Following the Bishop’s letter on restructuring our parishes and last week’s celebration of the work of CARITAS with the publication of its annual review (which was an eyeopener to many) the diocese has launched two new projects.
The first is to support the many volunteers in our parishes who work as catechists. Catechists play an important role in this parish and I think this is a rather exciting project. It is a six-week course on Becoming Confident Catechists starting on Monday 27 February at Sts Aidan & Oswald’s Royton. It will provide an introduction to the role and ministry of the catechist, with the hope that it might encourage participants to take part, at a later stage, in further ongoing formation. It is designed to help catechists to approach their role with renewed energy and confidence and is suitable for those working with both adults and children – RCIA, sacramental preparation programmes, children’s liturgy, etc. Don’t let the cost deter you: the £40 course fee will be paid from parish funds. If you are interested or are simply curious to know more, please contact me.
A service which we do not have in the diocese at the moment is that of the Deacon. The ministry of the Permanent Diaconate (as opposed the Diaconate which is a stage in preparation to being ordained a priest) was re-introduced by the Church 50 years ago, following the Vatican Council. We are the only diocese in the country that does not have them! But no longer, for the diocese is to begin selecting candidates who feel called to this ministry. A candidate must be male, baptised and practicing, aged between 35 and 50 years old, married or single, be recommended by his parish priest. Successful candidates will follow a part-time five-year course before ordination and service in the diocese. If you are interested, please have a word with me.
I would be grateful if any past Eucharistic Minister who no longer serves on the rota but has a Pyx would return it to me as soon as possible. We need to keep account of these small receptacles which are used to take the Body of the Lord to our many housebound parishioners and residents in care homes.
On Wednesday, the Parish Forum meets in the parish hall at 7.30pm when we shall discuss these, the Parish Hall and a number of other important issues. Tea is served from 7.10; the meeting begins at 7.30 and will end by 9pm.
Please send any agenda items you may have to me before Wednesday morning.