Archdiocese of Birmingham newsletter 11th May 2023

Reflection, LOUDfence, Being a Welcoming Church 
Reflection for 6th Sunday of Easter   During these Easter days, the risen Jesus appears to his followers; he yearns for us with a burning desire and a love that is stronger than death. In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus promises us that he will not abandon us or leave us orphans. He will ask the Father to send us the Advocate or the Spirit of truth who will enable us to enjoy a life-giving encounter with him and more than this, to live in a communion of love with God and with our neighbour. It is this love that will transform our frail human knowing and loving, filling it with the very power of God’s own love.   This reminds me of the image of the boatman who feels the breeze on his face and lays down his paddle in order to trim the sail and benefit from the wind which now fills the unfurled sail, beautifully showing forth its potential and propelling the boat with great grace. With faith, let us trim the sail of our hearts and minds to receive the promised Advocate who is the very love of God; that we may gracefully live the commandments of Christ that establish us in communion with God and neighbour and gradually bring our love to maturity.   Fr Michael Dolman, Rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott
LOUDfence now underway at St Chad’s Cathedral   A LOUDfence outside St Chad’s Cathedral is adorned with messages from across the Archdiocese and beyond.   Visitors have been tying LOUD (brightly coloured) ribbons and messages of support to railings inside and outside the cathedral. The aim is to give survivors a voice, create and raise awareness in the community and work to end abuse.   There’s still time to contribute before the LOUDfence ends on Saturday 13 May.   If you cannot attend in person your virtual contribution can be added for you.    
Support LOUDfence
Sign up now for this month’s ‘Being A Welcoming Church’   The third session in the series takes place on Monday 22 May with a focus on Disability.   Father Hudson’s Care (FHC) is working with the Archdiocese on this project. It is a call for action around four areas of great need – Older People, Disability, Refugees and Homelessness.   The one-hour evening workshop includes the experience of those in parishes working at a local level and what parishioners are doing.   All are welcome to join the session, registration now open.    
Being A Welcoming Church
This Sunday: International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians   The Catholic charity Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East (FACE) is pleased to announce the annual International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians, which will take place on the Sixth Sunday of Easter (14 May), with the participation of Christians from all over Europe, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and India.   Parishes are invited to join together in prayer this Sunday.   More information and resources are available on our website (click below).    
Invite from FACE
Pact Roadshow rolls into Birmingham   This summer Pact, the national Catholic charity supporting prisoners and their families, will be hosting an event in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.   Organised in partnership with Caritas Birmingham, the roadshow will take place on Saturday 15 July in the Grimshaw Room on the St Chad’s Cathedral site.   It will be opened by Archbishop Bernard Longley.   All are welcome to meet Pact CEO Andy Keen-Downs, staff and volunteers working in the area, and its Faith in Action team, as well as prison chaplains and The Welcome Directory, a multi-faith charity.   Registration is now open.    
Pact Roadshow
Hednesford Pilgrimage, Sunday 2 July   All invited to pilgrimage to the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Hednesford, Staffordshire.   Refreshments available from 1pm – Rosary 3pm – Mass (including the sacrament of the sick) 4pm with Principal Concelebrant and Preacher Bishop Stephen Wright.   Please note this is an outdoor Mass and all are requested to bring their own chair.   
Hednesford Pilgrimage
Do you have a spare room in your home and a heart for those in need?   SJOG Homes for Ukraine is seeking hosts to open their homes to individuals and families displaced by the ongoing war in Ukraine. As an official provider of the government programme, SJOG Homes for Ukraine provides matching, training, and ongoing support to hosts and guests.   SJOG Homes for Ukraine ensures that the match is right by creating matches based on the requirements and preferences of both parties, mediating introductory calls for you to meet the family you will be hosting, paying for transfer from the Ukrainian border to the airport nearest to your home, providing a Welcome Box for Ukrainian guests upon arrival to make them feel welcome, as well as providing cultural orientation and training to both hosts and guests to ensure a successful living arrangement.   This can be an opportunity for you to change someone’s life and provide them with a safe place. Not only that, but you can also learn about Ukrainian culture, enrich your own life, and form a meaningful connection with those you will be helping.  
Urgent appeal for hosts
Jobs and opportunities across the Archdiocese   Including:    Part-time Chaplain at HMYOI Swinfen Hall – deadline to apply is Friday 19 May.   Head Teacher at St George’s Catholic Primary School, Worcester. September 2023 start.   College Priest Chaplain at Mount St Mary’s College, Derbyshire. September 2023 start.    
Jobs and Opportunities
  Dates for your diary: the month ahead  
Thu 11 – Sun 14 May: Cursillo Weekend  
Sat 13 May: Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham  
Sun 14 May: International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians  
Mon 15 May: Catholic Education in  21C Britain  
Mon 15 May: Vigil Lecture series starts online  
Sat 20 May: Christian Life Community Information Session  
Sun 21 May: Blessing of Hands at St Chad’s Cathedral  
Sun 21 May: World Communications Day  
Mon 22 May: Being a Welcoming Church: Session 3 – Disability  
Mon 22 May: Oxford Living Flame Group meeting  
Tue 23 May: Justice and Peace Forum  
Wed 24 May: Friendships: the Heart of Ecumenical Witness  
Thu 25 May: Monasticism and Christian Unity  
Fri 2 – Sun 4 June: Praying with the Saints Retreat  
Sat 3 June: Brother Michael Strode’s Centenary Mass  
Wed 7 June: Restore Training, week 1  
Sat 10 June: A Celebration of Servant of God, John Bradburne
  More Events  
Supporting your parish   You have asked us how you can continue giving to your parish.   Parishes still greatly need your support.   We do though recognise that many parishioners may be struggling financially, and there is no expectation to give where you are unable to do so.   You can donate via standing order or single donation.   Support your Parish
Please follow us online   If you are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram please follow the Archdiocese of Birmingham online.   Our accounts are being used more than ever before to share news, events and information.
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