Dear Friends in Christ
The month of September is devoted to the Holy Cross; the feast of The Triumph of the Cross is celebrated this week on Thursday. Last week in the Gospel we heard Jesus tell his disciples that if they wished to follow Him then they must take up the Cross every day and follow in his footsteps. This is not a passive acceptance of the trials and sufferings that come our way, but rather an active and conscious decision to walk behind Jesus as he goes towards Jerusalem, to suffer and die for us. Our Christian life and vocation has its roots in the shape of the Cross and at times of the year such as this, we can reflect more deeply upon the practical implications of being part of the mystery of the Cross of Christ.
As we are now just a month away from the start of our Parish Mission - 7th - 15th October - I would remind you of the ways I suggested we can prepare: As part of the preparation, and by way of out reach or evangelisation to all of the people in our Parish, I am asking that, as in our previous Mission we will circulate a small flyer giving details of the Mission, to every household within the Parish. This is a big undertaking and I am asking us to begin this week in delivering leaflets in the street in which you live or one adjacent. These leaflets will be available at the back of church this weekend; they are divided alphabetically into roads and I would ask you to take those for your road or one nearby (where the roads are small several have been grouped together). Please be generous and take as many as you feel able to distribute. The Leigh Times will also print a full-page ad for us.
I ask us all to seriously commit to these eight days of Parish Mission by, firstly praying the Mission Prayer each day. Secondly, to attend the liturgies of the Mission each day by coming to Holy Mass (6.30am or 9am) and the evening Service and Talk, 8pm. Two priests from the Norbertine Priory in Chelmsford - Abbot Hugh Allan and Fr Stephen Morrison - will be leading the days. The theme will be: The Catholic Faith - Ever Ancient Ever New. Hopefully we can follow-up the Mission with the launch of a programme of Discipleship for Evangelisation as envisaged by our Diocesan-wide Stewards of the Gospel initiative; but more about that later!
Msgr Kevin Hale