On 5th August, Pope Francis set the Church a new challenge:
And so we can ask ourselves: today, in what way can we help heal our world? As disciples of the Lord Jesus, who is the physician of our souls and bodies, we are called to continue “His work, work of healing and salvation” (CCC, 1421) in a physical, social and spiritual sense…Pope Francis, General Audience, 5th August, 2020
In the next few weeks, I invite you to tackle together the pressing questions that the pandemic has brought to the fore, social ills above all. And we will do it in the light of the Gospel, of the theological virtues and of the principles of the Church’s social doctrine. We will explore together how our Catholic social tradition can help the human family heal this world that suffers from serious illnesses. It is my desire that everyone reflect and work together, as followers of Jesus who heals, to construct a better world, full of hope for future generations (see Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii gaudium, 24, November 2013, no. 183). Thank you.
You can find out more about Pope Francis’ Vatican Covid-19 Commission and the amazing work going on here http://www.humandevelopment.va/en/vatican-covid-19.html
Starting on the 21st September, our diocese will respond to this challenge with a set of free webinars. Tackling subjects such as outreach, spirituality and mission, the sessions will help us reflect on our priorities going forward.
21st Sep The Post-Lockdown Church – Bishop David Oakley
Video coming soon
Bishop David’s questions:
1. Do you think that the current pandemic is highlighting existing problems in the Church or pointing us towards something new?
2. Do you see the pandemic as threat or opportunity?
3. Do you think you are able to name one thing you have learnt from this evening’s talk?
Some of the references mentioned by Bishop David:
Here is the Instruction from the Congregation of Clergy on The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church which Bishop David quoted from.
Information about the new Directory for Catechesis can be found here.
Fr James Mallon’s book, Divine Renovation, which Bishop David quoted from, became an international organisation. More details about that and the book here. Hannah Vaughan-Spruce, Divine Renovation UK Executive Director, will be speaking on Community in week 4.
St Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life can be found online as a pdf here.
Also mentioned that evening:
Jean Johnson alerted us to the Middlesbrough Diocese Mass phone line: 01642 130120. This is to enable those without access to the internet to be able to hear Mass over the phone. You can ring at any time and it starts automatically.
28th Sep Mission in a digital age – Brendan Thompson, CEO of Catholic Voices
Find out more about Catholic Voices here: https://www.catholicvoices.org.uk
Read the brand new Catholic Voices report into how Catholics in the UK responded to Coronavirus, including: what were people feeling and doing during lockdown; how active were parishes, and what sort of thing did clergy find themselves doing; what did Catholics think of online worship; and will they go back to real life services?
5th October Making it real: a parish for the poor – Professor Francis Davis, University of Birmingham
Francis Davis is a specialist both in researching the Catholic Church and in public policy. He has been described by the Tablet as one of the 100 most influential Catholics, and has advised government up to Cabinet level). His work regularly features on through the Catholic press and on the BBC. He has been involved with founding over 40 social ventures and is currently researching the impact of social action in Catholic parishes and organisations. He has a wealth of experience, and a lot of stories to tell!
12th October Building Community in the post-lockdown Church – Hannah Vaughan-Spruce, Divine Renovation UK Executive Director.
The Divine Renovation movement came from a book written by Fr James Mallon, based on his experiences of transforming a church in Toronto. The DR organisation has a lot of expertise in enabling churches to become outward looking, welcoming communities, nurturing missionary disciples. You can find out about it here, together with a series of helpful Parish Conversations videos on useful topics.
19th October The God who Speaks in all seasons – Fleur Dorrell, Director of the God Who Speaks Campaign, Bishops’ Conference
26th October Catechetics: adjusting to the new normal – Veronica Murphy, Coordinator for Adult Faith Formation, Archdiocese of Liverpool, and Alex Heath, NORES
2nd November “Dig deeper little bird”: holding on to joy in troubling times – David Wells
9th November Thinking ahead: next steps for the post-lockdown Church – Fr Matthew Nunes, Moderator of the Liverpool Synod, Episcopal Vicar for Formation
This page will host the videos and resources from the talks for parishes to use in their own time.
For more resources in this area, including talks by other speakers, technical help for parishes, and running prayer groups online, see http://formationpathways.co.uk/postlockdownparish/