Sat, March 28, 2020



The Newsletter of St. John the Baptist Parish

23 Shore Street, Port Glasgow PA14 5HD, Tel: 01475 741139

Scottish Charity No. SCO13514

Parish Priest - Reverend Maurice Callaghan


29th March 2020 - Fifth Sunday of Lent (A)

Please pray for
† those who are sick: 
 James Brannigan, Korbin Gabb (9yrs), Joshua McGivern (baby), Callum Gibson, Isabel Gibson, Finlay Monaghan, Maureen Collins, Derek Voysey, Ben Arkless (age 4yrs), Monsignor Peter Smith, Josephine Watson, Lorna Murray, Anna Mazzoni, Niamh Currie, Megan Edwards, Adam Parker, Nichola Collins, Winnie Bleasdale and Canon Bernard Canning
† those whose anniversaries occur about now:  
Caroline Sisi
Mass Streaming from St. John’s
We’re now up and running as I write this early afternoon on Friday, and I have celebrated Mass online earlier at 9:30am.  Now I’m the last one to give tech advice on social media and have never been on Facebook and, if you pardon the pun, I’m as likely to tweet as fly in the air but I’d like to make a few observations.
Firstly, I’ve just had a look at this morning’s Mass and the sound is rather indistinct.  I’m blaming the sound rather than myself but I think I’m right and will have the engineer try to make it clearer.  This morning’s Mass is available by scrolling back to 9:30am on the feed.  I will try to get advice on things like Facebook where I know it’s posted and give you the results of what they tell me on how to access it.
Access to the stream is easy to get.  Google search for St John the Baptist Port Glasgow and click to open the web page and then click to live stream.  You can drag back on the bar at the bottom of the screen to the time so if you want to view the 9:30am Mass, you’ve got all day to do this.
It’s my intention that a 9:30am Mass be said each weekday.  I say “be said”, it may be that some of the priests who don’t have a parish webcam may want to say the occasional or even a once a week Mass to keep in contact with their people and I’m happy to accommodate them.  I have offered this to any priest who wants to use the facility.  You will notice this Sunday that some priests from other parishes are taking a half hour slot to say Mass. At this point three have taken a slot this coming Sunday morning.  Currently Fr Matthew Carlin will be saying Mass at 10:00am, Fr. Peter McGarry at 10:30am, I’m on at 11:00am and Mgr Gerry Gallagher at 11:30am.  Should others need a slot we will accommodate them.
It is obvious that these Masses must be said in a locked Church and the priest will be in the church by himself.  No one should come to the church at the times of the Masses either on the Sunday or on weekdays.  I include standing outside to pray while Mass is being said or to meet and speak to the priests as they come and go from the church prior to and after Mass.  They are on their own for a reason and I will not meet with my brother priests on Sunday morning.
I believe it best that the parish should be contacted in the first instance by email and then if necessary make contact by telephone.  Our parish email is   As you will see the bulletin has only two new names to be prayed for and so if you wish to put someone’s name in the bulletin online, email me the name.  You could also submit any other intentions and I would consider using them as bidding prayers at Mass during the week.  Possibly if praying for someone you’d need to be fairly sure that they’re happy enough to have their name read out at Mass on a YouTube feed or even have their names included in an online bulletin.
Today’s Reading for Mass can be looked at online prior to Mass.  Universalis is a good site for this.
In Ezekiel the first reading, it’s clear that the people Ezekiel is talking about are not actually physically in the grave.  He’s contrasting a sort of life that’s “no life” a sort of living death with Life with a capital L.  Human beings to live as truly human have to do more than metabolise oxygen by breathing in and out.  Our instincts and appetites are only a small part us.  We have capacities to understand, to make choices.  To do good or to do evil.  To love or to hate.
Jesus came that we have life and life to the fullest and that means truly understanding and out of that understanding making good choices to know our Lord, to relate to our creator to achieve our God given purpose.  This is sometimes difficult, even cruel, as life right now in our world is for so many due to the coronavirus epidemic.  But it is, even in times of crisis, love of God and love of others that allows us to be truly alive even as we suffer.  This is true even in the face of death.  This is Life.  That relationship of love with the source of life is life itself, brings life to all other relationships.  This is what underpins Jesus’ stark and scandalous claim that, “I am the resurrection and the life.  If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die”.  True Life is a relationship with Life itself with the living God and consequently with everyone and everything else.  This is our eternal dimension.  This life never dies.  Do you believe this?
I include the prayer for making a Spiritual Communion.  You can make a Spiritual Communion whenever and wherever you like, using the prayer given below, or with your own heartfelt thoughts.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus,
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Remember, you can receive Jesus in your heart from anywhere you might happen to be, at any time, The Catechism teaches that a Spiritual Communion “is an act of devotion, and one very pleasing to God.” A good time might be if you are following Mass on TV or online at the time when you would receive Holy Communion.
Do you know a neighbour who lives alone or has no support from social services? Please consider the following:
  1. Go to their door but do not enter.  Ask if they need help or shopping.
  2. If you do get shopping leave it at the door, put any change in an envelope and knock the door but do not enter.
  3. If you cannot help offer the following telephone number 07761 055997 which will be checked by the St Vincent de Paul who will try to help.

Funeral Services


Inverclyde Funeral Services Ltd 

Balfour House
6 Balfour Street
Port Glasgow
Renfrewshire  PA14 5HF
Tel: 01475 745678

Church Hall


   St John The Baptist Church Hall

 Available for hire

Contact Catherine on

Tel: 07935 391884 


Funeral Services


Co-Operative Funeralcare

12-14 Princess Street
Port Glasgow
Renfrewshire PA14 5JQ
Tel: 01475 742052