Thu, January 20, 2022



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



16th January 2022

Second Sunday of the Year - C

Please pray for:
† Those whose are sick:
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, Joseph Monaghan, Kathleen Brown
† Anniversaries:
Baby Joseph Deegan, Ellen Macauley, Mary Cameron, Albert Reilly, Jake Lafferty, John McLaughlan, Rev Peter Smith (3 months mind),
† Those who have died recently:
Canon Benny O’Keefe, Ian Wood, Thomas Sweeney, Hugh Doherty, Patrick Gillan.
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 Coming Week:
*Sunday Masses:
Sunday Morning 9.30 and 11am.
There will be public Weekday Masses on
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 9.30am
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
Thursday 6-7pm
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.
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 next visit for Communions will be Friday 4th February 
Gift Aid Envelopes 
A computer Glitch means we don’t have names to go with envelopes numbers 73-80. If you have one of these boxes could you give me your name and number either personally or on a bit on paper put through my letterbox. Thanks
1  SVDP St John's will be putting up the annual Christmas giving tree to help those less fortunate at Christmas. Please take one of the gift tags and return back to the tree with whatever is on the tag. Items will include women's & men's toiletries, women's & men's hats, scarves, socks, pyjamas and underwear. If you can also spare some hand gel this would be warmly received. The conference of St John's would  also like to thank our parishioners for all the help and donations we have received both in the past, during lockdown and for anything given in the future, it has all helped with the work we do.
2  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.
SYNOD 2023 – Responses Required 
Building on the guiding principles of his papacy, Pope Francis has invited Catholics both in the mainstream of church life and on the margins to express their dreams, ideas and concerns in preparation for the Synod of Bishops in 2023. The pope's invitation to discern a path forward for the church stems from his belief that the Holy Spirit inspires all members to be missionary disciples, sharing core Christian beliefs by going out to the world. 
The diocese wants to hear YOUR views, and a consultation document with questions that may help direct your response can be found on . Please send any responses to before 8th April 2022 – all responses will be acknowledged. 
Diocesan Priesthood
Thinking about Diocesan Priesthood in 2022? The Catholic Church in Scotland is now inviting enquiries from those considering applying for seminary. For more information please contact Fr. John Morrison tel: 01418895056 or email
Would you like to join our Diocesan Choir?
The Diocesan Choir are starting their rehearsals on the 27th January, at 7pm in St Mirin’s Cathedral.  We would like to extend a warm invitation to anyone who wishes to join our ranks.  If you are interested please contact our Diocesan Director of Music, Michael, at confirming your attendance.
Young Adults (18-30): Join us for our next event on Wednesday 26th January. Conor and Naomi Gildea will speak on The Sacrament of Matrimony from 7pm in St Mirin's Cathedral. The event is preceded by Holy Mass at 6pm and followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. The opportunity to meet for drinks after our event is subject to restrictions. More details will follow. To keep up to date with our schedule of events, connect with us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Faith, Family and Fraternity - A Call to Service
Supporting our clergy, serving in our parishes, helping the needy and developing our personal and family faith with like minded men. And much more……… Does that sound like you? If you are a man aged 16 or over the Knights of St Columba could be your answer. Province 1 of the KSC is recruiting in the diocese NOW.
For more information on how to join Britain’s largest Catholic laymans organisation, phone John O’Donnell on 07854 886425 or email:      SERVING GOD BY SERVING OTHERS FOR OVER 100 YEARS
Catholic Erskine
We will be launching a new Alpha Experience on Wednesday 19th January online from 7.00pm.  What is Alpha some of you may be asking.  Alpha is a course used for bringing people to a deeper understanding of God in their life. Alpha is a series of 14 sessions carried out over a 10 week period.  The format of each session is always the same.  Part 1: informal get together; Part 2: watch a video; Part 3; short period of discussion. The topics covered in Alpha are:  Is there more to life than this?  Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die?  How can I have faith?  Why and how can I pray?  Why and how should I read the Bible? How does God guide us? Who is the Holy Spirit?  Does Jesus heal today? If you are interested in taking part in the Alpha Experience please register on our website: or email
Other News and Events
Pro-Life Mass
The monthly Pro-Life Mass is on Wednesday 19th January at 7.30pm at Holy Cross, 113 Dixon Ave, G42 8ER. Adoration begins at 6.15pm. All welcome. The celebrant will be Mgr John Tormey
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.
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. See the letter below.
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. See the letter below
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