What’s On is the diocesan online platform dedicated to help parish event organisers all over the Diocese of Hallam with the advertisement of their events. Thanks to What’s On organisers cannot only boost the visibility of their events but also improve the traffic to their websites by linking to them from their advertisements. Publishing on […]
Archives for May 2018
This spring, CAFOD is inviting everyone to walk around the world! That’s 24,900 miles – which is a long way – but we’re not expecting you to do it on your own. In fact, we’d like you to walk for as long or as little as you like, tell us a…
The SVP – Who are we? A Gospel driven organisation The SVP, according to Bishop Ralph, is one of the best kept secrets in the Catholic Church. If someone mentions the SVP, there are invariably many blank looks. What is it? What do the initials stand for? Who is involved? How does it work? These are just some of the questions people ask when they learn of the existence of a worldwide organisation that has been in existence since 1833. This lack of awareness has prompted a series of articles about the SVP to appear over the coming months to help raise awareness of the organisation across the Diocese. This article sets out the framework within which the SVP works whilst adhering to its spiritual values. The St Vincent de Paul Society in England and Wales is a registered charity that complies with all the legal requirements which are laid down for us by the Charity Commission. The word charity is often understood very loosely as “giving a person something for nothing, just gifting them”. For the SVP this is not sufficient. St Vincent, its patron, and Frederic Ozanam, its founder, both realised that and in the words of Pope Francis, “Christian charities are much more than ‘compassionate non-governmental organisations’, they have their source in Jesus Christ and look to him for their work to be fruitful”. Charity together with faith and hope are not acquired through human effort but, beginning with baptism, are infused within us as gifts from God. They dispose us to live in relationship with God, and such living is made evident by practical and effective love of others. The energy and life of the SVP is God given – and our task as Vincentians is to respond as generously as we can. It is not always possible for us to solve people’s difficulties, nor is it a matter of simply giving them funds, or creating a dependence on SVP. Our essential task is to relate to people with love and respect, to befriend them, and let them feel that they are loved and that they matter to us. We recognise God made human in them, and in attending to them we are serving God. In the words of Jesus, “When I was hungry, thirsty, without even clothes, sick or in prison, and you cared for these least of my brothers, you did it for me” (Mt. 25:40). In the Words of Muhammad Ali, “your service to others is the rent you pay for your room in heaven”. Future articles will look at the inception of the SVP, its history in this country since 1844 and the type of work it does both nationally and locally. Should you require further information or are interested in finding out more about the SVP please contact Lance Philpott, Membership Development Officer for Hallam Diocese, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caritas Diocese of Hallam ~ Promoting Social Action
In his Pastoral Letter for the Annual Appeal for the Hallam Caring Services, Bishop Ralph explained that a significant development in our Diocese this year was the establishment of Caritas Diocese of …
Dymphna is the patron saint of those suffering from anxiety, depression and mental illness and consequently of psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists. Her feast day is celebrated on 15 May, during Mental Health Awareness week. Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year impacting on their well-being, life chances and relationships. Lifting the Lid is a six week Bible study course focused on faith and mental health. Created with small groups in mind, drawing on well-known Bible stories, it’s a free study resource to help Churches explore the topics of emotional and mental wellbeing, using the Bible as a guide. You can download a copy from https://www.livability.org.uk/resources/lifting-the-lid/ or contact email@example.com, tel: 0114 2566407.
On Saturday, 14 April, sixty four people from fifteen Hallam Diocesan parishes gathered at the Pastoral Centre to consider, “How we can be a Church community without a priest resident in the parish”. The session was organised by the Sheffield Deanery Liturgy and Spirituality Group and opened with Morning Prayer of the Church. Bishop Ralph acknowledged that the western Church is ageing, with diminishing numbers of priest and laity. There is great social change in the western world and the Church, which once had many confraternities and devotions. In considering what elements of church community are non-negotiable, he referred to Pope Francis’s new encyclical on Apostolic Exultation. Church community is a response to the call to holiness that is addressed to all and to each personally, to let baptismal grace bear fruit in holiness, to be open to God and turn to him in every situation. We must allow God to love and liberate us and be guided by the Holy Spirit. This involves perseverance, patience and meekness, joy and humour, compassion, boldness and passion to evangelise, to leave a mark on the world and to belong to the universal Church, diocese, parish. Deacon Andrew Crowley of St Patrick’s, Sheffield then went on to speak about the experience of belonging to a parish without a resident priest. St Patrick’s found out what happens, when a parish priest suddenly dies. Priests do many things that others in the parish could do. Parishes can function with good administration (including IT) and a pastoral leader. Those open to the Spirit will be guided. The nearby Sacred Heart parish had an “In case of emergency” plan that could be set into action if anything happened to the parish priest. Deacon Andrew also referred to the call to holiness, our baptismal vocation to follow Jesus and do what he does. Cultural changes mean the Church no longer grows by generations of Catholic families carrying on the faith. More are baptised into the Church than die in it. We should not keep things as they have been for years, for the sake of it. We must become Church in a different way. What drove the apostles was not keeping tradition, but proclaiming the joy of the resurrection. Pope Francis’ encyclical “Evangelicum Gaudium” says parishes should be evangelical sanctuaries, outward looking with missionary outreach, going out to the whole world proclaiming the good news. We may be downhearted, but Christ is with us. Andrew suggested that we can develop a holistic parish action plan, train welcomers, keep contact with new people, develop a parish leaflet. He further suggested that we need to look at how our faith can become alive and our liturgy be a lived experience. He highlighted the need to care for the neighbourhood in the parish, to relate to the area by, for example, making the parish known to schools and care homes, to care for each other and build a common life together. A sense of humour is important. Jesus is with us. Jesus attracted people. His community grew. Frank Mc Dermott is Parish Co-ordinator of Stainforth’s Our Lady of the Assumption. He explained that Our Lady of the Assumption parish was built with subscriptions from local miners. Closing such parishes is the death knell for the Catholic community in those areas. Since 1995 this parish has experienced prolonged periods without a resident priest. This has made them a vibrant, welcoming, outward-looking Eucharistic community, a model for a strong, outgoing missionary Church, rooted in prayer, learning that no one is more important than anyone else. Years ago they washed each other’s feet, as the Gospel tells us to do. Frank, however, reiterated the Bishop’s words about being strongly linked to deanery, diocese and universal Church. It is dangerous if we all do our own thing, with fewer priests and people. Recent statements by parishioners show that they appreciate being open and transparent; liberating; emphasising welcoming; being a beacon and oasis; an important Christian presence; being open to think and be part of the mission of the parish; allowing all to flourish. They meet, not as a parish council, but as a parish in council, modelled on the Acts of the Apostles, with no separate, secretive finance committee, or elected pastoral committee. For the past fifteen years the parish has had a weekly Saturday evening Mass, but none on Sundays. However, the people feel that their lives have been touched by many priests and deacons who have served them. They have a midweek service of Word and Eucharist and lay led baptisms and funerals. An annual bereavement service is tailored to suit the needs of those who use the church. The parish objectives are summarised on its banner, which reads, “WELCOME. We warmly welcome you to our Catholic Christian community, as we try to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peace to all who enter here, gratitude for the past, enthusiasm for the present, hope for the future.” Frank, as co-ordinator, values the regular support and guidance he has had from bishops and deans and feels very blessed to be part of Doncaster Deanery’s Parishes of Hope. Frank has produced several publications, “Communities of Hope”, a practical workbook, with Christine Dodd; “Walking with my God”, a prayer journal, with Donal O’Leary; “The Easter People”, foundational tools for a forum of priests and people and “In Sure and Certain Hope” for use of lay leaders of Christian funerals. Group discussions followed, with decisions about what parishes could do over the next year. The workshop gave useful, encouraging insights into what can be achieved by prayerful communities, focused on Christ’s call to, “Be holy because I am holy”, empowered by the Holy Spirit and linked closely to deanery, diocese and universal Church. We need gratitude, enthusiasm and hope. Parish life is in crisis, but we are parishes of hope. We are baptised. We are the Church.
The recently formed North East Derbyshire parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace celebrated its first Holy Week and Easter since the dedication of the newly reordered Church of the Annunciation in Chesterfield by Bishop Ralph Heskett, on 2 December, 2017. Parish Priest, Fr Adrian Tomlinson said, “This first Easter in our newly reordered church, we are also celebrating the Parish community. We are the Church, the workers in the vineyard, the living stones building a spiritual house. Together we are working to spread the message of Christ and proclaim the kingdom of God in this town and its outlying communities.” In 1580 when the Jesuits began their Mission in England, Catholicism was outlawed and the task was daunting. Although there were dark times ahead, 1829 saw Catholic emancipation and 1850 the restoration of the Hierarchy. The Mission of North East Derbyshire and Yorkshire was placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By 1842 the college and Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception were built. In 1851 Fr Thomas Hill was appointed Jesuit Missioner to Chesterfield and commenced an ambitious campaign, raising funds from donors and benefactors of all denominations, as well as organising and preaching sermons further afield, including Sheffield, Wakefield and Spinkhill, to beg for financial support. A report in the Derbyshire Times described the Reverend Hill as having ‘…energy combined with a good-humoured, hopeful manner that won him the good will and affection of all.’ The report goes on to state that ‘…By great self-sacrifice and labour he succeeded in purchasing a piece of rough ground at the top of Spencer Street, and built upon it a plain, solid, Gothic structure…’ In 1854 the church building was finished and certified for Roman Catholic worship under the dedication of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “We have begun a new and exciting chapter in the story of the Church and Her mission in North East Derbyshire,” added Fr Adrian. “Once more we turn to the Mother of God and consecrate our church, our parish and ourselves to her maternal care. Today amid a world ravaged by wars and violence we commit our new parish to the intercession and patronage of Our Lady Queen of Peace. Under her gentle and motherly gaze, we take up the challenge passed to our generation and time. We dedicate ourselves as well as this place of worship to advance the Kingdom of God and the spreading of the Gospel. “Let us take the motto of our fore bearers in this task and proclaim our Catholic Faith by lives well lived and the praise of God well sung: ‘Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam’ – to the greater glory of God.” The Parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace Website: www.annunciationholyfamily.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01246 232686
Pupils from St Marie’s School, Sheffield, went out into the parishes where they celebrate their Sunday Mass to join in more fully with the celebrations of the wider parish communities.
The children have visited St Vincent’s, St William of York …
Diocesan Deputy Headteachers met recently for a Conference at the Hallam Pastoral Centre.
The Delegates gave thanks to Philip Patterson, Diocesan Director of Primary Schools, Nuala Nelis, Headteacher at St Patrick’s, Sheffield Lane Top, Alison Woodh…
Neil Harris, Headteacher of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Bircotes, ran the London Marathon in aid of the Emily Harris Foundation. This is a charity established ten years ago by Neil and his wife following the death of their daughter, Emily, at the age of five months. Funds go to support the Neonatal Unit at Mansfield Hospital where Emily spent much of her very short life. Anyone wishing to donate to this charity please visit www.emilyharrisfoundation.org.