Sat, August 15, 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



2nd August 2020

18th Sunday of the Year (A) 

Please pray for:
† those whose 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 Alice McIntyre Holly Rose Higgins, Yvonne Bachoo, Thomas Compstpn, Ann Reilly & Kathleen Farren
† those who have died recently:
Marjorie Hyslop,Bernard Temporal
† those whose anniversaries occur about now:
Patrick and Mary Duffy, Joe Dunn
Gift aid envelopes: Those who have gift aid envelopes should have them by now. I also have some non-gift aid boxes requested by non- tax payers and these have been sent or posted and you should have them by now.
I still have some blank boxes left  that  other  non- tax payers might want to have as it helps you keep track of the weeks. If you do want one email or phone me your address (or even stick a note of it through parish letter box) and I’ll send you a box.
Thanks to the many people who have now started to get their collections to me.
Update: We seem to have reached the point where enough is coming in to meet current scaled back costs this is due not just to many getting their envelopes and standing orders in but particularly the fact that some have given in a bit extra to get us bye those weeks where pretty much no money was coming in. It looks as though we’re coming through the worst of the financial impact of the coronavirus so thanks for the effort
Update: Money still coming in steadily. I apologise that the printed diocesan forms did not have the bank account printed on them
Readings at Mass: Isaiah 55:1-3, Matthew 14:13-21
The popular view of prophecy is that it is doom and gloom so and so is a bit of a Jerimiah we say of a doom and gloom sort of person but prophecy has in it the love of God the warnings in prophecy are because God loves us a and does not want harm to come to us individually or as the people of God by our sinful actions. Israel’s prophets often give this positive sense of the love of God. We see this clearly in Isaiah .and this will be later echoed in Jesus. This is a God who wants us to come to him even when we have nothing apparently to give to him “no money, no cost” But to have all that he wants us to have we must “listen” and “pay attention” so that” our souls will live”
This too is Jesus message. A message to be listened and paid attention to. Jesus is the great listener and payer attention to the will of God. His whole life is open to what God wants of him. When he makes a decision to go away to al lonely place  to pray which is a necessary part of the discernment of the will of His Father he has no rigidity even in this sometimes even prayer has to wait when great need arises. Jesus goes off to a lonely place by himself after the exhaustion of the miracle this too is a change because his initial plan was to be with his disciples “alone by themselves. This ability to react intelligently and creatively to life the Church calls discernment.
Jesus is intellectually and emotionally intelligent. He knows himself this is not as sometime is the case with us people pleasing or unhealthy guilt but an honest assessment that there is a real need here that in honesty calls to be addressed even at the cost of delaying personal prayer..
Jesus is never guilted into doing things for people as we often observe him moving on even when the crowds want him to stay. Clearly here He sees a real need in a crowd who he pities as being rather lost. It is good to note as we see in other versions of this Multiplication of loaves Miracle that Jesus does not merely provide a meal but teaches them at length. He is feeding more than their bodies but very much also their bodies. Jesus spirituality is about people and human physical hunger is a real impediment to feeding the soul. The church in its reaching out to the materially destitute never neglects to meet physical needs. Unhealthy other worldly spiritualities are often unreal and become obsessed with personal purity and become often no more thatn self- improvement projects. St Paul had rightly harsh things to say about such Self – justification.
Phase 3 Government’s coronavirus response.
On Thursday the government opened up the possibility of Mass with a congregation From Thursday 15th July. I have taken the precaution of setting up online ticketing just in case the diocesan discussions allow this. I have a meeting on Monday and should know better as to what the next steps are. I don’t wish to say too much till I know but the indications is that all parish’s will be asked to limit attendance to 50 at Mass no matter how big the church .With funerals the limit is now 20 people and baptisms and weddings are still not allowed.
I will put up details on the site either Monday evening or Tuesday morning so keep an eye out. I also have set up a web booking page details I will give on Monday or Tuesday. The first Sunday will be 90% web booking but I will try to ensure as we go on that those without internet aren’t too disadvantaged
I also will indicate the instruction below that should be taken seriously. It should also be noted that until further notice there is no obligation to attend Sunday Mass for anyone  .It might be if you can take in a weekday Mass to be your “Sunday” that would avoid overbooking of Sunday Masses
I would soon start hearing confessions but not in the confessional but in the sacristy behind a screen.
Again I should be better able to give details after Monday and I will keep you posted on this website
3. People who are shielding
A very delicate issue is that not all our parishioners will be able to return to Church. Those who are SHIELDING according to Scottish Government guidance should not return to Church until the Government advises them that it is safe to do so.
In addition, the following parishioners should follow Scottish Government advice about whether or not to come to Church:
  • Parishioners who are aged 70 or over
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Those who receive the flu jab for medical reasons
Below I once again set out the statement that I made last week regarding opening for Masses and I append some further instructions as we move  into a period of limited attendance public Masses
Opening for Public Mass Friday 17th July 2020 and the Sunday Masses of 18th/19th July 2020.
After conversations with my brother priests I have a little more clarity on what happens next. The broad principle is that Public Masses may take place from Wednesday 15th July. We had been expecting this to be later thus the need to talk with the priests of the diocese yesterday.
There is some divergence in approach and a few churches may indeed be open tomorrow morning however most will not. Some will be ready for Mass on Sunday and some will not. Priest swill open when it is practical in their parishes.
In St John’s we will open on Friday 17th July for the 9.30am streamed Mass. Saturday morning Mass will not be open as I need to consider how Friday has gone before weekday Masses the following week. Thereafter for the coming weekend there will be A vigil Mass at 6pm on Saturday and Sunday Masses at 10am and 11.30am.
For the most part this weekend booking will be online. All Masses in Scotland have a maximum capacity (no matter how big) the church of 50.
This means I have had to make a choice as to how to do this which may in coming weeks have to change as we see what works and what doesn’t work.
This week beginning Monday 27th July again we will have Masses with a maximum attendance of 50 persons with a limit of 40 online tickets and 10 for those who wish to phone in.
The online tickets for the weekday Masses will be available at 5pm today and will be available until 1 hour before the Mass). Note well that the weekday Mass on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th are funerals with a capacity of 20 persons and so no parishioners can attend unless part of the group of 20 invited by the families
The site for is called Eventbrite. You can google this and when you get to the site ( alternatively and indeed easier is to download the Eventbrite app from the app store) with both you search for St John the Baptist remembering to turn on the search by location button. There is also a link to the site on the home page of this parish website.
Click the Mass you want and follow the instructions. You will be emailed a ticket that until we know it works you should print and bring to Mass. I should though have your name on a master list that I get from Eventbrite.
I have set a limit of 40 as some will phone or email me instead to let me know you are coming. It is unlikely that there will ever be more than 50 at a weekday Mass so those not booking can take a chance on just showing up but if the 50 seats are taken you can’t enter the church due to the government cap on numbers
It would be unwise to show up to the vigil or Sunday Masses without giving notice as it is likely certainly with the vigil and 11.30am that you would not be able to come to the mass as capacity will have been reached
I have not set weekday Masses more than a week ahead because by Saturday I will know if there is to be a funeral that week. Sunday Masses I will set as a block  for a few  Sundays ahead. That said Sunday obligation does not apply so you might consider coming along to a weekly weekday Mass as a valid alternative Mass that week.
Mass will follow the pattern online in that there will be no singing or servers and should last no more than half an hour. Even communion is simplified as the priest will not say “Body of Christ” or you “Amen”. Communion like this should take little time.
Please bring and wear your own face masks You will on coming to church have a limited selection of seats some of which are marked out for groups up to 4. There are single seat spacings for those coming to Mass on their own.
The Church will be one way in that all come in through the front door where you will be asked for your ticket or identity. Then directed to hand sanitisers. You will leave by the side door.
50 should be ample for any weekday Mass but if you don’t have a ticket or phoned in you will be asked for your name address and phone number ( you could save time by writing this on a piece of paper before you come) Sunday Mass if you come on Spec it’s likely that we’d be full and we’re not allowed to let anyone else in when we’re at capacity.
All of this might seem like an enormous hassle but we need to comply with government directions and frankly in conscience I need to believe that it is safe.
Thank you in anticipation of your patience and hopefully the teething problems of the system will be temporary
Notes regarding the opening of the church in the week beginning Monday 3rd August 2020
This week I am unavailable to say weekday Masses and services in the church will be confined totwo opportunities for private prayer on Monday and Friday at 2.30-3.30pm. A note will be on the altar to this effect so that those tuning in to the live streaming will be aware that there will be no Masses Monday to Saturday.
There will be no bulletin next week and anniversaries and sick intentions will appear in the bulletin the following week.
Weekday Masses for the following week beginning 10th August will be put online on Sunday 9th August
Again the system of online bookings will be the main way to make sure we have a record of who comes to Mass as the government does require us to keep information for contact tracing.. The booking site is Evenbrite which can be accessed by googling Evenbrite and clicking on the site and following directions (I know some have had difficulty especially because the site times out the application. I have addressed this problem by changing the time to book to !0 minutes.)
For those with a smart phone it is easier to download the Eventbrite app and just search St John the Baptist Port Glasgow. The Masses will come up click the one you want to book and follow the instructions and you will be sent a ticket by email that you can print and bring with you. I will have a list so don’t worry about not having a printed ticket.
In summary:-
  1. There will be no 9.30am weekday Masses this coming week.
  2. The Church will not be open for private prayers this week. On Monday 2.30-3.30pm
  3. Next week (as also this week )I will say the 6pm vigil and Sunday 9.30am, Father Gallagher will again say the 11.30am Mass and we will continue to extend this hospitality to him until he has his own Webcam streaming setup.
  4. There will be no confessions on Saturday 8th August.
Fr Maurice Callaghan
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:
  • Go to their door but do not enter.  Ask if they need help or shopping.
  • If you do get shopping leave it at the door, put any change in an envelope and knock the door but do not enter.
  • 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 

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Port Glasgow
Renfrewshire  PA14 5HF
Tel: 01475 745678

Church Hall


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Funeral Services


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Tel: 01475 742052