For some time we have had a collection of odd Wi-Fi systems installed at the Centre and the adjoining house. Coverage was at best rather patchy if you strayed out of the Conference room and Reception areas.

In an attempt to improve matters we have done a little reorganisation. This has inevitably introduced change so if you are unable to get on the Wi-Fi as you once did this is the reason.

If you are in the Centre the network to connect to is Xaverian Guest. At present the system does require a password which you can obtain from Fr Bideri or Reception.

As I write, the open network Tabor Guest is still available in some locations but at reduced strength. It will be changing very soon. I recommend you have your device ‘forget’ the Tabor Guest network.

Work is still going on. With a little luck we hope to have everything up and running well before the end of January.

An interesting film for the New Year

Kevin, one of our Newsletter subscribers, has emailed us this morning.

“Just wanted to share a lovely film I’ve watched this afternoon about a young girl from Derry in Ireland who grew up amongst the troubles with two vocations – she wanted to be famous and had many gifts, she was also being called to be a Nun and give her life completely to God

It’s a very moving and inspirational film that tells her life story – a beautiful life, a life given completely to God and given in service for others. She was sadly and tragically killed in an Earthquake in Ecuador in April 2016.

She was an ordinary girl, yet with extraordinary gifts and she ended her life fulfilling her vocations – to be a famous nun!”

Click here to play the video in YouTube.

Calendar errors

Our website uses a free piece of code from a company called Time.ly to manage and display our calendar. The site presents views of the calendar in many places.

On 20th December we realised that the calendar functions had all gone sadly wrong! They may have been wrong for days and perhaps you had noticed and were too kind to say. Next time please let us know. Anyway, all the events were there but displayed in a most bizarre fashion.

We worked on the problem, went round the houses a few times, kicked the problem over the garden wall etc. and if you look now you can see it has all come good. Hurrah!

Perhaps Fr Christmas has made us an early present of a new calendar? If so, thanks Fr Christmas!

Love needs to be organised

On Monday the 10th December John Battle, former MP for Leeds West, came to speak to an audience of 60 or more on this intriguing theme. Bishop Paul gave the introduction and then John energetically set about talking us through some of his experiences, first as an MP and then later with Citizens UK before he invited us into group discussion and a signpost of what may follow.

What follows is a personal recollection of, and reflection on, the talk. Others will have a different take. It is in the spirit of the talk for me to encourage you to ask them.

  • We are called to link prayer and action. Powerful things can happen as a result of bringing people together and sometimes especially powerful things come from bringing what conventional wisdom labels the ‘wrong type of people’ together.
  • There is a need for us to transform ourselves and the society we live in. We need to improve. It can be better.
  • There is a need for leadership but also for strong local groups to form and cross link. It is not ‘them’ it is ‘us’. We need come together and express what is important to us. We need to define “What are our shared goals?” We need to learn to listen to each other.
  • Citizens UK is a movement of the people. Existing groups with a strong identity can be cross linked to other groups in dialog and build a consensus and pressure for change.
  • Politics is not all about the Westminster Parliament, it should be about how we, as mature citizens, as a society, want to shape our world.
  • Citizens UK aims to facilitate the discussion, foster the leadership, help make the connections and so bring us all together to become a powerful force for changes we collectively want.

Following on the success in other towns and cities, Citizen UK have plans and a tentative timetable for Preston. Watch out! Do we get involved or run away? It is all to play for.

John Rogerson

Capacitar Session

Anne Harrison held another of her excellent Capacitar sessions on Friday 7th December.  These events really do seem to help people in all sorts of ways.

Anne gave attendees the opportunity to write a few words or a phrase of feedback.

“Energising, Safe, Healing, Challenging.”
“Healing.  Proof that this can come from within.”
“Holding Enfolding Caring.”
“Getting in touch with feelings.”
“Grace unfolded.”
“What a beautiful morning again.  Privilege, Affirmation, Blessing.”
“Perfect healing morning.”
“I will walk on clouds for the rest of the day.”
“A beautiful well balanced morning.”
“I’m leaving deeply nourished, at peace and healed.”

Taken together along with the many expressions of thanks, these words give a sense of these excellent sessions.  If you think you might benefit then why not come along on the 18th January 2019. 

It would help us to manage numbers if you could make a booking by completing the form at the bottom of the event page in the calendar.  You can do that by clicking here.

7:30pm 10th December “Love Needs to be Organised” – A talk by John Battle

On Monday we have an evening discussion with John Battle MP.  You may know John from his articles which have often been featured in The Tablet.

John Battle, a former MP, is a member of Leeds Citizens and the Chair of the Leeds Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission is coming to speak on the theme “Love Needs to be Organised”.

The talk will be introduced by Bishop Paul Swarbrick and followed by a group discussion and questions.

The title of the talk is taken from a line in Pope Benedict’s First Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est”. John believes that we need to do things, to change things for the better and that requires that we get organised. Referencing the relationship between prayer and action. He will draw analogies from the ruins of Kirkstall, a Cistercian Abbey near Leeds and Armley Remand Prison following Thomas Merton’s theme of the relationship between contemplation and action.

This will be a good evening.  Click here for more details.

Christmas arrangements

There will be no Mass on Thursday 13th December as some of the Xaverians are attending the Assembly in Coatbridge.

The Centre will be closed after Mass on Thursday the 20th December and will reopen on the 7th January for Cuppa Chat and the resumption of a bright new year.

Most of the usual activities are now on the calendar.  We have come some way in 2018 but there is a lot more to do in 2019.

Speakers Corner: Bishop Paul Swarbrick

On Friday 30th November 2018 Bishop Paul was the guest speaker at the first Speakers Corner Event at ‘Tabor’ – The Xaverian Centre for Mission and Spirituality.

Speakers Corner is a new event designed to create an informal space where speakers can be themselves and share something of their spiritual journey.

With over 80 in the audience, Bishop Paul shared his story in a very humble and open way.  It was a moving insight into what has shaped him as a person and brought him to this point.  People were inspired by his thoughts and many spoke of their sense of hope for the future of the Diocese with Bishop Paul as leader.

Here are two images from the event.

You can see more here.