|Synod: ‘…to bring his Good News to all peoples’
| Reflection with Fr Jan Nowotnik A priest of the Archdiocese and Director of Mission at the Bishops’ Conference
Tomorrow (Fri) I shall be heading off to Rome to participate in the long-awaited Synod of Bishops, which begins with an ecumenical prayer vigil in St Peter’s Square on Saturday evening followed by a three-day retreat for synod participants in a retreat centre outside of Rome. The Holy Father has asked Catholics to join in prayer during this time of Synod to pray for a Spirit of discernment and wisdom for those attending, so that the whole Church may know the power of the Holy Spirit at work in these days. I hope that you will join in this prayer from your homes and parish communities, in our schools and chaplaincies so that the Synodal process is truly a moment of prayerful trust in the Lord. Central to this time of Synod is a desire to discern how the Lord wants us to follow him and be faithful to his call to bring his Good News to all peoples. This process is rooted in our baptismal vocation, that as the holy People of God we may know the power of God’s love and mercy revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ and experienced in the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this way we can be confident in the Lord’s promise to the Church, that he is with us always and we will be more ready to proclaim his name by what we say and do. Dear friends, let us pray that this time of synod will be a time of renewal in the Church and help us to be joyful in proclaiming the Gospel and the mission that Jesus has entrusted to us, the members of the Church.
Together – Gathering of the People of God
This Saturday (30) from 4pm, Christians from around the world are invited to join Pope Francis and other Christian leaders, seeking the blessing and guidance of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Synod. Together – Gathering of the People of God is an ecumenical prayer vigil in Rome. Join on YouTube
Previewing the Synod The Synod starts on Wednesday 4 October and is focused on the theme ‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission’. The Synod of Bishops will, for the first time, include non-Bishop voting members, comprising of a number of laymen and laywomen. In a preview video Fr Jan discusses what’s to come with theologian Professor Anna Rowlands.
| Now underway: 40 Days for Life
Help save lives by praying for an end to abortion in your community September 27- November 5. 40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses. On the website you can find resources and search for vigils on the map or submit your own.
40 Days for Life website
| Vocations Discussion Day
Join the North Staffordshire Deanery Vocations Promotions Group this Saturday, 30 September. To launch the Vocations Month in the North Staffordshire Deanery a Vocations Discussion Day is taking place. All welcome at St Teresa’s, Trent Vale. The day will start at 10am with Adoration and conclude with Holy Mass at 4pm.
Vocations Discussion Day
| Starts this Saturday: Prayer and Life Workshop
All are welcome to join to further develop their relationship with Jesus. A Prayer and Life Workshop starts at St Anne’s in Streetly this Saturday (30 Sept). The 15-week layperson-led programme will run from 10am to 12noon each Saturday, giving attendees the chance to further develop a relationship with Jesus, learn different prayer techniques and read scripture. Such workshops have previously been held elsewhere in the Archdiocese in north Staffordshire, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Prayer and Life Workshop
| Harvest 2023: Family Fast Day is next week!
Family Fast Day is on Friday 6 October. Join together with your parish, friends and family so that families around the world can have access to the medical care they need to survive in increasingly challenging circumstances.
By sharing a simple meal and giving what you save, you’ll be standing in solidarity with vulnerable people who are threatened by disease and poverty, displaced from their homes and communities by the climate crisis.
Family Fast Day: Harvest 2023
| Starts next week: Restore Autumn training course Three sessions on Tuesdays – 3, 10, 17 October. 7.15pm to 9.15pm.
This training is open to anyone who wants to find out more about refugee issues or who wants to explore the possibility of befriending a refugee or asylum seeker through Restore. (All welcome and no obligation to volunteering with Restore at the end).
The course is FREE of charge and is part of Restore’s work to raise awareness of refugee issues and motivate people for action.
Book for Restore
| St Edith Stein: Doctor of the Church?
St John Henry Newman Research Centre for Catholic Theology Presents:St Edith Stein: Doctor of the Church?
Free Online Academic Forum: All Welcome. Join us online on Wednesday 18 October at 6pm for the St John Henry Newman Research Centre for Catholic Theology’s Online Academic Forum, the latest in a series of occasional, public seminars by Maryvale academics. This time, Dr Robert McNamara, will be asking St Edith Stein: Doctor of the Church?
Online Academic Forum
| Human Rights in the Emerging Catholic Church, online and in-person assembly Sunday 8 to Saturday 14 October.
A lay-led Synodal Assembly hosted by Root & Branch and Spirit Unbounded. Root & Branch have been working with an international small group of activists and survivors of church-based abuse to develop the programme, ‘Shaking the Tree’: From Silence to Speech. It’s all focused on survivors stories of suffering abuse and deciding to share it for the first time, including reporting it to the church.
Join Assembly online or in-person
| Schools Media Competition: Biodiversity Matters The Season of Creation: 1 September – 4 October
The Columban Missionaries in Britain and Ireland announce the launch of their latest Schools Media Competition 2023-2024 which has the title: ‘Biodiversity Matters’. The launch is during the Season of Creation when Christian communities around the world focus on valuing and protecting God’s creation. And a core aspect of Columban mission is justice, peace and ecology. The competition is aimed at students aged between 13-18 years old who are invited to explore Biodiversity – the richness of life forms on Earth and which humanity relies on for health, food and well-being. It is looking for pieces of writing and images that demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the issue of Biodiversity and highlight people, communities and/or organisations trying to build a sustainable future.
Encouraging creativity and faith engagement with issues in the world today, this year’s competition welcomes both written and image entries until the closing date of 17 February 2024. Biodiversity Matters Competition
| Calling all young worshippers! 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.
| Birmingham Archdiocese invites pilgrims to explore holy route
A new collection of Catholic walking pilgrimages has been launched online, encouraging people of all faiths and none to explore some of the holiest sites in England and Wales.
‘Hearts in Search of God’ is a three-year project mapping out 22 pilgrimages, with each route starting at one of the 22 Catholic Cathedrals in England and Wales, before going on to at least one of the local Shrines, with the shortest route being 10 miles.
One of the newest routes is the St Chad’s Way, a 21.4 mile Pilgrim Way for the Archdiocese of Birmingham from the Cathedral of St Chad in Birmingham to St Chad’s Well and the Shrine of St Chad in Lichfield Anglican Cathedral. On the website you can find walking guides, GPX files, prayers and other resources, including a downloadable ‘Pilgrim Passport’, and a certificate at the end of your walk.
Pilgrim Ways – St Chad’s Way
| Jobs and Volunteering Opportunities
Father Hudson’s Care is recruiting for an experienced Family Support Worker to join their well-established schools-based family support team, which works with a variety of primary and secondary schools across the Newcastle Under Lyme/Staffordshire area. Salary: £28,177-£32,238 (pro rata for part time) Closing Date: Friday 29 September 2023
Jobs and Volunteering
| Coming soon: Support Prisoners’ Sunday with Pact
Pact (Prison Advice & Care Trust) is the national Catholic charity supporting prisoners, people with convictions and their families. Parishes are invited to help Pact build bridges of hope for prisoners and their families by marking Prisoners’ Sunday on 8 October. Every Catholic parish should now have received a Prisoners’ Sunday pack with a poster, bidding prayers, and a message from Pact President Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
| A Corporal Work of Mercy: Visit the prisoner
God calls each of us in different ways to serve Him and our neighbour. During Prisons Week, you are invited to join a live Zoom meeting online to hear the testimony of how a lay prison chaplain became involved in prison ministry and evangelisation. These hour-long informal talks will happen during October and will contain the same content: Tuesday 10th at 8pm, Wednesday 11th at 8pm, Friday 13th at 12:30pm.
Find out more
|Dates for your diary: the month ahead
Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct: Praying with the Saints Retreat
Sat 30 Sept: Online lecture: St Therese of Lisieux – her final September Sat 30 Sept: Vocations Discussion Day Sat 30 Sept: Prayer and Life Workshop starts
Tues 3 Oct: Restore Training Course, Oct, Session 1
Wed 4 Oct: Fit for Function event, Worcester
Thu 5 Oct: Quarant’ore Eucharistic Festival
Fri 6 Oct: CAFOD Family Fast Day
Sat 7 Oct: Annual Mass of Thanksgiving, Guild of St Stephen
Sun 8 – Sat 14 Oct: Human Rights in the Emerging Catholic Church, Assembly Sun 8 Oct: Prisoners’ Sunday
Tue 10 Oct: Restore Training Course October 2023 – session 2
Thu 12 – Sun 15 Oct: Cursillo Weekend – October 2023
Sat 14 Oct: Proud 2 Profess, Tamworth
Tue 17 Oct: Restore Training Course October 2023 – session 3
Wed 18 Oct: St Edith Stein: Doctor of the Church?
Wed 25 Oct: Online JustPeople Workshop
Sat 28 Oct: Annual Assembly, Birmingham J&P
| 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.
Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram/ Web/YouTube
|We hope you are finding this e-newsletter useful. Please share with anyone you think will benefit, and encourage them to subscribe via the website.
If you have any news, events or information you’d like to share this way please email it to [email protected] marked ‘For Newsletter’.
It’s great to see information coming into us which we can share with others, please keep it coming!