We express our thanks to the three speakers who came to speak to us last week – we are very grateful for your wonderful input. Each of you unlocked in us a hunger for appreciating the life of grace more and more. You left us wanting more!
Many parishioners have spoken to me since the talks, expressing how much they learned from the speakers, and how much the talks have affected the way that they pray and feel about their faith.
Your enthusiasm, your understanding, your dedication to the Lord were a very great grace to us. Fr Gabriel, Fr Joe, Hannah – thank you so much for coming to our parish last week.
On Saturday last, our parish was registered with the Divine Renovation Association. This is a network of Catholic communities that are committed to parish renewal, following the vision and principles which Fr James Mallon wrote about in his book:
We invite parishioners to read this inspirational and challenging book, and we look forward to engaging with the resources that are available to us on the DR Association.
Next Saturday evening our Easter Vigil will begin at 8.15pm. Afterwards, we will continue celebrating in the Parish Centre, where you are invited to bring things for a shared table.
On Easter Sunday morning, our Sunday Masses are celebrated as normal, 9am and 11am.
Please note the Parish Secretary, Lizzie Hastings will only be in the parish office Tuesday (16th April) this week (9am to 12pm) as supposed to the usual Monday morning. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you.
The national organisation SPUC (The Society for the Protection of the unborn child) has made an excellent and helpful response to the Government’s plan to stop parents from withdrawing their children from the “Relationships Education” program from September 2020.
Here is the link to SPUC’s briefing: https://www.spuc.org.uk/~/media/Files/SPUC-Safe-at-School-Bulletin-2019_web.ashx?la=en
In early February a group from the parish took part in the second Divine Renovation Conference in the UK. Previously we had gone to Twickenham; this time we went to West Bromich. The photo above shows the venue and the 450 delegates who had come together from parishes throughout the UK.
The most important thing for us to say is that we prayed from the whole Church in the UK, and our parish group prayed especially for you.
The book, ‘Divine Renovation’ by Fr James Mallon has been increasingly important in our parish since many of us first read it around three years ago. It is now the basis of much of what happens in St Ignatius’ parish.
The Pastoral Support Team meets regularly with Fr Richard, and together we pray for the parish and reflect upon where we are going.
The Council of Ministries is carefully considering all the various aspects of our parish life, so that we can be better placed to respond to our needs today.
The Alpha Course Leadership also meet regularly to pray and to discern their work; what has taken place and how to build upon that work.
We are holding adult catechesis now – to nurture and anchor people in the new faith that they are receiving.
Our men’s group is also now a source of prayer for the parish, and some of the men are taking part in the Exodus 90 initiative.
We have a remarkable history of parish retreats and missions; so much prayer has gone into these and so much fruit has been nurtured.
Perhaps what is most noticeable to the casual visitor, is that all our events and activities are becoming more invitational and welcoming. And we have developed a new ‘welcome’ initiative for new-comers to our parish.
Our discipleship program for families with children in Key Stage Two is developing well. This is our response to the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter of September 2016.
‘Divine Renovation’, as a vision for nurturing the parish, is summed up in the words of Pope Paul VI in 1975: “The Church exists to evangelise.”
Our group returned very bouyed up from the the Conference. During the various breaks in the conference we spent our time speaking with people and priests from up and down the country whose parishes are developing because of the vision of ‘Divine Renovation’. We also met others who have not yet started, but who have a deep desire to embrace this vision and see our parishes flourish.
At the heart of ‘Divine Renovation’ are people who are coming to a new and vibrant relationship with Christ Jesus. This is the one thing that is essential for the life of the Church!
But, if you do not feel that you are aware of this in our parish, or that you don’t feel that you have tapped into what is taking place in our parish, I invite you to come and speak to me or any of the leaders of the various groups. And I invite to to come and take part in any of the events that we are organising in the parish so that you can be a real part of this renewing movement in the parish.