Mon, December 17, 2018

Upcoming Events



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 £1,009.00
Thank you for your great generosity!

16th December 2018 – Third Sunday of Advent (C)

Please pray for those who are sick:
Marjory Gatens, James Brannigan, Korbin Gabb (7yrs), Peter Mooney, Euan Leslie, Joshua McGivern (baby), Callum Gibson, Isabel Gibson, Finlay Monaghan, Maureen Collins, Derek Voysey and Ben Arkless (age 4yrs)
those whose anniversaries occur about now:  
Mary Connelly, Jim Patton, Leah, John & Bernadette Duffy, Kenneth McCarter,  Alice & Frances & Joseph Horler, Margaret Rice, Susan McAlindon, Margaret Carroll and Eddie Docherty (six months’ mind)
Christmas Confessions - There will be all day confessions in St Mary’s Greenock, on Wednesday 19th December from 10:30am – 7:00pm and  here in St John’s on Friday 21st December from 10:15am – 7:00pm.
Times of Christmas Masses – Please take a flyer with the times of Christmas Masses, these can be found at the back of the church
Children's Liturgy Nativity Play - Practice for the Christmas Play will take place on the 9th, 16th  and 23rd in St. John the Baptist Church, after the 11:00 am Mass at approximately 12 noon till 1:00pm. The Nativity Play will take place during the Children's Christmas Vigil Mass on Monday 24th December 2018.  All children are welcome to participate and attend rehearsals.
Annual Dinner for the Lonely, Hungry and Homeless - Inverclyde SVDP will be having their annual Christmas dinner in St John’s Hall on Friday 28th December from 1pm - 3pm.  If you, or someone you know, would like to come please assure them they are very welcome and also let a member of SVDP know. Please see the posters at the back of the church for details.
Christmas Giving Tree - At the back of the church we have our Christmas Giving Tree. Please feel free to take a gift tag and return it with whatever is written on the gift tag.  In addition you can wrap up your own gift with a tag advising if it is for either male or female. We need hats, gloves, scarfs, warm socks, wipes, warm vests, polo shirts etc.  The gifts will be given out to those in need at both our Christmas dinner and the local homeless drop in centre.
Carol Concert – A Carol Concert in aid of the Ardgowan Hospice will be held in St Francis’ Port Glasgow on Thursday 27th December at 2.30pm. Members of the Ardgowan Hospice Singers and other local choirs will sing. Refreshments will be served in the Hall afterwards. All welcome.
Feast of the Holy Innocents – The annual Mass for the Inverclyde Innocents will be celebrated on Friday 28th December at 12 Noon in St Francis’, Port Glasgow. There will be tea and coffee in the Hall afterwards. All welcome.
SPRED Advent Boxes - Please take away your SPRED Advent Boxes and bring them back as full as you can early in the New Year.  SPRED is our Special Religious Education Group for our parishioners with special needs and meets in twenty-one groups around our diocese, also reaching out to our local special needs schools through 200 volunteer parishioners.  Last year your Advent Boxes brought in an amazing £12,000.  We will be holding our annual SPRED parish collection in February which last year raised £23,000. Thanks again for your generosity which is helping this wonderful organisation in our diocese to spread and grow from strength to strength.
St. Stephen's High School - During the Holy Season of Advent, we will be having morning prayer (Mon-Fri), from 08:30 in the Oratory. On Thursdays Holy Mass will be celebrated starting at 08:20 . All are welcome to both morning prayer and Holy Mass. We look forward to seeing you.
Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland invite you to pray with them during Advent at Buchanan Street, Glasgow, each Wednesday evening at 7.00pm – 8.30 pm. The Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet will be recited for peace in our world, for the 40 Days for Life and for family life. Christmas Carols will be sung during the evening also. All are welcome.
There is a joyfulness to today's Mass.  The Entrance Antiphon, not always said but often reflected in the other readings and prayers, "Gaudete in Domino semper", these words of the antiphon and following read, "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice.  Indeed, the Lord is near."  For this reason and in earlier years this weekend reminds many when this Sunday was commonly known as "Gaudete Sunday".  Therein lies the joyfulness of the day.  Our awareness of the coming of the Lord, not forgetting the continued time of readiness and looking forward with great joy, realising the excitement and seriousness of the Lord's coming and our necessary preparation.  Our response to the psalm, "Sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."  We can feel the excitement as we look forward to the Lord's coming.  St. Paul speaks of the nearness of the Lord, any needs we have can be supported and reassured in prayer.  Our patron St. John the Baptist guides us during these days of Advent.  Many are approaching St. John the Baptist thinking he is the Messiah, he continues to encourage them but makes clear he was not the Messiah.  The one coming after me St. John says, with the humility of our patron, "and I am not fit to undo the strap of His sandal".
We as a parish community, like others, are doing as well as we can as we look to the Lord's coming.  Each and every one of us have an awareness of what we can do in our life of faith, hope and charity.  We love God and our neighbour remembering our family and our support of one another as we long for the Lord's coming.  We love our family and friends but also remember God wants us to love everyone especially the poor and the needy.  We are not alone in this process as St. John the Baptist reminds us he Baptises with water but the one who comes after him will Baptise with the Holy Spirit and Fire.  This reminds us of the blessing which is upon us through our Baptism and the power of the Holy Spirit.  St. Luke in his Gospel is aware of the power of the Holy Spirit, and the redemption of all.  Through Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we have been saved.  He has come to save us through the Love of God the Father and the Power of the Holy Spirit.  We can never forget the dignity which is ours through our Baptism and through whom we have been saved.  We are fortunate that many parents are still bringing their children to be baptised.  We pray this will always be the case.
The parish community are fortunate during our preparation for the Lord's coming as we have the Children's Liturgy Group and their helpers along with other children during these days of Advent.  It is good to see so many who are in rehearsals these weeks for the Nativity Play which will take place during the Children's Christmas Eve Vigil Mass of Christmas at 6pm in St. John the Baptist Church.  These children and young people are the fruits of their Baptism and it is wonderful to see so many.  We all have a part to play in this process, if we cannot be directly involved, we can intensify our prayers and our example to encourage our children, our youth and everyone to be at home and welcome in the Church.  Also to be encouraged to participate in parish, school and diocesan activities as well other organisations, such as scouting or youth groups associated with the parish and community.  Please encourage our children and young people to become more involved in the life of the Church, may they always feel welcome and grow in faith.  There can be very positive outcomes for those who have attended Children's liturgy, served on the Altar, the very helpful children picking up the hymn books after Mass, a great help, there are jobs for all!
We hear St. Luke's Gospel this year, he is the Evangelist of Compassion and Mercy.  When St. John the Baptist is asked by various individuals what should they do if they have lacked charity, collect high taxes, put harsh burdens on others. John says, “If you have two coats give one to another, if people have to pay do not take more than is necessary”.  As we think of the easy summing up of the
commandments, love God and one another, then you can see how we are all called to live honest lives.  There are some of people in our world today only out for themselves, who have no respect for life, faith, property or personal possessions.  While we appreciate the burden of possessions the benefit of sharing can help others, especially the most needy.  St. Luke wanted all to be drawn to the mercy and love of God.  For as long as he could, St. John the Baptist supported the people, encouraged them, pointing and directing them to the way of the Lord.  As we rejoice in the Lord's presence some may remember the word JOY reminds us of Jesus first, others next and yourself last.  While at the end of time we will all be one, it is good to remember our union with Jesus and others.  If we do not, we miss the point of the Good News.  Jesus wants for us nothing more than the salvation of souls and the endless joy of eternity.
Carols in the Cathedral – Bishop John invites you to the annual Diocesan Christmas carol service for all the family on Thursday 27th December at 3pm in St. Mirin’s Cathedral.  Come along and join in on the festive cheer!  There will be tea, coffee and mince pies in the cathedral hall after the service and a selection box for the children.
An Evening of Sacred Chant:  The chants of Gregorian and Byzantine choirs have been recreated with advanced technology in a live performance by Scottish classical singer Martin Aelred whilst projecting HD graphics of ancient Holy sites across the globe.  Thursday 13th December at 7pm in St. Aidan’s Church, Johnstone. Special guests are St. Mirin’s Cathedral Choir who will feature the TAIZE chants.  Free entry with a donation to the concert fund.
Carols by Candlelight: with the Senior & Junior Choirs of The Academy of Sacred Music, followed by mulled wine and Christmas cake.  Turnbull Hall, Glasgow.  Tuesday 18th December at 7pm.
Faith Winter Session for Young Adults:  Christ Our Eucharist, the Summit of Christian Life Faith Winter Session, Stonyhurst, 27-29 December during the Christmas holidays for young Catholics. This is a great experience to pray and learn about your Catholic Faith alongside 200 or so young Catholics, and in the company of priests and sisters from around the UK.  A coach leaves from Edinburgh and Glasgow. This year’s theme is Christ Our Eucharist, the Summit of Christian Life.  Bishop John has been invited and will be attending. For more info go to
Alpha at St Bernadette, Erskine: The next session of Alpha starts on Wednesday 6th February at 7:00pm and will finish on Wednesday 10th. April.   This will include an Away day on Saturday 16th March.  The Alpha Course is a 10-week program which has three important elements, Food, Talk and Discussion.  If you would like to know more about the Alpha Course, please come along to an Introductory Session on Wednesday 16th January at 7:00pm in St. Bernadette’s, Erskine.  If interested, please contact Andy Milwain at
Gift Aid Information - If you have not already done so could I ask that you fill out the form requesting Gift Aid information as soon as possible.  This is to enable us to update our records and ensure that we are accurately claiming the appropriate amounts from HMRC.  The forms can be found at the back of the church and once completed can be inserted into the ‘Green Box’.  Thank you for your 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 Catherine on

Tel: 07935 391884 


Funeral Services


Co-Operative Funeralcare

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