“The classical prophets of ancient Israel did not rebuild the past. They didn’t even really restore the present. But they did hold up a restless, unyielding vision of tomorrow. They made it clear that none of us has the right to quit until God’s will for the world is accomplished. Anything less is to ignore the judgement of God. The voice of the prophets was seldom appreciated by the kings & high priests of their own time. The prophets were ignored by the very ones to whom the messages were addressed, the ones who could have averted the disasters that followed. But they went on proclaiming the Word of God regardless. & in doing that, they preserved the memory of the will of God for humankind. They went on, however seemingly futile, describing what it would take to bring life to the fulfilment of creation. No, the biblical prophets were not acceptable to the powers of the time. They were always the voice of the future, the voice of the fullness to come. They were also voices of warning about what would happen to us, to the world, if the world stayed on the road it was on – unless those who heard the word would give their lives to birthing it. But we must never forget, as well that the prophets were people like you and me. They were discouraged by the chaos of the present. They were weary from trying. & they also toyed with the same three options that challenge us yet. They had to decide whether they would forgo the struggle entirely, surrender to the prevailing culture, or refuse to agree with the injustice of the time. No, we are not all prophets – in the classic or original sense of the word – but we are all meant to be carriers of that same prophetic message to our own time. We are meant to be witnesses to a spirituality that is not only faithful to the liturgical dimensions of our traditions but committed, as well, to the kind of prophetic spirituality that cries out again the loud, clear message of God to a skewed & unjust world.” “The Time is Now” Sr Joan Chittister OSB
On our recent weekly bulletins, I have detailed the discussions & decisions, on which the Parish have had regular opportunities to listen, to contribute, & to be party to the decision to seek to appoint a Parish Administrator, to which the amalgamation of our three local Churches brings added urgency. The closing date for applications was last Monday, & we have invited two very promising candidates for interview this coming Friday. Please pray that our decisions will be guided by the Holy Spirit. Our Parish Coordinating Group had their initial meeting last Monday, & through the six members, we received valuable feedback on how the initial stages of the amalgamation is being received so far. At such a moment of profound change, it is understandable that there have been some fears over the retention of all three Churches, & I was able to confirm that, unless anything unforeseen happens, it is the intention that all three Churches will remain alive & prayerful. The Group intend to organise a parish social in the near future, involving parishioners from all three Churches, & it was agreed that the amalgamation represents a very good opportunity for the Parish to become stronger & regenerate. Their next meeting will be this coming Friday. I have encouraged the members to report back in each Church, possibly next weekend, to update us on progress, & to invite feedback to help shape our necessary spiritual & practical short term decisions. Membership of the Group is: Gerard Simpson & Peter O’Neill (Oswaldkirk): Clare Lally & Francis Locke (Gilling) & Mary Borrett & Dominic Carter (Ampleforth). With my love & prayers Fr Bede.