Bishop Ralph – Diocese of Hallam – Pastoral Letter – Sheffield Catholic Cathedral. TO BE READ AT ALL MASSES ON THE WEEKEND OF THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION 2017 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ, Today’s feast celebrates Jesus ‘coming full circle.’ He came to us from the Father to accomplish his own unique […]
Archives for May 2017
May 2017 marked the end of the Civic year for Councillor Jim Anderson of St Joseph’s Church in Retford. Jim is a District Councillor and in May last year was elected to serve as Chairman of the whole of Bassetlaw District Council; a great honour and privilege last enjoyed by a St Joseph’s parishioner when Wendy Quigley served in 2007/8. Jim asked Fr John Nwadike CM, Parish Priest at St Joseph’s, to celebrate the Civic Service with a Mass, and a packed church saw St Joseph’s school children sing, Headteacher, Mr Richard Hilton read, and Fr Bill Bergin returned to beautifully sing the Credo and guide the service. Worksop Deanery Deacon Peter Hunt assisted, and the Deputy Lieutenants and Readers from other Christian denominations joined with the local Imam to make the service a truly Ecumenical event for the glory of God. It was a great day for St Joseph’s, the Churches in Retford and Bassetlaw. The local Air Training Corps squadron also sent a detachment to assist in the management of the day, and they are pictured below with Fr John, the Deputy Lieutenant and Councillor Jim.
St Joseph’s Parish in Wath-upon-Dearne held a ‘60s and 70s Rock and Roll Night’ on 18 March for CAFOD and to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It was a fantastic success. Thanks go to everyone who contributed in any way with the preparation and on the night. The band, ‘Landslide’, were brilliant. The music was fantastic and many joined in by dancing the night away. The raffle and spin the wheel tickets were very popular and Pete Oldling’s pie and peas were fantastic. An amazing £811 was raised for CAFOD.
St Joseph’s, Wath-upon-Dearne supported CAFOD Lenten Family Fast Day with a wonderful soup lunch served up by Peter Olding and Margaret Cook. All agreed it was worthy of “Master Chef”! The soup could be described as Spring vegetable macaroni. There were sixteen parishioners there and a brilliant £65 was raised. During Lent donations for CAFOD were also collected at the Wednesday coffee mornings.
On Friday, 3 March, Bishop Ralph visited St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Handsworth. It was a very special morning and all of the children were extremely honoured to be visited by such an important person. Bishop Ralph spent time in all of the classes and chatted to lots of the children. This visit came at the end of a very busy week for St Joseph’s as unfortunately on Tuesday the children learnt that the fairy tales had quit! This was the introduction to Thursday’s World Book Day, as the staff dressed as characters from fairy tales that were no longer prepared to be put upon! Each class had decorated their door to represent their chosen fairy tale and then had to write a new version of the story. This added to the atmosphere of excitement that accompanied the Bishop throughout the school. The day was extra special, as it was Bishop Ralph’s birthday! The school presented him with a beautiful card, illustrated with the St Joseph’s Lily and the children’s fingerprints. The Chair of Governors even made him a birthday cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday. After joining the children, staff, governors and Fr Mark for a whole school assembly, Bishop Ralph was escorted to lunch by the school prefects. Everyone agreed it was a truly memorable end to a fantastic week.
During Lent a weekly Mass was celebrated in the medieval Chapel on the Bridge in Rotherham town centre. Each Thursday a priest visited the Chapel to say Mass. The congregation, made up of parishioners from Immaculate Conception, Herringthorpe, St Bede’s, Masbrough, St Gerard’s, Thrybergh and Blessed Trinity, Wickersley, was delighted to welcome Bishop Ralph on 16 March to say his first Mass at the Chapel. He will certainly have been one of the first Catholic Bishops to celebrate Mass in the Chapel since the 1550s. In medieval times it was relatively common to find a small chapel built on a bridge over a river on the main road into the centre of a town. Most were destroyed centuries ago and only four survive today, one of which is on Chantry Bridge in Rotherham. The construction of the Chapel can be dated to 1483 and it is thought that Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York, may have donated most of the money needed for building the Chapel. The interior was richly furnished and contained a skilfully decorated gold statue of the Virgin and Child. In the 1560s the Chapel was converted into an Almshouse and then in 1778 was converted again into the town jail. Features of the jail can still be seen in the crypt today. Early in the 19th century the Chapel’s use changed again and it became a dwelling house, before ending the century as a tobacconist’s shop. In the 20th century the purpose of the building was restored to a Chapel prompted by financial support from Sir Charles Stoddart, several times Mayor of Rotherham and the first person to be granted the Freedom of the Town. Bishop Ralph was delighted to be able to say Mass in such an old Chapel with its roots firmly in Catholic times before the Reformation.
St Mary Magdalene’s, Maltby, Over 60s met in the Parish Room on Wednesday, 29 March to make Easter bonnets and enjoy the afternoon together. Pictured above, the members and their bonnets are shown in their full glory. The winner was Beryl Whitehead, pictured right. After the bonnets were judged, the group paraded round the room wearing their creations and singing ‘In your Easter bonnet’.
Members of the ‘Rainbows Family’ – Rainbows Bereavement Support GB – from all over Great Britain gathered in the Convent of Mercy in Oldham on 21 March to mark the twenty fifth year of service to children and young people grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives. From its initial beginnings in 1992, ‘Rainbows’ has become a greatly respected national charity, supporting children and young people in over 1,260 schools, in addition to offering high quality training in bereavement and loss to all schools throughout the country. This particular celebration focussed on the support the charity has received for all of its 25 years from so many individual people, religious communities and charity funding bodies. In thanking so many, many people for their support and generous donations over the years, Frank McDermott, the current Chair of Trustees, acknowledged the unique contribution made by members of The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, better known as the Mercy Sisters. Part of the day of celebration included a sung Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Bishop Ralph. Bishop Ralph is also Chairman of Rainbows South Yorkshire, where 127 schools operate the Rainbows programmes, including most of the fifty five Catholic schools in the region. Frank and Sue McDermott have been involved with Rainbows since 1992. They are delighted with the growth of the charity both in South Yorkshire and across Great Britain. After seven years as National Director of Rainbows, Sue remains very actively involved as Non-Executive Director and Trustee. She is delighted that Rainbows South Yorkshire continues to support so many grieving children and young people in so many different schools and commented, “Both Sandra and Sadia, our two Development Workers, offer tremendous support across the whole region and, through their work, enable many children and young people to be better able to cope with significant loss in their lives. They are both highly thought of in schools and give much practical support and advice.” Many words of thanks and encouragement have been received from all over the country marking the Silver Jubilee. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, sent the following words of affirmation, “It is a huge achievement to have completed twenty five years’ service to grieving children and young people. The support you offer matters so much and makes a real difference. As you gather today, I offer you my sincere congratulations, good wishes and prayers.” “I thank all those who have contributed to the ministry of Rainbows over the years: trustees, managers, staff and volunteers all over the country. Without them, and without others who have worked behind the scenes, especially members of ‘The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy’, it is unlikely that this silver jubilee would have been reached. Cardinal Vincent Nichols concluded, “May God bless you all. And may the ministry of Rainbows continue to thrive, bringing those who grieve to a deeper awareness of the merciful, gentle compassion of God.” Further information about Rainbows GB and how to donate to the charity may be found on the website: http//:www.rainbowsgb.org. To contact Sandra and Sadia at Rainbows South Yorkshire please email: email@example.com.
On Sunday, 5 March, Holy Trinity Catholic and Church of England School, Barnsley hosted a Catenian Public Speaking Competition. This was the fourth time that the school has hosted the competition which is organised by local Catenians for Years 11 and 12 pupils in Catholic Schools in their Province, which includes Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. The photograph below shows the contestants along with Tony Deighton, Director of Province 3 and Chairman of the organising committee, on the far left, and on the right David Rowley, National President of the Catenian Association and Anna Dickson, Acting Headteacher of the school. Each contestant has to speak for 4 minutes on a topic which they have chosen from a given list of 15. The competition, which was won last year by Notre Dame in Sheffield, was won by Eve Rooney (in the centre behind the trophies) who attends Notre Dame Catholic 6th Form College in Leeds. Her chosen topic was ”The voting age for young persons, in the UK, should be 16 years of age”. She now goes forward to the Finals at Manchester in September. Eve was presented with a cheque for £100 and the Mary Neal Trophy, which was donated by the late Dr Frank Neal in memory of his wife, Dr Mary Neal.
Monica and Jonathan Mason relate their experience of a valuable and meaningful Bible Course. We recently had the opportunity to take part in a Bible Study Course called the ‘Great Adventure’ of which we did part 1, namely ‘The Bible Timeline’ by Jeff Cavins. It was run at The Annunciation parish in Chesterfield. We found the course to be insightful and spiritually enriching, giving us a much deeper understanding of both the Bible and our faith. The Bible Study was so exciting that from day one we thought it couldn’t get any better, but it just kept delivering. It was an absolute pleasure to attend these presentations and it left us hungry and thirsty to know even more about the ‘Word of God’. We find ourselves delving deeper into the Bible which, in all truth, we did not understand very well before this course (we thought we did). This course truly does open up the scriptures and salvation history, showing how the Old Testament is fulfilled in New. Should you get an opportunity to go on this course it comes highly recommended, especially for those seeking a better understanding of both the Bible and the faith.