4th August 2019 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary time

Hope in the Future Training Opportunity

Youth Ministry in Parishes

Thornleigh Salesian College

Saturday 14th September, 10am-3pm

As part of Stage 2 of Hope in the Future, parishioners are invited to a training day aimed to help guide you on how you can engage young people in parish life.
There will be workshops throughout the day and a keynote speech from Chris Knowles on how we can take inspiration from the Synod to engage young people.

To sign up or find out more, visit


or email hope@dioceseofsalford.org.uk


Events at the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst

Theodore House, Stonyhurst, BB7 9PZ


Margaret Clitherow Book Launch – Friday 30th August 2019, 19:30

Authors John and Wendy Rayne-Davis are launching a new book on one of our local saints: Margaret Clitherow.
The evening’s presentation will give an overview of the various themes covered in the book which give fresh context to Margaret’s life.
Questions and refreshments as part of the evening, and attendees can enjoy an overnight stay at reduced cost and join us for Mass and a talk at Stydd chapel the next morning.

To book your place, email:


28th July 2019 – 17th Sunday in Ordinary time

The Our Father

The Gospel of this Sunday opens with the scene of Jesus praying alone, in a separate place. When he finishes, the disciples ask him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” And he responds, “When you pray, say: Father …”

This word is the secret of Jesus’ prayer; it is the key that he himself gives us so that we can also enter into this relationship of trusting dialogue with the Father who has accompanied and sustained Jesus’ life.

To the name “Father,” Jesus associates two petitions: “hallowed be your name; your kingdom come.” Jesus’ prayer, and therefore, a Christian’s prayer, is before all to give space to God, allowing him to manifest his holiness in us and allowing the advance of his kingdom by the possibility of exercising his lordship of love in our lives.

Another three petitions complete this prayer that Jesus teaches us.  They are three requests that express our fundamental needs: bread, forgiveness and help in temptation. One cannot live without bread, one cannot live without forgiveness, and one cannot live without the help of God when faced with temptation.

Pope Francis

14th July 2019 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary time



“The Time is NOW” mass lobby of M.P.’s at Westminster on 26th June was organised by The Climate Coalition and Greener UK – two confederations of organisations, that include CAFOD and which represent millions of people across the UK.

From surfers to scientists, bird watchers to beekeepers, everyone has a stake in the state of our environment. No one is more aware of this than Pope Francis, who in his Laudato ‘Si encyclical letter, calls us all to action defending and promoting the health of God’s creation.

On arriving at Westminster our day began with Interfaith addresses from the leaders of several faiths: Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist, expressing their concerns for the future of our planet. Later, Bishop Arnold pointed to the unanimity of their aspirations. Outstanding amongst the speakers was a Quaker, a young girl supporting Greta Thunberg in her School Strike for action on Climate change, who pleaded passionately for us all to commit to caring for “our common home”.

From there, Bishop John Arnold led us out to lobby our respective MPs. Nigel Evans was not available but he had arranged for two of his researchers, both from the Ribble Valley, to speak with his constituents. We discussed a variety of issues – ranging from fracking and renewable energy to solar panels on new builds. We gave them clear requests to hand to Nigel Evans, requesting that he put out a statement on them and that he arranges to meet us in the Ribble Valley.  We await his response.

After relaxing in the sunshine on the Green, with coffee and free ice cream, the day concluded with a CAFOD Mass at Church House led by Bishop Arnold and concelebrated with five other priests. At the end Jose Batista, a land rights lawyer working for the Pastoral Land Commission in Maraba, Brazil, made a passionate plea to save the rainforest, the lungs of the earth.  The Mass was both emotional and inspiring.  It was a privilege to be there.

It was a long day but to see people of all ages and organisations, and especially the many young people voicing their hopes for the future, it was worth every minute!

Remember, the dinosaurs also thought they had time!


7th July 2019 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary time (Weld Day)


Saturday, June 22 saw the first Hope in the Future Deanery walk from Stonyhurst along the Tolkien Trail.  Starting with a prayer at the statue of Our Lady, 46 people from 11 St John Southworth Deanery parishes skirted the college grounds and through the fields to the Hodder.   We regrouped frequently to learn about the features of our surroundings and their Tolkien links.  We picnicked just past where the Hodder joins the Ribble and then on to where the Calder joins the Ribble.  A few weeks ago, an osprey was spotted fishing near here.  Like us it needed a lunch break on its journey north to the Lake District.  We had to be content with a heron, a truly magnificent bird none the less.

But it wasn’t the summer sun, the verdant green foliage, the ox eye daisies, the blackbirds, that made the day. It was the people, many of them newcomers to us but of same faith and mind.  It was good to circulate and share experiences of our parishes and hear what others were doing for Hope in the Future.  It became clear that our Parish is ahead of most and perhaps all others in our Deanery.  This will surprise some as it may seem that little has changed.  Hope in the Future is a five-year programme of which the Outreach component comprises:

  • Communicating well through newsletters, websites and social media
  • Serving the particular needs of the local community
  • Creating social outreach groups open to all
  • Linking with Caritas, CAFOD, SVP and similar organisations
  • Caring for the local environment
  • Inviting participation in activities such as parish missions or Alpha courses
  • Reaching out to parishioners who do not regularly attend church
  • Participating in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue and action

None of this is new.  These are the pillars of Catholic Social Teaching.  The only change is about balance.  As Donal Harrington says:  [There is] “a tendency to see spirituality as a private affair between ‘me and God’, with no reference to or need for community. Perhaps this reflects a more widespread tendency to ‘privatise’ that characterises capitalist culture. As times push on and the world becomes insular and populist, we too are pushed along with it.  Hope in the Future encapsulates the mission to address this, to become less inward and more outward looking.”

Anthony Brown


30th June 2019 – SS Peter & Paul


Our young people arrive at their meetings each week prepared to have fun, learn, help other people, love God, be kind, ready to earn badges and to keep the Scout Law.  All of this is reflected in the Beaver and Cub promise each young person makes when they choose to be invested as a Beaver or Cub.

Beavers:  Badge work and awards: we’ve awarded 2 bronze scout awards, 2 & 1 year level badges, personal skills, challenge badges. We’re working towards our cooking skills, adventure & faith badges.

Cubs:  Badge work and awards: we are currently working towards Team Building, Team Leader, Skills and Creative badges. All 5 cubs are in-line for achieving their Chief Scout Silver awards if they remain in Cubs. 1 will be awarded this by July 2019.

Our Beavers and Cubs will enjoy a camp at Bowley this weekend:

2 nights & 2 days for Cubs & 1 night and 1 & half days of activities for Beavers. We’ve got exciting activities to look forward to, such as making own frying pan and cooking own lunch, crate stacking, Beaver and Wolf trails to complete.

Beavers and Cubs will be visiting Pets at Home in July to see the good work that happens there and to complete and be awarded the Animal Friend/Care badge.

When the weather is good, Beavers and Cubs are privileged to be able to have as many meetings on St Michael and St John’s School field as they can.  This allows them to work towards and achieve their Adventure, Team Skills, Leadership, Athletics and Athletics plus challenge and activity badges.

Beavers – we currently have 12 young people. 10 will return in September 2019.

Cubs – we currently have 5 young people. 4 in September 2019

Plea:  We are in need of adults to join our leadership team anytime from now onwards – we can’t keep our group going without Leaders to lead!!

If you know anyone who may be interested, please pass on my contact details as follows:

Mobile: 07887690402; Email: susan_fellows@hotmail.co.uk


Many thanks.

Susan Fellows, AKA Pink Beaver (Beavers) and Akela (Cubs)

‘Stay with us Lord on our Journey’

23rd June 2019 – Corpus Christi

Dear Parishioners,

Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body of Christ. Catholic belief is that Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross is made present on the altar in the celebration of the Eucharist, the celebration  of the Mass.  How may we gain some insight into this mystery?

I invite you to read the following from ‘A place apart’ by the Cistercian monk Basil Pennington. You may have to read it a dozen times – but stay with it!

“We tend to see and experience things in a linear fashion, one event succeeding another and passing into history. God dwells in an eternal “now.” All that ever was and will be is now present in him. If I were to try to express it in an image, I might say that while we see things stretched out in a line he sees them all piled up, one atop another, in a single point of time. And at the top of the heap is the greatest act of all creation, the focal act of all creation.

God is love. We are made to his image and likeness. We are all that we are to be, to the extent that we are love, lovers, sharing in the love of God become man’s in his Son. The greatest act of creation is the greatest act of love in creation, that act whereby the Son offered the Father the greatest thing in creation: his human life. Greater love than this no man has than to lay down his life. All our love has its meaning and fullness only to the extent it participates in his supreme act of love.

We can reach beyond time into God’s “now” to touch that supreme act at any time by our faith. But God himself in his tremendous mercy and love has given us a ritual act whereby that supreme act of love is brought into our time and made present whenever a priest places that ritual in memory of his Son. The Mass and Calvary are in no wise distinct. The one supreme act of love, abiding ever in the “now” of God, is made present on our table by this ritual act just as truly as it was present on the cross in the heart of the Son. This is the significance of the Mass, and we are invited to it daily.

Fr John

16th June 2019 – Trinity Sunday

Dear Parishioners,

A Eucharistic service should not be held in a church on the same day as a Mass is celebrated. We ‘bent’ the rule here in Clitheroe to accommodate, on Saturday morning, a small number of people who were unable to attend Sunday Mass because of their disabilities, agoraphobia being one, These parishioners have now gone to the Lord. Saturday. Next Saturday at 11am we celebrate the First Communion Mass for St Michael and St John’s, so the usual Eucharistic service has to be cancelled. Given that there is a 5 o’clock Saturday Mass here in Clitheroe followed by a 6.30pm Mass in Dunsop, with a further two Masses on Sunday we have more Masses than most other parishes and so I think that this is an opportune moment to announce that these Saturday morning Eucharistic services will not be resumed.

St Elisabeth Convent is a Russian Orthodox community in Belarus that was founded in 1999 in the outskirts of Minsk. The convent currently has a large number of sisters whose vocation is to serve the poor, particularly the physically and mentally disabled.

The convent has cared for 200 orphan children suffering from both physical and mental needs for the past 14 years. “We consider it vital to raise children in the atmosphere of love, mercy and care,” Sr Olga told me.

They also run a shelter on the Convent farmstead for the homeless, drug or alcohol addicts, ex-prisoners and the less able. Over 200 residents live there today. The Convent provides them with accommodation, meals and necessary medicines, medical and helps them to register for their important national identity papers.

There is a separate rehabilitation facility for female ex-prisoners and homeless and the mentally challenged women.

To support and develop these activities, the sisters run twenty craft workshops which include sewing and embroidery work, candle making, wood-carving, stone and metalwork – “all made with love and prayer”.

Two sisters will display a selection of their products for sale both here in Clitheroe after Mass and also in Our Lady’s, Langho.

Fr John

Pope Francis: Audience with the participants in the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, 27.05.2019

[Catholics tend to see Catholic Social Teaching as an optional extra.  These quotes from a recent audience with the Pope are useful reminders about the key place charity has in our Faith]

Today I would like to pause to reflect briefly with you on three key words: charity, integral development and communion.


  • Charity has its origin and its essence in God Himself (see Jn 4: 8); charity is the embrace of God our Father to every man, especially to the least and the suffering, who occupy a preferential place in His heart
  • The Church…. is in Christ, the sign and instrument of God’s love for humanity and for all of creation, our common home.

Integral development

  • The poor are first and foremost persons, and their faces conceal that of Christ Himself. They are His flesh, signs of His crucified body, and we have the duty to reach out to them
  • The service of charity must, therefore, choose the logic of integral development as an antidote to the culture of waste and indifference.


  • It is communion in Christ and in the Church that animates, accompanies and supports the service of charity both in the communities themselves and in emergency situations throughout the world.

Taking up these three fundamental aspects of living in Caritas, I would like to urge you to live them with a style of poverty, gratuitousness and humility….You cannot live charity without having interpersonal relationships with the poor: living with the poor and for the poor…We must always be careful not to fall into the temptation of living a hypocritical or deceitful charity, a charity identified with almsgiving, or as a “tranquilliser” for our uneasy consciences….Charity is not an idea or a pious feeling, but is an experiential encounter with Christ; it is the desire to live with the heart of God Who does not ask us to have a generic love, affection, solidarity, etc. for the poor, but to meet Himself in them (see Mt 25: 31-46), in the style of poverty.

You can read the full text here

9th June 2019 – Pentecost Sunday

Come Holy Spirit of God

Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ:
shine in our hearts,
in our society,
in the world of nature around us,
in the church.
Enrich the poverty of our spirits and imaginations
with the abundance of your gifts.
To the restless anxiety of our hearts,
to the turmoil of our lives,
bring your sweet message of peace.
Be the still point in the midst of our anxious activity,
be our rest after toil,
be a cool shade in life’s burning heat,
be the solace of our sorrows and disappointments.
Come then to us, Holy Spirit of God,
send our dry roots rain.
Take possession of us
to comfort and renew:
Cleanse all that is defiled in us,
Heal all that is diseased in us,
Make fruitful all that is barren in us,
Soften all that is angry and inflexible in us,
Warm all that is frigid and unloving in us,
Straighten all that is crooked and deceitful in us.
Give to all who open themselves to you
the gifts of wisdom and understanding,
insight and tenderness,
the knowledge of the dignity of the redeemed,
and the courage to live up to it.
Give them a humble reverence before the mystery of God,
before the beauty and fragility of our world,
and before the glory of our human nature
which you fill with your presence and your power, as your living temple.
And when for each of us in death
the hints and shadows of this world
give way to the reality of God,
be yourself the homecoming and the fulfilment
of all that your presence here has taught us to hope for.