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Jesus has given us his promise, and he shall never retract it
| All Saints Day: Wednesday 1 November. “Jesus has given us his promise, and he shall never retract it.”
On All Saints Day we celebrate all those people who are in heaven, those proclaimed by the Church through the respective popes as the successor of Peter to loose or bind, and those who are known to God and their fellow heavenly residents alone.
And the Beatitudes is a most apt gospel to use for today. Whilst we do not know the mind of God and mercy and salvation is from him alone, nevertheless if we reflect upon today’s gospel we shall see a litany of heavenly saints, because happy are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven; Happy the gentle, they shall have the earth for their heritage; Happy those who mourn, they shall be comforted; Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right,
they shall be satisfied; Happy the merciful, they shall have mercy shown them; Happy the pure in heart, they shall see God; Happy the peacemakers, they shall be called sons of God; Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right, theirs is the kingdom of heaven; Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. All of these will rejoice and be glad, for their reward is great in heaven as the Saints of God.
Jesus has given us his promise, and he shall never retract it, that those who live their lives contrary to the world view, contrary to the inherent sinful nature of fallen humanity and in accordance with a life of love will be blessed and ‘the kingdom of God will be theirs’.
Let us pray that the examples of those saints that we know to be in heaven, be they apostles, evangelists, martyrs, religious, bishops, priests, deacons, contemplatives and so on, have encouraged others to live the saintly life and will continue to do so for generations to come.
May we pray that we too will receive the greatest gift we could possibly receive. As fallen creatures we have no justification for the love and mercy of God, but his love for us, as his children, is so great that he would want us to be close to him. May we receive that gift, the sight of heaven, that we might be transformed into the beings that God wanted us to be from his creation.
That we might rejoice with all the saints in the heavenly host ‘Holy, holy, hold Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is yet to come’. Alleluia!
Friday 27 October, a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace
The Pope has called for a day of fasting, prayer and penance on Friday 27 October for an end to the Israel-Hamas war. That evening in St Peter’s Square, Rome, at 6pm, (UK time is 5pm) there will be an hour of prayer for peace in our world “in the spirit of penance” to implore God for “peace in our days, peace in this world”, he said. The Holy Father has invited believers of various Christian confessions and those belonging to other religious traditions to join, as well as all those “who carry in their heart the cause of peace in the world”. Parish and chaplaincy communities across the Archdiocese of Birmingham are encouraged to observe the request.
Day of Prayer
Mass for Peace in the Holy Land Invitation from the Midlands Section of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
On Saturday 28 October we will be celebrating the Feast of Our Lady, Queen of Palestine with Holy Mass at which the intention will be for peace in the Holy Land. All are invited to join us at this Mass for Peace. It will be celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Egwin, High Street, Evesham, Worcestershire, on Saturday 28 October at 11.30am. Let us pray for peace in the Holy Land.
Mass for Peace
New Director of Education Appointed
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Bell as the new Director of Education for the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Steve is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Painsley Catholic Academy- a multi academy company (MAC) comprising of 16 schools in Staffordshire. As Director of Education, Steve’s role will be to promote, communicate and implement the Archbishop’s vision for Catholic education in the Archdiocese. The role aims to build capacity, trust and strong relationships within the Archdiocesan family of schools; facilitating collaboration between MACs and schools to achieve continual school improvement and raise aspirations to be the school of choice for parents and children in the local area. Steve will formally start his new role during week commencing 13 November 2023 and will increase his time with the Diocesan Education Service (DES) from January 2024.
New Director of Education
This weekend: Justice and Peace Annual Assembly
Hosted by the Birmingham Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission. It takes place on Saturday 28 October in the Grimshaw Room, St Chad’s Cathedral site. Focused on Climate Action: responding to the climate crises in our homes, parishes and communities. Featuring guest speakers Tom Piotrowski, Diocesan Trustee, and Fr Robert Taylerson, Spiritual Director at St Mary’s College, Oscott.
Justice and Peace Assembly
Dance the night away at the ‘Fire and Ice’ charity ball
Fundraising event hosted by the Kenelm Youth Trust (KYT) at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, Saturday 11 November.
The theme of the Ball is ‘Fire and Ice’.
This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate youth ministry, particularly of everything that the Trust achieves year after year. The evening will also include individual awards that will specifically recognise exemplary commitment and dedication. Fire and Ice Ball
TODAY: Online Monthly Maintenance Surgery. October – gutter clearance Looking after our buildings, the tools of our ministry. This month’s online surgery is today, Thursday 26 October at 2pm.
As the final leaves fall from the trees it is time to start getting the building rainwater goods of gutters and downpipes cleared. Rainwater goods are there to direct water away from the building to the ground. Water will take the easiest route and so where rainwater goods are blocked then it will find other routes to the ground through the building fabric. This session will look at things to consider when getting your rainwater goods cleared and how the task can be undertaken for harder to reach areas. 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 Property Resources section of the Diocesan website.
Open for Applications: the Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund
A new fund which will help young adults – aged 18 to 35 – to experience ecumenism outside England is now open for applications. This experience can be study, pilgrimage, volunteering, or any activity that promotes church unity. The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund has been set up by Churches Together in England and the Snelson family in memory of Bill Snelson. A dedicated ecumenist, he was General Secretary of Churches Together England from 1997 to 2008. Grants from the Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund can be used to facilitate any ecumenical experience outside of England. Applications for The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund need to be submitted by Tuesday 31 October 2023.
Young Ecumenists Fund
How to Pray
This November, Sycamore and the Diocesan Office for Mission would like to introduce the prayer pathway, ‘How to Pray’ – a series of six sessions that can be run at church, at home or online – and which could be delivered as a Lent or Easter course, or at any time during the Year of Prayer and beyond. Could you use this prayer pathway as an opportunity to deepen understanding of prayer, or to discover other ways of prayer which could help renew the spiritual life of your parish? Join an online meeting on Tuesday 7 November to find out more or email Paul Northam at [email protected]
Year of Prayer 2024
Welcoming the Year of Prayer
An online event from Jesuits in Britain. ‘I would greatly desire that we devote 2024, the year preceding the Jubilee event, to a great “symphony” of prayer. Prayer, above all else, to renew our desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to him and to adore him.’ [Pope Francis] We will prayerfully welcome in the Year of Prayer in preparation for the Jubilee Year 2025 with a guided time of prayer around the theme of Jubilee and the opportunity to share in small groups. Wednesday 15 November, 19.30-20.45. This event is free, but please book.
Welcoming the Year of Prayer
Living with the Spirit of the Synod
The Jesuit Institute is pleased to announce that booking is now open for their autumn/winter programme of online prayer, workshops and courses. Living with the Spirit of the Synod 7, 11 and 14 November 2023 (runs again in January and July). Pope Francis encourages us to not only to engage in the Synod process but also to become living expressions of being Church. How might we respond to that invitation in our own lives and context that we might catch those grace-filled opportunities? Over this short online course of two evenings and a full day, we will explore these synodal expressions of mission, participation and community through shared experience, prayer, reflection and discussion. We hope that this will help us grow more as pilgrims of love, changed through encounter, listening and discernment. Come willing to be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit!
Living with the Spirit of the Synod
Blessing of Graves
All are welcome to the blessing of Graves and Holy Mass for all buried in St Joseph’s Cemetery, Thimblemill Lane, Nechells, Birmingham B7 5HT on Saturday 11 November at 11am.
St Joseph’s Nechells
National SVP 1833 Young Adults’ Retreat Friday 24 – Sunday 26 November.
Young adults aged 18 – 33, come and join the St Vincent de Paul Society for a weekend of meeting others who are passionate about making a difference in their local communities. It will be a weekend of prayer and reflection with times of volunteering and action, including a visit to St Vincent’s, Ely Bridge. Place: Hebron Hall Christian Centre, Cross Common Road, Dinas Powys, CF64 4YB Cost: £50.
SVP Young Adults Retreat
Thriving or Closing: Where is your parish going? Invitation from Divine Renovation.
Will my parish still be here in 10 years? If it were to close, would the community even notice? In the face of such sobering thought, the good news is that parishes can come to new life if they live their missionary identity and make new disciples. Think it’s time to take a more serious look into the problem of church decline? Join Bishop David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton, and Fr James Mallon on Tuesday 7 December in our online event, Thriving or Closing: Where is your parish going?
Where is Your Parish Going?
Faith in the Family Video Series
Faith in the Family is a new 15-part video series, offering an overview of key aspects of the Catholic Faith and its practice. Narrated by Fr Marcus Holden, from the Archdiocese of Southwark and featuring interviews from numerous parents, this series provides clear catechetical instruction and practical advice suitable for parishes, schools and homes. Each segment is around 7 – 8 minutes long, and is a wonderful resource to support and encourage a living faith in everyday life. The videos follow the chapters of the book Faith in the Family: A Handbook for Parents.
Marriage and Family Life
Latest jobs in the Archdiocese
Chief Executive Officer – Fr Hudson’s Care Based at St George’s House, Gerards Way, Coleshill, Warwickshire B46 3FG
Salary: £74,000 – £78,000 Per annum (dependent on experience) 37 hours per week Father Hudson’s Care is a Catholic charity serving the needs of vulnerable people, without discrimination, within the large Archdiocese of Birmingham. It is motivated by Gospel values and Catholic Social Teaching and takes Christ’s command to “Love one another” as its inspiration. Closing date to apply is Friday 27 October.
Governance Manager – Pope Francis Catholic MAC Permanent, part-time – 16 hours per week,
flexible, term-time + 2 additional weeks
Salary range Grade 11 (NJC points 31-34) to Grade 12 (NJC points 35-38)
FTE £37,261k to £44,539/pro-rata £13,822 to £16,522 The Pope Francis Catholic MAC in the Archdiocese of Birmingham currently comprises 11 Catholic schools in Oxfordshire, two secondary and nine primary schools. This is an extremely exciting time of expansion as we work towards the long-term strategic vision for the Archdiocese, to secure and protect the future of Catholic education. Reporting directly to the CSEL, based in either Oxford or Banbury with hybrid working, the post-holder will support the Board and Executive Leadership Team with all governance matters. Closing date – Monday 30 October.
Cemetery Assistant St Mary’s College, Oscott is seeking a Cemetery Assistant to assist the cemetery administrator and cemetery supervisor in ensuring the effective and efficient management of the cemetery, including assisting funerals directors, assisting with all burials and completing cemetery maintenance duties as required. Closing date – Friday 3 November.
Jobs and Volunteering
Dates for your diary: the month ahead
Fri 27 Oct: Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace
Sat 28 Oct: Annual Assembly, Birmingham J&P
Sat 28 Oct: Evangelisation: the Importance of Listening and Obedience
Sat 28 Oct: Mass for Peace in the Holy Land
Thu 2 Nov: Organ Recital at St Chad’s Cathedral
Sat 4 Nov: Christians in Health and Social Care: Ethics and Practice – session 2
Sat 4 Nov: The Blessing of Graves at Oscott Cemetery
Sat 4 and Sun 5 Nov: Johnson Association Annual Collection
Tue 7 Nov: Introduction event: Year of Prayer 2024
Tue 7 Nov – Tue 14 Nov: Living with the Spirit of the Synod
Wed 8 and Thu 9 Nov: Christian Resources Exhibition
Thu 9 Nov: In Our Time – The Changing Church, from Pius to Francis
Sat 11 Nov: Kenelm Youth Trust Fire and Ice Ball 2023
Wed 15 Nov: Welcoming the Year of Prayer
Fri 17 Nov: Mass of Thanksgiving for Bishop Stephen Wright
Sat 18 Nov: Day of Renewal, Coventry
Sat 18 Nov: #RedWednesday Day for University Students, Harvington Hall
Sun 19 Nov – Fri 24 Nov: Safeguarding Sunday and Safeguarding Adults Week
Tue 21 Nov: #RedWednesday Annual Schools Mass
Tue 21 Nov: Engaging the Disengaged with Sherry Weddell
Tue 21 Nov: Intentional Invitation: From Good Experiences to Life-Changing Encounter
Wed 22 Nov: #RedWednesday Schools Live Stream event
Thu 23 Nov: Symposium on the 11th Joint Catholic – Methodist Ecumenical Statement
Fri 24 – Sun 26 Nov: National SVP 1833 Young Adults’ Retreat
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