Saturday, 31 December 2011


Losing a relative or a friend is never easy.  As Christmas approaches it is made even more difficult.  We extend to families who have lsot loved ones at this time our deepest sympathies and the assurance of our prayers for them and their loved ones.

Of your charity pray for th souls of those who have recently died:

Bishop John Jukes OFM Conv
Peter Gaunt
Franciszek Wisla
Anna Krupa
Fr. Basil Prior OSM
George Wynn
James William Gibbs
Michael Bleakley
Hilda Margaret Kelly
Helena Gluba

And all those whose anniversaries occur around this time


Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Councillor John Byrne and Deputy Mayor of Bury who died suddenly a few days ago.  May he rest in peace.

To his family we extend our prayers and our deepest condolences.

Thursday, 29 December 2011


On Sunday 18th December we witnessed the reception of two adults into the full communion with the Catholic Church.

At the 9:30am Mass at St Joseph's, Choi Ford was received into the Church by baptism, was then Confirmed and made her first Holy Communion.

At the 11:30am Mass at St Marie's Tracey Miniero made her Profession of Faith and was recieved into the full communion with the Church.  She also received the Sacrament of Confirmation and made her first Holy Communion.

Saturday, 24 December 2011



10:30 - 12:30 in St. Marie's

6:30pm Vigil Mass
in St Joseph's Church

12:00 Midnight Mass in
St Marie's Church


9:15am Holy Mass in St Joseph's Church
11:30am Holy Mass in St Marie's Church

Thursday, 22 December 2011



In this 'season of goodwill' when tempers can become a little frayed here is something to lighten your burden.  It has been produced by the Sons of the Most Holy Reedeemer.  Find out more about them here:


Following on from last year I was able to purchase a few more figures for the Crib this year.  Our new additions are Standing Angel, Shepherd, Adoring Angel and a couple of Sheep. They can been seen in the photo with this post.  Unfortunately the picture quality is not that great. 

Friday, 16 December 2011


I share with you the Pastoral Letter of the Bishop of Aberdeen on the subject of silence.  Something we all need a bit of as Christmas approaches.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We live in a noisy world. Our towns and cities are full of noise. There is noise in the skies and on the roads. There is noise in our homes, and even in our churches. And most of all there is noise in our minds and hearts.

The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard once wrote: ‘The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and I were asked for my advice, I should reply: “Create silence! Bring people to silence!” The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today. And even if it were trumpeted forth with all the panoply of noise so that it could be heard in the midst of all the other noise, then it would no longer be the Word of God. Therefore, create silence!’

‘Create silence!’ There’s a challenge here. Surely speaking is a good and healthy thing? Yes indeed. Surely there are bad kinds of silence? Yes again. But still Kierkegaard is on to something.

There is a simple truth at stake. There can be no real relationship with God, there can be no real meeting with God, without silence. Silence prepares for that meeting and silence follows it. An early Christian wrote, ‘To someone who has experienced Christ himself, silence is more precious than anything else.’ For us God has the first word, and our silence opens our hearts to hear him. Only then will our own words really be words, echoes of God’s, and not just more litter on the rubbish dump of noise.

‘How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.’ So the carol goes. For all the noise, rush and rowdiness of contemporary Christmasses, we all know there is a link between Advent and silence, Christmas and silence. Our cribs are silent places. Who can imagine Mary as a noisy person? In the Gospels, St Joseph never says a word; he simply obeys the words brought him by angels. And when John the Baptist later comes out with words of fire, it is after years of silence in the desert. Add to this the silence of our long northern nights, and the silence that follows the snow. Isn’t all this asking us to still ourselves?

A passage from the Old Testament Book of Wisdom describes the night of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt as a night full of silence. It is used by the liturgy of the night of Jesus’ birth:

‘When a deep silence covered all things and night was in the middle of its course, your all-powerful Word, O Lord, leapt from heaven’s royal throne’ (Wis 18:14-15).

‘Holy night, silent night!’ So we sing. The outward silence of Christmas night invites us to make silence within us. Then the Word can leap into us as well, as a wise man wrote: ‘If deep silence has a hold on what is inside us, then into us too the all-powerful Word will slip quietly from the Father’s throne.’

This is the Word who proceeds from the silence of the Father. He became an infant, and ‘infant’ means literally ‘one who doesn’t speak.’ The child Jesus would have cried – for air and drink and food – but he didn’t speak. ‘Let him who has ears to hear, hear what this loving and mysterious silence of the eternal Word says to us.’ We need to listen to this quietness of Jesus, and allow it to make its home in our minds and hearts.

‘Create silence!’ How much we need this! The world needs places, oases, sanctuaries, of silence.

And here comes a difficult question: what has happened to silence in our churches? Many people ask this. When the late Canon Duncan Stone, as a young priest in the 1940s, visited a parish in the Highlands, he was struck to often find thirty or forty people kneeling there in silent prayer. Now often there is talking up to the very beginning of Mass, and it starts again immediately afterwards. But what is a church for, and why do we go there? We go to meet the Lord and the Lord comes to meet us. ‘The Lord is in his holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before him!’ said the prophet Habakkuk. Surely the silent sacramental presence of the Lord in the tabernacle should lead us to silence? We need to focus ourselves and put aside distractions before the Mass begins. We want to prepare to hear the word of the Lord in the readings and homily. Surely we need a quiet mind to connect to the great Eucharistic Prayer? And when we receive Holy Communion, surely we want to listen to what the Lord God has to say, ‘the voice that speaks of peace’? Being together in this way can make us one – the Body of Christ – quite as effectively as words.

A wise elderly priest of the diocese said recently, ‘Two people talking stop forty people praying.’

‘Create silence!’ I don’t want to be misunderstood. We all understand about babies. Nor are we meant to come and go from church as cold isolated individuals, uninterested in one another. We want our parishes to be warm and welcoming places. We want to meet and greet and speak with one another. There are arrangements to be made, items of news to be shared, messages to be passed. A good word is above the best gift, says the Bible. But it is a question of where and when. Better in the porch than at the back of the church. Better after the Mass in a hall or a room. There is a time and place for speaking and a time and place for silence. In the church itself, so far as possible, silence should prevail. It should be the norm before and after Mass, and at other times as well. When there is a real need to say something, let it be done as quietly as can be. At the very least, such silence is a courtesy towards those who want to pray. It signals our reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. It respects the longing of the Holy Spirit to prepare us to celebrate the sacred mysteries. And then the Mass, with its words and music and movement and its own moments of silence, will become more real. It will unite us at a deeper level, and those who visit our churches will sense the Holy One amongst us.

‘Create silence!’ It is an imperative. May the Word coming forth from silence find our silence waiting for him like a crib! ‘The devil’, said St Ambrose, ‘loves noise; Christ looks for silence.’

Yours sincerely in Him,
+ Hugh, O. S. B.
Bishop of Aberdeen

7 December 2011


Thanks to Fr. Z at for the following

Christmas Biscuit Recipe (New, Corrected Translation)

Cream these ingredients, that by their comingling you may begin to make the dough:
1 chalice butter, 2/3 chalice sugar

In a similar way, when the butter is consubstantial with the sugar, beat in:
1 egg

Gather these dry ingredients to yourself and combine them, so that you may add them to the dough which you have already begun to make:
2 1/2 chalices sifted all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the precious dough with your venerable hands.

Into the refrigerator graciously place the dough so that it may be chilled, for the duration of 3 or 4 hours, before the rolling and cutting of the biscuits.

When, in the fullness of time, you are ready to bake these spotless biscuits, these delicious biscuits, these Christmas biscuits, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough and, taking up a biscuit cutter or stencil of your choosing, fashion the biscuits into pleasing forms.

Sprinkle colourful adornments over the biscuits like the dewfall.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the biscuits have just begun to manifest the brownness that is vouchsafed to them by the oven’s heat.

May these biscuits be found acceptable in your sight, and be borne to a place of refreshment at your table, there to be served with milk or hot chocolate, or with your spirits.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


6:30pm Vigil Mass in St Joseph's Church

Midnight Mass (at Midnight!) in St Marie's Church

9:15am Holy Mass in St Joseph's Church

11:30am Holy Mass in St Marie's Church

1:00pm till 3:30pm Ukrainian Divine Liturgy
of St John Chrysostom


Wednesday 21st December
11:30am - 12:10pm at St Marie's

10:30 - 12:30 at St Marie's


The Bishop and children gather before Mass with
Fr. Steven Parkinson Bishop's Secretary and former curate

Uniformed organisations and primary school children help with the singing

Fathers Michael Buckley (past curate) and Bob Morrow (past PP)

The Bishop says the Opening Prayer of the Mass

The Parish Priest has the last word!
 On the 23rd of November parishioners past and present gathered in St Joseph's Church together with the Bisho pto mark the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the parish.  It was lovely to see the church so full and everyone joining in the celebration. 

Before the Mass begin the children present various national flags to the Bishop representing the nationalities that make up the community. 

During his homily Bishop Brain reflected on how things had changed over the last 150 years, yet the purpose of the parish today is the same as it was was then 'that the name of the Lord may be praised.'  That has certainly been done and we look forward to the next 150 years making the name of the Lord know and loved in this part of Bury.