Extraordinary Month of Mission – October 2019
God our Father, when your Son
Jesus Christ rose from the dead,
he commissioned his followers
to ‘go and make disciples
of all nations’.
Through our Baptism you send
us out to continue this mission
among all peoples.
Empower us by the gifts of the
Holy Spirit to be courageous
and enthusiastic in bearing
witness to the Gospel, so that
the mission entrusted to us,
which is still far from
completion, may bring life
and light to the world.
May all peoples experience
the saving love and generous
mercy of Jesus Christ, who lives
and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God,
forever and ever.
A PASTORAL LETTER
from the Bishop of Lancaster
for the Extraordinary Month of Mission October 2019
My dear People,
The Extraordinary Month of Mission (EMM) is a special month of prayer and action called by Pope Francis to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter on overseas mission, Missio Ad Gentes.
It aims to respond to the ongoing, urgent call to bear witness to Jesus Christ to all the nations. It also, brings Catholics to a deeper awareness of their responsibility to evangelise.
It aims to renew missionary commitment throughout the Church, sent by Christ to reveal the love of God to all nations.
It aims to re-found and reshape Missio (also known as the Pontifical Mission Societies or PMS), in accordance with the demands of the Gospel.
At the request of the Missio Assembly of National Directors, the Holy Father approved the EMM on 31 March 2017, for the whole month of October 2019.
The Holy Father wants it to be an opportunity for reflection, prayer and support for the whole Church with specific regard to Missio Ad Gentes.
The Overseas Mission Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW), has asked Missio to coordinate all activities related to the EMM. Missio will be at the service of the Church in England and Wales, providing expertise, materials and help to parishes.
For the four weeks of October 2019, four themes have been approved by the Holy Father:
1. A personal encounter with Jesus Christ living in his Church.
2. The witness of missionary saints and martyrs.
3. Biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological formation for mission.
4. Missionary charity as a commitment to support the Church’s missionary activity and communities too poor to support themselves, through Missio.It is my wish to encourage us all to reflect on our work as missionary disciples. I am very much aware of the burdens constantly put on our priests, parishes and schools. My desire is for each parish to take up this EMM as you find yourself able. Primarily, let it be a time for reflection. I ask priests and deacons to build the given themes and aims of EMM into your homilies throughout the month. My personal hope is that we will come to appreciate more the privilege we have in sharing the salvific mission of Christ.
May the Lord bless you all, and help you to keep it simple!
Cleator Moor Pilgrimage – Sunday 8th September 2019
The SVP minibus took 18 parishioners from Holy Trinity and St George to Cleator Moor.
Young people from Castlerigg carry the Cross into the Shrine
Bishop Paul incensing the Altar before Mass.
The Cross at the Shrine.
(Photos by Raymond Daley)
CLIMATE CHANGE LOBBY- London 26th June 2019
Seven of us met up at Oxenholme Station and set off to lobby MPs in London about climate change.
We were going to join the Cafod delegation of the Climate Change Coalition and see if we could keep climate change at the forefront of MPs minds even with Brexit and Party leadership battles going on. To remind them that this is far more important than any of that.
The target is to get greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero by 2045, though some hope to reduce it faster. Mrs. May has of course promised much, which is wonderful, but the next leader has to be as keen as she now seems to be.
We met up with three more at Lancaster and then finally in London with the coach loads that had come from all over the country, including two from Preston. Young people have already been leading much of the campaign after the stirring words of Greta Thunberg and many were there.
We arrived a little late but tubed down to Trafalgar Square and were there in time to join the Walk of Witness as it set off to Parliament Square, down Whitehall and past Downing Street. Plenty of banners and chanting, especially from the younger members, all enthusiastic.
Just beyond Parliament Square is Church House and there we joined the Interfaith Forum that they had held for us. Rowan Williams spoke about the irrationality of not changing our way of life to save the planet we live on. The Muslim speaker spoke about how the Quran calls on us to live justly and in harmony with God’s gift of creation, there was a Buddhist often on Radio Four, a rabbi who told an ancient story about how we are attacking the planet as some scripture characters attacked God’s animals in the scriptures. Most movingly a young Quaker, who gave examples of how she is trying to change her life in the face of climate change.
We were late by then and raced off to Parliament Green to meet Tim Farron, our MP, who was already in full flow when we got there and answering questions from a variety of groups from the constituency, and very well indeed. He is very much on side. He had already been to the children’s section to greet the impressive children from Grasmere School.
Around us MPs were meeting with people from all over the country. Some met their MPs inside Parliament instead. Different MPs passed us including Rory Stewart.
About 16,000 people gathered and around a good number of MPs but sadly not all by any means.
Having achieved our aim for that day, we wandered back to Euston after a picnic lunch, on a glorious day passing through St. James’s Park, by Buckingham Palace, through Green Park, and once more onto the tube.
Chrism Mass at Lancaster Cathedral
(photo by R. Daley)
Baptism on Easter Sunday
Catholic Times article 15 March 2019 by Fr Hugh Pollock