Today we welcome Sr Renate Ziaja to preach this year’s Mission Appeal on behalf of her sisters working in the developing world. As you probably know the Catholic Church is the largest provider of medical care, education and other social services in Africa alone. This practical application of the Gospel message worldwide – including countries such as India or Mongolia – is largely due to the work of religious sisters (nuns). Today offers us an opportunity to support them in prayer and with financial help.
When I was asked what the Church will do to protest the huge hike in bus fares for pupils attending St Augustine’s my reply was to call a meeting. Parents have two great weapons: parent and voting powers. So there will be a meeting on Wednesday in the Parish Centre at 7.30pm that will be attended by Mr Michael Wright and myself to encourage parents to organise themselves to protest and create a great who-ha that politicians may ignore at their peril. The meeting is open to parents of pupils at St Augustine’s regardless of parish.
Over the past couple of years there have been two attempts to legalise assisted dying (assisted suicide or euthanasia by other names) and both were decisively defeated not by hard hearted Jurassic remnants of another age but by people concerned to protect the vulnerable and the aged in our society who undoubtedly will come under pressure to die if such a law were introduced. It is no coincidence that every society and organisation in this country that supports disabled people is vehemently against the introduction of such a law! Right to Life has proved to be the most effective organisation in tutoring, lobbying and encouraging opposition within Parliament. But this work costs money. Please support the sponsored walk on Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May, either by walking and collecting sponsorship or by sponsoring a walker. Fr Frankie and I shall both be walking.
Finally, you may be forgiven for thinking that the Jesuits have returned to Clitheroe! On Friday, Fr Frankie and I shall be joined by Mark Paver who is nearing the completion of his studies for the priesthood. Mark will be with us for two months but should have arrived four months ago! However the Parish priest he was stationed with fell seriously ill, and Mark was left to run the parish for a couple of months. So, fingers crossed that he won’t launch a takeover here.