 3 ~Wednesday 20th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

DATE OF LENTEN PARISH RECONCILIATION SERVICE Sunday 24th March at 2.30pm. This is also Palm Sunday!

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. All the Masses will start at 7.00pm. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
There are no special days this week.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
In the second book of Chronicles, we hear of the Israelites turning away from God at every possibility until they were said to be beyond ‘further remedy’. The Temple was destroyed, and the people were exiled. But God’s love continues to break through, even when people are apparently beyond the pale. He inspired the pagan king, Cyrus, to allow the Israelites to return home and he rebuilt the temple for them in Jerusalem.
The Gospel too refers back to a time when the Israelites seemed to do nothing but complain about God. They had escaped from slavery in Egypt and were travelling through the desert in the hope of arriving at a ‘promised land’. They complained that they had no food to eat, so God sent manna. Then they complained that there was no water, so God provided water from a rock. Then, in the book of Numbers, we hear that they complained again that the manna was unsatisfying. Then God seemed to have lost patience and sent a plague of poisonous snakes and many of the people perished after being bitten. But God told Moses to erect a standard with a bronze serpent on it; if anyone was bitten and simply looked at the bronze serpent on the standard, they would be healed.
The evangelist, John, has already told us, in the prologue to his Gospel, that the Word, the true light, was in the world but the world did not know him, and “his own people did not accept him.” But God does not give up on the world. He raises another standard, the cross with the broken body of His Son upon it. All that people have to do, despite apparently preferring darkness to light, is to look upon that cross and allow themselves to be moved by the mercy found there. This is what John had referred to as a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower. It is not deserved salvation but pure gift, when it is not deserved. Leonard Cohen, in ‘The Anthem’ sang, “Forget the perfect offering, there is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESAN SYNOD
“Thank you to everyone for your responses to the Big Listen events across the Diocese. We have had responses from over 70 parishes, 1,072 individuals, 4 Focus Groups and 8 other groups including some of our foreign language chaplaincies, Young Adults and Retired Clergy. This is very encouraging and is a testament to the commitment of our Parish Synod Members in facilitating The Big Listen. We also held Listening Exercises at 27 of our High Schools, 3 Sixth Form Colleges and 2 Independent Schools. This was in the form of Focus Groups led by the office for Youth Ministry and the information has been fed into the Portal. Please be advised that access to the Portal will close very soon. After this date, no more responses from the Big Listen will be accepted. If you feel that you require more time to submit your Big Listen responses, please contact us as soon as possible at synod@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or on 0161 817 2214. Our Research Assistant from Liverpool Hope University will then start work on analysing the data, and identify ‘Emerging Themes’. Following this, the ‘Themes’ will be shared with Synod Members and Observers at our: Synod Gathering 1 event on Saturday 18th May 2024.”

SMILE AWHILE
Charlie, a new retiree-greeter at B&Q just couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Every day he was a few minutes late, but he was a good worker and a real credit to the company. One day the boss called him in to the office for a talk. “Charlie, I have to tell you that I like your work ethic and you are doing a fantastic job once you finally get here, but your frequently being late is not acceptable.” Charlie apologised and said that he was working on it. The boss continued, “I know you’re retired from the armed services. What did they say to you if you turned up late. The old man looked down and smiled. Then he said, with a grin, “They usually saluted and said, ‘Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, Sir?’”

Happy Mothers’ Day!

 

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: MARCH 3RD - 9TH 2024 

3rd Sunday of Lent

Take all of this out of here, and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Brien, Hugh O’Brien, Elizabeth Flanagan, Betti Granelli
LATELY DEAD: Maureen De Melchior, Corazón Torres, Elaine Taylor, Irene Ungurean
ANNIVERSARIES: Mary and Thomas Wadsworth, Joan Ebden, Neliford Moniza, Dr John Duddy, Helen McCaffrey, Sidolyne Chiappi, May Morrisey, Philip Miley, Ronnie Melia, Kenneth Cooper, Jim McCardle, Michael McCardle

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £932.05p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20.00; CAFOD £486.31; Missions £142.92; Parish from the Chinese Community £388.63 (for use of the church).
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

DATE OF LENTEN PARISH RECONCILIATION SERVICE Sunday 24th March at 2.30pm. This is also Palm Sunday!

DATE OF NEXT SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next dates for the Sacramental Programme for the young people who will be making their First Communion in May of next year, is Saturday 9th March and Sunday 10th March (both at 10am in church).

CONFIRMATIONS 2024
Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 1 ~Wednesday 6th March   (6-8pm)
  • Session 2 ~Wednesday 13th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 3 ~Wednesday 20th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
5th March: St Patrick’s
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. All the Masses will start at 7.00pm. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 4th March – St. Casimir – He was the son of the king of Poland. He was born in 1458. He was known, in particular, for his work with the poor. He died at the young age of 26 of a lung disease.
Thursday 7th March -Ss Perpetua and Felicity. These two martyrs died in Carthage in 203.
Friday 8th March – St John of God. He gave up a career as a soldier to serve God and the poor. He founded a hospital in Seville where he was outstanding in his care for the sick. He died in 1550.
Saturday 9th March – St Frances of Rome. She was born in 1384, married and had three children. She was exemplary in her care for the victims of the frequent epidemics of that time, founding a congregation to continue her work.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
“You shall have no gods except me.” This is the first of the commandments issued to Moses, about which we heard in our first reading today. Perhaps it doesn’t seem very relevant for us in 2024. The fact that we come here to church on a Sunday suggests that it’s hardly likely that we’re going to erect idols and worship them. But our Gospel perhaps invites us to interpret idolatry in a different way.
A major event in Jewish history took place 167 years before the birth of Christ. This was when Antiochus Epiphanes was ruler of an empire which stretched from modern day Israel right across to the Western border of India. He demanded that a statue of Zeus be erected in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. This was devastating for the Jews of the time. There was a rebellion and eventually the Jews re-took control of the temple and cleared out the abomination left there.
In a sense, there are reflections of this story in Jesus clearing out the temple in his day. The abomination then was not a statue of Zeus but rather the market, and all that it symbolises, which had been brought into the temple. If we were to apply our modern understanding of the market to the story, we know that one commandment of this market is “the consumer is king”. It’s all about my choice. But remember that the prayer that should be issuing from every temple or church, if we accept Jesus’ teaching, is “Thy will be done” not “My will be done”. The influences of the consumer world can affect us so much and without us even realising it. So, we can bring some of the attitudes of the market right into our prayer.
Our prayers of intercession, for example, can simply be me providing my shopping list of wants to God. When this happens, in a sense, we erect a false god right in the church itself. It’s this approach of bringing an idol into the house of God that perhaps so angered Jesus. Our prayers of intercession should focus rather on asking God for the help needed to carry out his will, or on praying for other people to whom life has been or is being hard.

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES IN OUR CENTENARY YEAR
Bookings are now being taken for this year's diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, marking our centenary year. The pilgrimage, led by Bishop John Arnold, will take place between 26th July and 1st August. Find out more and book online at https://www.salfordlourdes.co.uk/travel-accommodation

DIOCESAN SYNOD
“Thank you to everyone for your responses to the Big Listen events across the Diocese. We have had responses from over 70 parishes, 1,072 individuals, 4 Focus Groups and 8 other groups including some of our foreign language chaplaincies, Young Adults and Retired Clergy. This is very encouraging and is a testament to the commitment of our Parish Synod Members in facilitating The Big Listen. We also held Listening Exercises at 27 of our High Schools, 3 Sixth Form Colleges and 2 Independent Schools. This was in the form of Focus Groups led by the office for Youth Ministry and the information has been fed into the Portal. Please be advised that access to the Portal will close very soon. After this date, no more responses from the Big Listen will be accepted. If you feel that you require more time to submit your Big Listen responses, please contact us as soon as possible at synod@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or on 0161 817 2214. Our Research Assistant from Liverpool Hope University will then start work on analysing the data, and identify ‘Emerging Themes’. Following this, the ‘Themes’ will be shared with Synod Members and Observers at our: Synod Gathering 1 event on Saturday 18th May 2024.”

 

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: FEBRUARY 25TH - MARCH 2ND 2024 

2nd Sunday of Lent

“This is my Son, the beloved. Listen to him”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Brien, Hugh O’Brien
LATELY DEAD: Maureen De Melchior, Corazón Torress, Tony Brooks, Sylvia Simpson, Irene Ungurean
ANNIVERSARIES: Gertrude Ndagijimana, Sr. Peter Buck OSM, Rae Carter, Fr. J. Wareing, Ben Eaglesham, Helen McCaffrey

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £859.50p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20.00; CAFOD £486.31; Parish from the Indian Community £62.15 (for use of the church).
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

DATE OF LENTEN PARISH RECONCILIATION SERVICE Sunday 24th March at 2.30pm. This is also Palm Sunday!

DATE OF NEXT SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next dates for the Sacramental Programme for the young people who will be making their First Communion in May of next year, is Saturday 9th March and Sunday 10th March (both at 10am in church).

CONFIRMATIONS 2024
Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 1 ~Wednesday 6th March   (6-8pm)
  • Session 2 ~Wednesday 13th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 3 ~Wednesday 20th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
27th Feb: St Ann’s, Ashton
5th March: St Patrick’s
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. All the Masses will start at 7.00pm. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Tuesday, 27th – St. Gregory of Narek – He was an Armenian mystical and lyrical poet. He was ordained a priest and was based at the monastery of Narek. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis.
Friday 1st March – St. David – He was born in Cardigan c520. He founded monasteries and became Bishop and Primate of Wales. He settled his See at Mynyw (Menevia) where he died c588.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Every year, on the Second Sunday of Lent, we hear about the Transfiguration of Jesus on a mountain. Why? Mark is continuing to set his story in the same line as the major story of the Old Testament, that of the deliverance from slavery in Egypt and the Exodus story. We have gone from the baptism of Jesus to the 40 days in the desert. Now we come, albeit much later in Mark’s Gospel, to God’s revelation on a mountain. These events mirror the passing of the Israelites through the Red Sea, the forty years in the desert and the revelation of God on Mount Sinai. Just as Moses took with him Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Jesus takes Peter James and John. On Mount Sinai, the cloud covered the mountain and God spoke from the cloud. On the mount of transfiguration, the cloud has covered them, and God speaks from the cloud. Moses’s face became radiant on Mount Sinai and Jesus became radiant on the mount of transfiguration. Mark is deliberately making these links, seeing Jesus as a new and greater Moses. And, of course, he refers to another character to whom God spoke on a mountain. This was Elijah. Jesus revealed his glory to the three apostles to strengthen them for the journey ahead - the journey to Jerusalem and Golgotha. The same vision is offered to us today, to strengthen us on our Lenten Journey of Faith and on our journey of life in general. When we are in the middle of situations that arouse concern or even fear, it can all seem so oppressive. But Jesus took Peter, James and John, up the mountain to help them to see from a different perspective, to be able to see the wider picture and the way that lies far ahead after the hardships of the journey. He gives them and us a reminder of God’s presence through history, with the Law and the Prophets guiding the way, leading humanity to that glory that will be ours. Martin Luther King Jr saw the power of that image and used it in his final message to people in 1968, just before he was killed. It certainly applies to us today. “I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now…I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So, I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

FINANCES
We started 2023 with £83.861.57 in the bank. We finished it with only £48,027.34. That is a loss of £35,834.23. It looks bad but, as I explained a few weeks ago, almost £60,000 was taken out of our account to pay for the demolition of St Mary’s. We also paid £23,075.61 for the Diocesan levy and £30,134.61 for gas and electricity. We should eventually receive money for the sale of land at St. Mary’s.

SOLAR PANELS
I had a meeting with the property manager for the Diocese, last week to discuss our proposal for solar panels on the lower roof of the church, which faces the Sixth Form College. He had advised that the authorities were not likely to accept a scheme of this sort, on a listed building, unless there were other measures being taken significantly to reduce the use of fossil fuels. It was thought that the way forward, for us, might be to replace the current water heated radiators with electric heaters. This would, of course, considerably increase our electricity use (electricity is several times more expensive than gas!). We would have to show, therefore, that the electricity gained from the solar panels would cover any increase, and more. A solar panels expert, who also attended our meeting, was asked to put a plan together, showing how we might achieve this. If the authorities were still not minded to agree, then the possibility of building an extension to the garage (tools shed) in the back garden and covering it all with solar panels.

 

THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: FEBRUARY 18TH - 24TH 2024 

1st Sunday of Lent

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness…He was with the wild beasts…

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Brien, Hugh O’Brien
LATELY DEAD: Corazón Torress, Karen Bordiuk, Tony Brooks, Sylvia Simpson, Pauline Jordan, David Drogan
ANNIVERSARIES: Maria Barros, Henryk Sobieralski, Gertrude Ndagijimana, Sr. Peter Buck OSM, Rae Carter, Fr,J. Wareing, Ben Eaglesham

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £800.40p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £20.00; CAFOD £15.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has written to priests in the Diocese of Westminster to ask for a special focus of prayer on 8 March for peace in the Holy Land.
In his message, he writes: “As we are all aware, the situation in the Holy Land has not improved, with failed negotiations, increasing humanitarian distress and a rising death toll. As Lent begins, I would like to urge that we continue our efforts, not least in prayer. And so I ask that, on Friday 8 March, there is a special focus of prayer for the Holy Land… It could be as simple as making any regular Lenten devotions you may be having on that day for this intention.”

DATE OF NEXT SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next dates for the Sacramental Programme for the young people who will be making their First Communion in May of next year, is Saturday 9th March and Sunday 10th March (both at 10am in church).

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 1 ~Wednesday 6th March   (6-8pm)
  • Session 2 ~Wednesday 13th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 3 ~Wednesday 20th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
20th Feb: St, Edward’s (the Bishop will attend, and preach at this Mass)
27th Feb: St Ann’s, Ashton
5th March: St Patrick’s
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. All the Masses will start at 7.00pm. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

 

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
(YEAR B)
WEEK: FEBRUARY 11TH - 17TH 2024

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne WalkerAlex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Brien, Hugh O’Brien
LATELY DEAD: Corazón Torress, Ann Cooper, Kathleen Pemberton, Mark James, Karen Bordiuk, Tony Brooks, Sylvia Simpson
ANNIVERSARIES: Maria Barros, Henryk Sobieralski, Joaquim Almeida, Romeo Tee, Colin Pritchard, Jim Navesey

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £927.34p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £245.00; Foodbank £25.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY
Last September, in the space of 24 hours, more than 6000 refugees landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Such a statistic will, no doubt, arouse concern in the minds of many. But it’s important not to reduce people to statistics. So many have human stories that would move most hearts, if only they had the chance to be heard.
In his encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, the Pope describes the dynamics of some worrying tendencies of our days. He mentions specifically the growth, in different parts of the world, of individualism, populism and nationalism, all impacting negatively on people’s attitudes towards migration. It’s important to question how these tendencies have affected our own ideas because they are now metaphorically part of the air we breathe. Perhaps many people would argue that they would want to be welcoming but that there are limits. And, of course, the Pope, too, recognises that there must be control of borders for the sake of the common good. But that control can all too easily become over restrictive, or even ‘hostile’. In September of last year, a Government Enquiry on Brook House Detention Centre near Gatwick Airport was published. The enquiry acknowledged that, in the space of 5 months, 19 incidents were uncovered in Brook House that would contravene Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
But don’t governments have the right to claim ownership of their territories and to deny entry to others? An important longstanding principle of Catholic theology, referred to again by the Pope, is what is called ‘the universal destination of goods’ (p.124 of Fratelli Tutti). This is a principle that does not deny the right to private property but recognises that the original gift of the earth was made to all humankind. The Pope quotes St. John Chrysostom in this regard saying, “not to share our wealth with the poor is to rob them and take away their livelihood.” (p.107). 
Sadly, the story of all too many who make those desperate journeys is one of being further deprived of dignity leaving some to become suicidal. On the other hand, many parishes, who have received refugees into their communities, have reported a real enrichment. Hearing the cry of desperation and responding to it appropriately is not easy but it does give life both to the refugee and those who give refuge.

CONFIRMATIONS 2024
Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 1 ~Wednesday 6th March   (6-8pm)
  • Session 2 ~Wednesday 13th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 3 ~Wednesday 20th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

DATE OF NEXT SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
The next dates for the Sacramental Programme for the young people who will be making their First Communion in May of next year, is Saturday 9th March and Sunday 10th March (both at 10am in church).

LENT 2024
As you will know by now, Lent starts this Wednesday. So often this period of renewal is upon us before we have made any real preparation, and, therefore, it doesn’t have the impact that it could. This could be even more true this year as Ash Wednesday coincides with ‘St. Valentine’s Day’. There’s an obvious tension between the Fast Day (No meat and only one main meal during the day, and two small ‘collations’) and celebrating a relationship of genuine love. I’m sure that you can find ways to hold the tension in balance without forgetting about one or the other. I encourage you also to think about how you might make these six weeks (from Wednesday on) more fruitful. It’s not necessarily about giving up chocolate or cake or whatever, but also about creating more space for God in our lives. Have a very fruitful Lent

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
20th Feb: St, Edward’s (the Bishop will attend, and preach at this Mass)
27th Feb: St Ann’s, Ashton
5th March: St Patrick’s
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. All the Masses will start at 7.00pm. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Wednesday: Ash Wednesday
Saturday: The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order – They were all born in Florence (Italy) and lived as hermits, finally founding the Servite Order in 1304.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
There’s something so utterly unselfish about Jesus’ healing of the leper in today’s Gospel. He’d been brought up in a society and a religion that simply excluded anyone with a condition similar to “leprosy”. Today’s first reading suggests that anyone with a swelling or a lesion should be shunned and that they should demean themselves by declaring to everyone that they are unclean.
Without fear for what others might think of him or of catching the disease, Jesus immediately reaches out and touches the leper. It’s interesting that he then, to some extent, trades places with the leper. Though he doesn’t catch the disease we hear that he can no longer go openly into any town but has to stay outside in places where no-one lived. There’s a huge personal cost to the way he carries out his ministry and he clearly states that he is willing to accept this cost.

THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
(YEAR B)
WEEK: FEBRUARY 4TH - 10TH 2024 

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Brien, Hugh O’Brien
LATELY DEAD: Brenda Gilbert (Née Guilfoyle), Harold Dawson, Keith Fawkner (Australia), Henry Attern, Corazon Torres, Ann Cooper
ANNIVERSARIES: Madeleine Shaw, Peter Tomkins, Mankycu Dymphna, ,John Donnelly, Alice Wright, Jim Buiti Mgre,, Kathleen McDermott, Monica Gough, Romeo Tee

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £803.39p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas £457.26; Donation £45.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.

Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

CONFIRMATIONS 2024

Fr Callum invites children of Confirmation age (Year 8 at school) to this year’s preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
This is a short course of formation, on behalf of the Deanery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, over seven sessions which leads to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17th/18th May 2024. (Pentecost).

Important meetings dates and times: -

  • Parents meeting Wednesday 28th February 2024 7pm – 8pm (Please note students are not required to attend the parents meeting)
  • Session 1 ~Wednesday 6th March   (6-8pm)
  • Session 2 ~Wednesday 13th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 3 ~Wednesday 20th March (6-8pm)
  • Session 4 ~Wednesday 17th April    (6-8pm)
  • Session 5 ~ Wednesday 24th April   (6-8pm)
  • Session 6 ~ Wednesday 1st May      (6-8pm)
  • Session 7 ~ Wednesday 8th May      (6-8pm)

All meetings will take place at St. Edward’s RC Church, Lees.

Please note. Having kept the number of meetings to a minimum, your attendance at each of the seven sessions will be expected.

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
20th Feb: St, Edward’s (the Bishop will attend, and preach at this Mass)
27th Feb: St Ann’s, Ashton
5th March: St Patrick’s
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. All the Masses will start at 7.00pm. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 5th – St. Agatha – in the third century, Agatha refused the advances of a Roman senator, and he then accused her of being a Chirstian. She was, therefore, mutilated and finally beheaded.
Tuesday 6th – Ss Paul Miki and Companions. Towards the end of the 16th century, there began a persecution of the Church in Japan. Among those arrested were Paul Miki, who was a young Jesuit, and 25 others, some as young as 13. They were taken to Nagasaki where they were crucified.
Thursday, 8th February. St. Josephine Bakhita. She was born in Sudan in 1869. Her respected and reasonably prosperous father was the brother of the village chief. She was surrounded by a loving family of three brothers and three sisters. She was later to write about herself: "I lived a very happy and carefree life, without knowing what suffering was." Then, in 1877, when she was 7–8 years old, she was seized by Arab slave traders, who had abducted her elder sister two years earlier. She was forced to walk barefoot about 600 miles to El-Obeid. She was sold and bought twice before she even arrived there. Over the course of twelve years (1877–1889) she was sold three more times and then given away. Bakhita was not the name she received from her parents at birth. It is said that the trauma of her abduction caused her to forget her own name; she took one given to her by the slavers, bakhita, which in Arabic means 'lucky' or 'fortunate.' She was treated appallingly by her different owners, frequently whipped, beaten and scarred. Bakhita was then bought, in Khartoum, by the Italian Vice Consul, Callisto Legnani, who treated her kindly and did not beat or punish her. Two years later, when Legnani himself had to return to Italy, Bakhita begged to go with him. Eventually she was to be given her freedom and she asked to be baptised. Then, she entered the Sisters of Mary Magdalene. She died on 8th February 1947. The current high incidence of trafficking and modern slavery has meant that Bakhita has become the ‘go to’ saint in prayers for assistance in combatting this evil.
Saturday,10th February – St. Scholastica. She was the twin sister of St. Benedict. With his help, she founded a convent of what would be called, ‘Benedictine Sisters’ about five miles away from Monte Casino, where Benedict had his own monastery.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Today’s first reading sees Job after he has lost all his children and possessions and has experienced the development of ulcers all over his body. His wife has told him to curse God, but he refused to do so. Then his friends arrived with a similar message. We come across the scene after one of these friends has said his piece and Job has cursed the day he was born.
Some years ago, the entertainer and broadcaster, Stephen Fry, was asked what he would say to God if he was to arrive at the gates of heaven. He went into a rant, not dissimilar from Job’s and this rant went viral on YouTube. He claimed that he would say, “How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault?” In this heartfelt outburst, Stephen Fry simply vocalised the anger felt by many towards God when they’ve lost a loved one. It’s the frequently rehearsed problem of pain in a world created by a just God.
I’m reminded, for example, of the often-asked question as to where God was during the holocaust when millions of Jews were killed by the Nazis. Ernest Levy, who died in 2009, had survived seven concentration camps during the Second World War including Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. When the British soldiers finally arrived to liberate Belsen, he was a broken man, lying face down in the dust with barely the strength to lift his arm for help. A German nurse cared for him over the next months and enabled him to begin the process of rediscovering his faith in humanity and in God. Many years later, an elderly woman asked him if suffering had changed him in any way. He answered, “I used to think God was a supreme being who watched what happens in the world from an unsearchable distance. Now I know God lay with me in the dust of Belsen.”
In our Gospel reading today, Jesus silenced those who were possessed by devils when they tried to proclaim who he was. He didn’t want the Christ to be associated simply with a wonder worker who just got rid of all the suffering in the world. When, later in Mark’s Gospel, we hear the centurion at the foot of the cross declare after Jesus’ death, “In truth this man was a son of God”, then the association is correct. This was the perfect image of the Christ, who heals us by sharing in our suffering.

 

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
(YEAR B)
WEEK: JANUARY 28TH - FEBRUARY 3RD 2024 

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Here is a teaching that is new…and with authority behind it.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Brien
LATELY DEAD: Pat Brennan, Brenda Gilbert, Michael O’Sullivan
ANNIVERSARIES: Joe Rimmer, Ann Fowkes, Catherine and Lewis Laverty, John Donnelly, Jim Buttimere, Terry Mills, Michael McGladdery, Fernando Lopez da Silva, Alice Wright, Kathleen McDermott, Monica Gough, Peter Tomkins

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £3,293.35p

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £30.00; Indian Community (for use of church) £57.00

Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

CARITAS SUNDAY – TODAY, 28TH JANUARY
Caritas Salford has projects across Greater Manchester and Lancashire, providing a range of services and outreach activities to help individuals to transform their lives with dignity. They run 11 services across the Diocese of Salford. More than 100 staff work with Caritas and more than 260 volunteers. They support thousands of people every year, from young families, school children, refugees and people experiencing homelessness and poverty. A retiring collection will be made for Caritas, but you can continue giving to them at any time; just put the donation in an envelope marked ‘Caritas’.

FINANCES
Significant amounts of money have recently been taken out of our parish account by the Diocese. £18,741.67 went out to pay for various things associated with preparing for the demolition of St Mary’s. The demolition itself will cost us £99,017.74. £40,127.98 of this has already been taken out of our account, but this still leaves us owing another £58,889.76.  We currently have just £37,776.66 in the bank. So, if the Diocese were to require us to pay the remaining amount immediately, we would go into debt. Of course, if the land on which St. Mary’s stood was to be sold, we would hope to get a significant amount of money going back into the parish account. We have done remarkably well still to have £37,000 in our account after paying a total of almost £60,000 (£58,869.65) so far.

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
20th Feb: St, Edward’s (the Bishop will attend, and preach at this Mass)
27th Feb: St Ann’s, Ashton
5th March: St Patrick’s
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY: 11TH FEBRUARY
The theme for this year is ‘Exodus’
Racial Justice Sunday 2024 explores the movement of people from their homelands to the places they now call home and examines the motivations behind this movement – the journeys made, and the reception or welcome received on arrival.
According to the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), ‘At least 108.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 35.3 million refugees, around 41 per cent of whom are under the age of 18.’ Europe is one of the areas of the world to which people have been fleeing for safety. In recent years, the region has witnessed arrivals escaping war and upheaval in Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine – the top three countries in the world for refugees. Equally, protracted conflicts in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia have been ‘push’ factors for movement to Europe.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Wednesday 31st January – St. John Bosco – he was born in 1815 in the north of Italy and dedicated his priestly ministry to working with young people, especially the ‘street children’ of Turin. He established the order of the Salesians of John Bosco and the Daughters of Mary, help of Christians, to assist in his work. He died in 1888.
Friday, 2nd February. The Presentation of the Lord
Saturday 3rd February – St. Blaise – Bishop in Armenia in the 4th century.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Moses promised, in the Book of Deuteronomy that God would raise up a prophet like himself, from among the Israelites. Christians would see Jesus as being the fulfilment of that promise. But, how do we know the difference between a prophet sent by God and a false prophet? The Jews of Jesus’ time said that Jesus was different because he spoke with ‘authority’.  But what did they mean by that? The Gospel for today transports us to the very early stages of Jesus’ public ministry. He's just chosen his twelve Apostles and he then goes into the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath Day and begins to teach the people there. His words obviously impressed them but then he immediately heals someone who was said to have been possessed by a devil. So, part of the ‘authority’ behind what he says is the efficacy of His word; he is able to heal people and to challenge and defeat what was seen as the evil in the world of his time. He is announcing the battle in which he is going to engage, which will result in his death, but also, strangely, in his victory. It is his preparedness to accept the great personal cost in this battle that gives the ultimate authority. There are so many voices, today, clamouring for our attention. You won’t need reminding that this year there’ll probably be a general election in this country and it’s also a presidential election year in the USA. Politicians of every hue will be promising plenty and looking for votes. There are many other voices too outside of politics; social media is awash with people trying to convince us of various conspiracy theories or of the greatest remedy for every ailment. It’s certainly hard to tell who speaks with authority. Perhaps one way would be to look at the impact these voices are having on society and to see the cost to the one suggesting or providing the remedy, as opposed to the cost to the one searching for it.

DELAY IN APPROACHING HISTORIC CHURCHES COMMITTEE
I wrote, some time ago, that we were going to make an application, in February, to the Historic Churches Committee for permission to install solar panels on the South facing lower roof of the church. Unfortunately, this is being delayed on the advice of the Diocesan property manager. I am to arrange a meeting with him to make our application more likely to be granted.

 

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
(YEAR B)
WEEK: JANUARY 21ST - 27TH 2024 

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Brien
LATELY DEAD: Kevin Bradbury, Celia McGee, Patrick Cahill, Harold Dawson, Bernadette, Thomas McLean, May Queen, Jacqueline Kendrick, Alice McConnon,
ANNIVERSARIES: Irene Dodd. Myron Patra, Joe Rimmer

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £901.61

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £20.00; Missio £38.82

Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

CARITAS SUNDAY 28TH JANUARY
Caritas Salford has projects across Greater Manchester and Lancashire, providing a range of services and outreach activities to help individuals to transform their lives with dignity. They run 11 services across the Diocese of Salford. More than 100 staff work with Caritas and more than 260 volunteers. They support thousands of people every year, from young families, school children, refugees and people experiencing homelessness and poverty. A retiring collection will be made for Caritas but you can continue giving to them at any time; just put the donation in an envelope marked ‘Caritas’.

DEANERY LENTEN STATION MASSES
20th Feb: St, Edward’s (the Bishop will attend, and preach at this Mass)
27th Feb: St Ann’s, Ashton
5th March: St Patrick’s
12th March: St. Mary’s, Failsworth
19th March: St Joseph’s, Mossley
I would ask the leaders of the different choirs to let me know if their choirs could participate on 5th March, here at St. Patrick’s. Of course, I understand that this is a weekday, and many people will be working on that evening.

RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY: 11TH FEBRUARY
The theme for this year is ‘Exodus’
Racial Justice Sunday 2024 explores the movement of people from their homelands to the places they now call home and examines the motivations behind this movement – the journeys made, and the reception or welcome received on arrival.
According to the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), ‘At least 108.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 35.3 million refugees, around 41 per cent of whom are under the age of 18.’ Europe is one of the areas of the world to which people have been fleeing for safety. In recent years, the region has witnessed arrivals escaping war and upheaval in Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine – the top three countries in the world for refugees. Equally, protracted conflicts in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia have been ‘push’ factors for movement to Europe.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 22nd January – St. Vincent – He was a deacon in Saragossa in Spain and was killed during the persecutions ordered by the emperor Diocletian.
Wednesday, 24th January – St Francis De Sales – He was born into a noble family in Annecy in 1597. He was ordained a priest and worked strenuously for the Church by distributing printed essays on the Faith. He became Bishop of Geneva and is the patron saint of journalists and writers.
Thursday, 25th January. The Conversion of St. Paul.
Friday 26th January – St Timothy and Titus:  These were both companions of St. Paul, entrusted with the care of Christian communities in Ephesus and Crete, respectively.
Saturday 27th January – St. Angela of Merici – born in Brescia in the north of Italy c1470, she entered the third Order of St. Francis and founded the Ursulines, devoted to the education of girls from families in poverty. She died in 1540.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The first reading and the Gospel, today, are about repenting, but this is not, primarily about deciding to stop sinning, but about changing your world view, because of which your behaviour will also change. The first reading tells a small part of the story of Jonah. We need to know, however, that Jonah did not just get up and go to Nineveh when God asked him, as the reading seems to suggest. In fact, the first time that God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh, Jonah got on a boat and went in the opposite direction, towards Tarshish (Spain), on the other side of the Mediterranean. Nineveh was in Assyria which was the major oppressive power in the area, and the feared enemy for a Jew like Jonah. He didn’t want to have anything to do with them. But after Jonah had been thrown overboard by the sailors and swallowed up by a huge fish, which then vomited him back on land, he began to see that he couldn’t escape God. But, even though he could see something of the power of God, he had not yet seen that God could care about the very people Jonah regarded as his enemy. It was only after he had preached and the people of Nineveh had repented, that he began to realise that God could work amongst them too. Initially, he was annoyed that they had repented. Presumably, he would have preferred them to suffer greatly. But he gradually changed his worldview.
The message of Jesus, at the early stages of his public ministry, was ‘repent and believe the Good News’. He was asking that they change their worldview. ‘Seeing rightly’ is more important than deciding to change one’s behaviour. The Scripture says, “If the eye is sound, the whole body will be filled with light” (Mt 6:22). One example from science of a different world view that altered the way we all behave is what we now refer to as the Copernican revolution. Prior to Copernicus (in the first half of the 16th century) people believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Only with Copernicus, and subsequently Galileo, did the world change its view. This, in turn, affected science and the way we all do things. To repent is to change your worldview, to see that things like wealth, power and fame are not the most important in life. If we change this worldview, then, perhaps, there will be less inequality in the world.  

OCTAVE OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
We continue our octave of prayer for Christian unity; this will conclude on Thursday, 25th January, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Thankfully, we work much more closely, these days, with the different Christian denominations, but we should not rest on our laurels.

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY (HMD) takes place each year on 27th January. Holocaust Memorial Day is a day that we put aside to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be one day in the future with no genocide. ‘Fragility of Freedom’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide when the world stood by as the Hutu extremists shattered the fragile freedom of the Tutsi in Rwanda.  It is also 79 years after the Holocaust ended and 19 years after the genocide in Cambodia.
You would be welcome at Oldham’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative event on Friday, 26th January 2023 at Royton and Crompton E-Act Academy, Blackshaw Lane, Royton, Oldham, OL2 6NT.  9:00am – 10:30am The event will start at 9:00am prompt. All guests are requested to present themselves at the school reception by 8:45am due to safeguarding procedures.  You will then be escorted to the school hall by a member of staff.  The event will close at 10:30am.

 

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
(YEAR B)
WEEK: JANUARY 14TH - 20TH 2024 

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

 

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Eileen Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Alice McConnon, Barry Reid, Peter Barlow, Janet Anderson, Michael O’Biren
LATELY DEAD: Pauline Jordan (formerly Pauline Lees), Celia McGee, Patrick Cahill, Harold Dawson, Bernadette, Thomas McLean, May Queen, Jacqueline Kendrick
ANNIVERSARIES: Irene Dodd. Myron Patra, Jesus Apostol, Nathan McLean, Brendan Sheehy, Margaret Hywell, Joaquim da Silva, Laura da Silva, Ignacio da Silva, Joanna Felismina, David Monaghan

LAST WEEK'S COLLECTION: £853.54

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £20.00; Foodbank £25.00. Heating and decoration £22.99.

Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

PEACE SUNDAY 2024 IS TODAY, 14 JANUARY AND THE THEME CHOSEN BY POPE FRANCIS IS ‘ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND PEACE’

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
from 18 to 25th January for 2024, the theme was chosen by an ecumenical team from Burkina Faso. Their chosen theme is ‘You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbour as yourself’ (Lk 10:27). Brothers and sisters from the Catholic Archdiocese of Ouagadougou, Protestant Churches, ecumenical bodies and the CCN in Burkina Faso collaborated generously in drafting the prayers and reflections. They experienced their work together as a real path of ecumenical conversion.

DIOCESAN SYNOD - BIG LISTEN CLOSING THIS WEEK
Over the past few months, parishes, schools, groups, and individuals have been coming together to discern the future of our diocese through the Big Listen stage of our diocesan synod. This key phase is critical in identifying priority themes to help us become the Church God is calling us to be. To ensure all voices are heard, we're seeking to engage with as many people as possible. To get involved, please submit your response online this week by visiting https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/faith/synod/
Jane Hirst, who is our delegate to the Synod, has asked if those taking part could give to her a copy of what they sent to the Diocese, so that she has a record for her own involvement.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Wednesday 17th – St Antony was inspired by the words of the Gospel to retire to the Egyptian desert, at the age of 20, to live a type of monastic life. There he attracted many to join him. He died in the year 356.
Friday, 19th January. St. Wulstan. Born in Warwickshire in the year 1008. He became a monk at the Cathedral Priory of Worcester. In 1062, he was appointed bishop, one of the few Anglo-Saxons to survive in high office after the Norman conquest. He was renowned for his care of the poor and the sick and for the high standards he asked of his clergy.
Saturday 20th January – St Fabian (Pope and Martyr) and St. Sebastian (Martyr)  - Fabian was chosen to be Pope  in 236. He remained steadfast when the emperor of the day began another series of persecutions, and he died a martyr. Sebastiaan was a native of Milan and was martyred in Rome. His tomb on the Via Appia soon became a place of pilgrimage.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
On the sacramental programme, one of the worksheets asks the question: “Can you think of some people you might listen to?” The usual responses from the children are, “parents” and “teachers”, and, thankfully, sometimes, “priests”. But then, someone might also suggest that we should be listening to God. But how do we hear God speaking?
Today’s first reading tells of Samuel being spoken to by God, but he doesn’t immediately recognise it to be God. God speaks through many different means and not always with language. Of course, God speaks to us through the Bible, or the Word of God. But the Bible is not an easy book to read. One section must be read and understood through other sections of the Bible. So, when we hear John the Baptist, in today’s Gospel saying of Jesus, “Look, there is the lamb of God”, we know that we can only understand that remark by referring to the story of the Passover lamb from the Book of Exodus, whose blood saved the lives of the Hebrew children.
But then we also know that the readings from the Bible take on different meanings and different significance according to the situations in which we find ourselves. Sometimes when we read a passage from the Bible, it might seem to say nothing special to us, but, in a different situation, we find that something within us thrills when we hear the words. The words speak to our hearts. Within each one of us, there is already something of the Spirit of God and, at certain times, we know his presence.
One example of this could be the occasion after the Manchester Arena bombing, when the poet, Tony Walsh recited his poem, “This is the place”. In the context of all the anger and devastation, he convinced people of the blessedness of this place still.
“This is the place” he said, “that’s been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times. But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit…because this is the place where we stand strong together.”
His words certainly touched a chord for so many. He spoke to their hearts and people knew that they were blessed still. This was perhaps God speaking to us through the words of someone who would not even claim to be religious.

PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM 2024
The Diocese of Salford is now accepting bookings for our 2024 pilgrimage to Walsingham. If you would like to join next year's pilgrimage, bring along a group, or help as a volunteer, please fill out a booking form, available at https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/walsingham-2024
You can get in touch by calling 0161 817 2214 or emailing walsingham@pilgrimage@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY (HMD) takes place each year on 27th January. Holocaust Memorial Day is a day that we put aside to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be one day in the future with no genocide. ‘Fragility of Freedom’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide when the world stood by as the Hutu extremists shattered the fragile freedom of the Tutsi in Rwanda.  It is also 79 years after the Holocaust ended and 19 years after the genocide in Cambodia.
You would be welcome at Oldham’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative event on Friday, 26th January 2023 at Royton and Crompton E-Act Academy, Blackshaw Lane, Royton, Oldham, OL2 6NT.  9:00am – 10:30am The event will start at 9:00am prompt. All guests are requested to present themselves at the school reception by 8:45am due to safeguarding procedures.  You will then be escorted to the school hall by a member of staff.  The event will close at 10:30am.

 

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY
(YEAR B)
WEEK: JANUARY 7TH - 13TH 2024 

Feast OF THE EPIPHANY

“The same promise has been made to them, in Christ Jesus, through the Gospel.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Zophie Royales, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring, Alice McConnon, Barry Reid
LATELY DEAD: Pauline Jordan, Tommy Howe, Thomas McLean, Celia McGee, Marlene Germaine Burke, Patrick Cahill, Harold Dawson
ANNIVERSARIES: Richard Teefy, Paddy Joe Canny; Nathan McLeach, Peter and Steffrey McGiffen, Rita Wheatcroft, Fred and Elizabeth Anne Lees, Brendan Sheehy, Margaret Hywell, Joaquim da Silva, Laura da Silva, Ignacio da Silva, Joanna Felismina

CHRISTMAS COLLECTION: £866.69

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £20.00; Foodbank £20.00. Charismatic Prayer Group £200.00 (Crossover night).

Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME
Please remember that those who hope to make their First Communion on 26th May this year are due to attend another session of preparation this Saturday at 10.00am in the church. They should also attend church next Sunday at 10.00am.

TOMORROW (MONDAY) IS THE FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
Rather like writing an essay, Jesus, in agreeing to be baptised by John, is pointing, right at the beginning of his ministry, to what the conclusion of his ministry will be. He shows that he is prepared even to be thought of as a sinner (accepting the baptism of people acknowledging their sinfulness) as he would take our sins upon him again on the cross and, there too, be thought of as a sinner, and someone deserted by God. And, for Jesus, baptism is a type of death, death to an old way of life. You will remember that he is quoted in the Gospels, saying “There is another baptism I must undergo…” (Luke 12:50) when he is referring to his death on the cross. He is, therefore, announcing just what his ministry would be about.

SUDAN WAR
In a collective statement on the situation in war-torn Sudan, the country’s Catholic Bishops appeal to the international community to intensify efforts to end the violence in the country. They also express concern that the protracted fighting may aim to block solidarity between the people of Sudan.
The war in Sudan erupted on 15 April 2023 between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF. The violence began in the capital, Khartoum, and has since spread throughout the nation with allegations of widespread human rights abuses and war crimes. Pope Francis has repeatedly appealed for a negotiated solution to the conflict, and during his Urbi et Orbi address on Christmas Day, he recalled the suffering of the people of Sudan and asked the international community not to forget them.

PEACE SUNDAY 2024 is next Sunday 14 January and the theme chosen by Pope Francis is ‘Artificial Intelligence and Peace’. Whilst this might seem a strangely technical theme, we know that we do need to think about the consequences of the advances in AI for peace and justice. Certainly, governments around the world are taking the development of AI seriously. In November, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak invited experts and world leaders to a summit, expressly to look at AI and safety. Prior to the summit, he affirmed that, whilst we should not be alarmist, and whilst there are undoubtedly benefits for humanity in the development of AI, ‘get this wrong’ he said, ‘and AI could make it easier to build chemical or biological weapons.’

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Friday, 12th January. St. Aelred of Rievaulx. Born in 1110 and died in 1167. He was educated at Durham and in the King’s household in Scotland. He entered the Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx in 1134 and was eventually elected Abbot. He is remembered for his spiritual writings, above all on the gift of friendship.
Saturday 13th January – St Hilary - born of pagan parents, in 325, he was baptised as an adult and chosen as Bishop of Poitiers.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
Today, many Christians celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. In the West this feast now marks the revelation of God, in the person of the child, Jesus, to the gentiles, represented by the Magi of the Gospel story. But, it wasn’t always so. Initially, this day saw the celebration of several different events through which God manifested himself to humanity. It marked the visit of the Magi but also the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan and the marriage feast at Cana. All of these were signs that people like us experience wonderful epiphanies, occasions when there’s a clear sense of God amongst us.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, a wonderful woman of African descent, called Harriet Tubman, made a successful bid for freedom from slavery. She journeyed 400 miles from Maryland almost to Lake Ontario, by following the North Star. But she wasn’t satisfied with having gained liberty for herself; she returned several more times to Maryland to lead many others to freedom. On different occasions she avoided capture by listening to her dreams and then, like the Magi in our story, she took different routes from the ones she had initially intended. She had a real sense of God guiding her, whether through her dreams or through the interventions of different people, or through the North Star.

PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM 2024
The Diocese of Salford is now accepting bookings for our 2024 pilgrimage to Walsingham. If you would like to join next year's pilgrimage, bring along a group, or help as a volunteer, please fill out a booking form, available at https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/walsingham-2024
You can get in touch by calling 0161 817 2214 or emailing walsingham@pilgrimage@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY (HMD) takes place each year on 27th January. Holocaust Memorial Day is a day that we put aside to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be one day in the future with no genocide. ‘Fragility of Freedom’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide when the world stood by as the Hutu extremists shattered the fragile freedom of the Tutsi in Rwanda.  It is also 79 years after the Holocaust ended and 19 years after the genocide in Cambodia.
You would be welcome at Oldham’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative event on Friday, 26th January 2023 at Royton and Crompton E-Act Academy, Blackshaw Lane, Royton, Oldham, OL2 6NT.  9:00am – 10:30am The event will start at 9:00am prompt. All guests are requested to present themselves at the school reception by 8:45am due to safeguarding procedures.  You will then be escorted to the school hall by a member of staff.  The event will close at 10:30am.

 

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
(YEAR B)
WEEK: DECEMBER 31ST - JANUARY 6TH 2024 

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

“My eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all nations to see.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Zophie Royales, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Joan Healy, Veronica Lees, Debbie Osborne Walker, Alex Standring and Janice Kopacz Standring
LATELY DEAD: Dawn Gladery, Nancy Yeo, Leo Garvey, Pauline Jordan, Tommy Howe, Thomas McLean, Celia McGee
ANNIVERSARIES: Peter Guilfoyle, Richard Teefy, John McCaffrey, Robin Parker, Jospeh Beswick

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: £2,071.04

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £20.00; Foodbank £10.00; AA/NA £100.00

Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

CHRISTMAS MASSES
The first Mass of Christmas was attended by so many that several people had to stand in the narthex or at the back of the church. The atmosphere was amazing with all the different choirs (most accompanied by our organist/keyboard player, Daniel, who recently appeared on ‘The Piano’ as the piano teacher of an amazing blind girl, Lucy) excelling in singing carols from different backgrounds as well as those sung traditionally in this country. Some of the Mass was filmed for a Pakistani broadcasting company (Channel 24/7). A clip of what was broadcast can be found below. It includes interviews with several of our parishioners. The morning Mass was enhanced by Steve Owen returning to play the organ to accompany more carol singing. It was a fantastic celebration of Christmas!

 

THE CHRISTMAS MEAL FOR THE OVER 60’S
The YCW Impact Group put on a spectacular meal for the over 60’s on 23rd December. They went to great lengths to decorate the room and dress the tables to give the impression of an expensive restaurant. So much food was prepared with great variety but including what some would expect as a traditional Christmas meal.
The young people welcomed everyone on arrival and served us assiduously throughout the afternoon. They then, with such energy, engaged those who joined in a Christmas quiz and other entertainment, including singing and dancing. Our young people should be proud of themselves, as we are proud of them. A few pictures from the event can be found on the Past Events page.

CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS has issued a statement on killings in the Church compound of the Catholic Parish of the Holy Family in Gaza City: “I am heartbroken at the information provided by Cardinal Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, of killings in the Church compound of the Catholic Parish of the Holy Family in Gaza City. I have immediately sent a message to His Eminence, expressing my horror at these events, and assuring him of the prayers of Catholics in England and Wales. I have twice been warmly welcomed to this parish by its people. They are a remarkable community of faith and genuine service to their neighbours. Together with the dedicated Religious Sisters, they have continued to provide shelter and sustenance to many people during these weeks of warfare. They are a people who yearn for peace.” The information provided by the Cardinal, gives a picture of seemingly deliberate and callous killing by IDF soldiers of innocent civilians: an elderly woman and her daughter in the grounds of a church.
“I ask all people of faith and goodwill to continue to pray for an end to this conflict by all sides.”

PEACE SUNDAY 2024 is Sunday 14 January and the theme chosen by Pope Francis is ‘Artificial Intelligence and Peace’. Whilst this might seem a strangely technical theme, we know that we do need to think about the consequences of the advances in AI for peace and justice. Certainly, governments around the world are taking the development of AI seriously. In November, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak invited experts and world leaders to a summit, expressly to look at AI and safety. Prior to the summit, he affirmed that, whilst we should not be alarmist, and whilst there are undoubtedly benefits for humanity in the development of AI, ‘get this wrong’ he said, ‘and AI could make it easier to build chemical or biological weapons.’

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 1st January – Mary the Mother of God
Tuesday, 2nd January – St Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen. – These were great friends and significant figures of the Eastern Church in the fourth century. Basil was Bishop of Caesarea and active in promoting the monastic life, writing a ‘rule’ which is still observed today. Gregory was Bishop of Constantinople, and because of his great learning is still known in the East as ‘Gregory the Theologian’; he eventually retired from the episcopacy to return to his monastery in Nazianzus. Gregory summed up their lives: “Our great concern, our great name, was to be Christians and be called Christians.”
Wednesday, 3rd January – The Most Holy Name of Jesus

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The readings today speak of the need for great patience. Several important promises are made to different people, but they must wait well into their old age to experience the fulfilment of those promises. It was in chapter 12 of the Book of Genesis that we hear the promise made to Abraham that God will make him into a great nation. In the first reading today, we hear Abraham, sometime later, asking God what happened to the promise he made. Then, our reading jumps forward six chapters, and, in the process, quite a few years (if we can take the years mentioned at face value); Abraham was given the promise when he was 75 years old, but he didn’t become a father to Isaac until 25 years later.
Then, in the Gospel, we hear of another promise that had been made to an already elderly man. Simeon had been promised that he would not see death until he had seen the Christ of the Lord. From his reaction on seeing Jesus, we can guess that he’d had to wait quite some time. He says, “Now you can let your servant go in peace” suggesting that the ‘Now’ could be exchanged for, ‘At last’.
Finally, the prophetess mentioned in the Gospel is also well on in years; she’s 84 years old. Her husband died after seven years of marriage. We can guess from the usual age for marriage for girls of that time that her husband had died more than 60 years before Jesus was presented in the temple. Despite life treating her badly, she clearly believed that God would bless her again. She’d had to wait a long time, but she received an amazing blessing in her old age. She was clearly so grateful and couldn’t keep quiet about it; she told everyone she could.
It seems that the readings are encouraging us not to lose faith even when life gives us a nasty blow or when time goes on without an answer to prayer. But what’s this got to do with the Holy Family? The time of Jesus’ early years are hardly written about but in the glimpses that we get, it’s clear that Mary and Joseph must have been amazed by certain happenings and must have asked themselves what it all meant. They would have known that they had been blessed with a child destined for greatness.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The readings today speak of the need for great patience. Several important promises are made to different people, but they must wait well into their old age to experience the fulfilment of those promises. It was in chapter 12 of the Book of Genesis that we hear the promise made to Abraham that God will make him into a great nation. In the first reading today, we hear Abraham, sometime later, asking God what happened to the promise he made. Then, our reading jumps forward six chapters, and, in the process, quite a few years (if we can take the years mentioned at face value); Abraham was given the promise when he was 75 years old, but he didn’t become a father to Isaac until 25 years later.
Then, in the Gospel, we hear of another promise that had been made to an already elderly man. Simeon had been promised that he would not see death until he had seen the Christ of the Lord. From his reaction on seeing Jesus, we can guess that he’d had to wait quite some time. He says, “Now you can let your servant go in peace” suggesting that the ‘Now’ could be exchanged for, ‘At last’.
Finally, the prophetess mentioned in the Gospel is also well on in years; she’s 84 years old. Her husband died after seven years of marriage. We can guess from the usual age for marriage for girls of that time that her husband had died more than 60 years before Jesus was presented in the temple. Despite life treating her badly, she clearly believed that God would bless her again. She’d had to wait a long time, but she received an amazing blessing in her old age. She was clearly so grateful and couldn’t keep quiet about it; she told everyone she could.
It seems that the readings are encouraging us not to lose faith even when life gives us a nasty blow or when time goes on without an answer to prayer. But what’s this got to do with the Holy Family? The time of Jesus’ early years are hardly written about but in the glimpses that we get, it’s clear that Mary and Joseph must have been amazed by certain happenings and must have asked themselves what it all meant. They would have known that they had been blessed with a child destined for greatness.

PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM 2024
The Diocese of Salford is now accepting bookings for our 2024 pilgrimage to Walsingham. If you would like to join next year's pilgrimage, bring along a group, or help as a volunteer, please fill out a booking form, available at https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/walsingham-2024
You can get in touch by calling 0161 817 2214 or emailing walsingham@pilgrimage@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: DECEMBER 24TH - 30TH 2023 

Fourth Sunday of Advent

“I am the handmaid of the Lord…
Let what you have said be done to me.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper,  Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Zophie Royales, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Pauline Jordan, Joan Healy
LATELY DEAD: Anthony Reilly, Gerard Hegley, Dawn Gladery, Nancy Yeo, Leo Garvey
ANNIVERSARIES: Peter Guilfoyle, Lina Feniuk, Frances Michailuk, David Humphry, Wilfred Brooks, Raymond Brooks, Margaret Daley, Nellie and Herbert Hilton

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: £767.63

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £20.00; CAFOD £207.00; Foodbank £25.00; Heating £6.81; Flowers £20.00

Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

FR. PHIL’S CHRISTMAS GREETING
I pray that peace will reign in our homes and in our attitudes towards others, that peace may reign in the world.

CHRISTMAS SERVICES
The First Mass of Christmas will begin with Christmas Carols from 7.30pm (on Sunday 24th December). The First Mass of Christmas will then follow immediately at 8pm. On Christmas Day itself, Mass will be at 10am. So, there will be no Mass on Sunday at 6pm; the Mass at 8pm will suffice for both the Sunday evening Mass and for Christmas Day. There will be Eucharistic services from Tuesday to Thursday of Christmas week.

NOTICE ABOUT SCAM EMAIL 
The Diocese of Salford has shared a warning about a scam email that has been circulated to some parishes in our diocese. The email comes from a "parish priest" Gmail account, features the parish priest's name in the display name, and asks the recipient to purchase gift cards of behalf of the priest. 
Please be aware that this is not a genuine email. If you come across any such email, please do not engage with it and simply delete it from your inbox. If you are ever unsure about an email from the parish, please call the parish office and we'd be happy to advise. Thank you. 

POPE’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO THE CURIA
Mary's open-hearted reception of the angel's message, he said, serves as a reminder that true listening involves an interior openness that goes beyond mere exchange of information “because more important than any precept is our need to enter into a relationship with God by accepting the gift of the love that he comes to bring us.” Moving to the second word, discernment, the Pope recalled the story of John the Baptist. Despite the apostle's powerful preaching, he said, he experiences a crisis of faith when confronted with the unexpected mercy and compassion of Jesus. The Baptist, the Holy Father said, realises that he needs to discern, so as to receive fresh eyes. Discernment, the Pope explained, is necessary in our spiritual journey, as it cautions against the rigid application of rules without a deep understanding of God's will.

CARITAS DIOCESE OF SALFORD ADVENT APPEAL
Our diocesan charity, Caritas Salford, has launched its Advent appeal for 2023, including a very special animation film voiced by local children.  You can view the short animation and find out more about how you can make a donation to the appeal, or take action to help people in our parish who are experiencing crisis this Christmas, by visiting the Caritas Salford website: www.caritassalford.org.uk/beethere  

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday – Christmas Day (The Nativity of the Lord)
Tuesday – St Stephen, the first martyr.
Wednesday – St. John the evangelist
Thursday – The Holy Innocents
Friday – St. Thomas of Canterbury. He was born in London in 1118 and became the Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry II. He was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. He defended the rights of the Church and was exiled by Henry to France. On his return, some supporters of the King murdered him in his own cathedral in 1170

NOTICE ABOUT SCAM EMAIL 
The Diocese of Salford has shared a warning about a scam email that has been circulated to some parishes in our diocese. The email comes from a "parish priest" Gmail account, features the parish priest's name in the display name, and asks the recipient to purchase gift cards of behalf of the priest. 
Please be aware that this is not a genuine email. If you come across any such email, please do not engage with it and simply delete it from your inbox. If you are ever unsure about an email from the parish, please call the parish office and we'd be happy to advise. Thank you. 

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
There are two occasions, in today’s readings, when the dwelling place of God in creation is referred to, albeit a thousand years apart. The first is when King David is clearly embarrassed by that dwelling place being in a tent. All during the Exodus story, as the Hebrews wandered through the desert, God travelled with His people in the Ark of the Covenant, which was housed in a tent. Now that David had established his kingship in Jerusalem, he wanted to build a substantial temple which, through its spectacular size and fine stonework would speak of the splendour of God. But the prophet Nathan, who had originally agreed with David’s plans, then finds himself having to say, “Who do you think you are to build God a dwelling?” God tells David, through Nathan, that it’s the other way around; God will build a house/dynasty for David that will have no end.
Then, 1000 years later, in Nazareth, an insignificant village of the Galilee region, another dwelling place for God comes into existence. Mary, who would have been a young girl (of about 13 years of age!), who, according to the custom of the time had been betrothed but had not yet gone to live with her husband, was visited by the angel, Gabriel. This insignificant girl, in an insignificant place, was told that she was going to conceive the Son of God, that she would become the new Ark of the Covenant, the new dwelling place of God, at least until she gave birth. A massively important moment in the history of creation depended on Mary’s agreement, which was immediately and generously given. That agreement is an important part of the Christmas story and a reminder that we too must agree to God’s plan for us if He is going to make is dwelling place amongst us once more. The image of Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Man’ on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, is one that I associate with Christmas. In that image, God seems to strain to reach out to humanity, almost putting himself in danger of falling out of heaven. The angels seem to struggle to hold on to him! On the other hand, the man in the scene seems almost nonchalant, his hand held limply over his knee. There’s no effort on his part. All he has to do is to allow God to touch his hand. It is God who does all the work to establish His dwelling among us, but we still have to allow Him to do so.

CATHOLIC WOMEN’S ORGANISATION (CWO)
The Parish has now established a Catholic Women’s’ Organisation. This is open to every woman in the parish. Those interested should meet, after Mass, by the table at the entrance to the church on the first Sunday of every month.

PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM 2024
The Diocese of Salford is now accepting bookings for our 2024 pilgrimage to Walsingham. If you would like to join next year's pilgrimage, bring along a group, or help as a volunteer, please fill out a booking form, available at https://dioceseofsalford.org.uk/walsingham-2024
You can get in touch by calling 0161 817 2214 or emailing walsingham@pilgrimage@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

SOLAR PANELS
We have made an application to the Diocese for permission to place solar panels across the lower roof of the church (facing the Sixth Form College). Permission was granted two weeks ago. But this is just the first stage. We now have to apply for the same permission to the Historic Churches’ Commission because St. Patrick’s is a listed building. The HCC will meet next in February 2024. A final decision will be made there. We had been told, previously, that permission would not be given by the HCC because of the effect to the aesthetics of the building, but we are now in a climate crisis! So, pray for a change of heart

 

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: DECEMBER 17TH - 23RD 2023 

Third Sunday of Advent

“A voice cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Patricia Haines, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Win Powell, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Zophie Royales, Connie Marrone, Dominic Boardman, Pauline Jordan
LATELY DEAD:Michael Guilfoyle, Sheila Wrigley, Derek Goodier, Bridie Henderson, Jonathan Haydock, Jim Navesay, Margaret Crossan, John Hart, Gerard Healey, Anthony Reilly, Gerard Hegley
ANNIVERSARIES:Jose Philip, Colin Riley, Patricia Locke,  Ellen Keating, John De Lapp, William Richards, Vincent and Ethel Concannon, David Humphry,

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: £936.60

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £20.00; CAFOD £81.15; Indian community £65.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

PRE-CHRISTMAS MASS AND MEAL FOR THE ELDERLY
On 23rd December, at 12noon, Mass will be celebrated in St. Patrick’s Church. This will be followed by a Christmas meal in Primrose Bank community Centre (Magnolia Gardens) from 1.30pm till 4.30pm. This is another of the activities put on by the St. Patrick’s YCW Impact Group. Please speak to one of the young people from the group after the 10am Mass, or contact me, if you wish to attend.

Christmas services
The First Mass of Christmas will begin with Christmas Carols from 7.30pm (on Sunday 24th December). The First Mass of Christmas will then follow immediately at 8pm. On Christmas Day itself, Mass will be at 10am. So, there will be no Mass on Sunday at 6pm; the Mass at 8pm will suffice for both the Sunday evening Mass and for Christmas Day. There will be Eucharistic services from Tuesday to Thursday of Christmas week.

POPE RENEWS APPEAL FOR IMMEDIATE GAZA CEASEFIRE
Speaking at the end of his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis made a new appeal for an end to the war in Gaza.“I continue to follow the conflict in Israel and Palestine with much worry and pain,” he said. “I renew my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire: there is so much suffering there.” “I encourage all parties involved to resume negotiations,” the Pope added, “and call on everyone to make an urgent commitment to get humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.”

CARITAS DIOCESE OF SALFORD ADVENT APPEAL
Our diocesan charity, Caritas Salford, has launched its Advent appeal for 2023, including a very special animation film voiced by local children.  You can view the short animation and find out more about how you can make a donation to the appeal, or take action to help people in our parish who are experiencing crisis this Christmas, by visiting the Caritas Salford website: www.caritassalford.org.uk/beethere  

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
The phrase that immediately leaps out of the page when I read today’s first reading is: “he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity.”  Indeed, the word “integrity” is repeated later in the same reading, seemingly to suggest itself as a theme.
One of the ‘Grand Designs’ television programmes featured an English couple building a new home in France. The couple were regarded by their French neighbours as “les marginaux” (those who were on the margins of society – a bit strange!). To some, they would be regarded as eco warriors, into alternative lifestyles. The walls of the house were to be made out of bails of straw. You can imagine the concerns of their neighbours in the traditional French village.
As the project developed, however, the couple demonstrated how they were not only wanted to be gentle to creation but they also wanted to be utterly sensitive to their surroundings and to their neighbours. The result was a beautiful home, full of features that would reduce the use of energy, and one that the presenter said was full of integrity. Now what did he mean by that? He meant that there was an internal consistency about the building, it was utterly consistent with the countryside and other buildings in the vicinity and yet it was also a very true reflection of the couple who built it. What was also noticeable was that whereas previously the couple had been treated by their neighbours as “les marginaux”, now they were appreciated for who they were and obviously valued in the community.
This is a wonderful parable for today as we see the two principal protagonists of Advent being introduced to us again through the readings. The first is John the Baptist and the second is Mary, through the use of her Magnificat as a responsorial psalm. Both have to find their way of integrity which is utterly in tune with the Spirit of God. Both realise that there is a further reality to whom they have to be faithful and in whose presence they are nothing. But both play wonderful roles in the Christmas story. For us to play our part in the same Christmas story, we too need to be utterly sensitive to creation, to the people around us and to the message of God through it all.

WHAT IS A DIOCESAN SYNOD? 
As parishes and schools across the diocese continue to feed into the Big Listen exercise for our Diocesan Synod, we're sharing a short video which explains a little more about what a synod is and what it means for our local Church today. Please feel free to share the video at any Big Listen sessions, on your website or social media channels, or in your parish newsletter (see suggested newsletter insert below). The video is available by visiting https://youtu.be/v0yU3gtfwV8

FUNERALS THIS WEEK
There are five funerals this week, the first on Monday at 1.00pm for Michael Gilfoyle. There are two on Wednesday, one for Anne Keating (1.30pm) and another for Maria Ballentine (10.00am), neither affecting the Mass time for parishioners. The other two are during normal Mass times as listed in the week's Mass schedule.

CATHOLIC WOMEN’S ORGANISATION (CWO)
The Parish has now established a Catholic Women’s’ Organisation. This is open to every woman in the parish. Those interested should meet, after Mass, by the table at the entrance to the church on the first Sunday of every month.

BISHOP JOHN ARNOLD IN NIGERIA
The Bishop of Salford, has spent a portion of Advent, a little over a week, in Nigeria.
He was in the West African country primarily to ordain deacons for two religious communities, the Missionary Society of St Paul and also the Vincentians, or the Congregation of the Mission as they’re also known.
During his visit, from 6-14 December, Bishop Arnold experienced the vibrance of the growing Catholic Church in Nigeria. 

CATHOLIC WOMEN’S ORGANISATION (CWO)
The Parish has now established a Catholic Women’s’ Organisation. This is open to every woman in the parish. Those interested should meet, after Mass, by the table at the entrance to the church on the first Sunday of every month.

SOLAR PANELS
We have made an application to the Diocese for permission to place solar panels across the lower roof of the church (facing the Sixth Form College). Permission was granted last week. But this is just the first stage. We now have to apply for the same permission to the Historic Churches’ Commission because St. Patrick’s is a listed building. The HCC will meet next in February. A final decision will be made there. We had been told, previously, that permission would not be given by the HCC because of the effect to the aesthetics of the building, but we are now in a climate crisis! So, pray for a change of heart.

 

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: DECEMBER 10TH - 16TH 2023 

Second Sunday of Adven

“A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK:  Vivien Higgins; John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Patricia Haines, Marie Gill, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Win Powell, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier, Zophie Royales, Connie Marrone
LATELY DEAD: Michael Guilfoyle, Sheila Wrigley, Derek Goodier, Bridie Henderson, Jonathan Haydock, Jim Navesay, Margaret Crossan, John Hart, Gerard Healey, Anthony Reilly
ANNIVERSARIES: Jose Philip, Colin Riley, Patricia Locke, Mary Dillamore, Ellen Keating, John De Lapp

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: £640.46

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £20.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

PRE-CHRISTMAS MASS AND MEAL FOR THE ELDERLY
On 23rd December, at 12noon, Mass will be celebrated in St. Patrick’s Church. This will be followed by a Christmas meal in Primrose Bank community Centre (Magnolia Gardens) from 1.30pm till 4.30pm. This is another of the activities put on by the St. Patrick’s YCW Impact Group. Please speak to one of the young people from the group after the 10am Mass, or contact me, if you wish to attend.

RECONCILIATION SERVICE AND CHRISTMAS SERVICES
There will be a Parish reconciliation service on Sunday 17th December at 3.15pm. The First Mass of Christmas will begin with Christmas Carols from 7.30pm (on Sunday 24th December). The First Mass of Christmas will then follow immediately at 8pm. On Christmas Day itself, Mass will be at 10am. So, there will be no Mass on Sunday at 6pm; the Mass at 8pm will suffice for both the Sunday evening Mass and for Christmas Day. There will be Eucharistic services from Tuesday to Thursday of Christmas week.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Monday 11th December St. Damascus 1, Pope – He was born in Spain and became pope in 366. He died in 384.
Wednesday 13th December – St Lucy: Lucy was a Sicilian martyr who died in the persecutions of the Fifth Century under the emperor Diocletian. She is an example of faithfulness and innocence, and her cult was very popular in the early Church.
Thursday 14th December- St John of the Cross:  St John was born in 1542 and is the author of the famous poem “Noche obscura del alma” (Dark night of the soul). He was a Carmelite priest and a friend of the great mystic St Teresa of Avila. He was imprisoned for undertaking to return the Carmelites to their primitive rule of poverty. It was while he was in his gaol cell in Toledo that he composed his great poem.

CARITAS DIOCESE OF SALFORD ADVENT APPEAL
Our diocesan charity, Caritas Salford, has launched its Advent appeal for 2023, including a very special animation film voiced by local children.  You can view the short animation and find out more about how you can make a donation to the appeal, or take action to help people in our parish who are experiencing crisis this Christmas, by visiting the Caritas Salford website: www.caritassalford.org.uk/beethere  

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
One of the great figures of advent, John the Baptist, comes on to the scene in today’s Gospel. He is the Elijah-like figure who heralds the coming of a Messiah. Here is someone who’s gone out into the wilderness to make a straight highway for our God. He’s someone whose message is so different from the consumerism many, today, associate with Christmas. He wore a camel-skin and lived off locusts and wild honey. Presumably the camel-skin was not a name-brand garment and the honey, not the Egmont Manuka honey from Holland and Barrett, retailing at almost £149.99 a jar (I looked on the internet last night)! By his very lifestyle, he was encouraging others not to conform to the ways of the world but to look for greater depth in life.
If we are to become heralds of a second coming of Christ, we too have to decide not simply to conform to what the rest of society does at this time of year but to look for that greater depth. Like John the Baptist, we have to refuse to listen to the many siren voices of the modern world that offer little more than superficial pleasure and, sometimes, even our own destruction. We must rather go into the wildernesses of life, there to console people. Isaiah voices the Word of God to us when he says, “Console my people, console them.” People, who have become the pawns of the consumerist world and now feel like they’ve been discarded in a wasteland, need to be consoled with a different message. And Isaiah suggests that it’s we who must proclaim it.
Then, in Isaiah, we get a double image of the Messiah who comes. First, we are presented with an image of him as a powerful military general, with all the booty of battle spread out before him. This is someone who can make a real difference for us. This is someone who can defeat oppressive regimes. But he’s also like a shepherd, feeding his flock and gathering the lambs in his arms. The Messiah is someone who cares for others and is tender. This is a message of consolation. If we are going to fill in the valleys and make the hills low, if we are going to make a straight highway in the desert, we have to recognise the wildernesses around us and be prepared to show mercy in them. We must look to see how we can sustain those whom we find there and how we can heal their wounds. This is the advent message, not how many shopping days there are to Christmas!

WHAT IS A DIOCESAN SYNOD? 
As parishes and schools across the diocese continue to feed into the Big Listen exercise for our Diocesan Synod, we're sharing a short video which explains a little more about what a synod is and what it means for our local Church today. Please feel free to share the video at any Big Listen sessions, on your website or social media channels, or in your parish newsletter (see suggested newsletter insert below). The video is available by visiting https://youtu.be/v0yU3gtfwV8

GIFT AID TAX REFUND AND LEGACY
Recently, we received a tax refund for Gift aided monies. The amount we received was £5,365.88. Our thanks to Chris Dodd for doing the paperwork on this and to all of you who are prepared to ‘gift aid’ your donations. The payment was for the financial year 2021-22. A further payment for a similar amount is expected for 2022-23. We also received a legacy donation for £3,473.39. Both these payments were a timely help; another £7,221.60 has just been taken out of our account for further work on the demolition of St. Mary’s Church. We have now paid £36,067.12 on the demolition of St. Mary’s since January of this year. I suspect that the payments are not finished yet, but, hopefully, we will get something back eventually for the sale of the land.

EARLY CAREER TEACHERS PRIMARY POOL 2024
Are you looking for a career in teaching? Do you know someone who is training for a career in primary education? ECT (Early Career Teachers) due to gain Qualified Teacher Status in Summer 2024 are being invited to apply for recommendation for interview to Catholic schools with vacancies for September 2024.
Email education@dioceseofsalford.org.uk to find out more and apply.

 

THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(YEAR B)
WEEK: DECEMBER 3RD - 9TH 2023 

First Sunday of Advent

“O that you would tear the heavens open and come down.”

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YOUR  CHARITABLE  PRAYERS are requested for our parishioners and friends, especially those whose names appear below.
SICK: Vivien Higgins; Margaret Lawless; Dominic Boardman. John and Kath Green, Angela Marshall, Joseph McConnon, Joan Killeen, Therese Passenger, Cyril and Christine Clarke, Nell Eaton, Linda Taylor, Patricia Haines, Marie Gill, Walter Harrison,  Pauline Jordan, Elizabeth Flanagan, Pat McQuillan, Mary Malone, Kathleen Kelly, Irene Cooper, Win Powell, Denis O’Grady. Deana Dobson, Tony Kenny, Luke Burke, Maureen De Melchior, Nora Hickey, Alison Buckley, Ryan Boyer, Noel Parker, Sister Angela Linane. Sean Denvor, Jim Nawsay, Denis Guilfoyle, Amy Howard, Rita Goodier
LATELY DEAD: Joan Doran, Michael Guilfoyle, Sheila Wrigley, Derek Goodier, Bridie Henderson, Jonathan Haydock
ANNIVERSARIES: Mary Dillamore, Denis Guilfoyle, Chirs O’Brien, Christopher Alan Whitehead, Maggie Moores

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: £815.54

Standing Order: £674.00 a month

CHURCH BOXES / DONATIONS
Caritas Homeless £40.00; Missio £12.90; Donation £20.00
Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Our Bank: Barclays Bank - Account Name: TSDT, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s, Oldham;   Sort Code 20 55 34;   Account Number 50949825;  Reference: Contr.

NOTICES:
All Masses will continue to be live streamed. A link is provided on the Parish website: www.smwsp.org.uk or via the Twitter App (@PhilipSumner13). 

PRE-CHRISTMAS MASS AND MEAL FOR THE ELDERLY
On 23rd December, at 12noon, Mass will be celebrated in St. Patrick’s Church. This will be followed by a Christmas meal in Primrose Bank community Centre (Magnolia Gardens) from 1.30pm till 4.30pm. This is another of the activities put on by the St. Patrick’s YCW Impact Group. Please speak to one of the young people from the group after the 10am Mass, or contact me, if you wish to attend.

RECONCILIATION SERVICE AND CHRISTMAS SERVICES
The Parish team decided that there would be a Parish reconciliation service on Sunday 17th December at 3.15pm. The First Mass of Christmas will begin with Christmas Carols from 7.30pm (on Sunday 24th December). The First Mass of Christmas will then follow immediately at 8pm. On Christmas Day itself, Mass will be at 10am. So, there will be no Mass on Sunday at 6pm; the Mass at 8pm will suffice for both the Sunday evening Mass and for Christmas Day. There will be Eucharistic services from Tuesday to Thursday of Christmas week.

SPECIAL DAYS THIS WEEK
Wednesday 6th December – St. Nicholas. We know him best by his Dutch name, “Santa Claus”. He is a saint revered in both the East and the West. After his parents died of the plague, he set about doing good deeds. The plight of three women who were destitute became known to him and he is said to have thrown three bags of gold through their window. These three balls of gold became the symbol used by the pawnbrokers representing financial aid in a time of need. He became Bishop of Myra, a city in Southwest Turkey. He is thought to have been murdered in the Diocletian persecution of 305.
Thursday 7th December- St Ambrose:  St Ambrose was a lawyer in Milan and not yet baptised when, inspired the shouts of a child in the crowd, the people of the city made him their bishop. He was renowned for his eloquence as a preacher and for his gifts as a hymn-writer. He is said to have baptised Augustine.
Friday 8th December – The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

CARITAS DIOCESE OF SALFORD ADVENT APPEAL
Our diocesan charity, Caritas Salford, has launched its Advent appeal for 2023, including a very special animation film voiced by local children.  You can view the short animation and find out more about how you can make a donation to the appeal, or take action to help people in our parish who are experiencing crisis this Christmas, by visiting the Caritas Salford website: www.caritassalford.org.uk/beethere  

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
“O that you would tear the heavens open and come down”. This is the phrase that leaps out at me every time I read this passage from Isaiah. It’s so full of desperation and yearning. But does it reflect our real mood? When we use the 3rd Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, we pray, “as we look forward to his second coming…”, but I’m not sure that we do. I suspect that we would rather hope that he would leave us to get on with things on our own for a while longer. The idea of a second coming can seem apocalyptic and frightening. But the reality is that we’re often making a mess of things and desperately need God’s help.
The beginning of this season of Advent is not a time to start pre-empting Christmas, filling it with carol singing, and Christmas parties, Christmas films and the wearing of Christmas pullovers. It’s a time for facing the harsh realities of life now, whether it’s the problems of climate change, or the seemingly insoluble problems in the Middle East, or how you will cope with a developing serious illness in a family member, or so much more. We don’t usually have to think too long before we might begin to echo the line of Isaiah, “O that you would tear the heavens open and come down”. This is a time for yearning, patience, and silence.
The Gospel reading speaks again about the need to stay awake. This is not an encouragement to deprive ourselves of sleep but to make ourselves more aware of the present moment. In a recent broadcast on BBC Radio Four called ‘The Bright Side of Life”, Jonathan Dimbleby chats to his brother who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in the spring of this year. His brother, Nicholas, admits that there are times when everything seems bleak, but then he tries to enter into the joy of the moment. He describes the house martins outside his window putting on a display like the battle of Britain as they catch insects, and he speaks of the importance of the people around him who give him hugs.
Advent is first recognising our yearning for God because of the darkness in our world, but then it’s a time of hope because, in that very darkness, we see something of God’s blessing already breaking through.

WHAT IS A DIOCESAN SYNOD? 
As parishes and schools across the diocese continue to feed into the Big Listen exercise for our Diocesan Synod, we're sharing a short video which explains a little more about what a synod is and what it means for our local Church today. Please feel free to share the video at any Big Listen sessions, on your website or social media channels, or in your parish newsletter (see suggested newsletter insert below). The video is available by visiting https://youtu.be/v0yU3gtfwV8

GIFT AID TAX REFUND AND LEGACY
During the week, we received a tax refund for Gift aided monies. The amount we received was £5,365.88. Our thanks to Chris Dodd for doing the paperwork on this and to all of you who are prepared to gift aid your donations. The payment was for the financial year 2021-22. A further payment for a similar amount is expected for 2022-23. We also received a legacy donation for £3,473.39. Both these payments were a timely help; another £7,221.60 has just been taken out of our account for further work on the demolition of St. Mary’s Church. We have now paid £36,067.12 on the demolition of St. Mary’s since January of this year. I suspect that the payments are not finished yet, but, hopefully, we will get something back eventually for the sale of the land.

PARISH INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
Many thanks to all those who took part in the festival and to all those who attended despite the cold weather.