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