Archdiocese Newsletter 25th January 2024

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Let us renew our trust in God’s power over evil

Reflection  ­

During this Year of Prayer, Pope Francis asks us to meditate on the words of the Lord’s prayer. Each day we pray with Jesus, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”.  

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus not only teaches with the authority of God but with that same authority, he liberates a man who is possessed by an unclean spirit. We are inspired to trust in Jesus who has the power to overcome evil in our lives.  

Through prayer and the celebration of the sacraments, day by day we humbly come before Jesus, seeking freedom from sin.  

St Paul speaks of this struggle with evil as a thorn in his side, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’”. (2 Cor 12:7-9).  

God uses our weaknesses to draw us closer to himself as he frees us from our sins.   St Francis de Sales once wrote, “God wants your misery to be the throne of his mercy. He desires that your powerlessness be the seat of his omnipotence”.  

As we pray the Our Father each day, let us renew our trust in God’s power over evil, learning to depend upon the grace that he gives us through faith in Jesus.   

Reflection from Fr Michael Dolman, Rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott 

Pause for Prayer – Episode 2 ­

Episode 2 of a new series of videos to encourage us to press the pause button on our busy lives and to be present to God is available to watch now.  

This episode features Fr Simon Bishop SJ discussing and explaining the Daily Examen Prayer. With prayer intentions from students at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, Kingstanding.  

Each episode offers part teaching, part testimony and part something to pray for.  

Pause for Prayer is an initiative for the Year of Prayer, in preparation for the 2025 Jubilee Year ‘Pilgrims of Hope’.  

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2024: Join as an Assisted Pilgrim ­

Monday 27 May to Saturday 1 June   

If you are interested in going to Lourdes on pilgrimage, but need assistance with personal care, medication or mobility then please apply to the Pilgrimage as an Assisted Pilgrim.   

Should you be successful, you will be accepted into ‘The Accueil’ (meaning welcome) which is a purpose-built facility within the domain itself and you will have access to support from carers, nurses, doctors and physiotherapists whose purpose it is to help you during your pilgrimage week. 

Pre-Lent Reflection Day ­

How can Lent bring Joy?  

Led by Abbot Paul Gunter on Saturday 10 February at Douai Abbey in Reading.  

Abbot Paul is a former parish priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and an expert in Liturgy.  

The Abbey is hosting four workshops for Lent, and a series of workshops, reflections and retreats throughout Spring and Summer.

Supporting the Life charity ­

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has generously supported Life for over 20 years through the Second Collection for Life, raising more than £550,000 over that time.  

Let’s support the charity again on Sunday 11 February.  

Life is one of the nation’s leading pregnancy support charities.   

In the last 18 months it has helped 2,012 women in the Archdiocese of Birmingham area alone – not to mention the tens of thousands of women helped nationally, too.  

A huge thank you to all who support Life and its work.

John Henry Newman and the English Sensibility – Online Academic Forum ­ Thursday 15 February, 6pm.   

Presented by the St John Henry Newman Research Centre for Catholic Theology, Maryvale Institute.  

The latest in a series of occasional, public seminars by Maryvale academics.   

This time Professor Jacob Phillips will be discussing the subject of his latest book, John Henry Newman and the English Sensibility.

Music for Lent and Easter ­

Invitation to a ‘singing day’ at St Chad’s Cathedral, Saturday 10 February  

Aimed at singers and parish music leaders from all around the Archdiocese, the day will offer a chance to explore music old and new, to accompany us on our journey through Lent and Holy Week, and on into the joyful season of Easter.  

The day will include music, reflections and exploring the Lectionary.  

Registration now open.

Join CAFOD’s Big Lent Walk ­

Invitation to all Diocesan parishes and schools!  

Challenge yourself and take on The Big Lent Walk!  

Walk when and where you choose over 40 days. Raise money to help people as they overcome poverty.   Let’s rally together and make this Lent a time of unity and change!

Focus on Vocations: Listening to God’s Call ­

In February, the Dudley and Wolverhampton Deanery will be hosting a series of vocations events, ‘Listening to God’s Call’.   

There will be three online sessions on Tuesdays at 7pm.  

There will also be two special Masses for vocations during the month.  

Deanery Vocations Months provide an opportunity to focus on vocations across a month, with celebrations of Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Prayer for Vocations.

Available for booking: Dupuis Retreat and Conference Centre ­

Sisters of Charity of St Paul the Apostle at St Paul’s Convent, Selly Park, Birmingham  

Our facilities include a residential centre with 10 en-suite bedrooms, two meeting rooms, chapel and dining room and a day conference centre which can hold up to 100 people.
We can offer quiet days for individuals or groups as well as retreats.
The venue is also suitable for ‘Away Days’ and conferences.
We are hosting a six-day Individual Guided Retreat, 18 – 25 March, with Sr Una Coogan IBVM and Sr Pauline Myers SP.
For more information please see our website (link below) or contact Sr Margaret Mattison via email: [email protected] or call: 0121 415 6100.

Online Monthly Maintenance Surgery: Wednesday 31 January  ­ Winter checks – pipe work, stop cocks, leaks
Looking after our buildings, the tools of our ministry.

This month’s online surgery is on Wednesday 31 January at 2pm.  

While the winter months remain, it is a good time to make sure that you know where your stop cocks are and that all pipe work is as best protected from freezing and possible leaks as possible.  

To sign up to the surgeries please email [email protected]

For a full list of the maintenance surgery topics this year please visit the Property Resources section of the Diocesan website.  


Date for your diary! Anniversary Organ Recital at St Chad’s Cathedral ­

Thursday 1 February at 1.15pm.  

The 30th anniversary of the Walker organ will be celebrated, featuring performances by regular organists David Saint, Paul Carr, Nigel Morris and John Pryer.  

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! ­ Applications welcome for the following positions:  

Chief Executive Officer position at Father Hudson’s Care  

Befriending Coordinator and Lead Befriending Women’s Worker at Restore  

Head of Faith in Action at Pact (Prison Advice & Care Trust)  

Several positions at the Kenelm Youth Trust (KYT)  

Trustee Vacancies at St Mary’s College, Oscott  

For full details visit our website:

KYT Summer Camp – booking now open! ­

Every summer, the Kenelm Youth Trust (KYT) and Life Teen UK host a summer camp for young people aged 12-18 from across the country.   

This year the camp runs from Sunday 21 to Thursday 25 July and prices start at £195.  

It will be held at Alton Castle in North Staffordshire.

Marriage Week, February 2024 ­

An annual celebration offering the opportunity to support and promote marriage and family life. It is celebrated this year from Wednesday 7 to Wednesday 14 February.  

A Christian marriage is rooted in faith; that means faith in God, as the giver of life and the one who promises eternal life to those who believe in him.  

The Bishops’ Conference has developed a resource which can be used to pray through the week and reflect on the vocation of marriage.

Retreat for Married Couples ­

Friday 9 to Sunday 11 February, to coincide with Marriage Week.  

The Diocese of Shrewsbury is hosting a Retreat for Married Couples on a day or residential basis at Wistaston Hall Retreat Centre, Crewe in Cheshire.  

Loving 4 Life will include presentations on both the relational aspects of the marital relationship, and the faith/spiritual meaning of holy matrimony to help strengthen, heal and enrich your marriage.

Register now for this year’s Diocesan Thanksgiving Mass for Marriage ­

Saturday 4 May, 12noon at St Chad’s Cathedral  

Are you celebrating a significant wedding anniversary in 2024? Are you engaged to be married this year? Or would you simply like to give thanks to God for your marriage, and ask for His ongoing blessings?  

If so, we would like to invite you to attend this year’s Thanksgiving Mass for Marriage.  

Registration is now open.

Dates for your diary: the month ahead  

Thu 25 Jan: Ecumenical Service, Kings Heath  

Fri 26 Jan: 100th Anniversary of the charity Lepra  

Sat 27 Jan: Holocaust Memorial Day  

Sun 28 Jan: Racial Justice Sunday  

Sun 28 Jan: World Leprosy Day  

Wed 31 Jan: Restore Training Course, Session 2  

Thu 1 Feb: Anniversary Organ Recital, St Chad’s Cathedral  

Wed 7 Feb: Restore Training Course, Session 3  

Wed 7 – Wed 14 Feb: Marriage Week  

Fri 9 – Sun 11 Feb: Retreat for Married Couples  

Sat 10 Feb: Pre-Lent Reflection Day  

Sat 10 Feb: Singing Day at St Chad’s Cathedral  

Wed 14 Feb: Tabor Living Volunteer open event  

Thu 15 Feb: Online: John Henry Newman and the English Sensibility  

Sat 17 Feb: The Trinity Conference 2024  

Tues 20 Feb: Annual Meeting of Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions  

Tues 20 Feb: Listening to God’s Call, online session  

Sat 24 Feb: Annual Intercultural Mass

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