Archdiocese of Birmingham newsletter 7th March 2024

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Stations of the Cross

Fourth Lent Reflection on Prayer – Stations of the Cross

One of the beautiful Lenten disciplines we undertake is praying the Stations of the Cross.  

St Francis of Assisi, at the time when pilgrims were unable to go to the Holy Land because of the Crusades, was the first person we know of to encourage a prayer procession using a sequence of scenes from the passion and death of Christ. 

Through the following centuries, a range of sets of ‘stations’ were used throughout the Church. In the 18th century St Alphonsus of Liguori composed a set of reflections and prayers based on a set of 14 stations. 

Partly through the popularity of St Alphonsus’ ‘Way of the Cross’, this set of 14 stations now adorns many Catholic churches, and his prayers and reflections are still popular today. In St Alphonsus’s prayers, at each station, we pray: 

“I love you Jesus, my love above all things.
I repent with my whole heart for having offended you.
Never permit me to separate myself from you again.
Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.” 

It is one of my favourite prayers throughout the year, but especially in Lent. There is so much in it that I find it difficult to focus my heart on all the phrases at once. This year I find myself drawn most often to the phrase, “Never permit me to separate myself from you again.” Read through the prayer slowly and ask yourself, “Which phrase do I find myself most drawn to?” 

Fr Robert Taylerson, Spiritual Director at St Mary’s College, Oscott

Tomorrow – Day of Prayer for Peace

Archbishop Bernard Longley is taking up the invitation of Cardinal Vincent Nichols to dedicate tomorrow, Friday 8 March, as a special day of Prayer for Peace in the Holy Land. 

All parishioners across the Archdiocese are invited to pray for this intention.

Great news! 33 Diocesan schools achieve CAFOD’s LiveSimply award

100 schools nationwide have now achieved the LiveSimply Award.  

A third of which – 33 – are schools of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. 

The LiveSimply Award, championed by CAFOD, the Catholic international development charity, recognises schools and parishes that pledge to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities.  

Congratulations to all our schools who have achieved the award so far.

Open invitation to a talk on Medical Detection Dogs

Hosted by the Catholic Women’s League in Birmingham. 

10.30am refreshments for 10.45am start on Saturday 9 March at St Ambrose Barlow RC Church Hall, Lakey Lane, Hall Green, Birmingham. 

The charity Medical Detection Dogs trains dogs to detect the odour of human disease with the aim of developing faster, more efficient and less invasive diagnostics that lead to better patient outcomes. 

They are at the forefront of the research into the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and bacterial infections.   

Find out more at this Saturday’s talk, all welcome.

Next week – North Staffs Deanery Vocations Mass

You are most welcome to join us as we all come together from parishes and schools from around the Deanery to pray for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life.

Tuesday 12th March, 6pm, at St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Stoke-on-Trent.

Could you or your business sponsor t-shirts for the youth teams attending Lourdes?­

Every year our young people do us proud on the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage.

They give their time to help our VIPs (assisted pilgrims) participate fully in the pilgrimage and experience the love of God through the care, love and friendship that they receive. 

Our young pilgrims show that they are part of the same journey with t-shirts and neckerchiefs and we are in need of new stock for this year’s pilgrimage.  

With your name or logo on our sleeve, we will keep you in our hearts as we come in procession to meet Jesus Christ through Our Lady. 

For more information, please contact Maria Bracken, Youth Ministry Co-ordinator: 

[email protected] 

Date for the diary! CELEBRATE Joy national weekend­

Organised by the CELEBRATE Trust. 

A new national CELEBRATE weekend for all the family, entitled CELEBRATE Joy, will take place over Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 September at St Thomas Aquinas School, Birmingham.  

We are planning an event where all ages will be refreshed in the love and joy of God. 

We are inviting inspirational speakers to reawaken faith through talks, worship, workshops, prayer ministry. 

Bishop David Evans and Bishop David Oakley will be celebrating Mass for us, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available during the weekend.

Reflection: By the Wounds of Christ­

Musical and Scriptural event at Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield. 

Friday 15 March at 7pm.

St Patrick’s Day Mass and Parade

­Sunday 17 March in Digbeth, Birmingham. 

Mass at 10am at St Anne’s, celebrated by Bishop David Evans, followed by a parade organised by Birmingham Irish Association.

Tabor Living – Volunteer Open Day­

Tabor Living invites you to join us at our next Volunteer Open Day on Sunday 17 March, starting at 1pm. 

Be there for 1pm for a presentation, tour and time for questions.   

Volunteers are at the heart of Tabor Living and have helped change the lives of homeless individuals since we opened in September 2017.

Out now: Episode 3 of ‘Pause for Prayer’­

The latest video reflection is now available to watch on our website as we continue our Year of Prayer journey.

In this episode we take a deep dive into the ‘Our Father’.  

Firstly in the context of the Mass with Fr Marco Egawhary, assistant priest at Sacred Heart and Holy Souls, Acocks Green. 

Then looking at the Our Father as a prayer of unity, with Pastor Robert Mountford of Birmingham Churches Together. 

Plus prayer intentions for the month ahead with Jane Roberts, parishioner of St Mary’s, Harborne.

Starts next week – Dementia Prayer Week

­Dementia Prayer Week, previously run by the Pastoral Care Project, now features under Redemptorist Publications pastoral outreach initiative. 

It runs annually from 12 -19 March with the aim to raise awareness and a deeper understanding of the spiritual needs of people living with dementia.

Year of Prayer: St Michael’s Sonning Common parish event­

Exploring Prayer – A Lenten Retreat 

Led by Deacon Brian Theobold and parishioners. 9.45am – 2.30pm on Saturday 9 March, beginning in the parish hall. 

A day to discover or rediscover traditional forms of prayer and an opportunity to explore new ways of praying. 

Please let us know of Year of Prayer events your parish is hosting via [email protected] and we can promote here:

Next week – ACTA event: Embracing the Synod in your Parish­

Tuesday 12 March, 7pm: ‘Encouraging Lay and Clergy Collaboration’ with Fr Michael White. 

Fr Michael White of St John the Baptist with Sacred Heart Parish in Tamworth, Staffordshire has agreed to lead us in a Zoom meeting at which we can discuss and discover ways to build lay participation and collaboration in our own parishes.  

Fr Michael runs a very busy parish in Tamworth with much lay involvement and significant links to the wider local community. 

Next week – Grandparents’ Faith Cafe ­

Catholic Grandparents Association Faith Cafe: An online social and spiritual space for Grandparents.  

The next Faith Cafe will be on Zoom, Tuesday 13 March at 7.30pm with special guest Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly.

Day of Recollection, Hednesford

Hosted by the Birmingham Lourdes Hospitalite, Saturday 16 March, at Our Lady of Lourdes.

An opportunity to gather as a Lourdes family and prepare for pilgrimage.  

Mass, rosary, Stations of the Cross, shared lunch.

Jobs and Volunteering

Deputy Diocesan Solicitor

The Archdiocese is looking to appoint an experienced Deputy Diocesan Solicitor to support the Diocesan Solicitor in providing high quality legal advice to the trustees of the Birmingham Diocesan Trust (BDT), colleagues and clergy.   

The work will from the outset include general property work, particularly title investigation, advice on property issues and queries, agreements relating to property and property transactions.  

Deadline for applications is Monday 18 March.  

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Volunteers The charity needs help with:

  • Sharing mailings with your parish
  • Including ACN regularly in parish prayers
  • Fundraising to support projects
  • Supporting ACN school projects
  • Leading a parish Red Wednesday event

Marriage Care Trustees

The board of Catholic Marriage Care are seeking new members to join them in enabling the vital relationship support services they provide to the Catholic Community and beyond. 

Marriage Care are the largest faith-based relationship support charity in the UK – providing marriage preparation, support, and low-cost relationship counselling to those in need and making the world of difference to couples and families.    

Pact (Prison Advice & Care Trust)

Pact are seeking a Senior Development Manager (Major Donors).  

Deadline for applications is Sunday 31 March.

Dates for your diary: the month ahead  
Fri 8 – Sun 10 Mar: Altar Servers Retreat ‘Called to Serve’  
Fri 8 MarDay of Prayer for Peace  
Sun 10 Mar: Youth Mass at Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield  
Tues 12 Mar: Online discussion – ‘Encouraging Lay and Clergy Collaboration’  
Tues 12 Mar: North Staffs Deanery Vocations Mass  
Tues 12 – Tues 19 Mar: Dementia Prayer Week  
Fri 15 Mar: Reflection: By the Wounds of Christ  
Sat 16 Mar: What Does It Mean to be Human? Portsmouth Symposium  
Sat 16 Mar: Birmingham Lourdes Hospitalite Day of Recollection  
Sun 17 Mar: St Patrick’s Day Mass and Parade  
Sun 17 Mar: Tabor Living Volunteer open event  
Tues 19 Mar: Greenwashing webinar  
Thu 21 Mar: Webinar: Introduction to Animal Rights from a Faith perspective  
Thu 21 Mar: Divine Renovation and Alpha event: The Future is Now: Empowering Young People in Parish Renewal   
Sat 23 Mar: Born For This: Production

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