Fr Tim's BE Alive articles
THE LESSONS OF HISTORY
Fr Tim Buckley CSsR (Parish Priest)
You know by now that I try to be attentive to those moments when we see God’s providential hand at work in our lives. I had another classic example of this during my recent week in the south of England. One afternoon I called at the Jesuit House in Bournemouth in the hope of seeing Fr Brendan Callaghan SJ, who had supervised my thesis in the 1990s. I had heard that he had been convalescing there after a recent illness. In the event I learnt that he had recovered well and is due to be moving soon to the University Catholic Chaplaincy in Manchester. However, I was made most welcome by Fr Norman Tanner SJ, who provided tea and cakes! We had a fruitful conversation and as I was leaving he kindly gave me a signed copy of his book: New Short History of the Catholic Church.
BE ALIVE, MARCH 2017
THE JOY OF LENT
The old translation of the First Lenten Preface spoke in gratitude to God in these words: “Each year you give us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart r
enewed.” The new translation reads: “For by your gracious gift each year your faithful await the sacred paschal feasts with the joy of minds made pure.” I admit that these words are a more exact translation of the Latin, but there was always something refreshing about the challenge of actually seeing Lent as a “joyful season” to offset the temptation of entering the six weeks with a sense of misery and foreboding.
A NEW ACADEMIC YEAR: FRESH OPPORTUNITIES
I sincerely hope that we are all returning, having had some opportunity to unwind and relax during the summer months. More even than the beginning of the new liturgical year in Advent or the beginning a new calendar year, I believe that the beginning of a new academic year provides the best opportunity for parish communities to start afresh. For it is not only the schools and universities which are welcoming students back for new courses or opening their doors to new students, but similarly our parish ‘Journey in Faith’ begins again, offering those who may be interested a chance to share our way of life and discern what the Lord may want for them. Likewise, all the existing societies begin to meet again and continue their work and prayer. It is for this reason that Bishop Eton and St Mary’s are having the joint assembly at St Julie’s School on Saturday, 10 October.
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.”