Dear friends, as you may know, from the 25th -29th of April, the Xaverain Community in the UK held the XIV Regional Chapter in Coatbridge. .We were fortunate to have the presence of the Congregation’s Vicar General, Fr. Mario Mula, s.x. and the General Councilor Fr. Javier Peguero, s.x. The theme of our Chapter was “Towards a Sustainable Mission and Presence in the UK today.” We looked at various components of our mission in the UK reflecting on Community Lifestyle, Financial Sustainability, Missional Activism and Structures. We also elected our new leadership team. Frs. Patrick Duffy, s.x. (Regional Superior), Jim Clarke, s.x. (Vice Regional), John Convery, s.x., Ian Bathgate, s.x and Steve McKend, s.x (Councilors). At the next Mass, on Saturday June 4th, 2022 at 4pm we will share more of the outcomes of the Chapter. We wish to thank you for your constant support of us in this Province and ask that you keep us in your prayers as we move forward.

Preston Centre: An invitation

Advent Penitential Service

A date for your diary.

On Saturday, December 18th, 2021 at 4pm, you are invited to join us for a Penitential Service for Advent.

This is to help us prepare for the Lord’s Birth and for his Return!

We realise that the current Covid situation is unclear, so we understand if you decide not to join us, but please pause at 4 and join us in prayer!

Your Advent Invitation

Just a wee reminder that we are celebrating the start of Advent on Saturday, November 27th at 4pm with Mass. We are hoping that you can join us for this special moment in the Church’s life and to continue to catch-up with friends! There will be some food for after Mass (maybe not as much as last time!) and a wee donations box as well! Please let other people know and ask them to join us as we prepare for the Birth of Our Saviour!

Thanks

Paddy

Spirituality Centre: News

Friday, November 5th was Founder’s Day for the Xaverians. For more information on St. Guido Maria Conforti please click here.

On Saturday October 30th we celebrated the first mass since the lockdown in the Centre. It was good to see so many people there – socially distanced and some in masks!

After mass we had a wee cuppa while waiting for the food. Given the gap of 18 months, it still felt as though we have hardly missed a week!

We are looking forward to the next celebration on Saturday November 27th at 4pm. This will be a memorial mass for the friends and loved ones who have died, not just in this time of pandemic.

An invitation from the Xaverian community

Since the 1st of October we have had few bookings here in the Centre. This has lead us to bring forward our plan for the Centre. Next April, we Xaverians have a Regional Chapter that plans the next years ahead, as well as review the previous years.

Before the Chapter we will need to have made decisions about personnel and structures. Among many factors that have impacted and influenced us has been the Covid lockdowns, collapse in income and changes in the way people are gathering and meeting. With this in mind, we Xaverians, are exploring different avenues of being present. With regards to a new presence, we have been looking beyond the boundaries of Preston.

Over the next months we will still be having some gatherings the first of which is a Mission Mass on Saturday October 30th, at 4pm followed by some food and chat! Please join us in this first gathering in over 18 months and let us know if you are planning on coming along!

Thank you for the support and prayers you have offered! And please remember us in this time of discernment.

Paddy

Spirituality Centre: News

The U.K. Government, in England, is lifting most coronavirus restrictions on July 19th. We have been expecting this announcement for some time, given the timetable set out earlier in the year. However, as stated in our last communication in May, we are not planning any changes to this until September. We are looking at meeting and chatting with various users and groups in the coming weeks to see what options lie ahead.

We hope and pray that this lifting of restrictions allows communities, groups, families and individuals to reconnect and rebuild. However, we note that the Bishops of England and Wales are adopting a more cautious approach and we will be following their guidance. So far they have not issued any new guidance since May 17th.

Please stay safe and we all pray for better news!

Spirituality Centre: News

With the good news of vaccine coverage and the hope that restrictions will be lifted towards the end of June, I thought it would be a good idea to update you on the Centre here on Sharoe Green Lane. So far, most of the community have received doth doses of a Covid vaccine and we are in good physical and mental health. However, with regard to the opening of the Centre, the community have some hesitancy, at this moment.

As you know, at present The Centre is closed to groups and currently there have been a few enquiries for bookings. From a financial point of view, the past year has been a challenge, with no income from the Centre and our other usual sources, but on going costs for maintenance and upkeep have had to be covered.

If The Centre re-opens in the near future, it is the fear of the community that we will not have enough bookings to cover the cost of bringing staff back from furlough. There is also the uncertainty about guidance for groups and how this will impact on the various groups that use the Centre. The summer is also a time when our bookings are fewest.

As a community, we feel that it would be prudent to remain closed while the furlough scheme is in place until September. We are taking a cautious approach both here in Preston and in Coatbridge and hope to have further news at the end of this summer.

I realise that this is not the news you wished to read, and it is not the news that we Xaverians wished to share. Our hope is that you keep us in your prayers as we reflect on the presence here in Preston as we pray for those who have been our supporters and friends in these past years. We also hope to take this opportunity to visit friends now that restrictions have been eased.

Yours

Patrick Duffy, sx on behalf of the Community

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all. I decided that rather than a written reflection, I would send a link to a video.

It is by an artist Si Smith and it portrays the resurrection if it had taken place in Leeds!

Paddy

Thoughts for Holy Week

A year like no other!

It has been just about a year since I closed the car park gates on 169 Sharoe Green Lane. They have been opened, but most often they are closed. I did not think that the gates would remain closed for so long! However, on a positive note: it is the first birthday of many groups moving on-line. Who would have thought that you could do Lectio Divina on a computer screen? It is amazing how many things have moved to the on-line world: you can be at mass in almost any country from the comfort of your favourite chair!

However, not everyone has access to these modern miracles, leaving many feeling isolated or left behind. Many families have struggled throughout the various lockdowns for a huge variety of reasons. Loved ones have passed from this world and we have not been able to grieve them as we would like. The issues and problems and divisions of our modern way of life have been highlighted and have challenged us to seek new ways of living as the lockdown is eased.

I have been amazed at how we have adapted to these challenges and have found ways to make things better for all people. The Pandemic of 2020-21 has been a re-set for our world. The heroes of the pandemic have worked quietly caring for those in the ICUs, delivering essential items to the shops, teachings kids via screens, emptying bins, keeping the power flowing and countless other jobs that are not regarded as glamorous, well paid or even respected!

As we enter Jerusalem, prepare for the Last Supper, walk the way of the Cross, stand at Calvary, see the blood and water flow from his side, take him to the tomb and hear the gentle call of our name outside an empty tomb, we can take with us the journey of the past year as well. The celebrations and birthdays that have been missed, the meals not shared, the visits that have not taken place and many other routines missed, changed, cancelled for part of our Holy Week this year. Last year Holy Week was on-line, this year we can gather in limited numbers. We have all made sacrifices this past year and this can help us understand the mysteries of Holy Week better.

I hope and pray, that this time next year our celebrations will be more joyful, full of life and people! As we prepare to leave lockdown, again, let us reflect on the world we are re-entering and be prepared to work for justice for all, for economies that care for the poorest, for an ecology that seeks to nurture no exploit our world.

May we all have a reflective and inspiring Holy Week as we journey with Jesus from the gates of Jerusalem to the garden of the Resurrection!