Evangelisation at Christmas - The sister parishes of Ss Philip and James & Holy Cross in Bedford undertook to wrap 1500 copies of Matthew Kelly’s wonderful book, “Rediscover Jesus”! These will be distributed to everyone who attends one of the Christmas Masses. Over two days more than thirty people gathered to wrap each book and attach a gift sticker which reads: “A Gift: To celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ”. On each of the two days there was great joy, much laughter and also some friendly rivalry to see who could wrap the most books! Some parishioners are also able to advise on the best value for money wrapping paper and which is best for covering books! The books were available free to parishes via Fr James Mallon’s “Divine Renovation” conference that was held at St Mary's Catholic University (Twickenham, London) in October. The cost of printing and distributing the books were covered by a generous benefactor. We hope each person who receives the gift of a free book will rediscover (or discover for the first time) Jesus’ love for them and thus be drawn into fellowship with His Church.
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A Heart for Mission. A by-invitation conference was held on 4th February 2017 at Stony Stratford for parish evangelisation teams, Bible Timeline leaders and others interested. A full report is here.
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Proclaim 15: following the national Proclaim 15 event in July, there were two very special events held in Sept. and Oct. in Northampton diocese. Read more about them here
Gt. Missenden meeting
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Pentecost Novena May-June 2015
Click here for a newsletter recording the success of this initiative, and the winning poem entries
Click here for the Ecumenical Novena Prayer Service offered as part of the Pentecost 2015 initiative.
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NORES Summer School 2014
At the conclusion of the Year of Faith Pope Francis gave the Church the wonderful and inspiring Apostolic Exhortation THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL (Evangelii Gaudium).
On 24-26 July 2014 at the RE Centre, Luton there was a non-residential summer school where people from around the Diocese gathered to hear our invited speakers who led us in an overview of and reflection on some of the major themes of this document. Participants were encouraged in various ways to share the joy of the Gospel.
Here is a flavour of some of their responses to the question posed during the Summer School: “Jesus makes me joyful because…"
”Jesus makes me joyful because he gives me hope."
"Jesus makes me joyful because he gives me peace."
"Jesus makes me joyful because he loves me unconditionally, he has paid the price for my sins, his mercies are new every morning and his grace flows constantly, I know I can fully trust him."
"Jesus makes me joyful because he has redeemed me and given me the greatest gift - his very self."
On the first day of the Summer School Fr Simon Penhalagan presented a comprehensive overview of the document and unpacked the themes of ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ for us as well as sharing his practical experience of evangelisation. Fr Simon Penhalagan was ordained in June 2008, and three years ago returned to full time ministry within Sion Catholic Community for Evangelism where he serves as president.
On day two Monsignor Kevin McGinnell helped us to explore the theme of ‘Celebrating with Joy’ looking at the implications of the document for our understanding and celebration of liturgy and preaching. “The preacher has to contemplate the word, but he also has to contemplate his people.” (Evangelii Gaudium 154). There was also a Conference Mass with Bishop Peter Doyle during this second day of the summer school which was a great opportunity to celebrate our faith together with joy.
On the last day of the Summer School Tony Castle and Neil Roseman (Northampton Youth Ministry Office, NYMO) inspired us with resources and ideas to help us share the joy of the Gospel with young people. Those who gathered came away with lots of ideas and resources as well as details of events being run by NYMO that they can engage with.
Proceedings were concluded with a strawberry tea which befitted the wonderful summer weather we were blessed with throughout the three days. There will be another Summer School at the end of July in 2015 run by NORES details of which will be released in 2015.
Previous Summer Schools:-
2011. Ministries in the Church. Report here (WORD)
2010- A Missionary Church. Report here (PDF)
Bible Timeline. Working together with Fr Damien Walne, Elizabeth Duggan, Catherine Mulligan and others we helped publicise and support a 24 week Bible course called The Bible Timeline which took place January-June 2014 at the Diocesan Shrine at Great Billing. Details of this resource are on the Links page.
Pentecost Novena 2014
Between 30th May and 7th June the Diocesan Evangelisation Team ran a Pentecost Novena during which prayer services were held throughout the Diocese to pray for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. A full report, with pictures of the wonderful winning entries from the Schools Art Competition, and further reflections about the Holy Spirit, is here. On right is the Key Stage 3 winning entry by Daria Szmitzka from St Thomas More, Bedford.
A similar initiative was undertaken in 2013 - read its full report here
Parish Small Communities Open Meeting - March 2014
Experience from other countries has shown that there is a great potential for Parish Small Communities both in encouraging mission and for building community within the parish. A small group from St Peter’s RC Parish, Rushden have been to Milan to receive formation. and during the afternoon Monica and Carole shared an overview of what they discovered. The parish hope to formally launch the project later in the year. Read the full report here
The Philip Course is a simple evangelisation course that gives participants the opportunity to revisit the profound and life changing message of the Good News . A meeting was held about it in November 2010 - report here.
Initiatives for the Year of Faith 2012-2013 and a Song for the Year of Faith
As a way of attempting to help spread the message of the Year of Faith, particularly to young people and those in Catholic Schools, a song ‘This is the Year of faith’ was written and made available. During the Year of Faith it was sung not just in the Diocese of Northampton but in other parts of the UK and beyond with reports coming in from places as far afield as Japan, Canada and the USA saying they were enjoying singing the song as part of their celebrations for the Year of Faith. With the NORES Vatican II Lecture series, Year of Faith Retreats in parishes, a Reconciliation Service in Lent and the Joyful Mystery Rosary Concerts by Team member Teresa Brown, we found various ways to profile the unique opportunity provided by the Year of Faith
Diocesan Evangelisation Days
2011 - The Hope of God’s Call
On Saturday 19th March 2011, the Diocesan Evangelisation Team hosted an evangelisation day at St Edwards Primary School, Kettering attended by 70-80 people. The title was a reflection on a passage from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Ch 1:18-19). Read more
2010 - You will be my witnesses
Around 60 people gathered at St Joseph’s Parish Church in Chalfont St Peter for the third annual diocesan evangelisation day themed ‘You will be my witnesses’.Led by Clare Ward (Home Mission Desk, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales) and Christian mime artist Steve Murray, attendees explored what it means to share the Catholic Faith as individuals and within a parish context. Read the full report here
2009 - Set Apart for the Gospel
On Saturday 7th March 2009 the newly commissioned Diocesan Evangelisation Team organised a Day at St John’s RC Parish, Luton with enough supporters to pack the parish hall gathered from around the Diocese. After prayer, singing and reflection we listened to Michelle Moran of the Sion community who challenged us to truly be a light in the darkness of people’s lives especially now in this time where materialism seems to be faltering. Read the full report here