“The way we treat or ignore or fail to support the voiceless & powerless in society is, in fact, the very issue Matthew’s Gospel says we will be judged upon. But the response comes back “not on our doorstep” the neighbours say “no soup kitchen across from our school” the parents say “no houses for the homeless in our village” the local councils say, all of them good churchgoing Christians. All of them proud of it. They give donations to the church, they get their children confirmed, they are active in local charities, but they say nothing about the relationship between character & conscience in government & hierarchy. The prophet must learn to be self-critical. How was the message presented? How much preparation went into proposing the project to the people? What else could have been done to prepare them? What must be done now so that both the mentally handicapped & the homeowners on that street can be comfortable? Being right, the prophet must learn he is not enough to justify being insensitive, nor is it effective. In the end, the tensions remain, the people on both sides of the divide feel rejected, & the Word of God becomes a sledgehammer rather than a blessing. Be aware: patience & time have lessons for everyone involved in situations like this. Historical time tells the world that the major issues of life do not go away. They emerge from one generation, one culture, to the next, because the facing of differences is of the essence of community building. The integration of differences is the universally human enterprise. Better to resolve them together than to live the short time we have on earth perched on the sharp edge of conflict. Patience says to stay the course” “The Time is Now” Sr Joan Chittister OSB
More steady progress on the process of amalgamating our three Churches. We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Parish Administrator, Tracey Swiers, & she will begin work with us on Wed 8th Jan 2020. I hope there will be early opportunities after that for you to meet her & make her welcome in our Parish community. Our Coordinating Group met for the fourth time last Thurs evening & made further good progress in planning our Epiphany Lunch on Sun 5th Jan 2020. Please sign up on the list at the back of Church if you would like to come, & if you are able to help on the day please bring this important moment to the attention of Catholics you know in the locality who might wish to join us.
Our Advent Shoebox Appeal for the Apostleship of the Sea closes this weekend, to allow us to get the boxes to Hull Docks & onto ships so that seafarers can open your gift on Christmas morning. There is still time to produce a shoebox & leave it in Church within the next few days.
Last Sunday St Benedict’s Primary School held their Christmas Fair in the Parish Hall after Mass. It was a tremendous success not least in merging our Parish & School families who thoroughly enjoyed the moment. Financially we gained over £1600 for the School funds, which will be invaluable in funding those little extras in the classroom that make all the difference to the life & enjoyment of our children. Our gratitude goes to all who supported the day, & particularly to the new PTA who put much work in beforehand & on the day itself. You will see that we have two special moments this week as the School prepares to break up for Christmas. On Wednesday there will be an Advent Reflection in School at 3pm, & on Thursday at 1pm the School will be singing Carols round the Tree in Church. You will all be most welcome to come to either or both events.
Thank you to all of you who came to our Village Carol Service in OL & SB last Wednesday. It was a pleasure to have Rev Catherine Reid & her parishioners from St Hilda’s with us. Please note our Advent Reflection evening this coming Tuesday at 7pm, where we will look & pray into the Annunciation, then & now…a moment perhaps to invite a neighbour to join you. With my love & prayers Fr Bede.