Mon 18th Mar 6:30pm: Vigil for victims of NZ terror attack

This unfortunately came in too late to make the Sunday News Letter.

Preston Faith Forum invite you to attend a vigil for those killed and injured in the terrorist attacks in New Zealand on Friday.

If you can attend it would be good to show your solidarity and defiance against the rise of hatred and violence. It is important to come together and declare that we will not be intimidated or divided.

Details
Date: Monday 18th March 2019
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Preston Flag Market (outside the Harris Library)

Via Creativa: Add zest to life

The third series of the excellent Via Creativa sessions starts on Friday 8th March 19

Via Creativa workshops are interdisciplinary. Drawing upon arts and crafts, drama, music, dance and social justice ideas to release the innate creativity in everyone, explore interconnection and soul, and help resource people to develop resilience in the face of the complexity of life in today’s world. Each session is self-contained, participative, and requires no previous experience. Refreshments are provided and free parking is available at the venue.

  • 8th March 2019 – Kafka’s Metamorphosis with Donna Worthington.
  • 22nd March 2019 – Creativity with Clay with Russell Akerman. (For practical reasons we are limited to 10 places for this session.)
  • 29th March 2019 – Mask Making and Mask Workshop with Joanna Macy and Joseph Cooper.
  • 5th April 2019 – Energy Movement! with Sharon Martin.
  • 12th April 2019 – The Cosmic Walk – Getting Here with Rosy Townsend.

Click here for more details, poster and to reserve places.

Community news: Two good causes.

Shirley’s run

Shirley Russo is going to run the London Marathon to raise funds for the Jesuit Missions. She has taken on the challenge of raising £2000 for the missions and is training hard. If you see Shirley then give her your support. It is not easy to run a marathon.

If you want to help her reach her target you can donate through Virgin Money Giving.

Fundraising for the Dementia Singing Group

Alan Clayton invites us to the Playhouse on Friday 26th April. Alan and his friends are raising funds for the Playhouse and the Dementia Singing Group at the Centre. Come along, it will be great fun.

Social Justice and the Care of Creation: Feedback

Fr Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, President for Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) in Rome

On the evening of Tuesday 26th Feb 2019 we had a visit from Fr Xavier Jeyaraj SJ . He spoke to an audience of about 40 on the theme of Social Justice and the Care of Creation. This is my personal reflection on some of the things he said to us.

“We are all connected and belong to one another.” We often deny this by speaking of ‘them ‘ as if those others we refer to are irrelevant, different, and inferior to ourselves.

“We are all leaders.” We often have mixed feelings about that. We want to be listened to but shrink from speaking out. We think we are right but we do not follow through and act.

“Where are we?” The state of the world is far from perfect. We are beset with issues including:

  • Extraordinary inequalities in the distribution of wealth.
  • Over exploitation of natural resources.
  • Climate change.
  • Exploitation of workers.
  • Populism, ‘fake news’, the ‘filter bubble’, avoiding anything that is challenging, uncomfortable or requires critical thought.
  • Fear of diversity.
  • The rise of the Alt-Right in the USA, European Nationalist Parties and Extremism.

“We need Leaders of Hope.” Democracy must be rooted in spirituality, social justice and love.

“What do we need to be Leaders?” We must:

  • Be authentic and act with integrity. Remember that we ourselves are flawed, that we personally are sinners in need of forgiveness.
  • Think of others. Leaders being the Servants of others.
  • Foster leadership in others.
  • Listen and be attentive.
  • Be prophets, speaking truth to power.
  • Be inspiring.

“What can we do?” We can:

  • Build an inclusive society.
  • Take in realistic positive messages, avoid fear and defeatism.
  • Reflect on how we feel and not just what we think.
  • Discern, look into difficult issues and work out what is right and wrong. Develop our own spiritual resources and use them critically.
  • Be more friendly to the environment.
  • Stand alongside the vulnerable. Help those affected by economic and environmental stress.
  • Foster the leadership skills of the young.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Fr Xavier gave some simple examples of how we can become more friendly to the environment. For most of us these are a challenge. They sound simple but they are not. Take a simple case – “Use public transport, walk or cycle.” Our reaction is likely to be “Sorry, I don’t have time, it is too far and it is raining so I am going to drive.” We need to think and be creative.

After the talk Fr Xavier took questions. One of them brought us back to what we can do. Earlier Fr Xavier had told a powerful story about a clash of interest between a rich international mining company and villagers in rural India. The question was about how we, who are lucky enough to have a surplus, choose to invest. Do we think about how our money is used? Perhaps we should start there.

Social Justice and the Care of Creation: A talk by Fr Xavier

On Tuesday 26th February we will be hosting a talk by Fr Xavier on the subject of Social Justice and the Care of Creation. This is a big subject. How can we pray “Our Father…” and not care for His creation? How can we ignore our sisters and brothers when God is our Father?

Come and listen to Fr Xavier. Feb 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Refreshments and chat afterwards.

Capacitar Wellbeing 15 Mar and 12 Apr

Anne Harrison’s excellent Capacitar Wellbeing sessions have proved very popular so we must not be surprised that these two sessions are now fully booked. Any further enquiries will be placed on the waiting list. 

If you are interested in booking on later sessions then please watch this space. We will bring you news of the post Easter programme as we have it.

Six week Lenten Retreat Starting 12th March 2019

Rose and Greg McCrave are offering this six week Lenten retreat. Each session will take place on a Tuesday evening 19:30 to 21:00. Rose and Greg will be covering the following topics:

March 12th : Week 1: Lectio Divina
March 19th:  Week 2: Imaginative Contemplation
March 26th:  Week 3: Examen (Review of Prayer)
April 2nd:       Week 4: Finding God in All Things
April 9th:        Week 5: Discernment
April 16th:      Week 6: Holy Week/Our Lord’s Passion


All are welcome to attend any of the sessions individually however, attendance at the 6 sessions, offers a complete Lent retreat based on Ignatian Spirituality. There are online resources associated with the retreat. You can access them by clicking here.

If you are interested in booking or want more information then click here.

The Care of Creation – A talk by Fr Xavier Jeyaraj SJ

An update on this event. Fr Xavier is going to speak at St Wilfrid’s Parish Centre in the afternoon and at the Xaverian Mission in the evening. He will present us with an interesting question “Is Leadership too important to be left to Leaders?”

For the afternoon session click here

For the evening session click here which gives details on how to book. Booking advisable as we are limited to an audience of 80.

Capacitar sessions – An update

These monthly sessions are proving very popular, so popular that we need to make sure that participants book. Previously bookings were taken on reception but we need to change that. In future all bookings need to be made directly with Anne Harrison, the facilitator. You can book on any of the upcoming courses by filling in the enquiry/booking form by clicking here. Anne will allocate places on a First Come First Served basis so if you are interested then now is the time. If you book and find you are unable to come then please let Anne know so the place can be freed for another person.

Note: when you fill the form in you are asked for a date. Please do not be alarmed if you see the letter ‘S’ after the day of the month. It is an error we are trying to correct. Just pretend you didn’t see it. 🙂

A Journey with Mary and Joseph

Not all the events held at our Centre are public. Here is an account of one of those private group events.

On Saturday, December 1st. Women Together in the Diocese of Lancaster organised an Advent day of Prayer in the Xaverian Mission Spirituality Centre (formerly Tabor) Preston. It was led by Father Nyagasaza Bideri who runs the Centre. From the start, although it was a grey, wet and dreary looking day, we received a very warm, hospitable welcome from him. We felt immediately that he had been looking forward to our coming there and had been preparing for the day with care and enthusiasm. He told us that it was to be a day of joy!

The greatest reality in our lives is our relationship with God. So, first, to help us allow God to heal our hearts from all that hinders His love embracing us, Father Bideri led us in an unusual reflection on the elder brother of the prodigal son and his troubled relationship with the father. In an interactive session, together we identified all the troubling elements that the elder son refused to let go of in himself. In naming these we could let go of all the same elements we recognised in ourselves. So we were ready then to open up to the love of God at work in the lives of Mary and Joseph before the birth of Jesus, tracing their spiritual journey through scripture and art.

We celebrated Mass together at midday and after lunch shared a very joyful session with carols and seasonal hymns illustrated on the computer as we enjoyed singing along. A half hour of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament then followed and we drew the day to a close with song and prayer and blessing, grateful to Father Bideri for this lovely introduction to the Advent Season.

Women Together has a long history in the Diocese of Lancaster since it was first established by Bishop Brewer to give women a voice and opportunities to deepen and develop their faith and encourage the service that flows from that. So on the same day the organising committee took the opportunity for a “grass roots” consultation with all who came. In the spirit of Pope Francis we know that we need to listen and learn from women themselves what kind of topics and days they want to share. We asked permission to use their contact details for future publicity as we will see what suggestions were made and what can then be planned ahead.

Philomena Grimley SHCJ

This article first appeared in the Diocesan VOICE and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author.