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From time to time it is good to have a break from the normal routine and go away and do something else. It is that time for me. I am going on a little bike ride to see some of England, sleep in a tiny tent and probably get quite wet.

Whilst I am going to take my phone, I am going to be constrained by limited phone battery. Hopefully there will be chance to charge it in cafes and so forth, The little capacity that I have will be spent on navigation, searches for the next campsite and photographs. For that reason I suspect I will not be able to maintain the normal level of postings of news and new events.

I have no idea when I will get back but it will be before the end of June.

Happy Birthday!!!

If like me you are shying away from Birthday celebrations when the cake looks like the Towering Inferno and there is more wax on it than Madame Tussauds, well today let’s make an exception.

Happy birthday to one and all! On this feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the birthday of the Church, not just any Church, but the Missionary Church. Today we are reminded that we are to continue the mission of Jesus, to be the proclaimers of Good News to the ends of the earth and to build up his Kingdom, here!

The disciples filled with the Spirit spoke to all in their native languages – yes even Glaswegian! The Spirit came to empower the motley crew of followers to move from fearful, frightened people to become a fearless, feisty power, that is the Church. The community is to go, to reach out, to be bearers of good news to all peoples in all parts of the world.

Our decision to take over from the Carmelites, was a spirit filled discernment, a Pentecost moment. The resources, the contacts, the good will, the challenges, the opportunities… are exactly what that first community faced when from a small group in a little corner of the world, it grew to become the world’s largest religion – 2.2 billion that is a third of the earth’s population.

And we too continue that mission in our trying to be Church here in Preston. In the activities that so many people attend and organise, in the coming together, in our reaching out, the new initiatives, in the searching to be more of a resource and service to the local Church and community as well as thinking globally, we try to keep Pentecost alive!

The Xaverian Mission Spirituality Centre uses the reference to Spirit, not loosely but deliberately. We are inspired by the Holy Spirit to be the missionary Church, here and now.

The D Day remembrance 75 years on and the 250 major wars since the end of the Second World War where over 50 million have been killed reminds us that the Spirit of Pentecost which unites the divisions and celebrates the differences, must be re-discovered.

Let’s repeat the words of Saint Pope John XXIII at the beginning of Vatican II – “Renew in our days oh Lord, your wonders as in a new Pentecost!” and lets try to repeat the bold actions of the first community. We still have plenty to do and extra miles to go. Let’s joyfully do it together. Happy Birthday!

Reflection on Pentecost: 9th June 2019

A Pentecost Blessing

May the enthusiasm of Spirit leap incessantly within you and help you to live a vibrant life.

May the warmth of Spirit’s fire be extended through your concern and care for all those who need your love.

May the blaze of Spirit’s courage enable you to speak the truth and so stand up for respect, dignity and justice.

May the undying embers of Spirit’s faithfulness support you when you feel spiritually dry and empty.

May the strength of Spirit’s love sustain your hope as you enter into the pain of our world.

May the clear light of Spirit’s guidance be a source of effective discernment and decision-making for you.

May Spirit’s patient endurance be yours while you wait for what is unknown to be revealed.

May the steady flame of Spirit’s goodness within you convince you every day of the power of your presence with others.

May the joyful fire of Spirit dance within you and set happiness ablaze in your life.

May the spark of your relationship with Spirit catch fire in the hearts of those with whom you live and work.

May you be mindful of the eternal Flame within you. May you rely on this Source of Love to be your constant ally and your steady Guide.

Joyce Rupp


The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to reveal to us the truth of our being so that the way of our being can match it.

Wm. Paul Young

Calendar update: A talk on parenting the teenager you love

Sarah Marie Place is giving a talk on parenting teenagers at the Centre on Tuesday 25th June at 7pm. The talk is applicable to both Parents and Grandparents. As usual there will be an opportunity for tea/coffee and conversation both before and after the event.

The talk is based on a book by Gary Chapman called “The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers”.

If you want to ask Sarah anything beforehand then please use the contact form on the the calendar event which can be found by clicking here.

Xaverian Interfaith Conference 2019

In March the Xaverian Missionaries from the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States held a conference in Coatbridge on Interfaith dialogue.

There are paper copies of the final report from the conference on the display rack in the Preston Centre or you can read it by clicking here.

Reminder: Spirituality for Summer retreat 22nd June

A retreat day led by Rose and Greg McCrave.  A time to refresh, renew and restore our souls by drawing closer to the warmth of God’s love .

Date: Saturday 22nd June 2019

Time: 10.30am – 4.00 pm (with refreshments from 10.00am)

Cost: £15 please bring lunch

To book: Contact Rose McCrave by email using the form here.

Something New For Women of All Ages

WOMEN AT PRAYER

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 you are welcome on 12th June 2019

Please contact Rose by email using the form here or call her on 07866 736067

New Calendar Event

The World Community for Christian Meditation (North Manchester and Lancashire Region) are holding four Quiet Days in Preston at the Centre during the remainder of 2019. Each day runs from 10.30am to 4.00pm

The dates are
Saturday 22nd June
Saturday 24th August
Saturday 5th October
Saturday 7th December

You can find more details by following this link to the calendar.

Reflection on 7th Sunday of Easter: 2nd June 2019

Oneness

“That they may be one, as we are one.” These are Jesus’ words of farewell to his disciples and he repeats this prayer several times. When Jesus talks about oneness, what he has in mind is a complete, mutual indwelling: I am in God, God is in you, you are in God, we are in each other. There is no separation between humans and God because of this mutual inter-abiding which expresses the indivisible reality of divine love. As Thomas Merton reflected, “We are already one.” We just need to start becoming what we already are. All that is absent is awareness. To be one with everyone and everything is to have overcome the fundamental optical illusion of our separateness. Awareness opens our eyes to the reality of our oneness, and our openness to the Spirit allows this awareness to transform us.

On Thursday, we celebrated the feast of the Ascension, a celebration of oneness. In the story of Christ’s ascension as told in Acts (1:9-11), angels appear next to the disciples as they gaze after the rising figure. The angels ask, “Why are you standing here staring up into heaven?” Most of Christianity has been doing just that, straining to find the historical Jesus “up there.” Where did he go? We’ve been obsessed with the question because we think the universe is divided into separate levels—heaven and earth. But it is one universe and all within it is saturated with the presence of God. The whole point of the Incarnation and Risen Body is the revelation that the Christ is here—and always was! The Ascension is the revelation of the final reunion of what appeared to be separated for a while: earth and heaven, human and divine, matter and Spirit. Jesus didn’t go anywhere. He revealed himself as the universal omnipresent Body of Christ. That’s why the final book of the Bible promises us a new heaven and a new earth, not an escape from earth. (Revelation 21:1), We focused on “going” to heaven instead of living on earth as Jesus did—which makes heaven and earth one. It is heaven all the way to heaven. What we choose now is exactly what we choose to be forever.

Various sources: David Benner, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Richard Rohr

Preston Xaverian News: 31st May 2019

News just in from Fr Jim. You may remember from his previous post (Sunday the 26th May) that he and Hugh Foy were off to Rome for a conference. Fr Jim writes…

The 50 Years anniversary of the 1969 Conference on “Cultures of Unbelief” was held in the Gregorian University in Rome from May 28-30. Jim Clarke sx and Hugh Foy took part on behalf of the UK Region who have as one of their directives Interfaith Dialogue.

The basis of the Conference was an ongoing study looking at belief and unbelief in various parts of the world. One of the aspects was looking at the disaffiliation from the Church and the growing tendency towards atheism. On the whole, it was a very useful time and relevant to our Mission in Europe and the Western World.