The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) was founded in 1911 as the Guild of St Luke, Cosmas and Damian, later being renamed the Guild of Catholic Doctors. Only doctors and dentists were admitted as members until 2006 when it was again renamed the Catho…
Archives for June 2018
Frederic Ozanam was born on 23 April, 1813, of committed French Catholic parents. His father was a doctor but, in an age where medical provision had to be paid for, he gave his services to the poor who constituted at least a third of his patients, for free. His mother formed a group of women to tend at the bedside of the sick and poor. In this way, Frederic was schooled by their marvellous example in the importance of helping those less fortunate than himself. At 18 he went to the Sorbonne University to read law. Forty years previously, the epoch changing French Revolution had taken place. The Church had always been viewed as part of the royal establishment so Catholics were viewed with much suspicion. Frederic decided to form a discussion group with a few friends of like mind. They called themselves “Conference of History”. Their method was to write a response to all the anti-Catholic lectures. The “Conference”, however, was mainly a talking shop. Frederic and his friends were spurred to action when a student attending a discussion challenged Frederic himself, by asking “What are you doing for poor people today?” For Frederic this was a turning point. He and his band of friends resolved to help the poor in imitation of Our Lord. He had two major influences in his early life. The first was an older man, a journalist called Emmanuel Bailly. He was the one to encourage their enthusiasm, keeping their spirits up when the going got tough. Emmanuel introduced them to the second, a Vincentian Daughter of Charity, Sister Rosalie Rendu, who was experienced in working with the poor of Paris. Sister Rosalie Rendu became their mentor and she gave them two pieces of advice. “Be Kind and love,” she said, “for love is your first gift to the poor. They will appreciate your kindness and your love more than all else you can bring them.” The second tip she gave them was, “When you meet the poor, you meet Christ.” Adopting St Vincent as its patron saint, Frederic established the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP). It continued to grow and by 1841 it had 2000 members across Europe and the Americas. The SVP came to England and Wales in 1844. By 1845 Frederic was married with a daughter and his life became a balancing act between work, family life and involvement with the poor through the Conference of the SVP. He used his influence in the academic world to speak out against injustice. He started talking about basic wage, the length of the working day, pensions, and legal protection of children. Tragically Frederic, having suffered ill-health for some time, died in 1853. Even in times of convalescence, he worked to found SVP conferences wherever he could. Frederic was beatified on 22 August, 1997 by Pope John Paul II.
The SVP’s newest group is up and running with members from St Gerard’s, Thrybergh and Immaculate Conception, Herringthorpe combining to form an enthusiastic, vibrant and dynamic conference on the outskirts of Rotherham. Parish priest for both churches, Mgr Desmond Sexton, who is also Vicar General of the Hallam Diocese, said, “The reintroduction of the SVP conference serving the parishes of St Gerard’s and the Immaculate Conception is very good news and I am grateful for the generous response from the volunteers and for Lance’s work in helping us to reach this moment. A parish must have a missionary vision reaching out to people in the wider community and the work of an SVP conference contributes to the missionary call by making contact with people in need and providing practical support. May all of us in the two parishes continue to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.” The group was formed following an appeal for volunteers at the churches’ Masses by SVP Membership Development Officer, Lance Philpott. He said he was very impressed at the commitment and determination of all the new members to embrace the Vincentian mission and was looking forward to the St Gerard’s and Immaculate Conception conference getting started after their initial training and induction into the society. The aim of the SVP is to pursue the primary aim of its founder, Frederic Ozanam, to love one’s neighbour, showing this love through serving Christ by helping those who are in need of assistance, comfort and support. Whilst the SVP is a Catholic lay organisation, it offers help to anyone regardless of age, race, gender or creed. The new conference will be seeking out those in need in their community and, through person to person contact, offer friendly, practical support to alleviate suffering and deprivation wherever it is found. If you know someone who might benefit from support from the SVP please get in touch with your local SVP conference or else contact Lance Philpott on firstname.lastname@example.org. Likewise, if you are interested in finding out more about the SVP please contact Lance on the same email address.
The Diocese mourn the loss of Jack Goodwin, who has died at the age of ninety two. His family tell us that Jack was born in Sheffield and was a parishioner of St Vincent’s parish and attended the parish school. After school Jack became a plumber. He met his future wife, Joan, when he went to a job in a house where she was babysitting. They decided to marry and Joan converted from Judaism to become a Catholic. Throughout his life Jack put his plumbing skills to good use to the benefit of many parishes in the Diocese including St Anthony’s, Gleadless, Our Lady of Lourdes, Hackenthorpe and St Theresa’s, Manor. He organised work at St Wilfrid’s Centre, refurbishing the shower and kitchen. Joan and his children were very supportive of his parish work and together the family organised games evenings for people with disabilities. These evenings were great fun and ended with bingo and a fish and chip supper. He regularly visited sick parishioners in addition to providing entertainment in local Care Homes, where residents enjoyed his rendition of Albert and the Lion. Jack was a Minister of the Eucharist for twenty five years. He will be sadly missed by family and friends. May he rest in peace.
On Saturday, 21 April Bishop Ralph made a pastoral visit to St Alban’s Parish, Denaby Main. Bishop Ralph was accompanied by Fr Desmond Edozie, Parish Priest, when he visited the sick, met representatives from St Alban’s Parish Council and Finance Committee, concelebrated Mass and met parishioners after Mass in St Alban’s Catholic Club.
On Friday, 9 March, the children of Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Hillsborough, came together to celebrate a very special Mass. It was the 50th Anniversary of the ordination of Fr Shaun Smith, their Parish Priest. Fr Shaun was due to retire on 1 April so the Mass was a wonderful opportunity for the children and staff to thank Fr Shaun and to let him know what a much-loved part of Sacred Heart Parish and community he had been for over 20 years. Mass was celebrated by Bishop Ralph with school governors, parents and many former members of staff attending, including two previous Head Teachers, Sue Pilkiw and Margaret Bowers. The children raised the roof with their wonderful and enthusiastic singing, they read beautifully and there was a very moving liturgical dance to the Whitney Houston song ‘I look to You’. At the end of the Mass, the children presented Fr Shaun with a variety of gifts they had made for him, including a special, framed picture of a heart on which every child in school had put their fingerprint. Refreshments were served afterwards for invited guests, followed by a shared lunch with existing staff and governors. It was a wonderful day of celebration.
Goodbye to Our Friend Anne White 1934-2018 Lorraine Healy, Manager of St Vincent’s Furniture Store, Sheffield, remembers a special lady. On Saturday, 17 March, we learnt that our friend Anne had gone to her heavenly home. Anne died in St Luke’s Hospice following a two year battle with cancer. Anne was a much loved lady who, as a member of the St Vincent de Paul Society, did such a lot for so many people. Most of her good works remain unknown and were kept between Anne and the people she helped. However, a big part of Anne’s life was her involvement with the Furniture Store. Anne often told the story of when, as a teacher, she took early retirement and she went to her Parish Priest at Holy Family Church and asked him if there was any work she could do in the parish. His reply to her was, “I have just the job for you, Anne, join the SVP.” Anne took his advice and was a member of this fantastic organisation for nearly 35 years. She became involved with St Vincent’s Furniture Store in Sheffield at the beginning and remained a volunteer and a member of the Management Committee up until health issues meant she had to retire in November 2016. Anne was also a member of the Management Committee at St Vincent’s Shop on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield. Anne dedicated her life to helping others and she often told us many a funny story of those early days at the Store. Her ‘can do’ attitude was something to behold and she would try her hand at anything. When we introduced computers to our donation process, Anne told me she had never used a computer in all her years; however, she would, “give it a go” and she did. She would be the first to admit that she never fully mastered that keyboard; however she kept on going and never gave in. Her telephone manner, good humour and her overall nature to help everyone will never be forgotten. The photograph above is of Anne, on her retirement, at our Annual Meeting in November, 2016, receiving one of her many gifts, a statue of St Vincent de Paul, something that I know she treasured dearly. Anne, I can say without hesitation that I have not met many like you and I am sure you are reaping all the rewards you deserve in your heavenly home. RIP Anne, a true lady definitely walked this way.
Parishioners of St Joseph and St Nicholas, Moorends and Our Lady of the Assumption, Stainforth came together at Moorends for a special service to celebrate the Feast of The Divine Mercy on 8 April, led by their new parish priest, Fr Santosh Vazhappally…