Author Archives: St Patricks Church


Between July 17 and June 18 Borderlands served 5737 meals, gave out 984 food bags, made 240 bus tickets available and booked 41 journeys. They saw 543 individuals and gave 2280 English lessons.

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Cheshire Home, Mongu

We are pleased to say that Sr. Stella, our Presentation Sister, who has been our link to Mongu in Zambia, is planning to come to our Sunday Mass on Sunday 22nd July.
Afterwards you are all welcome to enjoy Hospitality in the Hall.
This won’t be a fund raiser, but a basket will be available for those who wish to make a donation to the Cheshire Home in Mongu

13th Sunday of the Year (B) 2018

‘There was a woman afflicted with haemorrhages for twelve years.’
Central to this event is Leviticus 15. ‘When a woman is afflicted with a flow of blood …. she shall be unclean, just as during her menstrual period.’
As you can imagine a patriarchal Old Testament was not female friendly.
In the Old Testament being unclean meant that (like lepers) you could have no contact with God or other human beings. You were forbidden the synagogue and its prayers and devotions. Anything or anyone you touched became unclean.
So this woman was not only physically sick but also regarded as spiritually sick and ostracised by everyone. She could not even have the consolation of recourse to her religion and her God.
All this through no fault of her own. She was the victim but punished as the perpetrator.
Imagine her relief and joy not only at her physical cure but at the words of Jesus; ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’
How many Catholics are experiencing the same exclusion and sense of guilt as this unfortunate woman? How many Catholics feel excluded from their church and their God because of some clergy who think and act like the Pharisees. Pope Francis is trying to apply the mind of Christ to all these moral teachings and practises but is meeting unyielding opposition.
The church is given authority to lead people to God by its teaching and practises. Nobody has the authority to act as a stumbling block for others in their search for God.
Pope Francis is trying to teach us to take responsibility for our own decisions in religious and moral matters. This particularly in marital and sexual problems.
There are plenty of embezzlers, thieves, liars, corrupt officials, drug dealers, human traffickers etc. walking around freely and nobody is telling them that they cannot receive Holy Communion.
But have some marital or sexual problem and the whole weight of ecclesiastical law lands on your head!!!
If you are excluding yourself or have been told to exclude yourself from Holy Communion, think long and hard about how you are treating your God – not as a loving and compassionate parent but as an unforgiving and small-minded overseer.

Birth of John the Baptist (B) 2018

‘Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist.’
Why did Jesus of Nazareth describe John the Baptist in those words?
For Jesus of Nazareth John was greater that Abraham, than Isaac, than Jacob, than Samuel, Elijah, David, and Solomon. For him John was greater than Peter or Paul or any of the Apostles. For him John was greater than his mother, than Mary of Magdala or anyone else you can think of.
I wonder why?
For me the reason is that at the height of his physical and mental abilities (he was only 30), at the height of his popularity and power (he was so popular and had such a large dedicated following that neither political leaders nor religious leaders could touch him despite his excoriating them for their hypocrisy and immorality) he urged and even ordered his followers to follow and listen to this newcomer called Jesus of Nazareth.
He was well aware of what this would mean for him, and what very soon happened. With the departure of most of his followers to join Jesus of Nazareth his political and religious enemies had him quickly arrested, jailed and executed without trial.
John the Baptist was the greatest because he had no personal desire for greatness; it was thrust upon him by God. He accepted greatness and immediately abandoned greatness as his God willed, although the latter came at a terrible price.
He underwent much soul-searching and was plagued by doubts as we read in the Gospels: From prison “John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask. Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
It is amazing that we have all sorts of people within our church urging us to pray to this saint or that saint, to practise this devotion or that devotion but I have never heard of anyone urging us to pray to John the Baptist or pushing a devotion to John the Baptist!!!
This is John the Baptist. This is what he was and is like. He steppes aside. He relinquishes power gladly. He does not promote himself. He likes the background. For him it is only God who matters. It is God he promotes. He eschews showy devotions. He is not the patron saint of anything. He was never canonised (as far as I know). You do not see statues of him in churches surrounded by votive lights and vases of flowers. Have you ever seen a prayer to John the Baptist?
And yet according to Jesus of Nazareth – God the Son the Second person of the Blessed Trinity – he is the greatest.
For me his greatness is in his humility and his total dedication to the will of his God.

Preloved Sale

A big “Thank you” to all those who helped in any way with the Pre-Loved Sale.
We had plenty to sell and lots of refreshments, but sadly not enough customers. However, undaunted, we raised £170 and will re-run it at the end of September

Battlefield Bike Ride (update)

John completed the Help4Heroes Bike ride; 355 miles from Compiegne to Mons and is very grateful for the very generous support received from St. Patrick’s congregation.
A final total is not available but will be published soon. However, donations of over £700 have been recieved from parishioners, which is magnificent and very much appreciated.
John will be in Church at Masses on the 14th and 15th July to collect outstand-
ing pledges and provide a brief report on the event.
He wishes to thank everyone for their support and encouragement.