|“His mercy is from age to age”
| Reflection: World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly “His mercy is from age to age” (Lk 1:50) is the theme of this Sunday’s 3rd World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, and it presents to us the joyful meeting of the young Mary and her older relative, Elizabeth. Pope Francis wants to draw our attention to this meeting as an icon for this year’s celebration, and to what Church of today can learn from it.
He encourages the whole Church to, “celebrate this Day and to make it the occasion of a joyful and renewed encounter between young and old.” Taking advantage of its close proximity to World Youth Day, he also asks the young people attending: “before you set out on your journey, visit your grandparents or an elderly person who lives alone!”
The invitation to celebrate the day is particularly extended to parishes this July, and to make the Sunday Mass a focal point of generational encounter. Parishes can arrange visits to the elderly, particularly those who are alone, invite the elderly to attend the Sunday Mass, and help young and old in preparing for the day, using the liturgical resources. To facilitate a joyful meeting, like the one presented to us in the account of the Visitation, you might consider the following:
• Plan coffee and cake after Mass, or have a parish picnic.
• Encourage grandchildren to bring grandparents to Mass.
• Encourage grandparents to bring grandchildren to Mass.
• Schools could host refreshments for grandparents or the elderly before the summer break, or visit a local care home.
• Arrange activities for families.
• Have a photographic display of grandchildren and their grandparents.
• Bring young and old together to pray the official prayer.
A Plenary Indulgence is granted to those elderly who attend one of the Masses in person to observe the day or, if unable to attend Mass for health reasons, take part via a streamed/broadcast Mass. Visiting an elderly person is also one of the possibilities of obtaining a Plenary Indulgence.
Above all, Pope Francis tells us, this day is an opportunity to remind our world that God does not abandon the elderly, as happens all too often in our time, and He desires young people to bring joy to the hearts of the elderly. What will you do to make this image of Mary and Elizabeth incarnate in our Catholic communities?
Information and Resources
| TOMORROW: Online Open Day for Maryvale Institute’s BDiv and Licence Programmes The Bachelor of Divinity (BDiv) and Licence Programmes at Maryvale Higher Institute of Religious Sciences (HIRS) will be running from January, allowing us to begin recruiting new students immediately.
The Maryvale HIRS is the only ecclesial institute of this kind in the English-speaking world. It operates both the B.Div and Licence Programmes.
The Ecclesiastical BDiv is a five-year part-time, collaborative-learning degree programme in Catholic theology providing a comprehensive exposition and analysis of Christian doctrine based on the study of the sacred Scriptures, the works of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the documents of the Magisterium.
The Licence in Divinity: Pathway in Catechetical Sciences is another qualification of the Holy See, distinct from an STL, It is a three-year, part-time, programme aimed at those in leadership positions in catechetics and in other positions of responsibility.
Maryvale Institute is running an online Open Day for both programmes on Friday 21 July at 6pm. Contact [email protected] for a link.
BDiv and Licence Open Day
| Online mini-retreat – Healing and Evangelisation Invitation from ADoRE (Alton Day of Renewal). Saturday 22 July, 10am to 1pm. The guest speaker is Marcin Stetner of the Cor et Lumen Christi Charismatic Community. Marcin is a gifted preacher and God uses him powerfully in healing. He will focus on showing why healing was such an important element of Christ’s mission, and is so effective in our own efforts to evangelise.
| “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 4th, 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 you parish or your prayer groups.
Preparing for the Season of Creation
| Harvington’s first History Festival is less than a week away From 25-30 July Harvington Hall in Worcestershire will hold the first ever Harvington History Festival, with a line-up of 17 historians, authors and broadcasters including Jessie Childs, Ruth Goodman and Tracy Borman as well as a concert celebrating the sacred works of Byrd. Don’t miss out- only a few tickets are still available!
Harvington stands as a significant testament to the English Martyrs. With its rich history and remarkable collection of priest hides, some almost certainly crafted by St Nicholas Owen himself, Harvington offers a unique glimpse into the struggles and resilience of the Catholic community during the English Reformation.
This year holds a special significance for the Hall as it celebrates the centenary of its rescue from ruin in 1923.
Harvington History Festival
| Booking now open for Oscott tours Taking place on Wednesdays throughout the academic year. Bookings now open from September 2023 onwards. St Mary’s College, Oscott, in Sutton Coldfield, is a residential training college for young men who have entered into the vocation of training to be part of the Catholic Priesthood. It has been at its present location since 1838 and was decorated by the eminent Victorian architect, Augustus Welby Pugin. As a residential facility, the college is private property and not normally open to the public. Tickets are £10 which includes refreshments.
Visit St Mary’s College, Oscott
| Online Monthly Maintenance Surgery, Thursday 27 July Visual inspection – decoration, tiles, peeling paint With hopefully glorious weather in July where better to be than outside. This is a great opportunity to undertake a visual inspection of your buildings. This session will look at how you can use the QI to aid your inspections, what to look for and useful equipment that will aid in the surveying of your parish buildings. This month’s online surgery is on Thursday 27 July at 2pm.
To sign up to the surgeries please email [email protected]
As always, Tom and Tarnia from the Diocesan Property Team are on hand to help. Just email them at: Tom – [email protected]
Tarnia – [email protected]
For a full list of the maintenance surgery topics this year please visit the Diocesan website:
| Their Journey Our Legacy: A Celebration of the Windrush 75 Generation The West Indian Chaplaincy in Birmingham will be holding an evening of ‘Edutainment’ on Saturday 29 July at St Francis’ Parish Centre in Handsworth. We aim to showcase Caribbean culture, heritage and talent in various forms of Edutainment, fashion, bright and vibrant cultural clothing accompanied by various genres of music and dance. Dr Tony Talburt, Senior Lecturer in Black Studies at Birmingham City University will be the keynote speaker. Plus speakers on: the history of music contributions (reggae, steel pan playing); contributions to the NHS and UK armed forces; stories of local people. The event is free.
Windrush 75 Celebration
| Harvington’s Pilgrimage celebrates 100 years since Hall’s rescue from oblivion Sunday 3 September from 1.45pm.
We give thanks for the lives of all of the martyr saints, those recognised on earth as saints of the Church and those known only to God. Every September hundreds of pilgrims gather in the beautiful grounds of Harvington Hall, Worcestershire, for the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of the English Martyrs.
This year is extra special as it marks the centenary of Harvington’s rescue from ruin by Ellen Ferris, who gifted the Hall to the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
The moated property, which was gifted to the Archdiocese in 1923, has the greatest number of priest hides of any house in the country.
Master builder St Nicholas Owen, believed to have been the creator of four of them, is remembered during the Archdiocese’s annual pilgrimage to commemorate the English Martyrs at Harvington Hall.
To mark this milestone in our history we are pleased to announce that His Grace, Archbishop Bernard Longley will be the principal celebrant of this year’s Pilgrimage Mass.
We hope you can join us to support this act of devotion to the Martyrs of the Midlands.
| Volunteer with Friends of the Holy Land Pilgrimage Liaison Volunteer Role Can you offer us a few hours each week?
Do you want to help support Christians in the Holy Land?
Do you enjoy Googling?
Are you familiar with spreadsheets? This role may be for you!
Jobs and Volunteering
| Dates for your diary: the month ahead
Fri 21 July: Online Open Day for Maryvale courses
Sat 22 July: Online mini-retreat on healing and evangelisation
Sun 23 July: 3rd World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
Wed 26 – Sat 29 July: Society of Saint Gregory Summer School
Sat 29 July: Celebration of the Windrush 75 Generation
Mon 31 July: New Dawn in the Church, Walsingham
Tue 1 – Sun 6 August: World Youth Day – Lisbon
Thurs 3 August: Free organ recital with Paul Carr – St Chad’s Cathedral
Thurs 10 August: Free organ recital with Andrew Wyatt – St Chad’s Cathedral
Sun 13 – Thurs 17 August: KYT host Summer Camp
Mon 14 – Fri 18 August: Catholic Charismatic Conference
Thurs 17 August: Free organ recital with John Pryer – St Chad’s Cathedral
| 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
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