The theme for this year’s World Day of the Poor, on Sunday November 17, has been revealed as: “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever” (Ps 9:19)
In his letter announcing the theme, Pope Francis writes that these words, “express a profound truth that faith impresses above all on the hearts of the poor, restoring lost hope in the face of injustice, sufferings and the uncertainties of life.
“How can we fail to note that the Beatitudes with which Jesus began his preaching of the kingdom of God open with the words: ‘Blessed are you who are poor’ (Lk 6:20)? The meaning of this paradoxical message is that the kingdom of God belongs to the poor because they are in a position to receive it.
“How many poor people do we encounter each day! It seems that the passage of time and the advances of civilisation increase their numbers rather than diminishing them.
“Centuries go by and the Beatitude appears even more paradoxical: the poor are always poorer, and today they are poorer than ever.
“The situation of the poor obliges us not to keep our distance from the body of the Lord, who suffers in them. Instead, we are called to touch his flesh and to be personally committed in offering a service that is an authentic form of evangelisation.
“Commitment to the promotion of the poor, including their social promotion, is not foreign to the proclamation of the Gospel. On the contrary, it manifests the realism of Christian faith and its historical validity.
“God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. The poor save us because they enable us to encounter the face of Jesus Christ.”
He concludes by saying: “If the disciples of the Lord Jesus wish to be genuine evangelisers, they must sow tangible seeds of hope.”
He then asks all Christian communities, and all those who feel impelled to offer hope, love and consolation to the poor, “To help ensure that this World Day of the Poor will encourage more and more people to cooperate effectively, so that no one will feel deprived of closeness and solidarity.”
You can read the full text here: zenit.org/articles/popes-message-for-3rd-world-day-of-the-poor-full-text/
We will be holding a major event for the whole of our diocese in St Mary’s Cathedral, Middlesbrough, on Saturday November 16 to celebrate all the good work being carried out by the Church and by individual Catholics throughout our diocese, as well as hearing stories and experiences of those affected by poverty in all its various forms. All are welcome and it’s hoped that every parish in the diocese will be represent at this celebration.
An opportunity has arisen to work with the General Secretary to further develop the Bishops’ Conference Secretariat as a centre of knowledge and capability in support of the bishops of England and Wales.
This post would suit someone with broad and deep knowledge and experience of working with the Catholic Church and able to demonstrate a sustained track record of representing the Church across a diverse range of people and organisations, including legislators and influencers in England and Wales.
Reporting to the General Secretary, the role will be based in the office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, a short walk from Victoria Station in Central London.
Key accountabilities will include…
• To work with colleagues to develop professional excellence across all disciplines in support of the bishops and their mission
• To develop individual, team and organisational knowledge and capability and translate into compelling policy and practice consistent with proclaiming the Kingdom of God across England and Wales
• To support the work of the Secretariat in continuously improving knowledge of Church teaching across England and Wales, including for sacramental preparation
• To develop understanding of the Catholic heritage and culture of England and Wales as core to evangelisation
• To provide bishops with knowledge and insight, enabling them to respond to emerging issues of national and international importance to the Church
•To communicate the Gospel message in the context of the lived experience of the people of England and Wales and develop and implement mechanisms for translating Church teaching into pastoral practice.
Salary: Subject to experience
Closing date for applications: August 23 2019
Interviews: Interviews will be held on September 18 2019 at 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX. Second interviews will be arranged on a mutually convenient date.
For a job description and for further information please contact: HR@cbcew.org.uk or visit www.cbcew.org.uk
Applicants must confirm their right to work in the UK and forward a full CV and covering letter demonstrating the skills, motivation and experience that equips them for this role to HR@cbcew.org.uk or by post to Head of HR, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX.
Many new friendships were made as pilgrims from Scarborough, Middlesbrough, Whitby and Redcar travelled to Knock for the 140th anniversary of the Apparition of the Virgin Mary.
We arrived very tired at our hotel in Kiltimagh, ten minutes from Knock, on Monday evening, having set off by coach at 1am. Four more pilgrims joined us by air. The next two days were spent exploring the shrine and the many beautiful areas that make up this large site.
The new Basilica that can hold 10,000 people is the central feature of the shrine and contains a 1.5m-piece mosaic of the apparition scene, which is a truly awesome sight to behold.
Stations of the Cross in a special outside garden area were led by our spiritual director Canon Eddie, who later concelebrated Mass in the parish church with priests from the shrine.
The original parish church gable wall, where the apparition took place in 1879, is now a separate chapel that is open for Mass and private devotion and where Canon Eddie was also able to celebrate Mass during our pilgrimage.
The group enjoyed a trip to Westport and Galway to see this very scenic part of Co Mayo before we travelled home via Belfast to Stranraer ferry. Our thanks go to Canon Eddie and organiser Rory Connelly for enabling this pilgrimage to be so successful and rewarding in many ways.
Scarborough Parishes is hosting an exhibition of Vatican-approved Eucharistic Miracles of the World during July, the month of the Most Precious Blood.
The exhibition was part of the Adoremus Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool last September. This is a wonderful opportunity, which is hoped will bring about a renewal in Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and faith in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and bear fruit in the lives of the faithful, both in Scarborough and across the diocese.
The exhibition opened at St Peter’s Church on Sunday July 7 and closes on Sunday July 28. The main body of the exhibition will be spread across the three Scarborough churches of St Peter, St Joseph and St Edward the Confessor, with smaller displays at St George’s, Eastfield and St Mary’s, Filey.
There will an extended programme of Adoration and extra opportunities for confession, Eucharistic procession, talks, DVD presentations and prayer.
During the second weekend (July 11-15) there will be a parish visit by Anna Johnstone, facilitator of the exhibition, who will give a talk and DVD presentation and lead prayer and devotions.
Anna is an expert on the life of Carlo Acutis (1991-2006), a devout young Italian who fell in love with Jesus and Mary at a very young age, and who created this exhibition while still in his teens, after discovering that scant information was available on the approved Eucharistic Miracles.
Carlo set about cataloguing the miracles and putting them onto a website he created. Shortly after completion, he contracted leukaemia and died. The exhibition includes more detailed information about Carlo. A cause for his sainthood was formally instigated in May 2013 when he became titled Servant of God, and last year Pope Francis confirmed his life of heroic virtue and named him Venerable.
Anna was for three years governess in Assisi to Carlo Acutis’ twin brother and sister, who were born after his death. She has been facilitating the hosting of this exhibition in England since 2017, as well as giving presentations on Carlo’s life and spirituality.
It is hoped that parishioners and groups from across the diocese will take the opportunity to visit. The exhibition will be open every day at St Peter’s Church from 10am to 5pm (01723 360358), 11am to noon on Sundays and 10am to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays at St Joseph’s Church (01723 31183 or 360358), and 2pm to 4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays at St Edward’s Church. It can also be viewed by arrangement.
Viewing at St George’s Church, Eastfield and St Mary’s Church, Filey, are by arrangement by phoning 01723 639580. Information will also be made available soon on the Scarborough Parishes website at scarboroughcatholicparishes.org.uk. For more information, phone St Peter’s Church, Scarborough on 01723 360358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we prepare to celebrate Sea Sunday on July 14, we look at the work of Stella Maris, the Apostleship of the Sea…
As Catholics in England, we take it for granted that we can always get to Mass somewhere. If you’re a Catholic working at sea, however, it can be months before you set foot inside a church.
Seafarers live an almost nomadic life, spending weeks or months at sea, away from their homeland and their families. And when they visit a port, because of the fast turnaround of ships as owners seek to maximise profits, they are often only there for a few hours.
Without seafarers, we wouldn’t have the things many of us rely on in daily life – cars, computers, phones, fuel and food all arrives in the UK on ships.
Many of the world’s 1.5m seafarers are Catholic, with a third of them coming from the Philippines, and many others from India’s two most Catholic regions, Goa and Kerala.
Peter Barrigan, Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) port chaplain to Tees Port, knows how important it is to help them nourish their faith and feel that the Church has not forgotten them.
Peter responded to an urgent request from the captain for Mass on board the Echo Nemesis after one of its crew received tragic news from home.
He phoned Father James Angus, of St Patrick’s in Hartlepool, who agreed to celebrate Mass on board. The following morning, he accompanied Peter and volunteer ship visitors Hugh and Mary Ward to the ship.
After the Mass, the captain told Peter it was the first time in 20 years at sea that he had had Mass on board a ship and he later sent an email expressing his thanks.
He wrote: “On behalf of officers and crew of Eco Nemesis, we give thanks for your presence and kindness. We really appreciated your great effort and your boundless commitment to seafarers.”
Twelve days later, the ship was back in North Tees, so Hugh and Mary visited the crew again and found the atmosphere on board was much brighter.
“We visited a very happy vessel and had a great hour with the crew,” said Hugh. “The captain was pleased to see us. Eight crew members were in the mess room. The captain repeatedly thanked us for the Mass.”
Seafarers are one of the marginalised groups Pope Francis has spoken about. On July 14 we celebrate Sea Sunday, when the Church asks us to support the vital and often unrecognised work AoS does in the maritime world.
Brian Denley, a former seafarer, and who has been an AoS ship visitor on the Tees for the last 30 years, said: “Faith sustains seafarers during long periods of separation from their loved ones.
“They often work long hours in arduous and dangerous conditions for poor wages in ships where the crew’s welfare is well down on the ship owner’s list of priorities. And sometimes just the presence of a port chaplain is a comfort to a lonely seafarer.”
The life of a Middlesbrough diocesan priest who had an extraordinary impact on the people he served is celebrated in a new biography.
Father Tony Storey – known to many simply as “Storey” – was a gifted writer and preacher whose intellect, inspirational style and lifelong commitment to the poor and oppressed won him an army of admirers.
Storey: A Priest For His Time is the work of historian Peter Roebuck CBE, who was an undergraduate and PhD student during Father Tony’s time as University of Hull chaplain.
“Like many others who knew Storey well, I regard him as the finest priest and among the most remarkable human beings I ever encountered,” Peter said. “Storey lived for 88 years and was extraordinarily active for all but the last few weeks of his long life.
“Ordained in 1943, aged 24, he spent his whole career as a priest in the Diocese of Middlesbrough, witnessing profound changes in virtually every facet of human life, not least in Catholicism.
“He was fiercely loyal to the Church, but also a well-educated and highly intelligent man of a distinctly questing cast of mind who believed there were faults overdue for repair and avenues still unexplored.
“While not always easy to reconcile, these characteristics were fertile ground for the growth of an inspired ministry, which, in turbulent times, was deeply appreciated.
“He was a committed environmentalist, a talented preacher and broadcaster and a skilled and experienced counsellor. Ultimately, he said, there were only two imperatives – to love one another and to plant trees.”
Father Tony was instantly recognisable at over six feet tall with a narrow bone structure, a prominent Roman nose and large, piercing eyes.
He was born on the Warter Priory estate near Pocklington, where his father was chief agent, and studied at Stonyhurst before training for the priesthood at the English College in Rome until it was evacuated in 1940 with war raging across Europe. He completed his studies at St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, and was ordained in 1943.
After further studies at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he served as a curate in Middlesbrough and Saltburn, where his experience of working-class people confirmed him as “a liberal on the left”.
In 1955 he moved to St Charles in Hull and as well as spending a decade as university chaplain, he also served in Stokesley, Brough Park, Bedale and Holy Cross, Cottingham.
The book traces the origins and nature of the many strands of Father Tony’s complex personality, attitudes and outlook and charts the key influences that combined to inform and enrich a remarkable ministry and profound personal wisdom.
Peter Roebuck is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Ulster and lives in Cumbria with his wife, Fiona.
Storey: A Priest For His Time (pp xii+258, 30 illustrations) is priced £15 plus £4 P&P and is only available from the publisher Bookcase, 19 Castle Street, Carlisle CA3 8SY, email@example.com, 01228 544560.
Monsignor David Hogan represented Bishop Terry at a Mass to celebrate 90 years since the foundation of St Joan of Arc Catholic Memorial Church at Catterick Garrison.
The church was intended to be a single, national, memorial to all Catholics of the Army and RAF who fell in World War I and was completed in 1930.
The architect was George Drysdale FRIBA, former head of the Birmingham School of Architecture and the external statue of St Joan was by George Walker Milburn.
The service incorporated the rededication of a memorial altar to the Sacred Heart and All Souls and the blessing of a new oil painting of St Joan.
Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of the Forces, Paul Mason, and also present were Father James Blenkinsopp, Father Dan O’Neill, Deacon Paul Hagg and members of the Diocesan Historic Churches Committee, of which Monsignor Hogan is chairman and convenor, along with the Roman Catholic chaplain at Catterick Garrison, Father Alex Strachan.
Congratulations to Father Francis Sutcliffe, who was ordained to the priesthood at Saint John of Beverley Church on Saturday May 11. Father Francis is a former Anglican vicar and is married to Barbara.
Our pictures show Bishop Terry laying on hands and requesting and conferring the grace of priestly ordination.
Bishop Terry is then pictured with Father Francis with Canon David Grant, parish priest of Beverley and Hornsea, Deacon Chris Larwood and Deacon Peter Taylor, who is to be ordained to the priesthood on September 7.
During July we are invited to pray with Pope Francis for justice.
“The integrity of justice: that those who administer justice may work with integrity, and that the injustice present in the world may not have the last word.”
There are several ways of understanding justice, such as criminal justice, social justice and now environmental justice. That they be of concern for the follower of Christ really matters – working for the preservation of the integrity of justice is one of the key challenges that face human society and the Church’s mission, exactly the areas that the Holy Father wishes to highlight with each month’s intention. And we must always be aware of the times and places where injustice in the world might look like it is having the last word.
Pope Francis has suggested that we should root justice in “the heart of a Father who goes beyond our little concept of justice to open us to the limitless horizons of his mercy”. That boundless mercy is where we derive the genuine integrity for which we pray as we join the Pope in this month’s intention. We’re praying that mercy, not injustice, have the last word. With that goes our commitment to do what we need to do, for this to happen.
At the end of June, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network gathered many people associated with this mission in Rome to celebrate 175 years since our first beginning.
From those early days in France, this pontifical service has grown to become the Church’s largest prayer group, operating in at least 97 countries. Known to millions for many decades as the Apostleship of Prayer, this work underwent a major renovation in the last decade, transforming itself into the Prayer Network.
More recently it has grown into the digital world, notably with the Click-to-Pray online platform and downloadable app. A much-loved Morning Offering prayer has been expanded and developed and now appears each day on this app and website.
CTP was the official online prayer platform at the recent international World Youth Days in Panama. Indeed, Pope Francis, at the January 20 Sunday Angelus in St Peter’s Square, presented Click-to-Pray and launched his own profile (see the News tab on our international website, www.popesprayer.va).
You could take a look also at the Pope Video initiative, in which the Holy Father personally presents each month’s intention and appeals to us to pray with him.
THREE CHALLENGES FOR THE MONTH
- Think of, or chat with others about good practices in the administration of justice, pondering these as a way to underline the importance of doing justice with integrity and truth. Look for opportunities to tell others about them.
- Reflect, on your own or in your family, community or friendship circles, and do an examination of conscience on how we can easily tolerate injustice, in our interpersonal relations and our politics, particularly when minorities or those already marginalised might be injured.
- Promote in your parish or community a time of reflection and prayer for those who administer justice and reflect on unjust situations, especially injustice seems to have the last word, and on ways to overcome them.
As St Ignatius of Loyola suggested in his Spiritual Exercises, we can use our imaginations to be present to the Blessed Trinity, gazing on the earth and on all of human history. The heart of the Trinity is pained by how far humanity has strayed from the Trinity’s highest hopes for us, not least in how we have treated each other but also our common home, this planet.
The Trinity sees much love on the earth but also much injustice, socially and environmentally. Imagine then the surge of divine love that becomes the Incarnation, as the very heart of God becomes a human heart, the sacred heart of Jesus, entering our reality where we most need it. Speak directly to his heart whatever words seem right. Let him speak to you, with or without words.
A MORNING OFFERING PRAYER
Good Father, I know you’re with me.
Here I am in this new day.
Put my heart once more next to the Heart of your Son Jesus,
that is given for me and that comes to me in the Eucharist.
May your Holy Spirit make me your friend and apostle, available to your mission.
I put in your hands my joys and hopes,
my works and sufferings, everything that I am and have,
in communion with my brothers and sisters of this worldwide prayer network. Together we pray with the Holy Father and the whole people of God for this month’s intention.
A four-day course for Catholics living and working with Muslims is taking place this September.
“Understanding Islam”, presented by Father Damian Howard SJ, aims to help Catholics understand how the worldviews of the Muslims they come into contact with are shaped by their faith.
Participants are encouraged to see the world through Muslim eyes and are taken through a stimulating programme including sessions on Muhammad, Islamic beliefs, laws and prayer life.
There are also opportunities to learn about Islamic perspectives on Christianity, developments in the modern Islamic world and Islam in Britain.
The course takes place at the Focolare Centre for Unity in Welwyn Garden City and is supported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
You can hear Father Howard talk about the course at catholicnews.org.uk/exploring-islam-podcasts.
To sign up for a newsletter featuring news on interreligious events, news and training, all from a Catholic perspective, visit http://eepurl.com/cavnJ9.