Safeguarding Archbishop Bernard Longley has commissioned a review of our current safeguarding/child protection practices in light of the National Catholic Policies and Procedures.
This review is to be welcomed as a means of ensuring that our systems to protect our children and young people are as effective as possible. This review is being conducted by an independent charity called SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence).
As part of the review, SCIE would like to speak with any individuals who have had experience with any safeguarding issues within the Archdiocese, and have experience of working with our parish safeguarding representatives and the safeguarding team at the Archdiocese.
Anyone who is impacted by abuse issues can contact the safeguarding team on 0121 230 6240 (emergency out of hours 07976 516629). If you are able to contribute to this important review and share your experiences with SCIE then please contact Hugh Constant (Hugh.Constant@scie.org.uk or 020 7766 7374 or 07872 602207).
I would just like to thank you for your prayers and support over the last year. Without you, the work of CAFOD would not be possible. I’d also like to take this opportunity to feedback on recent activities, and let you know about some resources that you might find useful as we approach the autumn.
I am delighted to tell you our Lent donations 2018 from all sources exceed £4.2 million. This is truly wonderful because every Family Fast Day offering will be matched by the UK Government. We have planned projects to help 245,000 people in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Eritrea. This will mean that fewer parents will struggle to grow vegetables to help feed their families and more children will become healthier and more likely to attend school.
During Lent, volunteers spoke in more than 750 parishes to encourage others and during the last year, over 240 volunteers have visited 1000 Catholic schools. The fruits of this faith witness are truly appreciated. Geoff O’Donoghue, from CAFOD, recently shared a ‘Thank you’ message from someone he met in Niger, who told him, “when the help arrived I knew I was not alone, we bless them and pray for them so that they know they are not alone”.
In response to Pope Francis calling everyone to act in solidarity with refugees and migrants, we are grateful to the thousands who have taken part in Share the Journey walks. Many parishes and schools invited refugees, community leaders and members of parliament to walk with them in solidarity with people who are forced to flee from their homes. The miles covered by our walkers across England and Wales have lapped the earth – and more!
May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire them in acts of love and justice.
Adoremus: 7-9 September 2018
We are busy preparing for Adoremus in September. Some of our volunteers are part of the Welcome team at the Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool. We have produced some resources to enable people to engage more deeply with different aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery. Our Eucharist in the World workshops explore the links between the Eucharist and the call for us, as Catholics, to live out love, compassion and justice in our everyday lives. These resources, plus a prayer inspired by a pastoral letter from Bishop Patrick McKinney of Nottingham are all available at cafod.org.uk/eucharist We hope you find them useful as part of your preparation for the Congress.
It has never been easier to find out the times of masses and the locations of churches. Your reliable friend is Google! (Other search engines are, of course, available!)
Just type in ‘Catholic churches in X‘, (ie the place you are visiting.)
You will probably be provided with a list of churches and a map. If you are lucky the website of each church will come up too, and that is where you will be able to check Mass times quickly and easily.
Many churches will provide you with the Sunday readings in English, but if they don’t then why not get the Universalis App. for your phone. It gives you the readings of the Mass for each day in English, and also the Order of Mass in English and in the major European languages as well as in some African and Indian languages. It is also, of course, a helpful spiritual resource for all year round.
I was going to put this into today’s homily, but I think it needs to be read directly from a page or a screen for maximum effect.
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
(now read again from bottom to top)
Poem by Brian Bilston
Photograph of broken Jewish tombstones now built into a memorial wall. Cracow. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.