‘Wonderful News’ As Cardinal Is Cleared For Sainthood

Cardinal John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has warmly welcomed the news that Cardinal Newman will be declared a saint.

Pope Francis cleared the way for the canonisation of the much-loved educationalist by authorising the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to issue a decree attributing a miracle to the 19th-century convert’s intercession.

Following the announcement, Cardinal Nichols said: “This is wonderful news which will be greeted with thanks to God by people across the world.

“Newman’s exploration of faith, depth of personal courage, intellectual clarity and cultural sensitivity make him a deeply admired follower of Christ.

“He brings together so many of the best of Catholic traditions shared well beyond the Catholic Church. His canonisation wIll be welcomed especially in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion.

“For me, the truly remarkable nature of this moment is that this is an English parish priest being declared a saint.

“During his life the people of Birmingham recognised his holiness and lined the streets at the time of his burial. I hope every parish priest in England will hold his head high today knowing Cardinal Newman is declared a saint.”

Cardinal John Henry Newman was beatified – declared “Blessed” – by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on his historic state visit to the UK in September 2010. 

Fellowship Needs Your Help!

Friends at the Middlesbrough Catholic Fellowship playgroup

Middlesbrough Catholic Fellowship has been running successfully for 46 years, forming friendships and making memories in our local community. 

Friends at the Fellowship are of different abilities and we all help each other to share in and enjoy the time we spend together. 

Unfortunately, we are very low on helpers for our Saturday playgroup at the Holy Name of Mary Church Hall, meaning that some members are having to miss out. 

Please help us to continue God’s work in providing a safe and caring network of friends for our members, for which the Saturday playgroup is a highlight of their week. 

If you, or anybody you know, is interested in joining the Fellowship Family, please email me at amvg@me.com or contact any other Fellowship helpers.

Continuing The Fight Against Human Trafficking

Continuing The Fight Against Human Trafficking

TERESA DEAN, diocesan representative for the Medaille Trust, tells us about the charity’s mission to care for and empower UK victims of human trafficking, raise awareness of their plight and campaign on their behalf…

On Friday February 8 the Catholic Church commemorates the life of St Josephine Bakhita, a Canossian Sister who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Sudan when young. 

The trauma of Bakhita’s abduction caused her to forget her own name. The name by which she has become known is a mixture of the name given by her slave traders, Bakhita, Arabic for “lucky”, and the Christian name, Josephine, which she took in adulthood.

In 1883, Bakhita was bought and taken to Italy. She made her profession in 1896 with the Canossians and was assigned to a convent where she spent the remaining 45 years of her life dedicated to assisting her community and teaching others to love God. 

Bakhita’s last years were marked by pain and sickness, but she retained her cheerfulness. If asked how she was, she always answered smiling, “as the Master desires.” 

St Josephine was beatified in 1992 and canonised by Pope John Paul II in October 2000. She is the first person from Sudan to be canonised and is the patron saint of her country and of victims of human slavery and trafficking.

The Global Slavery Index estimates there are 45m slaves today in the world and government estimates suggest that there may be up to 15,000 men, women and children in the UK who are victims of human trafficking and slavery. 

The Medaille Trust is a charity founded by priests, sisters and brothers from many orders and congregations to help men, women and their children who have been rescued from the evil of human trafficking.

Working together with victims we rebuild lives and offer brighter futures. The charity does this by providing safe housing for both male and female victims of human trafficking and their dependents in nine houses throughout England.

Pope John Paul II said: “The trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offence against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights.” Pope Francis says trafficking is “an open wound on the body of contemporary society.”

Please pray with St Josephine Bakhita for the men women and children who are victims of trafficking and slavery still.

As the Medaille Trust’s representative in our diocese, I am available to deliver talks and presentations in schools, parishes and other groups about the work of the trust in combatting human trafficking and slavery in the UK and globally. 

Please call me on 01642 313460 or email t.dean@medaille-trust.org.uk for more information.

Snowdrops On Show At Tudor Croft

Snowdrops On Show At Tudor Croft

Teesside’s best-loved private garden, Tudor Croft at Guisborough, will be open for two days on Saturday and Sunday February 16 and 17 for everyone to enjoy its fabulous collection of snowdrops and early spring flowers.

Home of the Heagney family, Tudor Croft provides perfect conditions for more than 250 varieties of snowdrop, many rare and all clearly labelled, in a stunning five-acre garden setting.

Lourdes brancardier Mike Heagney said: “This is a great time not only to see the snowdrops but also to view the intricate design and structure of this Arts and Crafts garden which, in summer, is less visible when everywhere is filled with flowers.”

Tudor Croft will be open from 11am to 3pm on each day and will be signposted from all approach roads to Guisborough. Admission is £5, children free, and there will be snowdrops and spring flowers for sale.   

Hot soup and refreshments will be available. Proceeds will go to local charities. Last year more than £5,000 was raised at Tudor Croft for the Middlesbrough Diocesan Lourdes Fund and other charities.

Wealth Of Teaching Opportunities In Catholic Academy Trust

Wealth Of Teaching Opportunities In Catholic Academy Trust

With pupil numbers in the UK set to continue to rise and teacher numbers at an all-time low, it’s a challenging time for schools across the UK. 

Figures show that in 2017 there were 451,900 full-time teachers working in English state schools compared with 457,000 in 2016. Teacher numbers have not been lower since 2013 according to the Department for Education and there is currently a shortfall of 30,000 professionals. This, coupled with the record number of teachers leaving the profession and increases in pupil numbers, makes for grim reading. 

However, Hugh Hegarty, chief executive officer of Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust (NPCAT), said: “As a newly formed Catholic multi academy trust, teacher recruitment, retention and development is of paramount importance. 

“As the region’s largest Catholic trust with 25 schools in both the primary and secondary sectors, we recognise the need to address this critical issue head on and believe we are in the enviable position of being able to offer a very diverse programme of engagement for teachers and new trainees. 

“NPCAT is focused on academic excellence and the spiritual and moral development of our pupils, staff and the communities we serve.”

The academic excellence is evident in the fact that 88% of the trust’s schools are now rated as Good or Outstanding by Ofsted and four of its primary schools were named in the Sunday Times top 250 – Christ the King, in Thornaby, St Edward’s, in Linthorpe, St Thérèse of Lisieux, in Ingleby Barwick and St Bede’s, in Markse-by-the-Sea, which was also named State Primary School of the Year by the paper.

“This quarter we are set to launch a series of engaging initiatives aimed at not only attracting new teachers through our many Initial Teacher Training programmes, but also developing our current teachers through our own internal, targeted CPD programmes, with the aim of identifying the next generation of leaders,” added Mr Hegarty.

To help drive interest in the teacher training programmes, NPCAT is offering taster teacher sessions across all their schools for anyone interested or considering going into teaching. 

These sessions will give people first-hand experience of what it’s like being in a school and the diversity a job in teaching can offer. For further information, please contact John O’Boyle at oboyle.j@npcat.org.uk.

NPCAT is also delighted to announce that from September it will be working with four Initial Teacher Training Providers (ITTPs). St Paulinus, Guisborough, is working in partnership with Durham University, St Patrick’s, Thornaby, with Leeds Trinity, Sacred Heart, Middlesbrough, with Redcar SCITT and St Joseph’s, Middlesbrough, will be one of the lead schools for the Carmel Teacher Training Partnership. For further information, please visit npcat.org.uk/initial-teacher-training. 

NPCAT seeks to create an environment which will inspire and challenge its teachers and leaders, creating a culture where knowledge and best practice is shared and recognised and achievement is celebrated. 

“The aim of the teacher training programmes is develop our own pool of teachers, used to working within our framework and dedicated to delivering outstanding Catholic education,” said Mr Hegarty. 

The trust currently has several vacancies including headteacher and deputy headteacher. Please visit npcat.org.uk/current-vacancies for more details or to apply.

Praying For A New Rosary Revival

Praying For A New Rosary Revival

JOHN CARROLL, World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) of England and Wales promoter for the Diocese of Middlesbrough, introduces a new initiative to stimulate a Rosary revival…

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have begun the rededication of our countries to Our Blessed Lady.

In the past year, the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited places including Middlesbrough, Hull and York and the statue Our Lady of Walsingham recently came to St Mary’s Cathedral.

As part of this ongoing process, WAF is promoting the Five First Saturdays Devotion in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested by her to the three shepherd children of Fatima, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.

Our Lady told Sister Lucia: “I am the Lady of the Rosary, I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more, for he is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day.”

She also said in a grave manner: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often, especially when you make some sacrifice, ‘O my Jesus, this is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary’.”

After showing the children a vision of hell, Our Lady said: “Pray, pray a great deal and make many sacrifices, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.”

Inspired by these words of the Mother of God we must encourage devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, alongside the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, by making reparation for sin. By trusting in Mary’s intercession, we hope to obtain the salvation of many souls, the triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart and an era of peace for all mankind.

Our Lady gave this pledge to Sister Lucia on December 10 1925: “I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

WAF is appointing promoters in each diocese to encourage prayer groups and parishes to start the devotion. We hope a network of groups will help stimulate a Rosary revival in the diocese and throughout the land and we would warmly welcome anyone who would like to join us.

For more information email 3woldview@gmail.com or call me on 01759 380415.

Parish And School Groups Invited To Flame

Parish And School Groups Invited To Flame

There’s still time to take part in the fourth CYMFed Flame Congress, at Wembley Arena on Saturday March 2. 

Many parishes and school groups have already booked tickets for their young people to enjoy this wonderful celebration of Catholic faith in a vibrant atmosphere, full of joy, with content presented in a way that resonates for young people.

This year Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, a network of communities that supports people with intellectual disabilities, will be giving exclusive video input.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland, will share his experience of the October Synod on Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.

Rapper Guvna B and his wife Emma will speak on the issue of stress, mental health and wellbeing for our young people and Robert Madu is flying in from Texas to talk on the theme for the day, “Significance.”

RISE Theatre will present the powerful drama Jesus Is Here as an introduction to Adoration, which will be led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols in the presence of almost all the bishops of England and Wales.

Music throughout the day will be animated by Tim Hughes, composer of Here I Am To Worship.

Nearly 6,000 tickets have already been sold and if your parish or school has not yet booked, there is still time. Flame is ideal for young people aged 14-plus (year nine and above), which for many parishes will include Confirmandi or older youth groups.

For schools groups such as GCSE and A level RE classes it’s a magnificent enrichment day, with input during the day and the vision of Church offered illuminating classroom discussions.

A limited number of tickets are available at £25, which includes travel, entrance, and hoodie. Enquiries from parish groups can be made by emailing FRPhilip.Cunnah@rcdmidd.org.uk.

St Mary’s Cathedral Wins Livesimply Award

St Mary’s Cathedral Wins Livesimply Award

CAFOD has developed a programme called Livesimply, which is an opportunity for Catholic communities – parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in his encyclical Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us.” 

Successful completion of the programme leads to the Livesimply award, which is given to Catholic communities that can demonstrate they have taken significant steps to respond to the Church’s call “to live simply so that others may simply live.” The key criteria are living simply, living in solidarity with people in poverty and living sustainably with creation.

In the context of the encyclical, Bishop Terry has written: “Let us give particular support to CAFOD in its ‘One Climate, One World’ campaign, its support for refugees and in encouraging parishes to become Livesimply parishes.” 

With Monsignor Gerard Robinson’s approval, the Justice & Peace Group of St Mary’s Cathedral registered for the Livesimply programme in  autumn 2017. Following CAFOD’s guidance, the group devised a wide-ranging action plan that included inviting Deacon David Cross to give a parish talk on Laudato Si’ and displaying selected quotations from thedocument on the Justice & Peace noticeboard.

The strategy also included organising a family walk with refugees, encouraging parishioners to walk to church, promoting Fairtrade products, planting bulbs in the cathedral’s peace garden, supporting charitable causes at home and abroad through the “Ten pence bowl” and other fundraising events, organising food collections for the John Paul Centre and encouraging volunteer work through promotion of the World Day of the Poor.

Some of these actions were on a large scale. For example, more than 70 refugees were welcomed to the family walk, which was followed by afternoon tea at the cathedral. 

Although organised by the Justice & Peace Group, the planned actions were successfully implemented only because of generous support from people throughout the parish, who have helped raise money to help the Padre Pio Rehabilitation Centre at Ahotokurom replace their existing old and unreliable bus, which often breaks down and is so small and uncomfortable that children and leprosy patients often have to stand or sit on each other’s knees. The bus is essential as it is the only transport for children and adults who attend the day centre, as well as many staff – see next month’s Voice for more on this important project.

Joe Burns and Trish Sandbach, two CAFOD assessors from the Leeds Diocese, evaluated the action plan and granted the award to the cathedral, which becomes the first Livesimply parish in our diocese.

So what are the advantages of taking part in a programme such as Livesimply? First, there is much to be said for drawing up a specific plan rather than working on an ad hoc basis. There is nothing like setting targets to provide the motivation to meet them. Second, the aims of Livesimply are wide-ranging, which means the individuals involved can find it an enriching experience by being taken out of their comfort zone. Finally, so many parishes do such good charitable work and Livesimply provides an opportunity to acknowledge formally what they do. 

The award is not an end in itself but rather a challenge to sustain and develop further how we can respond to the needs of the poor and the disadvantaged. Further details of Livesimply are available at cafod.org.uk/Campaign/How-to-Campaign/Livesimply-award

Don Lillistone, St Mary’s Cathedral Justice & Peace Group

Sharing Hope In Crisis Seminar

Sharing Hope In Crisis Seminar

The Diocese of Middlesbrough and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in the UK are pleased to invite you to attend their one-day Sharing Hope In Crisis seminar in Hull.

This invaluable training opportunity will help prepare you to serve people in crisis, enhancing your existing ministry within your church and the wider community.

Those with no previous training, as well as first responders, church leaders and others meeting suffering people more regularly should all benefit from this seminar, which includes:

  • Developing personal and professional skills to enhance your service to others
  • A biblical view of suffering
  • Effects of trauma and the process of grief
  • How to provide emotional and spiritual care
  • What to say and what not to say when people grieve
  • Learning about the Rapid Response Team ministry

The event takes place on Saturday April 6 at St Stephen’s Neighbourhood Centre, 96 Annandale Road, Hull HU9 4LA.

Registration is from 9am with an anticipated finish at 4.30pm. Visit the Rapid Response Team ministry at billygraham.org.uk/rapid-response-team/training/ and enter your details to register.

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