CROSS

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

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

MARCH 3RD - 9TH
2024


WEEKLY SERVICES
SUNDAY: 10.00am.  12.30pm (Polish Mass)
6.00pm
MONDAY:

12 noon Mass

TUESDAY: 12 noon Mass
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
There will be Confessions on Saturday

Baptisms & Weddings
by arrangement

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.