This Week 16 - 23 September 2018

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald'sSt Mary's
(Latin Mass)
Sunday10.30 am Mass
2.00 pm Blessing of Animals

(Sat) 6.00 pm Vigil Mass
8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Sung Mass
6.00 pm Low Mass
Monday7.30 pm Prayer Group12.10 pm Mass
Tuesday11.30 am Exposition
12.15 pm Mass
7.30 pm Novena to Our Lady, Untier of Knots
9.30 am Mass12.10 pm Mass
Wednesday10.00 am Funeral Service
(Ida Birchall)
12.10 pm Mass
Thursday1.30 pm Funeral Service
(Don Delaney)
9.30 am Funeral Mass
(Kevin Duffy)
7.30 pm Novena
12.10 pm Mass
Friday12.15 pm Mass
6.45 pm Meditation
12.10 pm Mass
Saturday4.00 pm Slovak Mass
10.00 - 11.00 am Exposition
6.00 pm Vigil Mass
12.10 pm Mass
Sunday10.30 am Mass
2.00 pm Mass of Anointing of the Sick
8.30 am Mass
3.30 pm Polish Mass
11.00 am Sung Mass
6.00 pm Low Mass



Today is ‘Home Mission Sunday’ when we pray especially for the spread of the Gospel in our own country. There will be a Second Collection which will be used to help Catholics throughout England and Wales become more confident in sharing their faith. For more information:



You are invited to bring your pet (or a photo of your pet) to a Service of Blessing and Prayers for Animals at St Benedict’s today (Sunday) at 2.00 pm. The service will be led by Fr Dave and the Rev Mavis McDonnell (from St Ann’s, Orford). If your pet has died, you might like to bring a photo of them so that we can display them and remember them. The service will include a short talk by ‘The Fox Man’ from Freshfields Animal Rescue, and there will be a retiring collection to support the wonderful work they do in helping sick and injured foxes in Merseyside and surrounding areas. The service will be followed by refreshments. PLEASE ensure your pet is safe (i.e. in a carrier or on a lead). All are welcome.


CAFOD’s Senior Emergency Manager, Robert Cruickshank, will be speaking about CAFOD’s work in the drought-ridden areas of East Africa and Ethiopia in particular. All are welcome to this free event on Monday 17 September at 7.30 pm at St Joseph’s, Penketh.



The Novena to Our Lady, Untier of Knots, has become popular ever since Pope Francis spoke about it in 2013. However, the devotion actually goes back to the second century. Saint Irenaeus wrote that, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary; what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.” In short, Mary’s faith helps to untie the knots in our lives!

From September until July 2019 (except December and April), there will be a Novena to Our Lady, Untier of Knots, across the Pastoral Area. The Novena will take place on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7.30 pm in a different church each month. The Novena will begin at St Benedict’s on Tuesday 18 September at 7.30 pm. Theme: Identifying the Knots in our Lives.



There will be a Mass of Anointing of the Sick for parishioners on Sunday 23 September at 2.00 pm in St Benedict’s Church, followed by refreshments in St Benedict’s Parish Centre. Please note: this Mass fulfils the Sunday obligation.

What is the Sacrament of the Sick?

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is no longer the Last Rites! Through the apostle James, Jesus commanded us: “Are there any sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them” (cf. James 5: 14-16).

Who is the Sacrament for?

The sacrament is for those “whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age”. In addition, “a sick person may be anointed before surgery whenever a serious illness is the reason for the surgery. Elderly people may be anointed if they have become notably weakened even though no serious illness is present. Sick children may be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be strengthened by this sacrament” (cf. Introduction to the Pastoral Care of the Sick, paragraphs 8-12). I also think the sacrament is appropriate for those suffering with mental health issues (e.g. depression, dementia, etc), those with ongoing medical conditions, those trying to overcome addiction, and those suffering disability or trauma. If you are unsure, please have a word with me.


The Parish website has a new address: For the time being, you can still reach the website using the old address as well.

St Mary’s Shrine also has a new website address:



On Tuesday 1 May 2018, the three parishes of St Benedict’s, St Mary’s and St Oswald’s merged into the new Parish of Blessed James Bell. The new parish incorporates three Churches (St Benedict’s, St Oswald’s & St Mary’s Shrine), two Catholic Primary Schools (St Benedict’s & St Oswald’s), two Parish Centres (St Benedict’s & St Oswald’s) and one Parish Office (based at St Benedict’s).


Fr Dave's Blog

24th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

Gospel  (Mark 8: 27-35)

Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’ And they told him. ‘John the Baptist,’ they said ‘others Elijah; others again, one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter spoke up and said to him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

He called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.’



At the time of the Lord Jesus, the cross was feared by the peoples who were occupied by the Roman Empire. It was a brutal form of torture and death that was used for extreme offenses against political stability or the collection of taxes.

People who were under Rome’s authority trembled at the possibility of the cross and imperial Rome relied on that fright for the facilitation of control and commerce. The cross was so savage that by Roman law no formal citizen of the empire could be crucified. The Roman philosopher Cicero argued that no civilized person should even utter the word “crucifixion” since it was such an affront to civilization and decency.

And yet, in the forum of this heinous and infernal reality, the Lord Jesus – gentle and humble of heart – calls his followers to “take up their cross.” We can only imagine the initial shock and disbelief of the original listeners to his message. This teacher wants us to take up the cross? Is he serious? Is this rabbi sane?

It light of this realization, it might also help us to appreciate why the imagery of the cross was not predominant in Christian worship or art until Christianity was given legal tolerance in the fourth century. Up until that time, the popular images of the Lord Jesus were of him as the Good Shepherd or the Good Teacher. Even Christians, who accepted the hypothetical of the cross, feared its reality and avoided its depiction.

And yet, the cross is what the Lord gives as a condition to following him. How is such an invitation to be understood?

The cross stands as the world spins. It strips away any romanticism, idealism, or any such fluff. It cuts to the core of our fallen world. It lifts up the thin veneer of civilization and implodes artificiality. It shows us – in all its severity – the darkness and nothingness of sin and the real capacity for evil in our own hearts and in our world.

The Lord is not a divine handy man. He does not offer false comfort or empty promises. He does not commit himself to remove suffering from us. The Lord offers the cross and he asks his disciples to accept it.

Rather than one more self-help guide, the message of Jesus Christ is a radical call to embrace what is most feared and evil, so that they can be fought and conquered from the inside out. The Christian way of life is an empowerment by God’s grace to boldly announce good news to despair and generous redemption to sin.

The life of the Christian believer is one marked by the acceptance of the cross, in imitation of the Lord Jesus, so that goodness can be championed and glory can be revealed.

(Adapted from an article by Fr Jeffrey Kirby in 16 September 2018)

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