Voluntary Mission Movement


Chris McClare, a lay voluntary worker/missionary for the VMM is with us this weekend at our Masses to speak to us of the work of his lay missionary organisation. Different organisations and religious congregations are invited to make a missionary appeal in each of our parishes on one Sunday or other in the year. The retiring collection we take for them is an important part of the funding for their work.

The VMM work alongside local communities in the developing world, mainly in East Africa. Proceeds from the Annual Mission appeals will be used to train and support the VMM volunteers in their field of work. These are committed Catholics with professional/technical skills, who feel called to make a difference. Founded in 1969, the VMM has sent some 2,800 missionaries overseas so far and this has made a great impact.

If you are interested in learning about opportunities in mission volunteer work, (and are over 21 with one year’s experience in a trade/profession) please contact them on 0151 291 3438 or email vmm@hope.ac.uk. There is also a website http://www.vmminternational.org/

Poetry Evening - Monday 13 June at 8pm

“To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears."

The first session of the poetry group was a great success with parishioners coming along both to read or simply to listen. This Monday (13 June) at 8:00pm in the Quiet Room at the Haydock Centre sees the second meeting of the poetry group. All parishioners are welcome to come along to read or hear favourite poems read aloud - as should be the case with poems! If possible, please think of poems with a summer theme - sun, warmth, the landscape, etc.

Please contact Neil McGeown for more information about the poetry group: on tel. 01768 398808 or ullswater@gmail.com.

Iona: A Place of Rest and Prayer


The beautiful Isle of Iona off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland is a very popular destination for holidaymakers, and for pilgrims who travel there to honour the memory of St Columba that great Christian missionary who first brought the Faith to what is now Scotland and the North of England. Because it is so popular with pilgrims, the residence there known as The Catholic House of Prayer books up more than a year in advance. So we have taken the chance of booking it for Monday 19th to Friday 21st June 2017. It has two twin bedrooms and four singles at £60 a day, bed, breakfast and evening meal. If needed, there are overflow places in the two small island hotels. There are plenty of places ‘to go on pilgrimage’, so to speak, on the island: the bay where traditionally St Columba landed from Ireland, the restored abbey, martyrs bay, etc. Nothing rivals the journey to Iona, an integral part of the pilgrimage. There are connecting trains from Penrith through Glasgow to Oban through the Western Highlands of Scotland, then the ferry to the isle of Mull, connecting bus to the small ferry which takes you to Iona itself, and then a short walk to the House of Prayer. No visitor cars or traffic is allowed on the Island which best preserves it peace and quiet. If you are interested in coming with us, please phone or speak to John or Maureen Poland on 016974 75825 or Fr Jerome on 01768 862273 as soon as possible.

First Holy Communions

Please pray for those children at our St Catherine’s Primary School who made their First Communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi (29th May). Pray especially for their families that they may be channels of God’s grace for their children as they seek to fulfil the baptismal promise they made when they asked for their child to be christened: to bring their child up in the practice of the Faith.

Amoris Laetitia


Pope Francis published this after the two Synods of Bishops on this topic in the Octobers of 2014 and 2015. Rome has given us ten questions & answers to help summarise its contents. This is the third of these:

2. Much of the controversy around the Synod was about Catholics who are divorced and remarried civilly receiving Holy Communion. But AL does not pronounce definitely on the issue. Why not?

The Synod discovered that arguments with winners and losers were not productive. What was productive was a deep, respectful and compassionate examination of family life, marriage, and the People Of God as they strive to live out their vocation in troubled and complex times.

Chapter 8 “Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness”, offers a very profound look at how general rules do not apply straightforwardly to every particular situation. And so there is need to take the complexity of each situation into account.

The Pope acknowledges that everyone should feel challenged by Chapter 8. It certainly calls pastors and those working in family apostolates to listen sensitively to anyone who feels wounded, and to help them experience God's unconditional love.

Amoris Laetitia is on sale in the church shop, price £5.

Supporting the Monze Mission Hospital in southern Zambia

Sister Mariana Chibule Bbalo, the head of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, came to visit to us a couple of weekends ago, and spoke to us of her Congregation's work in southern Zambia. Of particular interest to her was their mission of managing the hospital in Monze, and her hope that there might be parishioners interested in praying for and supporting their work there. May I appeal for anyone interested to contact me then we could meet together to take this forward.

Fr Jerome.