“Associations of people, either as a collective or as committed individuals who pledge to give special attention to particular issues – to ecology, or women, or homelessness, or enculturation of refugees – to whatever cries for justice & help if life is going to be good for all, not just for some – are prophetic. Bands of disciples who speak with one voice on issues closest to their hearts – hospitality & housing, the education & promotion of women, the equal treatment of men, whatever their colour, the care of the poor, the bringing of peace, the rehabilitation of the incarcerated – are the new band of prophets. They are bonded to the issues & to one another – either communally or technologically. They are the new messengers of the Word of God to us all. All these massive global issues now need the power of numbers – a corporate commitment – to make the world aware of what is wanting there. They need the clarity of focus that refuses to let the idea drift away from the consciousness of the politicians, the benefactors, the administrators, the directors, the police who are needed to bring special support to the weakest of society. They need your name & mine, your voice & mine, your care & mine, your commitment & mine. This time the difference is that we are all free to be public prophets – lay & religious together. More than that, we can all be where the issues are, but without the added weight of caring for expensive facilities & defined populations. Together in new & effective ways, today’s prophets go on shaking & moving & changing the world. Only this time they are doing it differently. They are travelling light. A prophetic spiritual life does not demand a corporation or a campus, big buildings or great facilities to change the world. Now the call is for a clear & common voice to challenge oppression & discrimination of any kind to, to call out injustice & invisibility of every kind. To hold up group after group in the face of the virulent racism & prejudice that comes with the movement of whole populations in a dry, waterless, economically enslaved, & warring world. It is that new prophetic voice for which the world is waiting. It is the voices of Amos & Hosea, Isaiah & Micah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, & now yours that is needed to change the world.” (“The Time is Now”: Sr Joan Chittister OSB) Living God, you walk alongside us & speak to us throughout the Scriptures. Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes & fears & shows us how to live for one another. Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts & minds so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen. V. Your word is our path & your truth is our light. R. This day & every day. (Prayer of the Word for the Year of the Word)
Last Monday evening our Coordinating Group met to progress various issues relating to the amalgamation of our three Churches in the one Parish. We have decided on the following timetable & location for our Holy Week Services: Maundy Thursday: Mass & Watching at the Altar of Repose: 7.30pm: OL&HA Good Friday: Liturgy: 3pm: OL&SB Stations of the Cross: 7pm: OL&HA Easter Vigil: Sat 9pm: OL&HA Easter Day: Mass 10am: OL&SB We would be grateful if you would note these especially in your diaries, particularly the locations, & do let others know soon so that they can do likewise. The Coordinating Group meet again on Monday 24th Feb at 6pm. The lively week continued with a meeting of the 100 Club Committee on Tuesday evening, & a meeting of the parents of our 4 First Communion candidates. Their classes will begin on Sat 29th Feb at 8.45am in the Parish Hall. On Friday morning we celebrated 9.30am Mass for Brona & Tony Marken on their 50th Wedding Anniversary, & at 12 noon we celebrated Requiem Mass for Linda Mary Welburn, with a strong contingent of friends from Appleton le Moors & beyond. We are deeply grateful to all those who help the Parish in these various ministries: we are blessed to have such a lively Parish, & we hope & pray that our brothers & sisters from Gilling & Oswaldkirk will bring the fullness of their prayer & energy to season our life & faith. Thank you to all who have already given generously as usual to the Zimbabwe Education Fund. Fr Henry, who spent Christmas out there with our Community, will speak at our two weekend Masses on 29th Feb/1st Mar about life in the country in general, & in the townships around our Mission, & the effects on the young people seeking education. With my love & prayers Fr Bede.