Parishes in our diocese have been responding to the call of Pope Francis for prayer and fasting after the latest revelations concerning sexual abuse within the Church.
The Holy Father called for this penitential exercise as a sign of solidarity with victims and commitment to a culture of care that says “never again” to every form of abuse.
Special events and services were held at many parishes on Friday September 14, the feast of the Triumph of the Cross.
They included St Wilfrid’s in York, where there was a day of penance and reparation, including Masses, exposition and Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy and Benediction.
All Saints Church in Thirsk remained open all day for prayer, while the survivors of abuse were prayed for during veneration of the cross at St Gabriel’s in Ormesby, Middlesbrough.
Afterwards there was a simple soup and cheese lunch, with donations given to the NSPCC.
“Although as individuals we are not directly responsible for the crimes of abuse, we belong to a faith community where this has happened with sickening frequency,” said St Gabriel’s parish priest Canon John Lumley.
“This was a sign of our sorrow at these crimes and a small expression of our solidarity with those who have survived abuse from members of the clergy and religious.”
In his impassioned letter, Pope Francis recognised with “shame and repentance” that the ecclesiastical community “showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
“Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient,” he said. “Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated.
“The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.”
Sunday October 21 is World Mission Day, which the Church traditionally sets aside to support the work of Missio, writes CANON MICHAEL LOUGHLIN.
Missio is the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission and is part of the worldwide network of Pontifical Mission Societies.
It has four main parts. The work of Missio is best known through the Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) red mission boxes.
The APF supports 1,069 mission dioceses throughout the world and is responsible for building new churches and providing care to young faith communities.
The Society of St Peter the Apostle should be better known, as it has the unique role of training the future leaders of the Church in mission dioceses.
It only costs £500 a year to train a priest in some countries and it would be wonderful if every parish in the diocese could sponsor a student for the priesthood.
The commitment is for four years and it creates a positive link with the growing church abroad.
Missio’s work with children is done through Mission Together. It provides healthcare and education for the world’s poorest children regardless of background or belief. Many of our diocesan schools support the work of Mission Together.
The Pontifical Mission Union promotes an awareness of mission and a spirit of unity, prayer and generous sacrifice among priests, religious and laity.
World Mission Sunday provides me as diocesan director of Missio with an opportunity to thank everybody who supports the work of Mission, all mission box holders and collectors, the schools who support Mission Together and the sponsors of students abroad.
Please support the retiring collection taking place in each parish for this work on World Mission Day.
Those who attended the Eucharistic Congress ‘Adoremus’ in Liverpool last weekend were given much to ponder at the event. The keynote speaker was Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop and ‘Word on Fire’ founder Bishop Robert Barron. The talks he gave are now available to watch below.
Talk 1 – Holy Mass
Talk 2 – Holiness
The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham from the shrine’s famous Slipper Chapel is coming to St Mary’s Cathedral this advent as part of a two-year “Dowry Tour”.
The tour is part of the spiritual preparation for England’s rededication as the Dowry of Mary in 2020.
Although the exact origin of this title is unknown, in medieval times it was widely used to express the belief that England belonged in a special way to Mary as the country’s protector.
The statue will come to Middlesbrough from Thursday December 13 to Saturday December 15, beginning with a Mass of welcome and an opportunity for prayer.
The cathedral will be open throughout the day to welcome people to come and pay their respects. Visitors are invited to bring flowers and there will be talks about Our Lady of Walsingham and an exhibition.
A dementia-friendly carol concert will take place during the statue’s visit.
The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was given a place of honour during Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to England in 1982.
Speaking of the rededication, which will take place around the Solemnity of the Annunciation in March 2020, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “This is a moment of great promise for the Church in this country and for our mission.”
The feast is at the heart of Our Lady’s message at Walsingham and celebrates the angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary, announcing that she had been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord.
We are invited to rediscover what the Dowry of Mary title of England means for us today and for future generations to come.
The village of Walsingham, in Norfolk, has been a major centre of pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years and now has both Catholic and Anglican shrines, as well as an Orthodox chapel.
*There are still some places available on our annual diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham from Saturday October 27 to Sunday October 28. The cost is £85, including transport, evening meal, B&B and Sunday lunch. Please call Jenny Dowson on 01642 850505 for details.
Apostleship of the Sea warmly invites you to “AoS Past, Present And Future”, with a buffet lunch and a talk from port chaplain Anne McLaren.
Come and find out about the origins of AoS, their work with seafarers today and how you can be part of their work.
Admission is free and no collection will be taken.
The event takes place on Tuesday September 25 at noon in St Margaret Clitherow Church Meeting Room, 3 Holly Tree Lane, Haxby, York YO32 3YJ.
Attendance is by reservation only. To reserve a place please phone Ann Watson on 01904 764862 by Friday September 14.
Prayer and action for Christians persecuted for their faith will be central to a leading Catholic charity’s contribution to Adoremus this weekend (September 7 to 9).
Aid to the Church in Need will call on all those taking part in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress to “Go to Mass for someone who can’t”, as an act of solidarity with Christians denied access to the sacraments.
At the event in Liverpool, a special ACN focus on adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will highlight the experience of individuals who have drawn on the power of the Eucharist in times of persecution and oppression.
Speaking at the main event on Saturday in the Liverpool Echo Arena, ACN’s John Pontifex will describe how people he has met in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria overcame hatred by turning to the Eucharist.
ACN’s Marie Fahy will call on all those at Adoremus to join the #Go2Mass campaign and spend time in adoration for those prevented from going to church.
Marie said: “If we really believe what we are taught about the power of the Eucharist and how our prayers can transform the world then why wouldn’t we sacrifice some time spent in Adoration – especially for those Christians who so often are persecuted and forgotten.”
At the Adoremus events, ACN staff and volunteers will be distributing cards, each telling the story of individuals persecuted for their Christian faith, and inviting people to remember them in their prayers.
ACN will have a stall at the event, organised by ACN’s North West office.
For more information, visit acnuk.org/adoration.
People of all faiths and none are invited to a service in York to remember those who have been lost to suicide.
Father Tony Lester, parish priest of Our Lady’s Church in the city, is among those taking part.
“Many people find it difficult to talk about bereavement, especially when it may be to suicide,” said a spokesman for the organisers.
“This service is a chance to reflect and remember loved ones who may have been lost to suicide.
“It’s also an opportunity to talk or just listen to others. Simply sharing a space and some time with others with similar experiences can help.
“We think it’s important to talk about suicide in informed, helpful and non-judgemental ways and for people who are bereaved to perhaps realise that the feelings they may have are not unique or unusual.”
The service takes place at 3pm on Saturday September 8 at All Saint’s Church, Pavement, York YO1 9NR.
Monday September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Tickets for this year’s Summertime Special are still on sale, with comedian Jimmy Cricket and a host of top quality acts lined up to entertain on Friday September 28 in aid of our Lourdes Fund.
Jimmy returns after last year’s smash success and there are also plenty of excellent local favourites lined up, including a magician.
Tickets are available from Middlesbrough Theatre or Lourdes committee members. For enquiries and refunds, call Keith Tillotson on 01642 324043.
Bishop Terry is pictured with the 14th Station of the Cross on the 70th anniversary of it being carried to Walsingham by a group from Middlesbrough in July 1948.
The board shows that they walked 236 miles, further than any of the other stations brought from around the country.
The group, including seminarians Kevin Coughlin, Liam Carson and Tony Bickerstaffe, set off from the old cathedral and stayed in schools, church halls and private houses along the way.
Bishop Terry was taking part in the UCM’s 73rd annual pilgrimage to the East Anglian shrine, which this year was led by the group from our diocese.
More than 600 people attended, including the UCM’s diocesan spiritual advisor Father Bill Serplus, Canon Alan Sheridan, Father Richard Duffield, Father Paul Dowling, Canon Eddie Gubbins and Father Phil Cunnah.
Christians are encouraged to pray and care for the world around us each year during Creation Time from September 1 to October 4 (the Feast of St Francis).
This year CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) has produced a new film-based resource for parishes, groups and individuals on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
Global Healing is intended to inform, challenge, encourage and equip people to engage with Pope Francis’ urgent call to care for our common home.
Parish groups are being asked to come together and begin with a shared meal followed by watching film clips, which include material from well-known experts and examples from location filming from around the UK.
There are also times for discussion and prayer to help towards new practical responses.
Resources, including posters, flyers and film clips, can be downloaded from the Global Healing Website at ourcommonhome.co.uk and an inexpensive DVD can be purchased if needed.
There are also resources for any parish or group wishing to create a short course, perhaps to use during Advent.
This is certainly an excellent initiative from the Bishops’ Conference and an ideal way for us to further implement our Diocesan Environment Policy.
As a practical action, check out Traidcraft’s Clean and Fair, the world’s first Fairtrade cleaning range. It’s made with sustainable fair trade palm oil and eco-friendly organic Fairtrade coconut oil from India. Clean and Fair is available from traidcraft.co.uk/clean-fair.