“Filled with the love of Christ, young people are called to be witnesses of the Gospel wherever they find themselves, by the way they live. Saint Alberto Hurtado once said that “being an apostle does not mean wearing a lapel pin; it is not about speaking the truth but living it, embodying it, being transformed in Christ. Being an apostle does not mean carrying a torch in hand , possessing the light, but being that light…The Gospel , more than a lesson, is an example. A message that becomes a life fully lived.” The importance of witness does not mean that we should be silent about the word. Why should we not speak of Jesus, why should we not tell others that he gives us strength in life, that we enjoy talking with him that we benefit from meditating on his words? Young people, do not let the world draw you only into things that are wrong & superficial. Learn to swim against the tide, learn how to share Jesus & the faith he has given you. May you be moved by that same irresistible impulse that led Saint Paul to say: "Woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel!” “Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: he sends us everywhere. The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some. It is not only for those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more welcoming. It is for everyone. Do not be afraid to go & bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away & most indifferent. The Lord seeks all; he wants everyone to feel the warmth of his mercy & his love. He invites us to be fearless missionaries wherever we are in whatever company we find ourselves: in our neighbourhoods, in schools or sports or social life, in volunteer service or in the workplace. Wherever we are, we always have an opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel. That is how the Lord goes out to meet everyone. He loves you dear young people, for you are the means by which he can spread his light & hope. He is counting on your courage, your boldness & your enthusiasm.” (“Christus Vivit” to young people & to the entire people of God: Pope Francis May 2019)
We are blessed to have a number of gifted musicians & singers within the Parish, who come together for special moments such as Christmas & Holy Week. Understandably, due to College & family commitments, they are unable to join us every week. However, with the loss of Andrew Carter who has now moved to Scarborough, it is perhaps a Holy Spirit moment to look forward & to consider forming a small choir/music group who would meet regularly for practise & enjoyment & who would take on an occasional Sunday Mass. Could I suggest that those who may be interested meet after Mass this Sun 16th June; you don’t have to be skilled either in music or song, we will be delighted to have you learn alongside us. Unusually, we had no music accompaniment last Sunday, & yet those there sang splendidly, an indication that, if we were able to form a new choir/music group, they would help us to grow even better into the Liturgy of prayer & song. (We are to arrange a Sunday morning moment in early September, convenient to both Anne & Andrew Carter, & Bernard Walker, to mark the sterling service they have given to the Parish over many years, Bernard 60 years as our bell ringer.)
Last Saturday I, together with Marie Willis & Dominic Carter, as Parish delegates, attended the Bishop’s’ Study Day entitled “Missionary disciples in missionary parishes in a missionary Church”, led by Fr Eamonn Mulcahy who gave us 3 inspirational sessions on our calling as missioners rather than spectators. Marie & Dominic fed back at each Mass last weekend to give a first taste of what was shared, & needs to be fertilised into the life & outreach of our Parish. We hope to hold a Parish Forum before the summer holidays to share in detail some of the fruits & opportunities arising from the day.
As a result of Fr Matthews ill health & the need for him to step down from Our Lady & the Holy Angels in Gilling, Fr George, Julia Brooke (Fr Abbot’s Delegate for the Parishes) & myself met with the parishioners in Gilling on the 16th April 2019, when we explained that, with our reduced numbers in Community, we were no longer able to send a designated priest to Gilling, with the resultant opportunity & necessity to look at the current generous provision of weekend Masses in the near locality. The parishioners spoke well & comprehensively about possible ways forward in the circumstances, & these were fed back to Fr Gabriel & his Council. As St Aidan’s Oswaldkirk is the other Chapel of Ease to our own Parish here, we held a similar meeting in Oswaldkirk last Thursday, with similarly helpful, wise advice from those attending. We intend to hold a third meeting here, to which you will all be invited, so that the future provision for Mass in the locality, & importantly for the ongoing faith formation for all those within our wider Parish, can be discussed in advance of a decision by Fr Gabriel & his Council. Please keep this in your prayers. In Fr Columba’s continuing holiday absence I will be celebrating the 9am Mass in Gilling in advance of our 10am Mass for this Sunday & next.
I will be away on holiday with my sister from this Sunday afternoon until Thursday evening, & consequently there will be no weekday Mass here from Mon to Thurs. there is daily Mass at Stanbrook at 9am & at the Abbey at 12.45pm. if you have need of a priest in my absence please contact Fr Christopher at the Monastery. Love & prayers, Fr Bede.