Sat, February 29, 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 £1,011.00
Thank you for your great generosity!

23rd February 2020 

Seventh Sunday of the 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:  
Michael McGoldrick and Tom Judge
† those whose anniversaries occur about now:  
Betty Connelly, Mary McCauley, Famie & Pat Hemphill, Catherine O’Brien Snr, Michael O’Brien Snr, John Agnew Snr and Elizabeth Mulgrew
Ash Wednesday, 26th February Masses will be at 9:30am and 7:00pm
Preparing for Lent:  Our Lenten Season begins with Ash Wednesday on 26th February.  It is a day of fast and abstinence, which means giving up one meal of the day and abstaining from meat for the whole of the day.  The season of Lent is a liturgical season of forty days of fasting, prayer, and penitence.  The liturgical colour for Lent is violet, the Gloria and Alleluias are omitted, Masses are celebrated with simple music and our sanctuaries are more quietly adorned.
Lenten Station Masses: Bishop John will again be celebrating Station Masses around the diocese this Lent. Please come to your local Mass in St John the Baptist Church (St Stephen’s cluster) on Thursday 19th March.  His 7.00pm Station Mass will be the only Mass in your cluster that day, to allow our priests and people to join him.  Station Mass is simply Mass with the Bishop that replicates the ancient custom of the Popes to go out to ‘station parishes’ around Rome leading up to Easter.  Bishop John’s homilies will be a catechesis on the meaning of the Creed as a simple summary of what Catholics believe.  There will be Eucharistic Adoration and Confessions available from 6.00pm.   Maybe some will make your Lenten discipline to journey to all of these Masses. 
40 Days for Life Lenten Prayer & Fasting Vigil: On Saturday 22nd February the 40 Days for Life Lenten Prayer and Fasting Vigil for an end to abortion will commence with the celebration of Holy Mass at 1pm in St Andrew’s Cathedral. It will be the Feast of the Chair of St Peter. Archbishop Tartaglia will be the celebrant. The 40 Days for Life Vigil will then take place as before from Ash Wednesday 26th February from 8am until 8pm each day outside of the Hardgate Road entrance to the QEUH. The Vigil will close on Palm Sunday 5th April at the QEUH.  Please consider what you are going to do for Lent, come and pray for a culture of life here in Scotland and around the world.  If you would like more information then please contact
Retreat Day for Primary School Pupils: The Diocese of Paisley will be hosting a retreat day for primary school pupils in p4-7 at St. Mary’s, Greenock on Sunday 15th March 2-6pm. The retreat day will include activities, Mass, and the chance to meet new friends. All participants must bring a signed consent form. Consent forms can be obtained from your parish, primary school, downloaded from the Diocesan website or by contacting Fr. John Morrison e-mail: or tel 0141 8895056.
Lenten Reflection Day for s3-6: The Diocese of Paisley will be holding a reflection day for young adults (s-3-s6) on Sunday 1st March at St. Mirin's Chaplaincy Centre, 45 High Street, Paisley. The day will be from 2-6pm and will include Mass at 5pm. Net Ministries will be our facilitators. While the retreat is open to all young people from this age group there is an expectation that any participants in Youth to Lourdes 2020 should be in attendance. All attendees will be required to bring a signed consent form. These can be obtained from your school or your parish or downloaded from the Diocesan website. For more information please contact Fr. John Morrison tel: 01418895056 or email
Marriage Matters ( Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Lev 19:1-2, 17-18    1 Cor 3:16-23   Matt 5:38-48) Finding the joy in our sacramental relationship.  The joy of courting couples is obvious for all to see. Over the years, excitement can lessen, our independent attitudes strengthen; competition and jealousy creep in. Today Jesus calls us to “…turn the other cheek...”.  In confidence share, in trust listen, in faith forgive, so that our spouse will grow in self-worth and the sparkle of joy will reignite.
There will be plenty to think about this week and the weeks ahead as Jesus shares with us the process of retaliation in today's Gospel when people measured their recompense as an "eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth".  It does not bear thinking about.  Some may remember the terrible 'Gang Fights' in Glasgow and elsewhere.  We hear today of the terrible missiles and nuclear armament, in spite of prayers for peace there are many outrageous situations here and abroad.  Jesus however replies by stating the importance of turning the other cheek as the only appropriate way to curb and prevent violence and bring peace.  We live in a world where there is significant violence.  We see this as the world in general, as well as violence as nations and as individuals.  Jesus, the Prince of Peace, encourages us to have peace in our minds, hearts and souls.  Also we need to encourage the Sanctity of Life and The Dignity of the Person so that there may be greater peace and well being for all.  Sharing what we have with others and showing our love for others, not just those who love us.  We know there are such terrible crimes and acts of violence as well as warfare being carried out against all ages, with no regard for any one.  This reminds us again and again of the lack of understanding of human life and the sanctity of such life.  We have all been made and created in the image and likeness of God, even those without any belief in God Our Creator.  We are also very aware of the commandments as God spoke to Moses and the importance of the exhortation and commandment to love our neighbour as ourselves.  It can be a great challenge at times to consider loving our neighbours as ourselves.  It is something we may have to look at a step at a time, yet there have been many instances where individuals have accepted forgiveness of someone who may have murdered someone very close to them, or the many acts of warfare where people lost lives of people close to them.  Jesus today is taking us further in this regard as to, 'love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you'.  We pray that the Heart of Jesus will bind His Heart to ours, reminding us to walk the road of perfection, to which we are called.
As we think of Ash Wednesday to which we will be called this Wednesday, even before we get to Ash Wednesday we may realise many are speaking of Ash Wednesday already, what are you doing?  It is something we can share or something we can keep to ourselves, it is really up to each individual.  You can of course share it with each individual or keep to yourself to your own prayer, penance and devotion.  It is important to remember if you have a great spiritual plan all ready and has almost disintegrated either before you start or a little along the road, do not give up, rather start again or choose another spiritual endeavour or prayer, penance or almsgiving.  Some may use this time to try and fit into a particular dress or suit, or saving money to do without something for themselves.  While not being too harsh upon yourself the aspect of penance and almsgiving is important.  It is a time to remember the importance of the poor and the needy.  There are a number of opportunities to be involved in, especially most masses, talks and spiritual exercises.  Indeed as we know Bishop John is coming to St. John the Baptist for the Station Mass as you can see in the bulletin at 7pm on 19th March, together with Priests from the Deanery.  It may be possible for some to participate in these Masses throughout the Diocese.  It is important that we encourage one another at this time.  Try and remember to come on Ash Wednesday and the days thereafter.  Remember if at any time you feel you have let yourself down, pick yourself up and start again!
Another wonderful reminder just before we get to Ash Wednesday, that is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle. This Feast was on Saturday morning but reminds us of St. Peter and the Teaching Authority of the Pope and the importance of the Papal Teaching throughout the ages.  It is a lovely reminder to us at this time also when we think of St. Peter hearing the words of Jesus as Peter will be the The Rock on which Jesus will build His Church and the gates of the underworld will not prevail against, a special feast to remember the importance of the Church and our belonging and the unbroken links of the Popes throughout the ages.  This is also a good and important time for us to remember our family and friends and others to come to the Masses and Lenten services.  A little thought, St. Peter we remember when he denied Jesus three times, which of course will be high profile for all of our own weaknesses during Lent.  All the more important for us ,do not stay away irrespective of any worries or burdens you feel you may have, think of St. Peter who was forgiven and embraced and forgiven by Jesus.  Jesus does not want any of us to stay away.  Jesus wants you to be with Him.  As our Responsorial Psalm reminds us, "The Lord is Compassion and Love".
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes: The Pilgrimage takes place from 26 June -2 July 2020. For more information please contact Fr Gerry McNellis
Marian Age Pilgrimages: Knock and Lough Derg/Donegal 2020.  Monday 29thJune – Friday 3rd July 2020. Knock and Lough Derg - £320 - Knock and Donegal - £410 (DBB) Single Room Supplement – Knock £10pppn.  To book or for further information contact:  Day – Anne – 07901873259 or evening – Liam – 0141 569 1982 or email
20-40 Network Supper Club Aged 20-40? We are hosting a supper-club networking event at The Butterfly and the Pig on 7th March at 7pm. Tickets are £28 for a two-course meal from a fantastic menu plus coffee. Thereafter you can mingle in the bar with a live band and you have complimentary entry to the neighbouring Buff Club. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet other young Catholics so please come along. Just email to buy a ticket.
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 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. 
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:
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:  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.

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