Wed, October 24, 2018



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 £997.50
Thank you for your great generosity!



23rd September 2018 – Twenty Fifth Sunday of the Year (B)

Please pray for: 
            †  those who are sick: Marjory Gatens, James Brannigan, Korbin Gabb (7yrs), Alice Knox, Peter Mooney, Euan Leslie, Joshua McGivern (baby), Callum Gibson, Isabel Gibson, James Pye, Finlay Monaghan and Maureen Collins
            † those who have died recently:   John Mulholland and Charles McDonald
            † those whose anniversaries occur about now: Michael & Catherine Brophy, Elizabeth (Cissie) Duffy, Betty (Forster) Minishi and Robert Forster
Second collection this week is for Sick & Retired Priests
Volunteers from Project Gambia will be coming to all weekend masses on the 29th and 30th of September to make a special appeal. The charity, which supports a school of deaf children in The Gambia, St. John’s School for the Deaf, will be extremely grateful for any support which they receive. In addition, if anyone has any unwanted items or bags of clothes which would be suitable for our school bag appeal, the volunteers would be happy to accept these.
Cluster Meetings: As we approach the final round of Cluster meetings, I would like you as a parish, to consider how we move from a Church of maintenance to mission, and the processes we need for clergy and laity to participate in synodal decision making together. I would also like you to make any proposals to me that will help us implement these concrete plans; these proposals may include closing or merging parishes, opening new parishes, clergy sharing parishes with each other, and the sequencing of Mass times. Remember, I do not have any hidden plans already – all plans and proposals that you make to me I will study and examine in line with the principles of our recent Synod; if, after reflection, some proposals are insufficient, we will consider them again. If the plans include an overlap of Cluster areas, that’s fine – I have no pre-prepared plans of my own. This is no easy task, but as we seek to nurture the new wine of your plans, and create the new skins required to contain and implement them, I am confident that the faith and enthusiasm we need will bring to fulfilment your plans for renewal. +Bishop John
RCIA:  RCIA meetings will begin on Friday 28th September 2018 at 7pm. There will be weekly meetings for some 20 weeks culminating in reception into the church at the Easter Vigil. There are currently two enquirers, anyone interested on joining these sessions should telephone Father Maurice.
SVDP Ozanam Mass and the Blessing of the Sick – St John’s SVDP Conference invite all parishioners to our Mass, with Blessing of the Sick, in honour of Blessed Frederic Ozanam on Thursday 11th October at 7:00pm, followed by a cup of tea in the church hall.  If you need transport please complete a request slip and place it in the green box at the back of the church or speak to a member of SVDP before 7th October.
Envelopes and Standing Orders - I am doing a check that we have the right numbers relating to the right names.  Would everyone with a box with a label write their name and box number on the slips at the back and put it into the green box. This keeps your identity confidential from all but the Diocesan finance people and HMRC.
The Role of the Laity in the Church Today – To be held at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh, on Saturday 6th October at 11:00am.  Professor Helen Alvare, a leading female voice in the Church today will address this one day conference on the role of the laity in contemporary Catholicism.  To register contact Sr Mirjam Hugens 0131 623 89802 or email
October Devotions - On each of the four Sundays in October, there will be a 'Marian Holy Hour', from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, in St Laurence's, Greenock.  For the 7th, 14th and 21st October, the 'reflection themes' will respectively be:  the Immaculate Conception, Mary's Virginity, the Assumption - what we believe, and what the implications would be if we didn't believe!  On the 28th October, the reflection theme will be the scriptural bases for belief in these Marian dogmas. Anyone who wishes to come and join us is most welcome to do so.
Saint of the Day: There will be a new link to 'Saint of the Day' on the Diocesan web site‚Äč It is from the Franciscan Ministries, who give a brief overview of the Saints and a short reflection.
A not unusual experience and encounter for any group, as Jesus asks The Disciples what they have been arguing about on the road.  Rather sheepishly, red faced and blushing they own up and share that they were arguing about who is the greatest among them.  Jesus uses the example of a little child, explaining to them the greatest amongst you must be the least.  The Disciples are called to the least of all status, at that time, of a child.  When we think of this and consider Pope Francis, he has many titles attributed to him, and indeed his predecessors, as we consider one of the titles of the Chair of Peter is the servant of the servants of God.  As Jesus wishes for His Disciples to be servants of all and the least amongst the community of peoples, even the little children.  We are called to be like them, self effacing, focused upon the needs of others and looking to the steps of charity and love for others, which will lead us to heaven.  The people who would lord over others have misunderstood what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  Jesus spent a lot of time instructing and encouraging his Disciples yet He is probably a little "taken aback" when they tell Him what they have been taking about.  Here they are in full blown discussion as to who is greatest amongst them caught up in a process which seems at the core covets only wealth and power.
Over two thousand years those commandments which speak on coveting are very much in play as we covet the things of others.  If we were to carry out a satisfaction survey upon ourselves would we wish always for more?  Everything needs to be bigger and better.  While we appreciate the importance of technology and its benefits we need also to think of the dehumanising aspect of technology.  Do we control the machine or does the machine control us?  The Gospel invites us to take on the mantle of the child in innocence, grace and simplicity.  This is particularly relevant this week as we look to the feast of St. Vincent de Paul who founded the Congregation of the Missions more widely known as the Vincentians who, also with St. Louise de Marillac, founded the Daughters of Charity, to support the poor and the needy men, women and children.  We remember too our own lay society of St. Vincent de Paul founded by a young man Blessed Frederick Ozanam in 1933, dedicated to support the poor and the needy.  When we consider the great blossoming of shops and outlets on our doorstep, yet in the midst of such affluence, there are great waves of poverty at every level.  More charity and support for the poor, sick, afflicted, the challenge also of drugs, alcohol, smoking, causing a variety of lifestyle choices which can compromise health and can bring about poor life expectancy.  We must do all we can to support the well being of others especially those who find it difficult to cope in today's world.  We thank God for the great work of St. Vincent DePaul with the poor and St. Louise de Marillac, also the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society supporting so many in difficult circumstances in today's fragile world where life at any age can be dispensed with if it is inconvenient to and for the society in which we live.
There is really no rest for a Christian today.  It is important to be aware about what is going on in society and the many complex issues facing Christians and others in relation to persecution for their faith and poverty.  This is evident in our own country today and throughout the world.  We are fortunate to have the SVDP in our own parish, who in prayer and action support the poor and needy.  Your own donation at the end of Mass is supportive in this regard.  The call to be like little children has no relation to being infantile or childish rather innocence, trust and dependence in our relationship with God Our Father, in order that we may appreciate our growth and development in the soul, mind, body and heart of God.  If more of us were self effacing and considered more carefully how we should act that is, loving God and our neighbour, this way we live as Jesus wants us to be, at the service of others.  It is not possible to say we love God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not love one another.  No more arguing along the road, a simple act of kindness can go a long way, especially with the terrible storms at this time on our own doorstep, physically and emotionally and throughout the world, we, in prayer and kindness, can make a difference.
Our Lady Star of the Sea, pray for them and for us.
St. Vincent de Paul, pray for them and for us.
Rachel's Vineyard weekend retreat: This retreat is for spiritual and emotional healing after abortion and will be held north of Glasgow on Tuesday 9th – Thursday 11th October 2018.  This confidential, supportive retreat is powerful for anyone who has been affected by their own or someone else’s abortion experience. For more information, please call Sr Andrea on 07816 942824 or email Marene via the enquiry form on the website  
SPUC Scotland National Conference, 200 St Vincent Street. Glasgow – Saturday 13th October 2018: This event is an excellent opportunity to hear top international speakers and learn about the exciting work being done to promote the right to life. This year we are joined by Obianuju Ekeocha: Founder & President of Culture of Life Africa and Professor John Wyatt, one of the UK’s leading Neonatal Paediatricians. We will also be hearing testimony from the award-winning youth initiative, Project Truth. The day commences with registration from 9.15am and ends at 4pm. The day includes refreshments throughout the day and a hot lunch. Full Price tickets are £30, (£25 for Concessions) and can be booked on 0141 221 2094 or
Diocesan Counselling Service for Catholics Married in the Catholic Church - Our diocese has arranged the services and pastoral ministry of our own 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 as the various problematic issues are discussed. Marriage counselling can help you gain perspective on your relationship. Expect help with the following:  Communicate in a more constructive way; Learn why arguments escalate; Reflect on the past and how it presents in your current relationships; Learn the art of compromise. Negotiate and resolve conflicts in a healthier way.  For information or advice please email in confidence
Testimonials from our Paisley Diocese Marriage Counselling Service - Our Paisley diocese Marriage Counselling Service has been up and running for a few months now and we already had this encouraging testimony from a couple who gave us permission to share it. Hope and new life are often just a step away.  For information or advice please email in confidence
'I was at a loss as to where to turn to and saw the counselling service. I wasn't sure if anything was going to help our relationship at that point but I really wanted to try. After the first session I felt relief that we had got a lot of things out. The sessions have made us talk much more about things day to day, not allowing them to build up. We respect each other more and, most importantly, we listen to each other - properly listen. It's the best thing we have ever done for us'. (Anonymous)

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