“Although many young people are happy to see a Church that is humble yet confident in her gifts, & capable of offering fair & fraternal criticism, others want a Church that listens more, that does more than simply condemn the world. They do not want to see a Church that is silent & afraid to speak, but neither one that is always battling obsessively over two or three issues. To be credible to young people, there are times when she needs to regain her humility & simply listen, recognising that what others have to say can provide some light to help her better understand the Gospel. A Church always on the defensive, which loses her humility & stops listening to others, which leaves no room for questions, loses her youth & turns into a museum. How then will she be able to respond to the dreams of young people? Even if she possesses the truth of the Gospel, this does not mean that she has completely understood it: rather, she is called to keep growing in her grasp of that inexhaustible treasure.” (“Christus Vivit” by Pope Francis)
.Following the three meetings in Gilling, Oswaldkirk & Ampleforth in recent weeks, to allow all our local parishioners to contribute to the process of reforming the pastoral provision for the locality, Fr Gabriel’s discussion with his Council, & his announcement of 24/25th August 2019, the revised arrangements begin this weekend. From this Sat, the 6pm Vigil Mass will be celebrated alternately in Ampleforth & Gilling East, beginning this weekend in Gilling East . (providentially on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the patronal feast of the Anglican Church in Gilling.) I have invited those who will be at the initial 6pm Vigil Mass this weekend to stay behind if they can in order for us to talk together, for the first time since Fr Gabriel’s announcement, on the repercussions of the new arrangements. Now that the holidays are over, & the majority of our parishioners in the wider locality are back, we will look towards arranging initial social gatherings in the three localities, to allow us to get to know each other, & thereby begin to look towards forming a Parish Council, to be operational by Christmas 2019. Please keep all of us involved in these changes in thought & prayer, as we try to help each other to see this as a fine opportunity for us to grow on together what has already been caringly, carefully & fruitfully planted & nurtured thus far.
This weekend we celebrate Home Mission Sunday, a Day of Special Prayer for the growth of the local Church, as we explore together what it means to be a community of pilgrims on a mission. With the Gospel of the Prodigal Son, we are encouraged to think about our own mission to help those in need of Christ, perhaps individuals in our own families, our neighbours, our children & their parents in St Benedict’s PS, to return in some ways to the sheepfold, where they & we will always belong. A moment to remember & reflect upon our own Vision Statement, which we hope & pray will be foundational in the reorganisation of our local Parish apostolate.
As part of our due diligence under Health & Safety best practice, we carry out an annual inspection of the gravestones in the Graveyard, termed “a topple test”. You will have noticed a number of gravestones have been carefully lowered as these were deemed a potential hazard, liable to fall & cause injury. We will endeavour to contact families of the deceased to explain the necessity for the action & to encourage them to have the gravestone re-erected by an approved stonemason in the near future. With your help, we will then try to make contact with relatives who live at a distance, so that we can ask for their cooperation in reinstating the gravestones. With my love & prayers Fr Bede.