Monday, 24 June 2013


A few weeks ago a couple came to church requesting baptism for their child.  It was only at the end of the Mass that I realised that they were both deaf and used sign language to communicate.  The child to be baptised and her older sibling are both hearing.

God moves in mysterious ways.  When I was a teenager I was bored one evening and looked thriugh the pages of the local paper and came across an advert for classes in sign language.  It looked as if it might be a useful skill to have so I went along to the classes.

At one of the classes we had to talk about our interests and our work.  I made the ''mistake'' of saying that I was thinking about becoming a priest.  I say mistake because unbeknown to me our teacher was a Catholic herself and involved in the Catholic Deaf Association.  Thus began my interest in liturgical sign language.

Unfortunately I do not have many opportinities to use the sign language I learnt all those years ago and have become a bit rusty.  With a deaf couple now coming to Mass regularly it has re ignited my interest in communication with deaf people.

Over the last few weeks I have been signing some of the Mass at St Marie's.  I hope that this has been of some help to those who use this language as a form of communication. 

If any one who has a skill in this area and would be interested helping at Mass then please do get in touch.  Perhaps we could form a group for anyone who might be interested in learning sign language. 

Sunday, 23 June 2013


After their First Holy Communion the children of St Marie's had a little party in school to celebrate this great day. 

Here are some pictures from the celebration.  A party for the children of St Joseph's is planned in the near future.  Pictures to follow.


This Sunday the children of St Joseph's school gathered with their families to receive their First Holy Communion. 

From about 2:00pm the children started to arrive to have individual photos taken by our photographer and then take their places at the front of the church ready for the celebration.

The children took an active part in the Mass by proclaiming the readings, leading us in the bidding prayers and by joining in heartily with the singing.

My thanks once again go to our teachers who have worked with me in preparing the children.  Also to their families for the way that they have supported the programme throughout the year.

My thanks also go to our parishioners who came to support the children with their prayer.  Also thank you to our musicans and altar servers for leadinging us in such a prayerful celebration.


The children of St Marie's School gathered with their families and friends recently to celebrate their First Holy Communion.  Through their readings, prayers and music the children made the celebration a very prayerful ocassion for all of us. 

My thanks go to the teachers, parents and the children for the way that they have participated in the programme this year. 

My thanks also go to our parishioners who came along to support the children.  I would especially like to thank our choir and organist who through their leading of the singing and music helped to raise our hearts and minds to God.

Here are some pictures from our celebration.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Decades after John XXIII placed the name of Joseph in the Roman Canon, it seems that the name of the great Patron of the Dying, Terror of Demons, will be in the Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV in the 3rd edition of the Missale Romanum.

A document issued with the authority of Pope Francis from the Congregation for Divine Worship - Paternas Vices- communicates the decree. 
The words to be inserted in the Eucharistic Prayers are as follows:

Eucharistic Prayer II:
that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
with Blessed Joseph, her Spouse,
with the blessed Apostles

Eucharistic Prayer III:
with the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
with blessed Joseph, her Spouse,
with your blessed Apostles and glorious Martyrs

Eucharistic Prayer IV:
with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
with blessed Joseph, her Spouse,
and with your Apostles

Thursday, 13 June 2013


On the feast of St Anthony there is the tradition of Blessing Lilies in his honour.  The Prayer of Blessing is given here:

O God, Who art the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, the Lover of spotless purity, the Giver of all grace and everlasting life, sanctify by Thy holy benediction these lilies, which in thanksgiving, and in honour of St. Anthony, Thy Confessor, we present for Thy blessing.

Pour down upon them, by the sacred sign of the holy Cross, Thy heavenly dew, Thou Who didst so kindly create them to gladden man by their beauty and fragrance; enrich them with such power, that to whatsoever disease they may be applied, or in whatsoever home they may be kept, or on whatsoever person they may be borne with devotion, through the intercession of Thy servant, Anthony, they may cure every sickness, repel the attacks of Satan, preserve holy chastity, and bring peace and grace to all who serve Thee. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


On this day fifteen years ago, at the hands of the Rt Rev John Jukes OFM Conv, Titular Bishop of Strathearn and Auxilllary in Southwark I was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood at St Clare's Chuch, Higher Blackley, Manchester. 

Say a prayer for me today that 'Et a Te numquam separari permittas - Never let me be parted from You.'

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


This is the reflection given  by one of our young people at the Corpus Christi devotions held in the parish on 2nd June

Jesus, I trust in You.

With these words I plunged myself into the unknown.

My faith had not lapsed but my regular attendance at confession had. With these words, Jesus, I trust in You, I stepped into the breach and entered the confessional for the first time in about 2 years. I had forgotten most of the rite of reconciliation and so had to inform the priest on the other side of the grille of this. He was wonderfully encouraging and sat and listened carefully to what I had to get off my chest. The few words of advice he offered to me as I came to the end of telling him my sins will stay with me forever. “Don’t make mountains out of molehills.” He then went on to elaborate on what he meant by this. In making a regular confession, he explained, we find that we can take a more realistic approach to the small hiccups along our spiritual journey with the Lord. Whereas, in the ‘once every Preston guild’ approach to confession we might find ourselves going into the confessional with a shopping list of sins we need to get off our chest and in doing so find ourselves all het up about going, so then we delay a little while longer, thinking up every excuse under the sun for not going. My dear people, the sins will not go away themselves. Through the regular practise of going to confession acknowledging our sins becomes much easier. As St. Phillip Neri said; “One of the very best means of obtaining humility is sincere and frequent confession.”

And now some humble words from St Alphonsus Ligouri on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Whoever you are, that design to approach the holy sacrament of penance, remember that you are going to undertake a work, on the good performance of which, more than any other duty, your eternal welfare depends.

You must, therefore, retire apart from every external source of distraction, place yourself in the presence of God, and humbly adore Him.

You should then represent to yourself that this is, as very possibly it may be, the last confession you will ever have the opportunity of making. This reflection will induce you to discharge every part of your duty, both as to the examination of your conscience, your sorrow for your sins, your firm purpose of amending your life, and the sincerity of your confession, in the most perfect manner possible.

Begin your preparation by imploring the light and grace of Almighty God, who alone can discover to you the nature of your sins, and give you true repentance.

In the examination of conscience we may feel uncomfortable as we are aware that perhaps we are not living the life that The Lord wants us to lead. The Sacrament of Reconciliation therefore provides the ways and means for us to make reparation, to reconcile ourselves with The Lord. The feeling of relief as we exit the confessional, having had the weight of our sins that we have called to mind, lifted from our shoulders is immeasurable and is a true sign of a good confession having been made.

In the absolution of our sins we are granted pardon and peace to heal our sins, to help us grow in holiness and one day reward us with eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who reconciled Himself to the world.

As I mentioned before, the feeling of relief that is felt after having been absolved of the sins we may have mentioned in the confessional is unique. The feeling of the grace of God passing over you as the slate is wiped clean, and that through the help of God’s grace we will try not to sin again, is wonderful. And so, brothers and sisters, I implore you to look deeply within your own lives. Are we really living the life that God wants for us? How can we be better soldiers for Christ?

Through the regular practice of examining our consciences and presenting ourselves before The Lord saying “look, this is me, this is who I am, and I’m sorry” as we enter the confessional, we can all hope to become the people that God wants us to be.


For the Solemnity of Corpus Christi our Holy Father, Pope Francis asked us to unite with him in adoration od the Lord present in the Bblessed Sacrament.  Within our parish we decided to make of it an afternoon of Adoration, prayer and reflection.  The intention for our prayer was the Sanctification of the Clergy and Vocations to the preisthood and Religious Life.   

The day of prayer begin at 2:00pm with simple expostion of the Blessed Sacrament.  Fr. Francis then renewed the promises that he made on the day of his ordnation.

On the first Sunday of the month we usually have devotions in honour of the Divine Mercy.  So at 3:00pm we recited the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Litany of Mercy.  This was followed by a reflection on the Sacrmaent of Reconcialition given by one of the yooung people in the parish.  After the reflection there was a opportunity to celebrate the Lord's Divine Mercy by going to Confession.

At 4:00pm we recited the Litany of the Blessed Sacrament.  This was followed by a reflection on the Mass given by one of our young people.

At 5:00pm we prayed Vespers from the Divine Office remembering especially all priests throughout the world and praying for vocations to the priethood and religious life.  We remembered especially those from our own diocesan vocations group.

Our afternoon concluded with a procession.  The Blessed Sacrament was carried in Procession to the Galipoli Gardens, just a short distance from St Marie's.  Here we offered prayer for Drummer Lee Rigby and all who have lost theeir lives in warfare and violence.  Once we returned to the church there was an poortunity to venerate the relic of St John Vianney, patron saint of priests.

It was a truly wonderful afternoon.  My thanks go to those who worked so hard to help make it so.  One lady commented 'I have been in this parish since 1953 and I have never been to any thing so wonderful.'

Here are some photos taken from the celebration.  Unfortunately they do not quite come in chronological order.  I have not sussed how to layout photos properly on the blog.
Statue and Relic of St John Vianney

Adoration, Prayers and Benediction in the Galipoli Gardens
The Procession wends its way
through the Gardens

Benediction was also given at the War Memorial
as we remembered Drummer Lee Rigby

The faithful assist at the devotions

Veneration of the Relic of St John Vianney

The faithful at prayer

Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament leads the way

Veneration of the Relic
The procession is formed in church

The faithful gather in Adoration

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Congratulations to Erin Grace Murillo who was baptised at St Marie's Marie's recently.  Do please keep her family in your prayers.


Recently I was over at the Shrine Church of St Peter, Paul and Philomena in New Brighton.  On that ocassion I sang the Mass for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.  Do please keep the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) in your prayers.

Here are a few photos from the celebration.