Archdiocese of Birmingham newsletter 10th August 2023

On this great feast, we ask the prayers of Mary
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Tuesday 15 August   The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary allows us to see the fulfilment of our vocation to sanctity. Mary’s vocation was a unique expression of the divine intimacy we are all to share with God. Listening to Him, responding in faith and trust, and allowing ourselves to ‘magnify the Lord’. Ultimately, like Mary, we too are to be with God body and soul in heaven.   Mary’s Assumption allows us to recall that promises made by the Lord are always fulfilled. The challenge for us is to live a life worthy of those promises. The life of the Blessed Virgin has a golden thread of intimacy with God. We are called to weave, in our own lives, a similar thread of gold, one of intimacy with God. Listening, responding and magnifying.   On this great feast, we ask the prayers of Mary, for each of us to deepen our own vocation to sanctity and trust that God will finish His work in us. May the words of Elizabeth to Mary be applied to each of us, ‘blessed are we who believe’.
Assumption Devotions this Sunday   On Sunday 13 August, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Hednesford, we will be anticipating the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady with Rosary and Devotions at the Shrine followed by refreshments.   Monsignor Timothy Menezes, the Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral, will give an address.   Last year, at the Angelus on the Feast of Assumption, Pope Francis spoke of the hope which the Assumption of Our Lady gives us:
“She is the first creature who, with her whole self, body and soul, victoriously crosses the finish line of Heaven. She shows us that Heaven is within reach. How come? Yes, Heaven is within reach, if we too do not give in to sin, if we praise God in humility and serve others generously.”   *Please bring your own chairs to the event*  
Assumption Devotions
Starts next week: Diocesan Novena for the Canonisation of Blessed Dominic Barberi   Friday 18 August marks the beginning of the Diocesan Novena to pray for the Canonisation of Blessed Dominic Barberi.   The Novena of Prayer lasts for nine days and concludes on his feast day on Saturday 26 August.   The annual Novena of Prayer for the Cause of Blessed Dominic Barberi is a moment to pause and to appreciate the work of this holy Passionist in our Archdiocese and to pray for his Canonisation.  
Join in Prayer
Job opportunity: Schools and Parish Engagement Officer   Father Hudson’s Care has a vacancy for a Schools and Parish Engagement Officer. You will be working as part of our Fundraising, Communication and Marketing team in developing our work with Schools and Parishes within the northern half of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.   Closing date: Wednesday 23 August  
Jobs and Volunteering
Invitation to join a Diocesan Worship Collective   Catholic Charismatic Renewal Birmingham (the CHARIS group) invite all established and potential Worship Leaders and Worship Musicians to become a part of a Diocesan Worship Collective.   Any musicians, singers or those who have a desire or a call to help lead worship and would like to step out and grow this ministry are invited to express their interest.   The CHARIS group would like to help grow this ministry and foster a community of like-minded people across the Archdiocese who love to give praise.  
Find out more
Take survey and have your say   The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) want to hear from as many people as possible to help shape the future of safeguarding within the Catholic Church.   It wants to hear from people across all areas and levels within dioceses, parishes, religious life groups (RLGs), the Religious Life Safeguarding Service (RLSS), and victims and survivors.   Closing date is Thursday 31 August.  
Take safeguarding survey
August Focus: Daily Living   The God Who Speaks (GWS) Scripture Campaign’s August focus is on Daily Living with a range of articles, videos and activities for summertime.
Including the Four Senses of Scripture, exploring mystery and logic in the Bible, Sunday Reflections as we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration and Praying the Psalms.  
God Who Speaks: August
Calling all altar servers!   Date for the diary – Saturday 7 October.   Altar servers and their families are invited to join this year’s annual Mass of Thanksgiving for the Guild of St Stephen.   Mass will be celebrated by Bishop David Evans on Saturday 7 October at 12noon at St Chad’s Cathedral, followed by refreshments.   The Guild of St Stephen is an international organisation of Altar Servers founded in England in 1904 by Father Hamilton McDonald when he formed a Society of Altar Servers at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in London.    
Altar Servers Mass
LOUDfence ribbon workshop   Saturday 9 September   Join talented fibre artist Mahawa Keita for a special day of creativity – responding to recent LOUDfence initiatives at St Chad’s Cathedral and Birmingham Cathedral St Philip’s.   Mahawa will be using special ribbons; which were originally dedicated and placed on the railings at both cathedrals, as a sign of solidarity with those who have suffered abuse; to create a memorable piece of art.   LOUDfence is a survivor-led initiative and encourages people to tie brightly coloured ribbons and messages in public spaces.  
Sign up for ribbon workshop
Heritage Open Days at Diocesan Mother Church, September   Visit St Chad’s, the first Catholic Cathedral to be built in England after the Reformation.   Uncover history and celebrate culture at St Chad’s Cathedral this September as it takes part in the Heritage Open Days scheme.   Hailed as England’s largest festival of history and culture, thousands of volunteers organise free events for people to enjoy and experience.   St Chad’s Cathedral is offering tours on Friday 8, Saturday 9 and Saturday 16 September. Booking essential.  
Heritage Open Days
Tickets now available for Fit for Function   Take advantage of the earlybird discount for October’s Fit for Function event in Worcester. Wednesday 4 October, 9.15 – 16.15.   Do you want to find out more about recruiting and retaining volunteers, setting up a Friends Group or making the most of tourism opportunities in your church building?   Church buildings have been used for activities beyond worship for hundreds of years and are perfectly placed to provide essential local services, enable wider social connections and for showcasing local and national heritage.   However, as custodians of these wonderful buildings, it is not always easy to work out what is possible, where to start, and what help is available to achieve this.   Tickets for the event are priced at £12.50 (August early bird) then £15.  
Fit for Function
“Let Justice and Peace Flow”    Season of Creation: 1 September – 4 October   “Let Justice and Peace Flow” is the theme chosen for Season of Creation 2023, the ecumenical celebration we hold each year from September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi.   In preparation for this season of celebration and reflection you can find useful resources incuding a Vigil for Creation and payers of intercession for your home, your prayer groups or your parish.   Preparing for the Season of Creation
March for Life   March for life UK happens in London on Saturday 2 September.   Many are concerned about restrictions on freedom but it’s often not until these restrictions affect us personally that we speak up.   Abortion destroys the most fundamental freedom, the freedom to live, and leaves so many women and men deeply hurting.   Join thousands of others at this family-friendly event to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.  
March for Life 2023
Dates for your diary: the month ahead  
Thu 10 August: Free Organ Recital with Andrew Wyatt – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Sun 13 – Thurs 17 August: KYT host Summer Camp  
Sun 13 August: Assumption Devotions, Hednesford  
Mon 14 – Fri 18 August: Catholic Charismatic Conference  
Thu 17 August: Free Organ Recital with John Pryer – St Chad’s Cathedral   
Thu 24 August: Free Organ Recital with David Saint – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Thu 31 August: Free Organ Recital with Anthony Pinel – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Fri 1 September – Wed 4 October: Season of Creation  
Sat 2 September: March for Life  
Thu 7 September: Free Organ Recital with Claudia Grinnel – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Fri 8 September: Heritage Open Day – St Chad’s Cathedral  
Sat 9 September: ‘Monastery Day’ hosted by YouCAN  
Sat 9 September: LOUDfence Ribbon Workshop  
Sat 9 September: Heritage Open Day – St Chad’s Cathedral      
  More Events  
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