When I wrote this piece for the May edition of BE Alive I did some reflecting and posed a few questions. I look back on the past four years with gratitude and some satisfaction. Now I invite you to build on what has been achievedand prepare for the future with the calm assurance that comes from the words of our Lord himself: “I will be with you always.”
Everything has been pointing me towards calling a grand assembly of our two parishes in the early autumn and after much encouragement from all those whom I have so far consulted we are going ahead with a day in St Julie’s School on Saturday 10 October. This coincides with the Synod on the Family in Rome and provides us with an opportunity to work out how we can respond to the invitation to become ‘evangelising parishes’ and the initiative of our bishops: ‘Proclaim 15.’ We will unite with our brothers and sisters across the country and have ‘Holy Hours’ on 11 July to pray for the success of this whole venture.
The shape of our event on 10 October has still to be fully explored and worked out and I remain open to suggestions. To begin with, I envisage a grand display of all the ministries, prayer groups and activities in our parishes, supported by a series of workshops on a range of subjects. I sincerely hope that the workshops will inspire a whole new group of people to recognise their gifts and offer their services.
Redemptorist Publications commissioned Fr Paul Cannon and Mrs Sharon Beech (Salford Diocese) to write a book to support this work of evangelisation in the parish and already those who have seen it have enthused about its contents and its presentation. I plan to make the book widely available so that as many of you as possible can see in practice the possibilities that are open to us. We have secured the services of Paul Cannon and Sharon Beech to set the scene for our day with a key-note presentation and they are willing to provide workshops as well.
Please take this as a personal invitation to take part in the day. It is an invitation to all of you, however young or old, to see yourselves as integral parts of these parish communities with much to offer. Every effort will be made to ensure that your needs and special interests are catered for and, hopefully, there will be a crèche for those of you with children.
Fr. Timothy Buckley C.Ss.R