Fri, December 03, 2021



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



28th November 2021

1st Sunday of Advent - C

Please pray for:
† those whose are sick:
John Andrew, James Brannigan, Korbin Gabb, Joshua McGivern (baby), Isabel Gibson, Maureen Collins, Derek Voysey, Ben Arkless), Josephine Watson, Lorna Murray, Anna Mazzoni, Niamh Currie, Megan Edwards, Adam Parker, Nichola Collins, Winnie Bleasdale, and Alice Mc Intyre Holly Rose Higgins, Yvonne Bachoo, Thomas Compston, Elizabeth Grant, Ettie McGhee, George Docherty, John & Isobel Gilmartin * Morag Hicks
† Those who have died recently:
Michael O’Connor, Mamie & Billy Tollan, Betty Glancy, Margaret Eleanor Taylor, Gilbert McErlane
† Those whose anniversaries occur about now:
Francis Joseph Horler, Philomena McCauley
Those who wish to use the hall should be aware of new contact numbers.
They are 07483 242914 and 01475 744544. Ask for Jean
This Week:
*Sunday Masses online:
Saturday Vigil 6pm.
Sunday Morning 9.30 and 11am.
There will be public Weekday Masses or Services on
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 9.30am
N.B This week there is a Saturday Morning Mass At 9.30am followed by Confessions at 10am.
There continues to be restrictions on the use of confessional box for confessions but I believe it is safe to trial the use of the screen in the sacristy for confessions.
The one metre spacing requirement no longer applies as a matter of law you are of course free to keep a distance from others and ask if necessary that they keep the appropriate space from you.
Confessions are
Saturday Morning at 10am. 
We are now able to seat all those who currently want to go to Mass
There is no requirement to book.
We are trialing a system that we know most who come and you’ll be ticked as you go throught the door. If you’re just coming back you’ll be asked for your name and phone number
We’re not too far away from not having to take any contact details. If you are a regular attender you’ll not be asked for your name.
You can now leave the church by either of the doors.
Next Week we can try going back to coming forward for Holy Communion and making the collection with the handled collection bags
Devotional Candles
Can now be lit in Church
Bear in mind
that the hand wash used in the church is 70% alcohol and is flammable.
Sick Communions in homes.
Anyone who wishes to receive Holy Communion in their home from the priest once per month should contact me. It also allows me to hear confessions for those who are not yet ready to return to Church. 
The SVdP conference would ask parishioners to once again start to donate second-hand clothes.
To avoid any concerns regarding Covid we ask that you DO NOT bring the clothes into the church.
If you are in a position to donate clothes please advise a brother at the end of the mass you attend mass that you have clothes available. Alternatively you can phone the conference mobile on 07761055997 to make arrangements.
We are asking you to bring them to St John’s hall on a Thursday night between 7.00 and 7.30pm (This could change to 7.30 - 8.00 should Fr restart the Thursday night Mass). Please bring them by car in undamaged plastic bags sealed with tape.
As we need to control the handling, movement and storage of cloths it is important that you do not just bring them along to any Mass.
We may ask you to hold them in your possession for a few weeks if the supply is beyond what the conference can safely handle.
The Inverclyde Across to Lourdes Group
will be opening the Charity Shop in Bay Street Port Glasgow on Monday 8th November  The shop will open from 10am till 4pm, Monday till Friday. 
It will remain opened for 3 weeks , during which times donations will be very gratefully received 

Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Scotland

On the Season of Christmas

and the Restoration of the Mass Obligation in the Dioceses of Scotland

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, Christ is born for us, come let us adore him. Christmas is approaching. It is an occasion to renew our family life, to reach out to the lonely and to celebrate the core of our faith: Emmanuel, God with us. We have all experienced the negative impact the pandemic has had on our common liturgical celebrations and our access to the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Now that more people are attending church, the Bishops of Scotland want to encourage all the Catholic faithful to renew their covenant with the Church and her worship. Christmas seems the right time to do this. We remember how the shepherds said to each other: “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing which has happened, which the Lord has made known to us” (Lk 2:15). The Child in the manger calls to us to go with them. Christmas Day this year falls on a Saturday. It will be followed immediately by the feast of the Holy Family on the Sunday. We therefore strongly encourage you to take advantage of the celebrations of that weekend by attending Mass on both days, or at least once. We have often been asked about reinstating the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of obligation. In our fluid situation, this is not an easy judgment to make. Thanks, however, to the effort and good sense of so many, our churches have proven to be safe places. So, saving any serious worsening of the situation, we believe that Christmastide provides an opportune moment to restore the obligation. The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation will therefore be reinstated from Sunday 2nd January,the first of the new year. That Sunday coincides with the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. It will be an occasion for us to join the wise men in offering worship to the Infant Jesus. In accordance with the common teaching of the Church this obligation does not bind those in ill health or those otherwise impeded from attending Mass. Nor, in the context of Covid, does it bind those showing symptoms of the virus or with underlying health conditions, or those with responsibilities for people in need of special care. The obligation to keep the Lord’s Day holy by attending Mass should not be seen as a burden. It is a summons addressed to our human freedom and to the heart of every baptised member of the Church. “There is within me”, said St Ignatius of Antioch, “a murmur of living water which says, ‘Come to the Father’”. The obligation calls us to come to the Father together with our fellow-believers, to “listen to the word of God and to take part in the Eucharist, calling to mind the passion, resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God who ‘has begotten [us] to a living hope, through the resurrection of Christ from the dead’” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 106; 1 Pt 1:3). Sunday Mass can reinvigorate and refresh our Christian faith, our sense of community and our desire to live as missionary disciples in the world. This is why the Church takes this obligation seriously. It has been good to have access to the Sacred Liturgy online, and we encourage those unable to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays to continue making use of this. Of itself, though, online participation does not fulfil the obligation. Nothing can adequately replace actual presence. At the heart of our Christian life is the event of the Word becoming flesh and our incorporation through the Sacraments into his Body. It’s to experience this that we come to church. Our current reflection on synodality points us in the same direction: we are a people who meet together because we journey together. Let us therefore use the coming Christian season to return, with purified hearts and fresh fervour, to our sacramental and liturgical life. During Advent and beyond, there will be opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And Christmas itself is more than a Day. It is a Season. Beyond Christmas Day, it includes the beautiful feasts of the Holy Family, of Mary, Mother of God, of the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord. In the northern hemisphere, this season falls at a dark and low time of the year. This is not by chance. It’s precisely at this time, made darker still by so many current uncertainties, that we are offered divine energy and the joy of the human birth of a divine child. Christ’s birth means the forgiveness of our sins and our rebirth as children of God. We sense how Mary’s motherhood embraces us as well and, at the Epiphany, the star of faith lights up our hearts. As the Lord is immersed in the River Jordan the waters of our own baptism can flow in our lives with new force. We are given light and strength to live a new year in the power of the Holy Spirit. In his Letter of the 9th of November to the Catholics of Scotland, written in the midst of CoP26, the Holy Father said, “In these challenging times, may all Christ’s followers in Scotland renew their commitment to be convincing witnesses to the joy of the Gospel and its power to bring light and hope to every effort to build a future of justice, fraternity and prosperity, both material and spiritual.” We echo these words as we seek together to follow God’s ways and open our hearts to the gift of his Son. Yours devotedly in Christ, + Hugh Gilbert Bishop of Aberdeen, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland + Leo Cushley Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh + Joseph Toal Bishop of Motherwell + Stephen Robson Bishop of Dunkeld + John Keenan Bishop of Paisley + William Nolan Bishop of Galloway + Brian McGee Bishop of Argyll and the Isles Monsignor Hugh Canon Bradley Diocesan Administrator, Archdiocese of Glasgow

November Lists.
The lists for our own Holy Souls are available at the back of the Church. Our Church for the whole of the month of November prays for the Holy Souls. Priests’ public Masses are all offered for this intention. The envelopes are for those who wish to put in an offering for the intention of those on their lists.
The Diocese has prepared the following
as their reformulation of the synod questions I issued a few weeks ago. I set out the entire document below.
Prayer for the Synod:
Adsumus Sancte Spiritus
As we embrace this Synodal Process, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to be at work in us so that we may be a community and a people of grace.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever. Amen.
The theme of the Synod is:
A Synodal Church of Communion, Participation and Mission.
Ahead of the Synod, Pope Francis is calling the whole Church to begin a “synodal journey” which includes each and every Catholic – clergy, religious and lay faithful.  He wants our journey to begin this month with a listening phase in every diocese across the world.  Bishop John has now begun our Diocesan response to Pope Francis’ request and we are being asked to give our responses to the questions the Pope has sent us. We will discuss these questions and responses first at parish level through our Parish Pastoral Councils, and then at diocesan level through our Diocesan Pastoral Council. Our Diocesan Pastoral Council is made up of a representative from each parish and has its first meeting on Saturday 27th November.
The word “Synod” means “Walking (or “journeying”) together” and this Synod is about the future direction of the Church and about how decisions are made in the Church at parish, diocesan, national and universal level.
Pope Francis believes that a “synodal” approach, where we come together to discuss matters and listen to what the Spirit is saying, is a better way of making decisions.
This Synod poses the following fundamental question:
A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.”
  • How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church?
  • What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
In responding to this question, we are invited to: 
- Recall our experiences:
  • What experiences of our local Church does this question call to mind?
- Re-read these experiences in greater depth:
  • What joys did they bring?
  • What difficulties and obstacles have they encountered?
  • What wounds did they reveal?
  • What insights have they elicited?
- Gather the fruits to share:
  • Where in these experiences does the voice of the Holy Spirit resound?
  • What is the Spirit asking of us?
  • What are the points to be confirmed, the prospects for change, the steps to be taken?
  • Where do we register a consensus?
  • What paths are opening up for our local Church?
To help people explore this fundamental question more fully, the following themes highlight significant aspects of “lived synodality”.
In responding to these questions, it is helpful to remember that “journeying together” occurs in two deeply interconnected ways.
  • First, we journey together with one another as the People of God.
  • Next, we journey together as the People of God with the entire human family.
These two perspectives enrich one another and are helpful for our common discernment towards deeper communion and more fruitful mission.
The questions accompanying each of the following ten themes can be used as a starting point or helpful guideline.
Your conversation and dialogue do not need to be limited to the following questions,
but should reflect on and discuss the 10 Themes:
In the Church and in society we are side by side on the same road.
  • Who feels left out of the church?
  • How can we include them?
Listening is the first step, but it requires an open mind and heart, without prejudice.
  • What stops us listening?
  • How do we reach out?
  • How do we reach the laity, especially women and young people?
All are invited to speak with courage and parrhesia, that is, in freedom, truth, and charity.
  • How can we speak the truth more boldly, both within the church and beyond?
  • How do we relate to social media?
“Walking together” is only possible if it is based on communal listening to the Word and the celebration of the Eucharist.
  • Does our liturgical celebration of word and sacrament help us in our mission, to make the right decisions?
  • How active is our participation?
  • Do we use ministries?
Synodality is at the service of the mission of the Church, in which all members are called to participate.
  • Every baptised person is called to share in the mission of the church. What stops us?
  • What areas of mission are neglected?
  • How does the Church community help and support the mission of the individual?
Dialogue requires perseverance and patience, but it also enables mutual understanding.
  • How does the Church engage with the world around us?
  • How do we communicate between groups in the church – dioceses, religious, movements?
  • How do we cope with and resolve conflicts?
  • How do we dialogue with other religions or with those without religion?
The dialogue between Christians of different confessions, united by one baptism, has a special place in the synodal journey.
  • How do we relate to other Christian communities?
  • What have we learned?
  • What obstacles still exist?
  • How can we go forward together?
A synodal church is a participatory and co-responsible Church.
  • How do we arrive at decisions?
  • How is authority exercised?
  • What about teamwork?
  • How do we evaluate progress?
  • How do pastoral councils work at diocesan and parish levels?
  • How can we be more synodal?
In a synodal style we make decisions through discernment of what the Holy Spirit is saying through our whole community.
  • How do we practise discernment?
  • How do we relate consultation and decision making?
  • How do we promote transparency and accountability?
  • How can we grow in communal spiritual discernment?
Synodality entails receptivity to change, formation, and on-going learning.
  • How do we change, grow, and keep learning?
  • How do we form people to do all this?
ALL correspondence and responses should be emailed to by Friday 8th April 2022.
We cannot thank you enough for agreeing to a visit from Marys Meals last month and allowing one of our volunteers give a talk about our mission and the work we have been doing over this last year. We are also very grateful to you for the retiral collection which amounted to the amazing total of £1294.61! This is vital to allow us to continue to feed over 2 million children a meal every day at school.
Your support is so very much appreciated, and please pass on our thanks to your parishioners for their generosity.
Diocesan News and Events
Closing Mass for the Year of St Joseph
The year dedicated to St Joseph will be formally closed by Bishop John with Mass at 7.00pm  Wednesday 8th December, The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception,  in St Mirin’s Cathedral. All welcome to come and celebrate St Joseph. Lilies, always associated with St Joseph, will be available for placing around the statue of St Joseph in the cathedral.  All welcome to attend.
Donations for Migrant Help – Diocese of Paisley Christmas Appeal - UPDATE
Due to an overwhelming response to this appeal we moved the last day for drop off to Friday 26th November
A huge thanks to everyone who has donated.
Advent Retreat
An Advent retreat will be held at St. James’, Paisley on Monday 29th November and Tuesday 30th November. Both sessions will begin at 7pm.
Think Vocation
Advent is a time of watching and waiting. Are you open to the surprising ways God comes to you? If you think God is calling you to be a priest contact our Diocesan Vocations Director, Fr. John Morrison tel: 0141 8895056 or e-mail
Recruitment Advert – Paisley Diocesan Office
Counsellor for Paisley diocese marriage counselling service for couples married in the Catholic church.
Paisley Diocese Marriage Counselling service is looking for a counsellor (self-employed) to provide counselling sessions for clients using the service.  The applicant will be a therapist with proven expertise in working with couples.  The service supports couples married in the Catholic church and the service is underpinned by the Christian tradition.  See our website for full information on this post. Diocese of Paisley | Paisley, UK ( Diocesan Directory – Vacancies
Marriage and family webpage
The Diocese has a dedicated page on the website for Marriage and Family life. It contains a wealth of information, support and resources for many aspects of this important vocation. For more information please visit
Online Marriage Counselling available during Covid 19 Crisis
Our diocese has a Counselling Service for Catholics Married in the Catholic Church with our dedicated Catholic Marriage Counsellor.  If you are concerned about your relationship and feel you are both unable to reach a conclusion alone, it is likely that you will benefit from marriage counselling.  The counsellor is there to maintain a neutral, non-judgmental position. For information or advice please email in confidence
Other News and Events
The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative
We are holding a Grand Sale over the next couple of weeks. There will be clothes for all ages, toys, books, shoes, bags, jewellery, bric-a-brac, new and not-so-new. It’s at 104 Albert Road, Crosshill, Glasgow G42 8DR. Please check the flyer for details and come along.
Advent Journey 2021
Mary of Nazareth: Companion in our Journey – Evenings of Conversation – Reflection – Prayer 7pm-8.30pm.  To register please complete registration form: or Email for the link.
Thursday 2nd December – Mary a Companion of the Poor
Thursday 9th December – Mary of the Magnificat
Thursday 16th December – Advent Hope and Promise
Bishops Letter on 2023 Synod
Below The Bishops letter which speaks to the upcoming Synod in Rome. This begins a consultation that will be worldwide. The mechanism is that Parish Councils will feed into a Diocesan Council and this will continue up the chain. This bishop’s letter was available last week but the questions that were to be consulted upon were not available. I had anticipated that they would be available this week but as yet I do not have them. Any parishioner can contribute thoughts that I will present to a small council who will discuss and convey them to the Diocesan Council. Given the two year there will be a number of opportunities to add to the consultation at national level which the Scottish Bishops will convey at the Synod in Rome.
Those who have a particular interest can see the Synod 2023 Preparatory Document at It is a 31 Section document so not a short read and will doubtless form the basis of the questions which will no doubt emerge from the Diocese and will be printed in the bulletin in early course.
N.B The Initial Consultation at parish level will be presented to the Diocesan Council at the end of the Month however there will now be further consultations in the new year closing on 22nd April 2022.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Ahead of the next Synod of Bishops in Rome, Pope Francis is calling the Church to begin a synodal journey which includes each and every Catholic – clergy, religious and lay faithful.  The theme of the 2023 Synod is: A Synodal Church of Communion, Participation and Mission.
Pope Francis wants our journey to begin this month with a listening phase in every diocese across the world. 
We are being asked to give our thoughts on questions the Pope has sent us, which we will discuss first at parish level through our Parish Pastoral Councils, and then at diocesan level through our Diocesan Pastoral Council.  Our Diocesan Pastoral Council is made up of a representative from each parish and has its first meeting on Saturday 27th November.
You may remember how, five years ago, we held our own Diocesan Synod on Evangelisation and the Role of the Laity, a theme which is similar to what the Pope wants us to think about now in this Universal Synod. 
Our Diocesan Synod created a Charter which blossomed into nine diocesan Commissions: on Evangelisation, Education and Formation; on Youth, Marriage and Families; on Liturgy, Structures and Collaborative Ministry; and on Communications, Caritas and Ecumenism, and it is wonderful to see so many of our lay faithful now taking forward the life and mission of our diocese through them.
Our own synodal journey showed us how our Church needs all of us, the whole People of God – clergy, religious and lay faithful - joining together on the same journey, with each of us playing our unique part, all of us united in collaboration.   It was a precious time for our diocese to see how we all share a common dignity and vocation through our Baptism to be active participants in the life of the Church.
This is what Pope Francis means by a synodal Church where we all move forward together as one, carrying out one common mission, built up by the gifts and charisms of every member. 
Getting everyone involved, of course, means getting as many of us back to our common celebration of Sunday Mass in our parish communities and I urge you to reach out to your families and fellow parishioners, to encourage them to come back to church and welcome them again to our parish families as we move out of COVID restrictions.
As we now look to the renewal of our diocese, I also encourage you to participate in this unique Synodal opportunity of listening to what the Spirit is saying to our Church through shared dialogue.  I hope it will be a journey that not only guides our current pastoral mission at diocesan level but which can open up new pathways for the Church worldwide in the spreading of the Gospel and the salvation of souls.
With every good wish and blessing,
+ John
Bishop of Paisley
Renfrewshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Services
Here are the contact details for local mental health and wellbeing services.
  • RAMH | 0141 847 8900 A local organisation who can support mental health issues. 
  • First Crisis Freephone | 0800 221 8929 or 0141 848 9090 {standard rate} 9-8pm Mon-Fri and 5pm at weekends. 
  • Hear for You | Freephone 0800 221 8904 If you feel distressed or anxious 9-5 Mon-Fri 
  • Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) | 0300 300 1199 {option 2} Partnership of local public and voluntary sector organisations which support local community with alcohol and drug issues. 
  • Pachedu Advice to Ethnic Minority Population | 07377937941 or 07415009677 Provides a range of support, information and advice aimed at addressing mental health & other related issues.
  • Renfrewshire Women’s Aid | 0141 561 7030 Provides advice, support, information and safe accommodation for Women, Children & Young People affected by domestic abuse. 
  • ACCORD Hospice Bereavement Support | 0141 581 2000 If you are experiencing loss or dealing with grief following the death of someone close.
  • Money Advice | 0300 300 1238 Confidential advice on money and debt issues 
  • Renfrewshire Carers | 0141 887 3643 Provides a wide range of support and services to all unpaid Carers National Support links 
  • BREATHING SPACE | Helpline number: 0800 83 85 87
  • SAMARITANS | 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call) Email: Website:
  • SHOUT | Text: 85258 is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help
Pope's Prayer for Protection from Coronavirus
O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain, with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Lord Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages curing every disease and illness. At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their health and strength.
Heal us from our fear, which prevents neighbours from helping one another.
Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.
Good Lord, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
May those who have died from the virus rest in peace and rise in glory.
Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair.
Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.
Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with prudence and charity for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Stay with us, Lord, and grant us your peace. Amen
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.Amen.
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 Jean on
07483 242914 
01475 744544

Funeral Services


Co-Operative Funeralcare

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