Sat, January 18, 2020

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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


MASS:                 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri:  9:30am
                           Thu:  7:00pm
                           Sat:   10:00am
                           Sun:  Vigil (Sat) 6:00pm, 9:30am,                                           11:00am
CONFESSIONS:  Thu:  6:30 – 7:00pm
                           Sat:  10:30 – 11:00am
DEVOTIONS:      Thu:  6:30 – 7:00pm
Please try to give Fr. Maurice a few weeks’ notice
for baptisms and at least six months’ notice for weddings.
Last Sunday’s collection raised £846.50
Justice & Peace collection raised £503.50
Thank you for your great generosity!

12th January 2020 – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Year 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, Bill Carlin, Niamh Currie, Megan Edwards, Adam Parker, Bonnie Britton (baby) and Nichola Collins
† those who have died recently:  
Gordon Matheson, Betty Gemmell, Sadie Boyle, Francis Graham and Catherine McGarrigle
† those whose anniversaries occur about now:  
Alex Foster, Samuel Parrack, Mary Cameron, Martha Ferrie, Roberta Mulgrew, Mary Duffy, Patrick Duffy, John Duffy, Martha Lombardi, John Pye, James Pye and Andrew Pye
97th Scout Group:  For information on the return of the Beaver & Cubs meetings this year, please email:
Western Catholic Calendar – There are copies of the Western Catholic Calendar available at the back of the church, price £3.20.
Marriage Matters ( The Baptism of the Lord (Isaiah 42:1–4, 6-7  Acts 10:34-38   Matthew 3:13-17).  You are my chosen one.  Today, Isaiah and Matthew talk of Jesus being ‘the Chosen One’ and ‘the Beloved’.  So often we are aware of the times when our partner annoys us. We need to develop a sensitivity, so that when we are tempted to be critical, we remember that this is my ‘chosen one’ and look for ways to affirm our partner, our ‘beloved’.
Dinner/Dance to raise funds for the Diocese of Paisley Pilgrimage to Lourdes: Saturday 22nd February 2020, Greenock Town Hall, 7pm (for 7.30pm). Tickets cost £35 (includes 3 course meal, fizz on arrival and live band). Dress formal. For tickets and further information please email or phone  07950483042.  Includes return bus from Renfrewshire/East Renfrewshire. Donations of raffle prizes and auction items greatly appreciated.
Diocesan Priesthood: Thinking about Diocesan Priesthood in 2020? The Catholic Church in Scotland is now inviting enquiries from those considering applying for seminary. For more information please contact Fr. John Morrison e-mail:
FOR THE ATTENTION OF ALL CHURCH VOLUNTEERS WITH PVG CERTIFICATES OR PENDING PVG CERTIFICATES:  Volunteers doing or planning to do regulated work with children and vulnerable adults or both,  should complete the Safeguarding Training, Induction Part 1.  These sessions will be held in the Diocesan offices, Incle Street, Paisley on: Monday 20th January at 7pm, Monday 9th March at 7pm, Tuesday 5th May at 10.30am, Tuesday 25th August at 7pm.  Please contact Sarah Jane at the Diocesan Safeguarding office or 0141 847 6138 to register. 
Safeguarding Training, Induction Part 2: The new Safeguarding Part 2 Training session is for volunteers who have previously attended Safeguarding Training Part One, or Safeguarding Training Level one, more than 18 months ago.  If you attended Safeguarding Training Level One in 2017 or early 2018, you should put your name forward for Safeguarding Training Part 2.   The next sessions will be on:  Tuesday 21st January at 7pm St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, Clarkston,  Thursday 5th March at 7pm St. Mary’s Parish Hall, Greenock,  Monday 30th March at 10.30am in Diocesan Offices, Incle Street, Paisley,  Tuesday 12th May at 7pm St. Ninian’s Parish Hall, Gourock,  Monday 8th June at 7pm St. Joseph’s & St. Patrick’s Parish Hall, Wemyss Bay.  Please contact Sarah Jane at the Diocesan Safeguarding office or 0141 847 6138 to register. 
Pro-Life Mass: This month’s Pro-Life Mass is on Wednesday, 15th January in Blessed John Duns Scotus, 270 Ballater St, Gorbals G5 0YT. There will be Adoration at 6pm, followed by Rosary at 7pm and Mass at 7.30pm. All welcome. The celebrant will be Fr Joseph McAuley.
You may have noted the Christmas clearing, today Christmas ends with the adult Jesus' baptism.  The Liturgical Calendar reminds us that, 'Christmas is the celebration of the Saviour coming to earth.  Mostly the emphasis is on human acceptance (or rejection) of the Saviour.'  Today's Gospel of Matthew presents how Jesus came to be baptised by our patron St. John the Baptist, John himself felt it was more appropriate that he should be baptised by Jesus nevertheless Jesus suggested that we should carry out the baptismal process as Jesus suggested and, 'do all that righteousness demands'.  The Gospel of St. Matthew tells us as soon as Jesus was Baptised He came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him.  And a voice spoke from heaven, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on Him.'  This would be a good time to have before us the Preface of today's Mass for the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, "It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father, almighty and eternal God.  For in the waters of the Jordan You revealed with signs and wonders a new Baptism, so that through the voice that came down from Heaven we might come to believe in Your Word dwelling among us, and by the Spirit's descending in the likeness of a dove we might know that Christ Your Servant has been anointed with the oil of gladness and sent to bring the good news to the poor.  And so, with the powers of Heaven, we worship You constantly on earth, and before Your Majesty without end we acclaim:  Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.'
This presents us with a careful reminder of the guidance and prayerful detail these words can share with us and can allow us to absorb into our mind, heart and soul.  These words are followed shortly by the Eucharist Prayer and Words of Consecration where we will have ordinary bread and ordinary wine changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.  Baptism is the gateway to all the Sacraments.  What a gift is given to all of us as we like Jesus are filled with the new life of grace and embraced as Children of God through the waters of Baptism not as a moment, as a celebration from now to eternity filled with sanctifying grace to enable us to grow in the love of God and one another.  This is a time to think about growing in our faith.  We must remember we are called to live our faith every moment of every day.  No matter who we think we are in our family, our work, our school wherever we may be, we are all equally loved by God Our Father.  Try and make a little more time for God and one another.  It is important, though not always easy to understand, God and the things of God.  It is important to have a sense of belonging.  Do not be afraid to visit Church more, to talk about our faith to be proud of the fact that we are Christians and Roman Catholics.  This year will as you know be the Gospel of St. Matthew.  The Ordinary Time of the Year starts tomorrow.  This season is devoted to, 'the unfolding of the Mystery of Christ in all its aspects, Matthew shares with us the importance of the Kingdom of heaven.  Matthew has made clear to his audience, writing for Jewish Christians using many old Testament quotations.  In this way he believes that the scriptures are being fulfilled in the person and word of Jesus.  Jesus does not come to destroy the law but to fulfil it.  Jesus reduces all the commandments of the law to the commandment of love; love is Christian freedom.  Love communicates not a lesser righteousness but a greater.'
This is an important week coming, as we are celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity beginning on Saturday 18th January and ending on Saturday 25 January 2020, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.  This year’s theme is "Unusual Kindness", we live in a world when so many people have varied faith and many of other non Christian faiths.  There are also a number of people who have no faith.  There are, however, those within our society who are against all faiths and some can be anti faith of all kinds.  When we consider the love that God has for us sending His only Son as well the Advocate the Holy Spirit to watch over us and protect us in our hour of need.  For many years now we as Roman Catholics have had very many positive Ecumenical links with Port Glasgow Churches and beyond.  This is a crucial time for us to come together in prayer and fellowship coming together as Christians and reaching out to every denomination and encourage also those who wish to join in fellowship.  As you are aware there are regular talks and conferences for those who wish to know more about our Catholic Faith and may wish instruction.  It is essential these days for us of every denomination to pray together with common purpose.  Our theme for this year is so important, Acts 28:2 "Unusual Kindness", "the Islanders showed us extraordinary kindness.  They kindled a fire and welcomed all of us because it was raining and cold," we pray that much "unusual kindness" may be seen and many reach out in faith, love and charity, that we may all be One in Jesus.
Annual Safeguarding Report – Sunday 12th January 2020 - The annual diocesan safeguarding report will be read out by parish safeguarding co-ordinators in all parishes at Masses on Sunday 12th January 2020. Paisley diocese and our parish welcome the special responsibility we have for all children, young people and vulnerable adults in our community.
In our Church there are two posters. The first reaches out to survivors of abuse in the Church and invites them to contact our safeguarding team confidentially if they feel able. The Church has confidential and independent professional counselling services available to survivors of abuse within the Church.  We are also organising a presentation on Saturday 9 May 2020 by Fr Dominic Allain about the ‘Grief to Grace’ retreat. ‘Grief to Grace’ has helped many abuse survivors to find help and healing, as the testimonies on their website report.
The second poster highlights our Safeguarding Manual with the contact details of your Parish Co-ordinator and the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.  Please contact your parish safeguarding co-ordinator or the Parish Priest if you have any concerns regarding the abuse or harm of any child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Last year the Scottish Bishops published a new and improved safeguarding manual called ‘In God’s Image’ which includes developments in best practice and implements the recommendations of the McLellan Commission.  Our diocesan trainers deliver ongoing training to volunteers, parish safeguarding co-ordinators (PSCs) and clergy. Since October 2016 they have trained 1,314 volunteers, as well as PSCs and clergy. Training promotes vigilance and ensures those working with children and vulnerable adults know the Church’s system for reporting disclosures or concerns they may receive.
2020 September (2nd/9th September) and October Pilgrimage to Medjugorje: This is a fully escorted pilgrimage and great places to visit.  If you are interested in joining the group from St Mary’s Parish, Paisley, to Medjugorje in September or October 2020 please fill in the form and send your deposit to Fr Jude.

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