Dementia Singing Group starts 4th June 2019

Come to our new singing group if you or your partner suffer from Dementia.

As well as being good fun singing is recognised as being hugely beneficial for well-being as it can impact positively on our physical, emotional and social health.

Music and Singing offer a unique and important way for people with Dementia to communicate with others and to continue to feel connected and valued. The carer, wife husband or partner attending the group will feel extra support from the other group members who are in the same situation as them.

Sessions start each Tuesday at 10.00am for a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuits before singing. We aim to finish by noon.

There is ample parking at the centre, wheelchair access and disabled toilets.

If you want more information then you can either call Alan directly on 01772 717122 or why not send him an email by using the form here.

If you know anybody who would like to join us let us know.

The Surprise of the Gospel

News just in of a joint venture between Lancaster, Liverpool and Salford Diocese supported by Bishop Paul. Fr Hugh Pollock from Kendal is one of the speakers. It is on the feast day of St Peter and Paul on 29th June. See poster for details.

Reflection on 5th Sunday of Easter: 19th May 2019

“Love one another just as I have loved you.”

Surely Jesus’ command to love one another was nothing new for the disciples and those of their time. The commandment is well known in the Old Testament: Love God with your whole heart and your neighbour as yourself.’ So what is new?  — “Love as I have loved you.” This is how we are to love. Love is not what we do, it is how we do it.

When we reflect on the words ‘…as I have loved you’, what are our thought processes?  Do we look for various Scripture references which speak of God’s love for us and in them find a God who loves unconditionally, a God whose love is indiscriminate: a God who is loving, caring, forgiving, compassionate, understanding and self-sacrificing. We find so many qualities of love for us to emulate. We are constantly looking for ways in which we can do this, ways in which we can show that we love as Jesus loved. Do we have the correct starting point? We are familiar with the story of the traveller who stopped to ask someone the directions to his destination. “If I were you, I wouldn’t start from here,” was the reply. Jesus’ starting point was his awareness that “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” (John 14:11)

How we embark on our journey of loving others is rooted in our personal experience of who we are. Love is not something we decide to do now and then. Love is who we are.  We are created in the image of God and God is love. We were created by a loving God to be love in the world. When we get the “who” right and realise that who I am is love, then we will do what we came to do: Love God and love all that God has created. It is not really what we do that matters. It is the energy we do it with. We can tell immediately if there is love energy coming from the person we are with.  When we truly experience God who is Love, when we know that our heart keeps beating with His energy, then we become Love. We also know this to be true of others as well as ourselves. “To love another person is to see the face of God.” (Les Miserables)

Various sources

More new calendar entries

We are favoured with more calendar updates, this time for the Preston Men’s Group who, for the rest of 2019, will be meeting on the 1st Saturday of each month with the exception of August when they take a holiday break.

You can find more about the Group here.

Greg McCrave and Stephen Hoyland are leading a themed weekend retreat at St Beuno’s entitled “Finding Prayer in all Things” See here for details. Friday 5th – Sunday 7th Jul 2019

Something New For Women of All Ages

Rose McCrave asks if you would be interested in coming along to chat about starting a women’s prayer group monthly on a Wednesday from 2-3pm at the Xaverian Missionary Spirituality Centre.

If you are interested then please come along on Wednesday 12th June 2019 at 2pm to discuss the idea. If you can’t make it please feel free to contact Rose by email using the form here or call her on 07866 736067

Reflection on 4th Sunday of Easter: 12th May 2019

Eternal Life

The verses that follow today’s reading tell us that Jesus’Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, not for “any good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? [Psalm 82:6] If he called you ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be wrong—then why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I say that I am the son of God?’

The Jews did not know Jesus. They were not ready or willing to believe that what God has done in Jesus, he has done everywhere: putting together human and divine. In today’s first reading, Paul and Barnabas also met with a similar resistance from the Jews when they preached the good news. “Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles.” When the Gentiles (the outsiders) heard this, “as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers.” For the Jews it was all too much to believe, just as it is for us. We are a creation of God from all eternity. Our DNA is divine yet we are born in human form. How can we believe this when there is so much evidence to the contrary? We are so aware of our limitedness. How can we be sons and daughters of God? Yet that is the assertion that Jesus makes and he says that we are to follow him in believing this.

To follow Jesus is to know who we objectively are from all eternity, to know that we are created with the same personhood, the same identity, the same combination of divinity and humanity as he was. Nobody achieves this to perfection. It’s not a question of being perfect. It’s a question of our deepest core identity. We are created in God, by God and for God. The main difference between Jesus and the rest of us is that Jesus believed it and most of us don’t. He knew, he trusted and allowed himself to be God’s Son. Let’s allow our daughterhood, our sonship to be a daily choice; to daily allow and surrender to this glorious good news of who we objectively are in God from all eternity. This is the eternal life experienced by those who hear the voice of Jesus and follow him.

Richard Rohr (adapted): Homilies

My Marathon Journey – SM Russo

“Mamma told me not to waste my time – she said spread your wings my little butterfly! “My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get!” This is sort of what I say to my daughter as well and hopefully she is very proud of her Momma and despite my injury on the actual day.

Reflecting back on the day – well it has been an amazing, emotional and unforgettable journey from when I first applied in June 2018 to the actual day. I am so grateful to Jesuit Missions for giving me the place and for being part of their Team for 2019 – my only regret is that I suffered an injury just over half way and had to continue with the injury only to complete in 6hrs 4mins 16 seconds. Life is a journey, it is the people you meet, and the places you visit as part of the journey that make it so special and some memories never fade.

I have been training for the moment since September and when the day came I was so very nervous but equally excited to be part of this iconic race. I woke at 6am on the day as we travelled as a team from Wimbledon to Waterloo station and this again was an experience – the sheer volume of runners on the station and then at Blackheath where we got off to make our way to the starting area.

There was a buzz in the air and everyone was looking at each other to see what they were doing, eating or not etc as we were waiting around from 7.30am until 10.58am, for me as I was in the Red Zone, before starting the race. It was freezing but the atmosphere and support from other runners was amazing. The organisation of the event is as you would hope out of this World. The marshalls and volunteers are all geared up to help you and in a sense treat you like a star – you are running the London Marathon! I can remember being even more nervous as I left my race bag with my belongings on the allocated security van thinking this is the point of no return. We had pictures taken with the Wombles – the Jesuit Missions’ mascots for the Marathon and at different points we had to say goodbye and good luck to team members as they set off to their starting points which are linked to your estimated time. I had estimated 5.30hrs so was in the Red Zone along with I think 3 other JM runners. It was difficult to know if you should eat or drink whilst waiting – should I have one of my gels or wait. The characters you see in fancy dress are amazing – during the race I took over Jesus and Shrek about two times and they took over me at some point too. The Lady in Pink was my favourite!

The crowds are so supportive – they shout your name out and offer free sausage rolls! I declined the sausage rolls not wishing to be sick. They offer sweets and jelly babies and a lot have put on music and there is an exciting carnival atmosphere.

You are never alone at any point throughout the race apart from a tunnel which was more like an under passage but I can’t remember exactly where this was. I can remember passing the Cutty Sark and thinking mile 6 and then approaching Tower Bridge and this is when I became very emotional and staring crying – don’t know why I just did! Unfortunately it was not long after this at halfway point that my injury kicked in. I couldn’t believe it – all the training and following a strict diet and lifestyle and being injury free even after completing 24 miles in 4hrs 40 – I had to suffer an injury during the actual race. In short my left leg became swollen to such an extent that I couldn’t put any weight on it and did stop as those who were tracking me would remember! I had to stop to take off my knee support which was causing more pain due to my leg being swollen – thinking back I should have put it on my arm as it was very expensive but all I could think of was to get back into the race.

I continued to do as much as I could limping and trying to run but in the end the pain was so intense I couldn’t continue to run and had to speed walk the rest of the race – if you know me and have walked with me you will know how fast I walk! I did consider withdrawing but then I thought of the charity work I was supporting, Fr Victor Luke SJ who was murdered and I was carrying a photo of Dominic McLoughlin, the grandson of one of St Wilfrid’s parishioners who tragically drowned in one of Gtr Manchester’s reservoirs last June, I looked down at Dominic and I told him that we were going to cross the finish line together and we did and I hope his grandad and family will be very proud of him because he and Fr Victor got me to the finish line – they lost their lives – I only had an dodgy leg so get on with it woman!

People are asking do you remember this landmark etc and to be honest partly due to the pain but also the atmosphere I was in a daze for most of it. I do remember getting excited when I saw the London Eye and Big Ben behind the scaffolding – and then the 800 metres, 600 metres markers and then Pall Mall and the finish line in sight. Thank God for this! I had hoped to sprint across the finish line like a true athlete instead of the walking wounded but I did cross it, I got the t-shirt and the medal and millions of memories that I will treasure forever. It is personal now though and I have entered the Ballot for next year 2020 which marks the 40th year of the London Marathon – I hope and pray that I do get a place because I do want to sprint across the finish line!

And finally…. Once finished I had to make my way to Mount St to the Jesuit Missions Provincial Offices where food, support and a sports massage was awaiting me. The only problem was my leg which was so painful and I couldn’t find Mount St even though I have been before and had a map – so some funny anecdotes happened such as appearing to be drunk leaning against shop windows and lamp posts in Mayfair due to nearly passing out with the pain and lack of nourishment! Certainly not alcohol – I had been dry for a month prior to the race! I had to ask an American tourist to open my bag of crisps from my recovery pack because my hands were that cold and stiff I couldn’t open them myself. I must remember to mention the lovely doorman at Claridge’s who took pity on me and gave me the directions to Mount St where eventually totally worn out and emotionally drained I arrived.

Jesuit Missions Volunteers and Staff – you are amazing! You took great care of me and I am so grateful for being part of this Team and I hope the friendships made will continue for many years to come. I am now suffering from post-Marathon blues and looking for my next challenge! Thank you all for your prayers, support and kind words and most important for being part of my journey.

Best wishes Shirls!

The week ahead: 12th May – 18th May

A normal week ahead although we do have some warmer weather coming if you believe the forecast. Let us live in hope.

In addition to our normal programme we have another Capacitar session on the morning of the 17th starting at 10:00. These are excellent sessions and well attended, so booking is requested. You can book using the form to be found here.

The day after, Sat 18th May, we have the ACTA (A Call To Action) group who are holding a session on the future of the church under the title of “Being Church in Smaller Groups”. If you wonder and care about the future of organised religion then this could be a good forum to take part in.

Keep an eye on our calendar.