A small team of parishioners from Billing and the Sacred Heart parish, Northampton got together to prepare a day of prayer to conclude the year of mercy on the 19 November. Felicity, a CAFOD volunteer writes :
We were totally unsure about the number of people who might attend. Lorraine our parish administrator produced a colourful poster and sent it to parishes within our pastoral area. Emails were sent to remind friends and neighbours of our intending Day of prayer and we were blessed with an almost “full house” for this event with 32 participants.”
The day began with holy mass for our intentions. After refreshments there were two short talks relating to “How has the year of mercy affected us” and the Pope’s encyclical – Laudato Si ’. We used CAFOD’s study guide for the latter which was so helpful as it invited us to reflect on some of the key themes of Laudato Si’ and to explore ways of taking action. The 4 key themes were :
- Creation is a caress of God. Scripture reveals that God created the world and it is good
- Climate is a common good. We each have a particular responsibility to protect creation.
- A universal family. We are on an earthly pilgrimage together.
- We were made for love. We are called to respond in solidarity with our global family and all of creation.
Each group took one of these themes, discussed and summarised it onto flip chart paper, then presented their aspect to the rest of the company. This worked very well and produced a lively discussion. We stopped for an enjoyable shared lunch and then proceeded to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour for adoration, prayers and hymns. This enabled us all to meditate and reflect on what we had heard and discussed in the morning. After benediction and a special blessing from Fr Jerry, I concluded with a prayer from Pope Francis:
“In the silence of the cross, the uproar of weapons cease and the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue and peace are spoken. I ask the Lord that we Christians and our brothers and sisters of other religions and every man and women of good will, cry out forcefully; violence and wars are never the way to peace.”
The feeling of the day was very uplifting and refreshing and all felt they benefitted from it. ”
Well done to Felicity, Fr Jerry and all who organised the day and those who attended it!If you would like to hold such sessions in your parish, please get in touch or visit our website for more prayer resources.