Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Stainforth recently held a very successful Flower Festival which celebrated the beauty of God’s gifts and also demonstrated the work of various individuals and groups within the parish, through the medium of floral displays. The exhibits offered both a focus for prayer and also showed how the work of the parish extends throughout the Diocese, nationally and indeed internationally. One person said of the initiative, “The Flower Festival was a wonderful idea, brilliantly executed, which brought great joy to the many visitors who came. There was a phenomenal about of work behind the scenes to achieve the final result and the entire parish of Our Lady’s deserves tremendous praise. The beauty of the flowers and the prayerfulness of the setting were enhanced by the organ music. The genuine welcome and hospitality offered during the festival really made a visit a pilgrimage of grace.” Remembering the souls of the departed was achieved by a quiet area for prayer and a chance to place a white flower in a cascade of flowers. Another stunning arrangement in the red and white of the Polish flag was a touching reminder of the part Polish families have played in helping our country during the dark days of the Second World War, and also of the contribution made now to our faith by the more recent settlers from Poland. We rejoice in the diversity they bring to the life our church family. An arrangement by Ann and Peter Pennington on behalf of the St Josephs, Moorends Parish was placed by the statue of St Norbert, shown on the left. The most colourful arrangement was the Rainbows display with bands of coloured fabric in rainbow colours and flowers to match. A tribute to the work done in helping those bereaved or suffering in any way the loss of a loved one. The work of Rainbows is especially valued in many schools throughout the country. Vases of yellow roses were donated by the sick, elderly and disabled of the parish and marked their wish to belong, even when they are physically unable to be present at Mass with us. Vibrant colours in the bouquet showing support for refugees pictured below right reminded us of our commitment to the wider world of those suffering from the displacement of war. The Filippino community produced an original arch of flowers with postcards of their homeland. The most moving display was that produced by the Justice and Peace group. The bent branches of the cross, used on Good Friday, had red flowers portraying the blood of Christ shed for our salvation. At the base the dried stems of wheat as if all life had departed, but at the top of the cross an amazingly simple crown of purple flowers, the colour of kingship, and fresh green foliage, revealing the new life which the sacrifice of Christ has brought.
Archives for September 2016
SHEFFIELD 2016 PILGRIMAGE This will be the 8th annual pilgrimage. It will be on Saturday, 15 October in Darnall, one of the most ethnically diverse wards in the City. As usual, we shall visit a variety of inspiring projects, which are mostly church-related. Please wear stout shoes and bring waterproof, water bottle and a packed lunch. We assemble at 9 am – 9.30 am at Christ Church, Station Road, Darnall, Sheffield, S9 4QB. This is accessible by train to Darnall Station or by bus 52 or 52A from Arundel Gate (bus stop AG2). There is parking near the church. We shall begin with a short service in Christ Church. From there we shall visit: The Community Allotment on the edge of High Hazels Park. Living Waters Christian Fellowship and Food Bank. St Alban’s Church and Family Development Project. Here we shall have lunch – please bring water and a packed lunch. Galeed House – a multi-cultural community project with activities for families and children and an emphasis on friendship between Christians and Muslims. Return to Christ Church, Darnall for final reflections. Disperse around 3pm. Please come and join us. If you would like to join the pilgrimage or wish for more information, please contact Briony Broome on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In August, the Parish of St Bede’s, Rotherham saw the completion of the restoration of the Pipe organ after a 10 month project. Essential work to the organ was identified several years ago, but was put on hold until the extensive restoration of the church was completed. In the meantime, proposals were put forward for enhancements to the organ, so that the church would have a very high quality instrument that would be in excellent working order for many generations. The Parish and Diocese agreed to the proposals that a full restoration project should be undertaken and the contract was awarded Henry Willis & Sons, organ builders of Liverpool. In October, 2015, the whole organ was removed and taken back to their works in Liverpool, which left the church with a small one manual organ that was on loan to us – meaning the Christmas and the Easter celebrations were a bit more subdued than normal. Work done to the Hill, Norman & Beard organ included; re-leathering and repairs to the bellows, complete repair of the soundboards, complete re-wiring and a new electronic control system to replace the electromechanical switch system. Ranks of pipes that were of poor quality sound have been replaced, and all the pipes have been cleaned and repaired; including the bass reed pipes that had collapsed under their own weight. Also, three new stops have been added to the organ and the whole instrument has been re-voiced. The organ console was also attended to, including all new keys to replace the previous ones that had reached the end of their serviceable life. The end result of this restoration now means that the church will have one the highest quality organs, not only in the Diocese, but the local area, which will be in good working order for at least the next 50-100 years. It is also fitting to have an organ that matches the beauty and standard of the church following the extensive renovation of the building. The parish has generously supported this project, as music plays an essential part of the Liturgy at St Bede’s, and also because of our continuing dedication to become a centre of Liturgical excellence and missionary outreach. To celebrate the return, there will be an Organ Recital by St Marie’s Cathedral organist, Mr Hugh Finnigan, on Saturday, 1 October at 10am (after the 9.30 Mass), which will be free admission. All are most welcome. For the rest of that day, any organist or interested party are most welcome to book some time to play the organ at their own leisure, or to arrange to visit on another day; please see the contact details on the parish website. For any other information about the organ restoration or music in the parish, please do get in touch with organist and choirmaster, Paul Brennan via the parish website, and also to see other forthcoming events, at www.stbedesparishchurchrotherham.co.uk or telephone 01709 562012.
Harvest is a time of abundance and plenty, a time to celebrate and share the fruition of a hard year’s work. On this Harvest Fast Day, CAFOD are asking our supporters to join together on 7 October to help the families of the Altiplano in the South American country of Bolivia to grow more food. At 4,000 metres above sea level, the Bolivian Altiplano plain is a difficult place to live, and now the highly agricultural community is being adversely affected by the effects of climate change. Unpredictable rains and frequent hailstorms are destroying crops which the community relies on. Men are being forced to leave their families for months at a time, travelling to the cities to find work, leaving the women and children to work the land by themselves. In Bolivia, nearly 60% of the rural population are living below the poverty line. During the Year of Mercy, we are called to feed the hungry. This Harvest, we are calling on our supporters to join us in helping to create a fairer world. A world where we can share the richness of our common home with all our brothers and sisters, so they too can live their lives to the full. By investing in the building of greenhouses, the provision of seeds and materials, the teaching of new farming techniques and by providing technical staff to educate the community on how to build wormeries and make their own organic fertiliser, our partners help people not only to grow enough food to feed their families but also to have some left to sell. Mother of four, Nicanora, lives on a small farm on the Bolivian Altiplano. She is a strong woman working in hard conditions to feed her family. She said, “On a normal day when we don’t have much food, we eat barley soup. When we eat just this soup all day, we get tired very quickly.” She and her neighbours are about to start a two-year journey to build a vegetable garden, greenhouse and wormery, and to improve irrigation to her land. Working alongside CAFOD’s local partner, an organisation called Nuna, she is now very optimistic for next year’s Harvest. “I have a lot of hopes for the future working with Nuna. The thing I am most excited about is being able to grow more food and being able to sell my crops.” You can help the communities of Bolivia by joining the two-year Hands On Project. A gift of just £5 a month can build two wormeries and provide worms to bring rich compost, and you’ll be sent regular updates on how the community is developing with your support. Or a one-off donation of £10 this Harvest can provide a family with seeds to start their own vegetable garden. You can also join Harvest Fast Day by volunteering with CAFOD to speak at Mass to spread the word in your local parish and by joining us in praying for our brothers and sisters who do not have enough food this Harvest. To find out more about how you can get involved in the Harvest appeal, please visit cafod.org.uk/harvest.
Bishop Ralph with Parish Priest, Fr Stan Maciuszek, Deacon John Wright and parishioners of St Mary’s, Penistone. Bishop Ralph’s homily was on the subject of ‘Listening’. He is pictured below joining the children in trying on a pair of large ears.
On 24 July, Fr Mark McManus celebrated his final Mass at Chesterfield following 12 years as Parish Priest, before his move to his new Parish in Sheffield. After the Mass the parishioners hosted an event in which Fr McManus was presented with a farewell gift, a model of HMS Victory in a display case. This was his own personal choice. Parish Council Chairman, Frank Berry also presented Fr Mark with a cheque for £1,755. Parishioners generously donated £2,300 in appreciation of Fr McManus’ ministry and dedication.
Family Groups is rooted in the Catholic Church. Its mission is to build Christian community and develop the parish as an extended family. The groups are open to everybody and endeavour to be ‘a family for all’. Visit www.catholicfamily.org.uk/related-work/parish-family-groups to discover what Family Groups has to offer your parish. There are free downloadable resources including a parish tool kit and promotional materials to get you started. Members of the National Steering Group can provide telephone and email support to accompany you through the launch process. A DVD has been produced which tells you about the benefits of having Family Groups in your parish. This can be borrowed from Susan Tym, Hallam Caring Services,mailto:email@example.com, 0114 2566407.
On 23 July former members of HCPT Sheffield Group 39 met in Mother of God Parish Hall, Sheffield for a reunion on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary when HCPT Group 39 first travelled to Lourdes at Easter, 1979. They continued to do so for the following eleven years. 116 Yorkshire children were taken to Lourdes by Group 39 over the twelve pilgrimages. One who travelled to Lourdes said, “We were well cared for on our holidays with Our Lady by our group nurse Gill – far left on photograph – and our chaplain, Fr Lawrie Hulme – far right on photograph. “Helpers were present from each pilgrimage and it was a pleasure to share memories and catch up on news with friends we hadn’t met for over a quarter of a century.” Another participant in the reunion commented, “During Mass the love was palpable.”
Hallam and Nottingham Bishops come together with Pilgrims to honour refugees On 10 July, Catholics from the Dioceses of Hallam and Nottingham completed the annual Padley Pilgrimage, carrying their diocesan Lampedusa Cross – crosses made from the wreckage of refugee boats, to show solidarity to refugees across the world. Both Bishop Ralph Heskett and Bishop Patrick McKinney were in attendance to hear CAFOD Nottingham’s Maggie Mairura explain about the significance of the crosses and why they were leading the procession, (pictured left). The pilgrims then walked in prayer to the Mass that followed at Padley Chapel, (pictured below), where the crosses were placed at the sanctuary. Each Catholic cathedral in England and Wales has been presented with a cross and invited to display it. The crosses will now act as a symbol of hope for communities in England and Wales as they respond to the refugee crisis. CAFOD representative for the Hallam diocese, Anne Prior, who was in attendance, said, “Through local acts such as the pilgrimage we feel we are acknowledging our deep sense of solidarity and welcome with the refugees arriving in the UK, as well praying for those far from our shores. We also feel we are answering the call of Pope Francis to show our love for those who are suffering.” As part of a campaign led by the Catholic charities CAFOD, CSAN and the Jesuit Refugee Service, Catholics of all ages in schools, churches and communities are sharing messages of welcome, hope and love, which will be shared with refugees in the UK as an act of solidarity and dedicated at a special event to take place in November. CAFOD is working with local partner organisations in Europe and beyond to provide practical help to those fleeing their homes, calling on the UK government to take a fair and proportionate share of refugees – from both within and outside the European Union – and pushing for the establishment of safe and legal routes to enable refugees to reach safety. If you would like to hold your own Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage, please visit: cafod.org.uk/yearofmercy. Pictured above, the congregation gathered at Padley Chapel for the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage Mass and right, Bishop Ralph (centre) with Bishop Patrick McKinney (right), Bishop of Nottingham and this year’s guest speaker. (Photographs courtesy of Christine Dennis)
20 September – 9 October This important exhibition of eight alabaster sculptures illustrating the feelings of grief and loss will be open to the public in the special surroundings of Whirlow Spirituality Centre, Sheffield in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. The Good Grief Exhibition was born as a reflection of Jean Parker’s own experience of cancer. The eight terracotta heads emerged during the course of a seven day silent retreat, and present a powerful and unique visual exploration of the grief process. These relate not only to loss of health, but also to significant loss of any kind. The hope is that the exhibition will help stimulate discussion and the understanding of powerful emotions, which can feel overwhelming. Each sculpture deals with an aspect of the grief process which is explained through the following stages – denial, disbelief, questioning, anger, depression, acceptance, healing, peace. There will also be a programme of bookable events associated with the theme over the three weeks. Events planned Tuesday, 20 September at 7.30pm, Launch by Jean Parker, no need to book. Tuesday, 20 September 9.45am – 3.45pm – Simple Quiet Day, £12 Wednesday, 28 September, 8pm, Praying with Sculpture led by Joy Adams, £5 Saturday, 1 October, 2pm – 8pm, Poetry Workshop led by Adrian Scott, £18 Wednesday, 5 October, 10am – 4pm, Dying Well led by Wilma Scott, £18 Saturday, 8 October, 10 am — 4pm, Loss and Memory: creative workshop led by Brian Daines and Caroline Turner, £18 Bookings for the events and notice of times for public viewings can be found on the Whirlow website http://www.whirlowspiritualitycentre.org/.