Today, 23rd Mar 19, is the 1st anniversary of the launch of this website. It was originally intended as the site for the Xaverians in the UK. Since then we have seen a few changes not least of which that the Xaverians in the UK have created a new site xavs.org and the site xaverians.org.uk has become focused on serving the Preston community.
Any anniversary is a good opportunity to stop and reflect. Can you help us with this by completing this short on-line questionnaire? This is a chance to say what you like and do not like, put forward ideas and ask questions. Please click here to have your say. We really would appreciate your input.
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)
Last Tuesday evening, at 7.30pm, we were delighted to welcome around a dozen people to the first of our Ignatian Lenten Retreat evenings entitled ‘Walking Together With Jesus’.
There was a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere as we gathered to pray with the Scriptures using the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, which has been described as a ‘four-runged ladder to heaven’.
Having shared a little of how Lent had started for each of us, and after a brief explanation of the history and practice of Lectio Divina, we were taken through the four stages of this prayerful approach to scripture, described as the four R’s; Read, Reflect, Respond and Rest, using last Sunday’s Gospel recalling Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness.
Our time together was punctuated by sharing and silence, and the chance for a cuppa at the start and end of our evening, and was appreciated by all as a great way to begin Lent supporting each other in prayer.
We gather together again this coming Tuesday (19th March) for the second of our six Lenten evenings to look at another helpful Ignatian practice related to praying with the Scriptures known as ‘Imaginative Contemplation’, and we would be delighted if you were able to join us.
Each of the sessions stands alone, so don’t worry if you can only join us for one or two evenings, and for more information of our coming sessions and the helpful on-line resources available to accompany the ‘Walking Together With Jesus’ Retreat please click here.
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.
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.
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.
Exploitation of workers.
Populism, ‘fake news’, the ‘filter bubble’, avoiding anything that is challenging, uncomfortable or requires critical thought.
“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.
“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.
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.
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
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.
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.