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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



31st May 2020 - Pentecost Sunday (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 and John Buchanan
† those who have died recently:  
Wilma Gray (nee Sorrell)
† those whose anniversaries occur about now: 
John Sullivan, Jack Robert Burns 6 months mind), Isa McAlindon ( 2 months mind)
Readings at Mass: Acts 2:1-11, John 20:19-23
The scene in the reading from Acts is very dramatic and it is something we can picture especially when we were children. The image is powerful full of wind and fire and noise. A quieter drama is pictured in the Gospel but still with elements of the wonderous- a supposed dead man appears in a locked room. A moving dialogue communicating joy, peace and forgiveness even in the shock of He who was seen to be crucified standing alive before them.
Pentecost is a feast of wonders but of different moods. The Gospel is on the night of resurrection, the acts reading is the day after the Jewish feast of Shavuot or Weeks. The Holy Spirit is imparted in the person of the Risen Lord on the night he rose but in St Lukes’s Acts of the Apostles the Spirit is spectacularly given as the disciples gather for Shavuot. This is an ongoing process that continues in the Life of the Church. It is the life of the Church. It is Life. He/She (the Holy Spirit) is communicated in our lived lives. This Divine Person is Life. The images of wind and fire are of mysterious movement of the very Mystery of life and connection that unites and connects all of us, that removes barriers to communication. The powerful images of that Pentecost is indeed a one off event in history but the power that animates that event continues in our lives individually and collectively. We can be part of the ongoing Pentecost of Life in the Spirit
Last Week the bishop asked that A letter be addressed to parishioners. I print it in full  
Dear Parishioner,
Easter Blessings and Parish Income Drive during Covid-19.
First of all, could I wish you all the joys and blessings of the Risen Lord in this Easter time of great celebration.  We are also full of joy to be in the lovely month of May when we honour our Blessed Mother with loving trust, and thank Her for Her endless care of us Her children in our homes, families and parishes. 
The Scriptures at our daily Masses this season are from the Acts of the Apostles which tells us about our Church in its infancy.  What struck me is how marvellously the Church grew, especially in hard times where communities were scattered -in those days by persecution- and had to think of new ways of living their faith in the Risen Lord as His beloved People.  They continued to grow and spread even in pagan lands and all across the world because the Lord helped them.  They knew their Good Shepherd was still taking care of them in the marvellous works they saw all around them.  They knew Mary was with them as their Mother constantly praying for them to be delivered from danger and to prosper in graces and blessings. 
We are in a similar situation today and we too are seeing the wonderful works of the Lord in the way our priests are ministering to us online while they continue to care for our sick, needy and dying and bury our dead in the hope of the Risen Lord.  If anything, I am more confident than ever of a great renewal in the life of our Church and diocese in these almost biblical times.
I assure you of my daily prayers for you and your loved ones to be kept safe during this Covid-19 Pandemic, and for your livelihoods to be secure as we look forward, please God, to some eventual and easing of restrictions. 
Our Bishops have asked Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Health at Strathclyde University and former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, to Chair our Covid-19 Working Group to ensure any phased opening has the safety of our people and clergy as our top priority.  They will examine the implications of opening our churches first for private prayer and for family funerals and we will take it from there.
Parish Income Drive during Covid-19
During this time of lockdown, as you know, we have been without our usual income from your weekly collections, which you so faithfully and generously give through the weeks and months of the year.  A number of you have been in touch concerned about your parish finances and asking how you can make contributions to help your parish priests pay the bills that are still coming in.   I want to let you know that this has been a big comfort and support to us.
As you can imagine, your own concern to help has been replicated by your fellow Catholics across the diocese.  Our Diocesan Office has been working to set up some processes to assist you in making contributions where you can. 
Obviously, lockdown and furlough measures have brought ongoing financial uncertainty to many of you.  It means that some of you are not in a position to make your contributions in the same way as before.  That is quite understandable and we hope and pray that more secure times soon return for you and your families.
That said, we thought that those of you who can and want to contribute would welcome your weekly Gift Aid Envelopes for 2020/21 to make your donations in the usual way.  You can send them by post or deliver them to the parish house until your church re -opens.
We also thought others might want to make regular donations by Standing Order directly from your bank accounts, and you can do so with the enclosed form.  Again, you can post it or deliver it to the parish house and they will pass it to your bank.
Through a brand-new facility we have introduced, you can now also make easy on-line donations to your parishes through our Online Parish Offertory portal which you can find on the Homepage of our Diocesan website (  This is an easy, swift and safe method of payment.  It allows you to make one off or recurring donations, and if you are a taxpayer to Gift Aid your contributions making it worth 25% more at no extra cost.  All your donations will be paid weekly to your parishes.
I want to thank you for all your support in so many ways during these unprecedented times in which you have shown just what your faith, your parish and your diocese mean to you.  In the big, black cloud of Coronavirus this has been a precious silver lining.
To keep up to date with your parish and diocesan life and ministry online please visit your parish website above and the Diocesan website at for regular updates.
With every blessing and my assurance of daily prayers,
God bless,

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.
Diocesan Email re finance: 
The Diocese have sent Parish Priests the email below that we can send individually to people who contact us about wanting to give something given that the church income from collections has stopped.  A good number of parishioners have asked me about this and given that a lot of people are far worse off than the Church I didn’t want to raise the subject of money more generally but I thought it ok timing to put out the diocesan email.  We as a Parish will be ok, a bit financially leaner but that’s a good look for the Church.  That’s St John’s in Port Glasgow but other parishes are not so fortunate.  The Diocese has a sort of tax system going that will divert money to Parishes that need it.  To those who don’t do credit/debit cards then I would say some people are just putting an envelope through the door if they are out for a walk.  Others have said they’ll hang onto it until this is all over and hand it in as a lump sum.  People with digital banking are just doing it on the App on their phone.  The parish name on the Account is “ST JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH”, the Sort Code is 83-22-20 and the Account No is 00779788.  Obviously if money is tight your family are the priority but if you want to help I am most grateful for any amount you can spare.  I have just lifted the letter off the diocesan email that I print out below and you can see links to the diocese and any contribution would get to us.  I am touched that many are thinking of their parish in this difficult time for everybody.

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