Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Our host for the day was Fr Tim Finigan who is parish priest in Blackfen. Fr Tim is also a part time lecturer in theology at the diocesan seminary so it was good for him to meet the youngsters. He gave an excellent talk on the building blocks of Christian life and provided a very welcome lunch.
Bishop Pat Lynch was our host bishop. Bishop Lynch preached a very warm and encouraging sermon on devotion to Our Lady. He spoke of his experience working with people from Ecuador who, unable to go to their earthly mothers in times of hardship, had a great and manifest devotion to the Mother of God. In the course of the day he took questions on all sorts of subjects from liturgy to moral theology, so much so that we spared him the 'bishop on the hotseat' slot - since he had effectively been on the hotseat all day!
The photo shows a picture of the group with Bishop Pat on the left and Fr Tim on the right. I'm very grateful to Bishop Pat and Fr Tim for their support and also to all the priests who advertised the event or mentioned it to their youngsters. Our numbers may have been down but it was nonetheless a very fruitful day.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Today we had the first of two First Holy Communion Masses in the parish. The next one will take place tomorrow at 11.30am To commemorate today's Mass the children at our parish school have taken to decorating plates which are then glazed and fired and can be kept as a commemoration of the day.
A sobering thought, nevertheless facebook must be judged on its own merits. A thing that lets you check the pulse without touching the body is great thing.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
So this week, to the horror of some and the delight of others I joined facebook. It is amazing how quickly you become hooked. It's not so much about hearing that this person's going to a party or that one's discovered a pimple on her left nostril - it's just about being aware of what's going on. Of course there's part of me that sees it as the increasing atomisation of human relationships: in the past to keep in touch we met up and chatted; then we started telephoning each other. After that we texted. Finally we emailed. Now we've removed the need for interpersonal communication at all. As one friend put it Facebook is reality - everything else is just a dream. So like Neo in the Matrix I've joined the 'real' world.
I hope it helps me meet more people thinking of priesthood. I'll get a reputation as a cyber-chaplain :o( In the meantime can feel myself getting sucked into the vortex - I need to go to check my inbox for new 'friends'...
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Every day the parish priest faces pastoral problems that many of us encounter only occasionally. Every priest has to ask himself how he can best serve the people of his parish. What do they need? How can we provide it? Fr Alexander identified three needs for his transitory and broken flock. The parish needs prayer - so he has established perpetual Adoration. It needs a life-giving view of human sexuality - so he established a centre for Natural Family Planning and organises talks on the Theology of the Body. Finally, it needs to be evangelised and so he started the St Patrick Evangelisation School - SPES - to bring hope to the heart of Soho.
Spirit in the City is part of the annual programme of reaching out to the people who pass through that area each day. It's organised by the local Catholic Churches and organises events in Church and also on the streets. This evening we arrived in time for the Holy Hour led by the Franciscans of the Renewal. After the Holy Hour there was a concert of Gospel Music in the Square. During this young Catholics went round the crowd getting to know the people there, handing out leaflets to those who wanted to know more and inviting them to come back to the Church afterwards for another time of prayer. It was very effective. There were of course a few representatives of the culture of death who complained bitterly that their patch was being invaded, but apart from that everyone enjoyed the music and seemed genuinely grateful that it had been laid on.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone sent a telegram of condolence in Benedict XVI's name, remembering the priest and three deacons murdered Sunday in Iraq.
The priest was killed in front of the Church of the Holy Spirit after saying Sunday Mass. According to Reuters, police said that gunmen stopped the priest's car, dragged him and the deacons out and shot them. Iraqi sources said militants related to al-Qaida are responsible for the increasing persecution of Christians in Mosul.
The papal telegram was sent to Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul.
The telegram said: "The Holy Father was deeply saddened to learn of the senseless killing of Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and subdeacons Basman Yousef Daoud, Ghasan Bidawid and Wadid Hanna, and he asks you kindly to convey to their families his heartfelt condolences."
It continued: "He willingly joins the Christian community in Mosul in commending their souls to the infinite mercy of God, our loving Father, and in giving thanks for their selfless witness to the Gospel.
"At the same time he prays that their costly sacrifice will inspire in the hearts of all men and women of good will a renewed resolve to reject the ways of hatred and violence, to conquer evil with good and to cooperate in hastening the dawn of reconciliation, justice and peace in Iraq."
The telegram concluded: "To the families and to all who mourn their dead in faith and in the hope which draws its certainty from the resurrection, His Holiness cordially imparts his apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord."
Monday, June 04, 2007
Today we welcomed Bishop Paul Hendricks to the parish for our annual Confirmation ceremony.Our Confirmation programme begins in September and consists of weekly sessions during term time. We have lots of guest speakers as well as a systematic catechesis looked after by our youth minister and team of catechists. There mis also a time of prayer each week as well as opportunities for the young people to get back into the habit of regular confession if they've fallen out of it. There are also great excursions and days out.
It is always worth putting a lot of effort into the Confirmation programme. This is a transition period in the lives of our youngsters and it is important that they get to realise not just that it's good to ask questions about their faith but also that it matters where they go for the answers. By building up a rapport with the priests and catechists - and with the grace of the Holy Spirit - we hope that they will be empowered to resist empty promises of our secular society.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Participate in days of prayer and Holy Hours for Vocations.
As a family pray for vocations.
Pray the Rosary and/or recite the Vocation prayer daily for the intention of Vocations.
Education and Discernment
Invite clergy and religious to visit your home and talk about Vocations.
Include specific catechesis on Vocation Awareness and Discernment during your catechetical instruction.
Promoting Vocations Be actively involved in your Parish Vocation Committee.
Directly ask/invite individuals to consider priesthood and consecrated life.
Support those in formation by letters of encouragement.
For more information contact Anne Marie.