August 1 - Monday
A TALK ON POVERTY, CHASTITY AND OBEDIENCE
When I'm in Dublin Fr John, our novice master at the community on the Inchicore Rd, usually asks me to give a talk to the novices. There are two novices in the community at the moment who come from a country that cannot be mentioned in a web page because their country is still very much under the thumb of the communists, and if they googled and found out they were preparing for the priesthood and religious life they could be in trouble.
The novitiate is a spiritual year where people who have asked to join our community live our life, learn about it and prepare to take their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. When we have finished our novitiate we take temporary vows for a year. These can be renewed for 3-9 years before taking Final Vows. We need to be in Final Vows before we can be ordained to the priesthood. Last week at Malpas the group met Brother Richard who looks after the dining room and Brother Joseph who is retired but is not shy about telling his jokes or trying to sell his daliesque paintings. This raised the question about the difference between Brothers and Priests. We all become Brothers when we take our first vows. There is no distinction between us in terms of religious life, but before we take our Final Vows we have to say whether it is with the intention of becoming a priest or not. Most in our community become priests. A Brother is the male equivalent of a Sister.
The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are also called the evangelical counsels, based on the advice that Jesus gives in the Gospels. The vows are not just confined to these three aspects, but sum up the intention to live according to the life and teaching of Jesus. All Christians are called to live this way, but Religious make a public commitment of it.
Another time I will go into the vows in more detail. I stressed to the novices that they must be prepared to commit themselves to what the Church and the community understands by the vows, yet on the other hand they must be able to personalise them and reflect on what will be more difficult for them and how they see themselves being freed up to dedicate themselves to the work of the Church and the community. It is also good to make up a personal vow, based on our experience of life, our gifts and talents and struggles. The founder, Leo Dehon, wrote a personal vow based on his determination to live his life based on love, accepting God's love and trying to love in return.
Why not write your own prayer dedication to God, even if it is just a sentence or a phrase, even a sigh or a wish. It can sum up where we see ourselves in life and where we would like to grow under God's protection. Don't make silly promises. Two people might commit themselves to each other at all kinds of levels. Why not do that to God, because he is committed to us.
August 2 - Tuesday
LEO DEHON'S PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Yesterday I wrote about vows and suggested that we write a prayer of dedication ourselves. The following is something that Leo Dehon wrote in 1878, the year he founded the Priests of the Sacred Heart. He called it "The Pact of Love". He renewed it every day.
Pact of Love
before you and your Heavenly Father,
in the presence of
Mary Immaculate, my Mother,
and Saint Joseph, my protector,
I vow to dedicate myself
from love alone to your Sacred Heart;
to concentrate my life and energy
to the work of
the Oblates of your Heart,
accepting in advance
all the trials and sacrifices
it may please you to ask of me.
I vow to have as my intention
in all that I do
the sole love of Jesus
and His Sacred Heart,
and I beg you to move my heart,
to inflame it with love for you
so that, not only shall I have
the intention and the desire
to love you
but also the happiness of seeing,
by your holy grace,
all the affections of my heart
centred upon you alone.
My Jesus, I renew with love the pact I made with you. Grant me the grace of being faithful to it.
I have a terrible admission to make. I have not written a prayer of dedication or vow myself. I only thought of the idea when I was preparing my talk for yesterday. I will write something, but I will keep it to myself.
August 3 - Wednesday
EMAIL FORUM ON COMMUNITY.
There are about 20 people in the email discussion group on Community. Here is my response to some of the ideas that have been going around.
I have been reading with interest the various ideas that have come from the Community email group. About the idea of gathering at our community house at Smithstone, Kilwinning near Glasgow, we could get some possible dates from Father Steven and people could say when would be a good time for them.
Yes, we can learn a lot from the JVC (there are a couple of people in the 2030 groups who have experience with JVC, they may be able to advise) and other Communities that are up and running, but it's also important to listen to the wisdom of our own group and see what we want to do, rather than fitting in to a pattern set up by others 20 years ago. New wine, new wine skins. Also with any 2030 community we would want to start softly and gradually and build up through reflection and prayer amongst ourselves.
One of the principles behind project 20/30 is that no one should feel obliged to do anything, and no one should feel excluded from anything that is being organised. People see that as one of the strengths of the group, but it can also be a weakness if things are left too vague. We have just finished the holiday retreat at Malpas last week. There people were free to come to the prayers or talks etc and that seemed to work very well with those who were looking for a more spiritual time and those who were looking for more of a break. If we set up a community there will be different levels of hopes and expectations and commitment. Would a Community survive if it was fluid to cope with different levels?
From my experience of a religious Community we all make the same commitment but inevitably and naturally some people are better at certain things and some are more interested in different aspects. For example in a Community someone might spend twice as long praying as the others or someone might work many more hours than others. Individuals might like to chat more together whereas others need their own space. You cannot legislate for differences in character and ability, but that is what makes Community so strong, because you have different gifts and talents, and no one is made to feel better or worse than anyone else.
Someone raised the question of age. We need to hear what people feel about that. Would people prefer to be with others who are near their age, or would it be better to have a good balance of ages from across the groups with the enthusiasm of youth and the wisdom of older ones, even though the wisdom might reside in the youngest person and the older person is the most enthusiastic.
Yes, there are dehonian groups of younger people in other countries. We met quite a few of them at the European gathering in Malpas last year. They are not living in communities but many have a good understanding of dehonian spirituality for younger lay people and could be a big help to us in the future.
I don't think I've done justice to the various suggestions and comments that people have made, but these are some thoughts. If anyone feels that their comments or ideas are being neglected within the email group then they can always raise them again.
August 4 - Thursday
THANKS TO THE GROUP
Many people from other countries have found the group a great support while they have been here. This is an email that someone sent recently thanking us before going home.
I drop this quick email to say good
bye to all of you and wish you all the best in the future. After 5 years in
London, it's time for me to go back to France at the end of the month.
August 5 - Friday
PEMBROKESHIRE COASTAL WALK
There are 15 setting out today to do the Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk along the west coast of Wales, 4 from Scotland, 3 from London and the rest from the North West. At least 10 of them have done one of the summer walks before, and some have done them all. This is the 4th walk Duncan has arranged. Previously they did St Cuthbert's Way along the borders between England and Scotland, the Donegal Way in Ireland, and last year the West Highland Way from Glasgow to Inverness. Last year I did half of the walk and the memories of it brightened many a winter's day. This year I couldn't make it because of heading off to Germany on Tuesday for the World Youth Days. This is their itinerary.
Sat 06/08 St Dogmaels to Newport (10 miles)
Sun 07/08 to Goodwick (10.5 miles)
Mon 08/08 to Abercastle (8 miles) or Trefin
Tues 09/08 to Whitesands Bay (12 miles) or St David's (via Llanrhian)
Wed 10/08 Day off
Thu 11/08 to Solva (12 miles)
Fri 12/08 to Broadhaven (10 miles)
Sat 13/08 to Marloes Sands (12 miles)
Sun 14/08 Day off, or travel home
They will be staying in Bed and Breakfasts or Youth Hostels. You don't need to carry a heavy pack. Each day the bags are transported ahead by taxi. Where to next year?
August 6 - Saturday
LOOK AWAY NOW. IT'S NOT CRICKET.
Unusual to have a Saturday morning in the office, catching up on some things, paying a few bills, etc. In the past four months have only spent about one full day a week in the office. How easily you find yourself just responding to what is going on instead of planning, creating and thinking ahead. There are certain things going on in the groups, or not going on, that could do with a bit more regular time to deal with.
Also keeping an eye on England v Australia. Some find it hard to understand that a Scotsman is interested in cricket, but we played the game at seminary. During my novitiate I also played for the local village team in Worcestershire, but I was just making up the numbers - batting average of 3, never bowled, though I was the fittest fielder in an ageing side. Round about that time 2 'Scots' (Denness and Greig) were captains of England so I've always supported the home side.
The football is also starting again. In the afternoon walked up to catch the end of the Stockport v Mansfield game. My predictions for the top teams in each league this season are:
The Premiership: Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal
The Championship: Norwich, Wolves, Sheffield Utd
League One: Notts Forest, Bristol City, Tranmere
League Two: Northampton, Wycombe, Wrexham
Premier League: Celtic, Rangers, Hearts
First Division: Dundee, St Mirren, St Johnstone
Second Division: Gretna, Morton, Partick
Third Division: Berwick Stenhousmuir, Elgin
The Premier Division is more than half way through, with Cork, Derry and Shelbourne at the top, so no point in trying to guess for Ireland.
COMPETITION: Why not have a guess which teams will come in the top three positions. If anyone gets more points than me I'll get them a ticket for a Man Utd game next season. Three points for the correct position, one point for coming in the top three. Send to email@example.com
August 7 - Sunday
THE ATTRACTION OF SINGLE PEOPLE
This week's Tablet has a leading article with the above title. It's not very often you get things about the single life in Church circles, so I have printed it below. At the end is a copy of what I've written to the Editor. You might want to respond yourself by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.thetablet.co.uk for copies of this Catholic weekly which is printed in London.
For a generation, the fictional heroine Bridget Jones was a symbol of all that was wrong with the single life: she was lonely, needy and desperate to find a husband. Today it seems the single are among the most content people in society. According to a new survey, single people aged between 25 and 54 are career-minded, successful and comfortable with their status. They no longer feel that the rest of society classes them as odd. Part of that may well be caused by sheer numbers: about 48 per cent of the British adult population is now single, and by 2010 more than 40 per cent of households are expected to be occupied by single people.
Many of them will doubtless by the elderly, living alone after being widowed. Others will be the divorced and separated, particularly fathers exiled from the family home. However, a sizeable number will be people who have never been other than bachelors and spinsters. But, as Terry Eagleton notes on page 17, such terms are old hat. The Registrar General, in an attempt to keep up with the times, has decreed that marriage certificates will no longer use terms which many no doubt think belong in the works of Jane Austen rather than in the legal paperwork of the 21st century. All those marrying, or contracting a civil partnership, will in future be classed as single.
The Registrar General may well be on to something. It is no longer a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a good fortune is in want of a wife. Certainly a woman once known as a spinster no longer feels such a strong urge in the 21st century Western world to seek out a husband at a young age. Education and her own career prospects have put paid to that. The Church, however, has not yet caught up with these cultural changes. It still continues to recognise only two vocations: to the religious life and the married life. It is certainly wise for the Church to nurture those with a religious vocation and equally important to focus its attention on young families and the people raising the next generation. But that other group, the single people who remain unmarried for many years or never marry, and who are reportedly comfortable and at ease in society at large, are not so at ease in a Church that does not seem to recognise that they exist, let along know what to do with them.
One step will be to consider the position of such single people. Another more profound one will be to consider both their needs and also the gifts they in turn can offer the Church. But the most pressing concern must be to question whether they are welcomed at all in our parishes. Many younger single people have found a welcome in the Church's new movements, and we should ask whether the rest of us have proffered similar hospitality.
As the number of priests dwindle, and the laity's role increases, single people without the immediate responsibility of families could well be the vital resource the Church needs if vibrant parish communities are to thrive. Necessity may well be the reason why the Church at last catches up with demographics.
To the Editor, The Tablet:
Thank you for highlighting the needs of single people (Editorial 6 August) though I'm not sure how fair it is to say that the Church does not recognise the vocation to the single life, even if much more could be done. Project 2030, which caters for Catholics in their 20s and 30s, has run days and weekends highlighting the vocation to the single life, and there are some great examples of faithfulness and dedication out there.
August 8 - Monday
BOMBS IN LONDON - JULY 2005
Mary D from the London group has sent in her experience of the bombs in London last month. Lets keep all the Londoners in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
The other evening I was speaking to a friend, in his late 20s, who was on one of the bombed tube trains. He wasn't injured at all, but has been deeply affected by the experience. It can be very difficult at times like these to find the right words to say.
There were problems with my train journey the morning of the bombs meaning I had to get a tube from Farringdon. I got off a clockwise Circle Line tube at Moorgate (the stop before Liverpool Street) at 8.46am - I noted the time as I was concerned I was running late due to delays on my train journey.
to the time I got to Moorgate I am fairly certain the bombed Aldgate train was
either my train (depending on delays) or was the train just after it.
Quite frightening to think I was so close as it was a timed device. I dread
to think what would have happened if my journey had been delayed by just a few
With a great many people in such a concentrated area, I’m sure a large
number were close to the bombs that morning and have ‘What-if’ scenarios
running through their heads.
Initial news reports said there had also been a blast at Moorgate, it appeared from Media reports that this had been minutes after I got out of the station. I didn't find out this was incorrect until the afternoon, there was no blast at Moorgate. I am about 5 minutes walk from Liverpool Street and I heard a large number of sirens around 9am. I knew it was something major when I couldn't get a signal on my mobile phone.
With the London transport network shut down I didn’t know if I would be able to get home at all that day. However, mid-afternoon it became possible. As the tube was network closed, with the aid of map, I walked for around an hour to Euston to get a train out of London. Walking around the cordoned off area near Kings Cross made an event which seemed at the time ‘surreal’, very real indeed.
It was a difficult day especially I know a great many people who commute into London. The experience has given me a real appreciation of the feelings and emotions one goes through in these times. It also gives me greater empathy with those who have experienced similar situations. I think I can quite confidently say all of us in London suffered that day. For some the degree of suffering was very great indeed.
thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends.
August 9 - Tuesday
OFF TO WORLD YOUTH DAY, COLOGNE
Today I'm heading down to Stanstead to fly out to Frankfurt tomorrow for the World Youth Days, there are 18 of us going representing all 4 countries. Adrian is giving me a lift after lunch to Knutsford service station on the M6 where Liam and Andy are picking me up by car. We are staying near Stanstead with the brother of Matt who married Michelle in the North west last year.
When we arrive in Germany we will be staying with families in the parish of Muden on the Mosel river (Moselle), this is near the Dehonian community at Martental (you could 'Google' Martental I'm sure, as it's a big centre). We will be spending the first day getting to know our families, then we will meet up with other groups that have come to this area from Sacred Heart communities. We will be doing things in the Parish and also attending events run by the diocese of Trier. They are expecting almost 1 million young people, so there could be 20-50,000 in Trier and maybe 1000 staying around our Parish.
One evening the Dehonian groups are getting together and we have to do a presentation from our countries, because we are travelling from so many different directions the 2030 group has not prepared anything yet, it could be songs, I know there are a couple of good singers coming.
On Monday 15th August, we travel to Bonn where we are likely to be staying in a sports hall or a school, sleeping on the floor. From Bonn we travel most days into Cologne which is only 30 minutes away, to join in the big events that are arranged there for WYD. When we were in Toronto 3 years ago, the Pope arrived to a massive reception on the Thursday evening. Then we have the vigil on the Saturday evening at an airfield that can take over 1,000,000. We sleep out that night because it will be impossible for everyone to try and get back to their base. Then on the Saturday morning it's the final mass with the Pope, there will be all kinds of other events and workshops arranged in Cologne. The atmosphere in Toronto was electric and we sang all the time in buses and trains as we took over the city.
On the Sunday afternoon we travel back to Martental where we will be staying in the centre there and flying back to Stanstead on the Monday.
I hope to have access to a computer to send a few reports from Germany over the next 2 weeks. In the diary we will also have other information and reports on WYD. If you see anything interesting on it while you are 'Googling' send it to Hugh@project2030.fsnet.co.uk.
August 10 - Wednesday
QUOTES FROM POPE JOHN PAUL II REGARDING WORLD YOUTH DAY
"Responsibility for this present reality and for its shape and many different forms lies first of all with adults. To you belongs responsibility for what will one day become reality together with yourselves, but which still lies in the future." (1985)
"I reaffirm my conviction: youth faces a difficult yet exciting task: changing the underlying mechanisms that promote egotism and repression in relations." (1985)
"I would like to repeat to you what I told you on the first day of my pontificate: that you are the hope of the Holy Father, the hope of the Church." And the Pope called on young people to work constructively in shaping the world: "In this way you are building the civilisation of life and truth, of freedom and justice, of love, reconciliation and peace." (Buenos Aires 1987)
"The Church has so much to talk about with youth, and youth have so much to share with the Church. This mutual dialogue, by taking place with great cordiality, clarity and courage, will provide a favourable setting for the meeting and exchange between generations, and will be a source of richness and youthfulness for the Church and civil society." (Christefideles Laici - 1988)
"Do not stifle your conscience! The conscience is our real heart and shrine, where we are alone with God... Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places... This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel... Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living and to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern 'metropolis'." (Denver)
"Are you capable of giving yourselves, your time, your energy and your talent to the well-being of others? Are you capable of love? If you are, Church and society can expect great things of each one of you." (The Philippines - 1995)
"In the great Cathedral in Cologne are honored the relics of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East, who followed the star which led them to Christ. As pilgrims, your spiritual journey to Cologne starts today. Christ awaits you there for the Twentieth World Youth Day." (Toronto 2002)
"The Days in fact were born, also in response to an initiative of young people themselves, of a desire to offer them a significant 'break' on the on-going pilgrimage of faith, which is indeed nurtured by meetings with young people of other nations and sharing respective experiences." (1996)
August 11 - Thursday
FURTHER QUOTES FROM JOHN PAUL II
"The principal objective of the Days is to make the person of Jesus the centre of the faith and life of every young person so that he may be their constant point of reference and also the inspiration of every initiative and commitment for the education of the new generations. This is the slogan of every Youth Day, and through this decade, the Days have been like an uninterrupted and pressing call to build life and faith upon the rock, who is Christ." (1996)
"In young people the Church sees herself and her mission to mankind: with them she faces the challenges of the future, aware that all humanity needs to be rejuvenated in spirit. This pilgrimage of the young members of the people builds bridges of brotherhood and hope between continents, peoples and cultures. It is a journey which is always in action, like life, like youth." (1996)
"The different moments of which a Youth Day is composed, form a sort of prolonged catechesis, a proclamation of the path of conversion to Christ, starting from the deepest experiences and questions of the daily life of the addressees. The Word of God is the central point, catechetical reflection is the method, prayer is the nutriment, and communication and dialogue, the style." (1996)
"A Youth Day offers a young person a vivid experience of faith and communion, which will help to face the profound questions of life and to responsibly assume his or her place in society and in the ecclesial community." (1996)
"During these unforgettable Youth Meetings, I have often been deeply touched by young peoples' joyous, spontaneous love for God and for the Church. They tell of suffering borne for the Gospel, of apparently irremovable obstacles overcome with God's help: they speak of their anguish before a world tormented by despair, cynicism and conflict. Each new Meeting leaves me with an ever greater desire to praise God for revealing to young ones the secrets of his Kingdom (Mt 11,25)." (1996)
"They ask us to lead them to Christ, the only One who has words of eternal life (cf Jn 6,68). Listening to young people and teaching them, requires attention, time and wisdom. Youth ministry is one of the Church's priorities on the threshold of the third millennium." (1996)
"With their enthusiasm and their exuberant energy, young people ask to be encouraged to become 'leading characters in evangelization and participants in the renewal of society' (Christifideles laici 46). In this way young people, in whom the Church recognises her own youth as the Bride of Christ (cf Eph 5, 22-33), are not only evangelized, they also become evangelizers who carry the Gospel to their peers, even to those who do not know the Church and have not year heard the Good News."
August 12 - Friday
TAKEN FROM OFFICIAL WORLD YOUTH DAY 2005 WEBSITE: www.wjt2005.de
POPE BENEDICT AND THE WORLD YOUTH DAY
"I am excited about Cologne"
Already in his first speech Pope Benedict XVI confirmed the widely circulated rumour: the new leader of the Church would commit to his predecessor’s planned trip to World Youth Day. "If it is God’s will, I will meet the Youth in Cologne at the next World Youth Day,” he told the gathered Cardinals.
“The Church is Young”
Benedict XVI is making it known that he will not copy the exact style of his predecessor, but that he intends to do some things differently. However, his desire to travel to Cologne underlines his fundamental appreciation for the Youth: “The Church is young”, Benedict XVI said these words during his first meeting with his fellow Countrymen. Young people should not be thought of as being consumed by the trappings of consumerism or pleasure. They are not materialistic, nor egotistical. "The opposite is true: The Youth want the Greater"- and the Good. They are against injustice, inequality, oppression; they are for freedom. "They are very open to Christ."
Thus the first Pope from Germany in 482 years maintains continuity with his predecessor. Evidently, this is the reason why the Cardinals chose the 78 year old theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, during the conclave. For almost a quarter of a century, he was the closest assistant of John Paul II, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As the Dean of Cardinals, Joseph Ratzinger led the Church through the papal transition, and made his predominant position among the Cardinals clear. Finally, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger surprised many with this humility, despite his intellectual prowess, during his homily at the funeral mass of John Paul II.
August 13 - Saturday
WYD 2005 – IDEA AND VISION
How it all started
"Welcome to Köln 2005": The invitation was issued in the summer of 2002 on TV. Millions of people watched 800,000 young people celebrating together with the Pope the closing mass of the XVII World Youth Day in Toronto. Finally, in the last minutes of this moving event John Paul II invited the young people of the world to the next international meeting in Germany:
"In the impressive Cathedral of Cologne the Three Magi are worshipped, the wise men from the East, who followed the star that guided them to Christ. Your pilgrimage to Cologne starts today. Christ is waiting there for you to celebrate the XX World Youth Day."
Since then preparations for the big celebration of faith have been running at full speed – in Cologne and throughout Germany.
Who is expected?
The XX World Youth Day 2005 is a pilgrimage of faith and a colourful event in every respect. People between 16 and 30 are invited. They will pour into Germany from more than 120 countries. The Pope and about 400.000 registered participants are expected. Their number will almost double by the end of the event. They will be accompanied by approximately 600 bishops and cardinals as well as by 4,000 international journalists. For ten days the eyes of the world will be on Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cologne region.
What will happen?
The events and the guests are diverse. We will start with the Days of Encounter in the German dioceses: From August 11 until August 15 young people are guests in parishes all over Germany. Getting to know each other, exchanging ideas and thoughts, making new experiences is in the centre of attention during these days. The motto of this event is: "Guests are a blessing ". Right in the middle of this period, on August 12 2005, Germany is "under construction": On the Day of Social Service guests and their hosts will join to begin to build a new civilisation of love and justice by taking part in numerous projects.
The week in Cologne
The central events of the XX World Youth Day will begin on August 16 and will end on August 21 2005. The international guests will travel with their German hosts on Monday, August 15th into the diocese of Cologne where they will gather in either Cologne, Bonn, or Düsseldorf for the opening Mass. For three days at approximately 400 different places small groups will talk about faith and celebrate together. The Youth Festival will bring music, dance and performances from around the world to stages in Düsseldorf, Bonn and Cologne.
On Thursday the Pope will be welcomed with a big celebration in the City of Cologne. Friday is the day of the Way of the Cross, when the young pilgrims will contemplate the passion of Jesus Christ.Finally
On Saturday all pilgrims will make their way to Marienfeld (a former open-cast mine in Frechen), the venue for the major final celebrations. During the evening hours they will join the Holy Father in celebrating a Vigil. The young pilgrims will spend the night there and on Sunday morning during the final Mass, say farewell to Cologne and the XX World Youth Day. Just a few moments before this big event ends the Pope will send the young people out into the world. He will then issue a next invitation: "You are invited to…."
August 14 - Sunday
MILLION EXPECTED FOR WYD 2005
Benedict will arrive in Cologne on August 18, for his first meeting with the
young participants in World Youth Day. On August 19, he will lead the Stations
of the Cross, and on August 20 he will join in an evening prayer vigil. On
Sunday, August 21, the Pontiff will preside at the Mass closing the event. The
altar where the Pope will celebrate Mass, on a field near the city, stands on
top of a manmade hill. During preparatory meetings, organizers have brought
earth from countries all around the world to build up the site, in one of the
unique gestures of this year's World Youth Day. Another such gesture will be the
giant mosaic of Pope John Paul II, fashioned from thousands of photos of the
late Pontiff, taken in dozens of different countries during his travels.
August 15 - Monday
FIRST WEEK IN GERMANY
August 16 - Tuesday
Wish you were beautiful.` We're
having a great time in Germany. On
Sunday 14 August Jenny gave the following speech of thanks at Mass in the parish
where we are staying with families on the Mosel River south of Cologne.
Her words and the song she composed to the tune of The Wild Rover sums up
our experience so far. We sang the
song at a party in the parish in the afternoon.. We also did the ceilidh/country
dance we performed when doing a presentation to groups from other countries on
Friday evening at the Sacred Heart Community nearby.
On Monday we head for Cologne
Since arriving in
Germany four days ago, we have been given a “Hearty Welcome” by everyone
that we have met. “Hearty
Welcome” This is a phrase that I
had never heard before. Back home
we give warm welcomes, cordial welcomes and big welcomes.
So, what I ask is a “Hearty Welcome”?
I soon came to learn. From
what I gather a “Hearty Welcome” is:
Many people here
whilst supporting us do not know what we got up to, so to the tune of an Old
Irish folk song, the Wild Rover, I will now explain:
We flew in by Ryan
And who did we meet?
This tall handsome man
A German priest
He took us to Mueden
We arrived with a bang
At a kindergarten school
The party began
And its no nay never
No nay never no more
Will we forget our friends
No never no more
Day two took us walking
To a castle up high
But before we could reach it
We stopped for some wine.
We started to sing
The wine put us at ease
And a welsh voice
Was a beautiful feast
Day three involved sports
that tested our brain,
Jenny’s unicycle legs
are still in pain.
Fr Hugh the goal keeper,
he saved the day,
Whilst an excellent lunch
sent us on our way
Day four took us to Trier
A city with vibe.
The International mass
Made us all feel alive
Massage and food
set us up for the day
Which ended with a performance
Of Rachel the play.
From all of us here
We just want to say,
We’d love you to come
To our countries some day.
So we can return
What came from yourselves
Maybe for the Olympics
I do have three
groups of people that I would like to thank:
Thank you all once
again and we will be keeping you in our prayers as we continue our journey into
August 17 - Wednesday
FROM THE TAIZE COMMUNITY WEBSITE
“Costly in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his friends”
Tuesday 16th August, after the death of Brother Roger, a prayer was celebrated
at midnight in the Church of Reconciliation, a prayer of songs, Bible readings
and silence. During this prayer, Brother François, one of the eldest of the
brothers of the community, spoke briefly.
In the Bible, we
find these words: “Costly in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his
This death of
Brother Roger is costly first of all for all of us, and terribly so. Death is
like something being torn away, and a violent death even more so. And even when
this death is caused by an unbalanced person, there is a feeling of unfairness,
that can even lead to a sense of hopelessness.
In the face of
violence, we can respond only by peace. Brother Roger never stopped insisting on
this. Peace requires a commitment of our whole being, inwardly and outwardly. It
demands our whole person. So this evening, let us communicate peace to one
another, and do everything we can so that each person stays in hope.
These words from the
Bible say that this death is costly not only to us. It is costly to God. God
himself participates in our sorrow. He is suffering with us. This is how God
feels “the death of his friends”, as the text says.
And Brother Roger
was certainly a friend of God. From the beginning, he used all his strength so
that we should understand that God loves us with a love that has no end, a love
that excludes no-one, a love that accepts us as we are, a love that has no
And if it is true
that this death means a sorrow that touches God himself, we would like to do
everything to express to him our gratitude, our thankfulness for all that
Brother Roger has been among us.
August 18 - Thursday
HUGE MOSAIC OF JOHN PAUL II PREPARED FOR WYD 2005
Germany, July 5 (CNA) - Organizers of the World Youth Day have prepared a
gigantic mosaic containing a depiction of John Paul II. The portrait is made up
of thousands of small pictures of the Pope sent in by young people from all over
the world. The initiative will allow many people "to be" in Cologne
even though they cannot make the trip.
mosaic has been put on display at the Cathedral of Cologne during World Youth
Day, and every person who sends in a picture has been sent a link to their
individual photo and is able to see the mosaic online. The mosaic can be
viewed by everyone on www.thank-you-jpii.net
to the project's promoters, Ingo Brüggenjürgen, Lutz Langel and Ralf Walter,
"with this action we want to show that love is stronger that death and that
the message of John Paul II continues to live in thousands of people."
Their goal is to make the world's largest mosaic.
August 19 - Friday
POPE BENEDICT ADDRESSES THE WORLD YOUTH DAY GATHERING
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am pleased to be with you this evening in Cologne, a city that I love for the many memories which it evokes for me. For a number of years I lived in the neighbouring city of Bonn as a professor, and from there I would often come to Cologne where I had many friends. It was, I am convinced, by a special design of Providence that I soon became a friend of the then Archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Frings, who gave me his full confidence and called me to be his theologian for the Second Vatican Council, which meant that I was able to play an active part in that historic event. I also came to know his successor, Cardinal Joseph Höffner, with whom I was associated for many years, first as a fraternal colleague in the German Bishops’ Conference and later through working together for various offices of the Roman Curia. Your present Archbishop, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, is a good friend of mine, and I thank him for his warm words of welcome and for his hard work over the past months in preparing for World Youth Day. I also wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to Cardinal Karl Lehmann, the President of the German Bishops’ Conference, for all his dedication, and through him I thank the Bishops and all those involved in marshalling the different sectors of the Church in this country for today’s great ecclesial event. I am grateful to all those who for many months have been preparing for this important moment, so eagerly awaited: in particular, the Planning Committee in Cologne, but also the Dioceses and local communities which have welcomed the young people in recent days. I can well imagine what all of this entails in terms of energy spent and sacrifices accepted, and I pray that it will bear abundant fruit in the spiritual success of this World Youth Day. Finally I cannot fail to express my profound gratitude to the civil and military authorities, the leaders of the city and region, and the police and security forces of Germany and North Rhine-Westphalia. In the person of the Mayor I thank the people of Cologne for their understanding in the face of this “invasion” by so many young people from all over the world.
The city of Cologne would not be what it is without the Magi, who have had so great an impact on its history, its culture and its faith. Here, in some sense, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany every day of the year! And so, before addressing you in the presence of this magnificent Cathedral, I paused for a moment of prayer before the reliquary of the three Magi and gave thanks to God for their witness of faith, hope and love. The relics of the Magi were brought from Milan in 1164 by the Archbishop of Cologne, Reinald von Dassel; after crossing the Alps, they were received in Cologne with great jubilation. On their pilgrimage across Europe the relics of the Magi left traces behind them which are still evident today, both in place names and in popular devotions. In honour of the Magi the inhabitants of Cologne produced the most exquisite reliquary of the whole Christian world and, as if that were not sufficient, they raised above it an even greater reliquary, this stupendous Gothic Cathedral which, after the ravages of war, once more stands before visitors in all the splendour of its beauty. Along with Jerusalem the “Holy City”, Rome the “Eternal City” and Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Cologne, thanks to the Magi, has become down the centuries one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the Christian West.
Yet Cologne is not just the city of the Magi. It has been deeply marked by the presence of many saints; these holy men and women, through the witness of their lives and the imprint they left on the history of the German people, have helped Europe to grow from Christian roots. I think above all of the martyrs of the first centuries, like young Saint Ursula and her companions, who, according to tradition, were martyred under Diocletian. How can one fail to remember Saint Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, whose election as Bishop of Cologne in 745 was confirmed by Pope Zachary? The name of Saint Albert the Great is also linked to this city; his body rests nearby in the crypt of the Church of Saint Andrew. In Cologne Saint Thomas Aquinas was a disciple of Saint Albert and later a professor. Nor can we forget Blessed Adolph Kolping, who died in Cologne in 1865; from a shoemaker he became a priest and founded many social initiatives, especially in the area of professional training. Closer to our own times, our thoughts turn to Edith Stein, the eminent twentieth-century Jewish philosopher who entered the Carmelite Convent in Cologne taking the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and later died in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Pope John Paul II canonized her and declared her a co-patroness of Europe, together with Saint Bridget of Sweden and Saint Catherine of Siena.
Now you yourselves are here, dear young people from throughout the world. You represent those distant peoples who came to know Christ through the Magi and who were brought together as the new People of God, the Church, which gathers men and women from every culture. Today it is your task to live and breathe the Church’s universality. Let yourselves be inflamed by the fire of the Spirit, so that a new Pentecost will renew your hearts. Through you, may other young people everywhere come to recognize in Christ the true answer to their deepest aspirations, and may they open their hearts to receive the Word of God Incarnate, who died and rose from the dead for the salvation of the world.
August 20 - Saturday
SEE THE WYD CEREMONIES ON WEBCAM
To do this go to the World Youth Day official site at www.wjt2005.de then click on the webcam link.
The vigil and the closing ceremony of the XX WYD 2005 will be celebrated at Marienfeld on the 20th and 21st of August. The sight of a former open cast mine, it lies around 17 kilometres away from Cologne in the Rhein-Erft district. The Marienfeld is over 300 hectares large and will accommodate the 800 000 expected visitors from near and far.
The installation of cameras has provided an opportunity to follow the event preparations. At present cameras 1 and 2 are capturing images every 30 seconds. Camera 3 captures one image a day.
Camera 1 shows
the altar hill which the stage will later be built on. The hill, often called
the “Pope’s hill” was named “hill of the nations” by Cardinal Meisner
when it was opened. At the beginning of 2005 delegates of the church from 70
different countries brought earth from their home lands to Marienfeld as a
symbol of the international community of all who will attend World Youth Day.
Saturday 20 August
Access granted for Vigil at Marienfeld - 11.00 am
Sacrament of Reconciliation - from 12 noon
Introductory programme with music and prayers and Sacrament of Reconciliation - in the afternoon
Vigil with the Pope at Marienfeld followed by silence and Adoration - Sacrament of Reconciliation - 8.30 - 11.30pm
Sunday 21 August
Lauds - 7 am
Concluding Mass with the Pope at the Marienfeld - 10 am to @ 12.30
Musical closure of WYD - until 6 pm
August 21 - Sunday
EXTRACT FROM THE POPE’S SERMON AT TODAY’S WYD MASS
“Anyone who has discovered Christ must lead others to him. A great joy cannot be kept to oneself. It has to be passed on. In vast areas of the world today there is a strange forgetfulness of God. It seems as if everything would be just the same even without him. But at the same time there is a feeling of frustration, a sense of dissatisfaction with everyone and everything. People tend to exclaim: “This cannot be what life is about!” Indeed not. And so, together with forgetfulness of God there is a kind of new explosion of religion. I have no wish to discredit all the manifestations of this phenomenon. There may be sincere joy in the discovery. Yet if it is pushed too far, religion becomes almost a consumer product. People choose what they like, and some are even able to make a profit from it. But religion constructed on a “do-it-yourself” basis cannot ultimately help us. It may be comfortable, but at times of crisis we are left to ourselves. Help people to discover the true star which points out the way to us: Jesus Christ! Let us seek to know him better and better, so as to be able to guide others to him with conviction. This is why love for Sacred Scripture is so important, and in consequence, it is important to know the faith of the Church which opens up for us the meaning of Scripture. It is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church as her faith grows, causing her to enter ever more deeply into the truth (cf. Jn 16:13). Pope John Paul II gave us a wonderful work in which the faith of centuries is explained synthetically: the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I myself recently presented the Compendium of the Catechism, prepared at the request of the late Holy Father. These are two fundamental texts which I recommend to all of you.
Obviously books alone are not enough. Form communities based on faith! In recent decades movements and communities have come to birth in which the power of the Gospel is keenly felt. Seek communion in faith, like fellow travellers who continue together to follow the path of the great pilgrimage that the Magi from the East first pointed out to us. The spontaneity of new communities is important, but it is also important to preserve communion with the Pope and with the Bishops. It is they who guarantee that we are not seeking private paths, but are living as God’s great family, founded by the Lord through the twelve Apostles.
Once again, I must return to the Eucharist. “Because there is one bread, we, though many, are one body” says Saint Paul (1 Cor 10:17). By this he meant: since we receive the same Lord and he gathers us together and draws us into himself, we ourselves are one. This must be evident in our lives. It must be seen in our capacity to forgive. It must be seen in our sensitivity to the needs of others. It must be seen in our willingness to share. It must be seen in our commitment to our neighbours, both those close at hand and those physically far away, whom we nevertheless consider to be close. Today there are many forms of voluntary assistance, models of mutual service, of which our society has urgent need. We must not, for example, abandon the elderly to their solitude, we must not pass by when we meet people who are suffering. If we think and live according to our communion with Christ, then our eyes will be opened. Then we will no longer be content to scrape a living just for ourselves, but we will see where and how we are needed. Living and acting thus, we will soon realize that it is much better to be useful and at the disposal of others than to be concerned only with the comforts that are offered to us. I know that you as young people have great aspirations, that you want to pledge yourselves to build a better world. Let others see this, let the world see it, since this is exactly the witness that the world expects from the disciples of Jesus Christ; in this way, and through your love above all, the world will be able to discover the star that we follow as believers.
Let us go forward with Christ and let us live our lives as true worshippers of God! Amen”.
August 22 - Monday
FROM YESTERDAY’S COPY OF THE IRISH TIMES
(Paddy Agnew in Cologne).
an estimated one million people, Pope Benedict XVI yesterday wound up the World
Youth Day festival in Cologne with a call for young Catholics to make Jesus
Christ the "true star" of their lives, warning against the dangers of
a grey, overcast but dry morning, Pope Benedict delivered his key-note address
to an enthusiastic congregation, gathered at the Marienfeld, a former open-pit
mine, 20 kilometres outside Cologne.
that the majority of the Pope's young audience had spent the night at the site,
having attended a Saturday night vigil, the Marienfeld yesterday looked like the
largest multi-coloured, multi-racial campsite in the world.
by turns in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish, the Pope argued
against treating religion as a mere consumer product, saying: "In vast
areas of the world today, there is a forgetfulness of God, a sense of
dissatisfaction and frustration with everyone and everything.
with the forgetfulness of God, there is a kind of explosion of religion. Yet, if
it is pushed too far, religion becomes almost a consumer product.
choose what they like and some are even able to make a profit from it. But
religion constructed on a 'do-it-yourself' basis cannot ultimately help us.
may be comfortable but at times of crisis, we are left to ourselves. Help people
to discover the true star which points out the way to us: Jesus Christ."
theme of the inaptly-named World Youth Day festival (it actually lasts almost a
week) has been, "We Have Come To Worship Him", in reference to the
Three Wise Men whose alleged relics are housed in Cologne's magnificent Gothic
the two-hour service, the Pope's homily was repeatedly greeted with rhythmic,
football-crowd style chants of "Ben-e-detto" (Benedict in Italian).
young faithful - some standing, some sitting and some even stretched out on
their sleeping bags - waved flags and applauded as the Pope wound up the service
with greetings in nine different languages, including Tagalog and Swahili. In
those final remarks, too, the Pope said that the next World Youth Day would take
place in Sydney, Australia in 2008.
Speaking at Cologne airport prior to his return to Rome last night, he said: "We are all well aware of the evil that emerged from our homeland during the 20th century and we acknowledge it with shame and suffering. During these days here, thanks be to God, it has become quite evident that there was and is another Germany, a land of singular human, cultural and spiritual resources."
August 23 - Tuesday
CAN THE POETIC DO JUSTICE?
Arrived back from Germany yesterday. In the car on the way north from Stansted we get talking about writing poems about our experience at the World Youth Day. I started writing the following poem. There is so much that could be said about our experience. Others have promised to send in their thoughts and reports, so I'll leave it to them meanwhile to give the details.
Auf wiedersehen we had to say
and each one go their parting way
when back from Germany we flew
the project 20 papal crew.
We'd been abroad to see the Pope
and now return with more than hope
that love is strong and faith is clear,
the future Church has naught to fear.
From countries eight did eighteen gel,
in thirteen days, too much to tell.
A million gathered in Cologne
to see St Peter on his throne.
We met the world and sang our songs
we now know where our heart belongs.
On pilgrimage we came to seek,
the gates of heaven gave a peek.
Our souls were stirred, our eyes had tears,
we built up strength for future years.
The project banner and five flags
announced a group that seldom sags.
Next stop Sydney twenty eight (2008),
three more years we have to wait.
Meanwhile pray for the one they picked,
our Pope and leader Benedict.
August 24 - Wednesday
WE ALMOST STAYED IN GERMANY
The bus that took us to Frankfurt-Hahn on Monday picked us up late and we made it to the airport with 4 minutes to spare. When we drove into departures Jenny and I made a dash for the check-in. Most of us were on a group ticket, but they would not process us until all the group appeared. We dashed out to the main door in the small airport, but we couldn't see anybody. When we came back to the check out again in despair we saw that everyone was already there. They had come in a side door and all was saved by a matter of seconds.
On the bus journey we passed round a few sheets for people to write comments on topics like "How the World Youth Day touched you" and "Thoughts to be sent to the Pope". This is what was written on "Why people should go to Sydney in 2008" for the next WYD.
"It's in Australia! WYD is an experience to behold. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey WYD will confirm the fact that Christ is alive in this world. Through the people you meet and the witness of faith around you. AND it's in Australia!!!" (written by Elsie who is Australian - Hugh)
"To be with one million young Catholics from all over the world gathered for one reason - Christ."
"They speak English!"
"World Youth Day is an experience you'll never forget, one million in a field trying not to get wet, sharing the gospels and love with the people around, Germans, Italians sleeping on the ground. So if you don't mind 24 hours getting dirty, come to Sydney with group 2030. The experience will change you and deepen your faith, especially by sharing and the friends you will make."
"No matter if your faith is strong or weak, you will meet people with the same ideas and experiences as yourself and they will help to support you. Christ's love will be with you and in you. Go and find out what it's like for yourself."
August 25 - Thursday
TOUCHED BY THE WYD
Most days in Germany we had mass, but it wasn't till the last day, Monday, that we had a mass on our own. At the beginning of mass people could share any asking for forgiveness. After the gospel we heard some of the insights people had from our pilgrimage, and after communion the thanksgivings were many. Below is what a few people wrote on the bus on "How the WYD touched you".
"Proof that Jesus means so much to Germany - that they would go through that much to bear witness."
"Illustration of the Catholic Church as catholic - universal - and for all."
"To see so many young people gathered in unity. Being able to meet new people and to discuss issues in a relaxed atmosphere."
"I was reminded again to see beyond my limits and supported by so many faces of God's help. Though I felt very old, I was glad to meet such interesting young people."
"I have learned a lot of patience. We walked for hours to the field where we had the vigil and mass with the Pope, and the road never seemed to come to an end. We all arrived at different times as well. This tells me that whatever we want in life, no matter how hard it is to find, with time we will find it."
"I have never experienced so much love and witness. All people from 2030, host families, other countries and locals lived the Gospel message 'Love your neighbour as you love yourself''. I only hope I can emulate this love on my return."
August 26 - Friday
NEWS FROM THE PAST FORTNIGHT
Noeleen McGregor RIP. Catherine from the North West sent round the following email and prayer thanking people for their prayers when her mother died recently.
On behalf of my family and myself may I thank you for all the many prayers which were said for my mother over the past two months while she was so sick. I now dedicate this prayer to the memory of Noeleen "Nuala" McGregor who left this earth August 16th 2005. Mom you have left a big hole in my heart, I am numb inside and cannot understand why this has happened but God took you for a reason and has another purpose for you in heaven, I love you so much and wish you didn't have to suffer the pain you experienced. You are at peace now but you leave your family and friends on this earth so very broken hearted. Until me meet again God Bless You and Rest in Eternal Peace in Heaven.
An Irish Funeral Prayer
Death is nothing at all.
August 27 - Saturday
In Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival Weekend. First thing this morning sent a text to a couple of people: "Wot train u gettiog 2 ed?" The text reply was: "Meeting at 10.00 for 10.30 at Queen St Station", all with good spelling. Most arrived yesterday for the weekend and were meeting up last night in Glasgow. We thought it would be easier to stay on the west coast and travel over to the capital. It is very difficult to get accommodation during the festival. And staying in Glasgow would give us more incentive to go to a ceilidh.
I didn't meet up last night as I was having a meal with my niece and her husband of two weeks. Their wedding clashed with the World Youth Days in Germany, so they asked me if I would come as soon as possible afterwards to bless their rings. I'd sent them a token from a jewellers for their engagement last year and they decided to put that towards their wedding rings. Karen pulled out all the stops for the meal. It's ages since I last ate so much at night and still slept. I even beat Grant at pool twice, though not being a Catholic I'm not sure if he thought he was allowed to beat a priest.
Staying the weekend with my sister who lives not far away in Port Glasgow where I grew up. She gave me a lift to the local station on her way to Mass this morning. When we arrived in Edinburgh people had different plans. There is such a choice of things to do with 6 festivals on at the same time: Arts, Film, books, Jazz, the Tattoo and the Fringe, which has 1,800 music, drama, comedy and dance events going on at 330 different venues over three weeks. There is also a succession of entertainers in the streets and squares.
A small group of first time visitors to "Auld Reekie" as the city is known came with me for a tour of the sights. We headed for the Castle, via the Sir Walter Scott memorial and the Church of Scotland Assembly buildings where JPII had met the presbyterian hierarchy in the courtyard as a compromise with those who didn't think that the Pope should be received inside their headquarters. The castle esplanade was set up for the Tattoo. We got inside for free again by asking for tickets for the National War Museum which gives you access to everywhere except the castle museum, various rooms and the Scottish Crown Jewels. The ladies in the group were looking for suitable kilted Scotsmen to get a photograph. I introduced them to officers of the Scots guards, but they went all shy. There's a phenomenon that I've noticed in the past decade (and within the group when there are not many men about). Previously men would be quite open in talking about women they saw passing by or famous actresses, etc. Now you hardly hear that and never within the group. Maybe it's feminism that has put men in their place. Whereas some women are much more open now and will readily express their admiration for the likes of Brad Pitt, or express their anticipation at the prospect of men turning up at the ceilidh dance in kilts. This happens also within the group, especially when there are few men around. It seems quite natural, yet I would be uncomfortable if men acted the same, and I don't think the ladies would like it. Times change.
From the Castle we walked down the Royal Mile towards St Giles Cathedral and the Fringe Office. Some of the women got tickets for speciality dancing shows tomorrow. Most wanted to get back to base in Glasgow early so they could turn around before the ceilidh. As usual it went with a swing. I added to my repertoire of excuses not to dance when a text came through saying: "Hi, Hugh, can u act as a text liturgy guide? OK, why do we say "I am not worthy to receive u" in the Eucharistic prayer (sic) (sic means so, so he wrote even if it's wrong)? If U R in a state of grace surely U R?" Keeping confidence who had texted I asked for advice what to reply and texted: "Who's just been to confession? At a ceilidh in glasgow after day in edinbro. This is a quote from the centurion to jc: 'but only say the word and my servant shall be healed.' We dont feel worthy of gods love but he calls us to him. We are worthy, but we still like to show reluctance. God has made us worthy thro jesus. Always go to communion unless there is a big whopper. This has given me another good excuse not to dance. Your worth it. Running out of charact".
The sender of the text is quite a robust character. During the dances it was impossible to talk. Don't normally text as long but once got going decided to go for the record and use all 500 possible spaces.
August 28 - Sunday
THOUGHTS TO THE POPE
In Cologne there were various messages that people were sending to the Pope on posters and banners, etc. One of the best was on a T shirt: "I love my German Shepherd", making reference to another dog name Benedict XVI had been called. On the bus to the airport the last day people wrote the following thoughts to the Pope. We'll send them to him. You can add to them if you want.
August 29 - Monday
- DECEMBER 2005 JOINT MAIN EVENTS
2 – 4
SEPTEMBER – ADVENTURE WEEKEND PART II:
In North Wales. Now with even
more activities than before to choose from since the last adventure weekend.
If you have a need for an action packed, adrenaline pumping, thrill seeking
weekend then how does paintballing, archery, quad biking and laser pigeon
shooting grab you? The total cost is £154 for the whole weekend which
includes 2 nights stay in a good hotel, all 4 events and lunch on the Saturday
and Sunday. Don't feel you have to do all the events though, you can do as
little or as many as you like.
9 – 11
SEPTEMBER – LONDON WEEKEND:
Friday evening for drinks.
Saturday visiting London.
Party in evening (130 at this last year). Sunday 12.00 Mass at Westminster Cathedral (or group Mass)
followed by pub lunch.
Profits will go to group
funds and the Dehonian Missions in India.
16 – 18 SEPTEMBER – REVIEW MEETING FOR 20s FROM ALL
THE GROUPS: At
St Joseph’s, Malpas, Cheshire. There will be a Review for representatives of
the 30s and 40s at a later date. The
review Meeting last year called for action to help the 20somethings to have a
clearer separate identity. We will
also be looking at ways to encourage younger 20s to get involved.
Not too heavy a weekend. Arrive
Friday evening when you can. We
will meet Saturday and Sunday mornings to discuss common issues.
Saturday afternoon visit to Chester or climb a hill.
Saturday evening – party at St Joseph’s or Red Lion.
Must arrive by Friday evening. Cost:
deposit of 20 pounds plus a voluntary donation.
Deposit to Project 2030 Office, St
Joseph’s Presbytery, 1 Tatton St, St Petersgate, Stockport, SK1 1EJ.
(Cheques made out to ‘Project 2030’).
1 – 8 OCTOBER – POLAND:
POSTPONED TILL 2006. Marta
and Catherine are already making plans for a trip to Poland around this time
next year. Based in Krakow.
Visits to Czestochowa, Auschwitz (optional), Salt Mines.
Meet up with local Dehonian group.
14 – 17 OCTOBER – BRUGES:
in Belgium. Itinerary: Rendevous in the main
town square for Belgian food and drinks on the Friday night.
Tour the attractive Flemish city of Bruges (also known as "The
Venice of the North") on the Saturday.
On the Sunday people can take the train into Brussels if they wish as its
only an hour by train. Monday,
following your own agenda.
– 30 OCTOBER – GLASGOW WEEKEND: Possible itinerary:
- West coast hike. Evening
Saturday - Optional visits
westbound to Glasgow West End
- visiting Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow University, the Botannic Gardens etc. - or
eastbound to New Lanark, a
carefully restored 18th century mill village and world heritage site with an
award winning visitor centre. Saturday evening – dinner at Italian
restaurant., followed by ceilidh. Sunday
Mass at Convent of Mercy, Hill St, then visit to Loch
Lomond Shores. Other
possibilities there for the afternoon including visiting the tower or going on a
boat trip. Sunday evening -
For those still around, we can check out some of the eating places and
bars of Glasgow's fashionable west end.
20 NOVEMBER – MUSIC WEEKEND AT MALPAS:
Open to anyone who can sing or play an instrument to any standard. A chance to
meet up with other musicians, practice together and share ideas etc plus plenty
of spare time to enjoy being in the Cheshire countryside. Starts on Friday
evening (arrive when you can) with buffet supper and an informal musical sing
around - folk, pop, religious anything goes just a chance to get to know each
other. On Saturday we’ll split into smaller groups (Taize, Praise, modern etc)
to learn new hymns/styles, there will be spare time in the afternoon to relax
and explore, followed by the groups coming together and performing the new songs
in the evening, leading on to another sing around. Sunday morning will be a
prayerful time with prepared music and readings, the weekend will finish after
The cost for the
weekend is £64 full board. Send a deposit of £20 to Project 2030 Office, St Joseph’s Presbytery, 1 Tatton St, St
Petersgate, Stockport, SK1 1EJ. (Cheques
made out to ‘Project 2030’).
- ADVENT RETREATS:
each area. See group newsletter for
details. Or contact Project 2030 Office. NW
20s and 30s - weekend retreat at St Joseph’s, Malpas, Cheshire from 9 –
11 December. Cost: 74 pounds.
Deposit of 15 pounds to Project 2030 Office, St Joseph’s
Presbytery, 1 Tatton St, St Petersgate, Stockport, SK1 1EJ.
(Cheques made out to ‘Project 2030’).
Contact Hugh at email@example.com
or 01614 763 234.
– 29 JANUARY 2006 – INDIA:
Staying in Cochin, Kerala, near Dehonian Missions.
Visits to elephant park, canals, seaside and contact with local church
and families. 3-day stay in the
mountains of Tamil Nadu. Price 995 pounds from England, inclusive of everything you
can think of, except presents and laundry.
Not roughing it. Deposit of
75 pounds (plus 50 if you don’t have your own insurance).
11 – 18 MAY 2006 – MEDJUGORJE:
20 places, early booking
advised. Experience the peace of Medjugorje and the love and simplicity of
the local people at this International Shrine of Our Lady. There will be
opportunity to join a varied daily programme. Package
will include return flights to Split, coach transfer from Split to Medjugorje,
half-board accommodation. Total cost of pilgrimage (as
a rough guide may be in region of 400 pounds) and booking application forms will
be available towards the end of 2005.
details on these events may be given in the Group Newsletters nearer the time.
Reports on these or similar events last year can be found on the webpage www.project2030.org.uk
or at www.project2030.fsnet.co.uk/project2030/hughsdiary
FOR 2006: Give
us your suggestions for next year’s Main Events.
There will possibly be a weekend in Galway and a week in the summer in
Aviemore. A holiday in Spain looks likely.
We have an invitation to Finland (with St Petersburg, Russia).
There are recent signs of peace in the Holy Land.
HELP: For 25s and under
it is possible to apply for grants of up to 33% for courses, retreats,
pilgrimages. This comes from the
Sacred Heart Fathers Youth Clubs Trust to which Dehon House, recently sold,
belonged. Indicate you would like
to apply when you book or make enquiries about specific events.
Over 25s who would be prevented from going on any course, retreats,
pilgrimages for financial reasons can enquire for one-off help by contacting the
Project 2030 Office, St Joseph’s Centre, Tilston Road, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14
7DD or email firstname.lastname@example.org
August 30 - Tuesday
REPORT ON HOLIDAY RETREAT 25 - 29 JULY AT ST JOSEPH'S, MALPAS
This is Anne-Marie’s report on the Holiday Retreat at Malpas in July:
I have previously
been on a variety of retreats both with Project 2030 as well as at several
retreat centres throughout the country. This was one retreat which I knew would
be different being advertised as a holiday as well as a retreat. Even though I
had stayed at Malpas a few times before, I was curious to know what this holiday
retreat would be like.
The St Joseph’s
retreat centre at Malpas is a large house with some beautiful period features
set in wonderful grounds which stretch into the Cheshire countryside. It has a
special atmosphere providing relaxation and space to look at your spiritual
There were 15 of us
in total which I felt was an ideal sized group so that we could get to know each
other. There were regular spiritual events which we were free to attend or not:
daily Mass, morning and evening prayer and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
There were also daily opportunities to chat with Fr. Hugh individually or to
celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There were also a number of social
and recreational events, including visits to Llangollen and Chester. In Chester
we visited the Cathedral, walked around the town and the city walls and some of
us went rowing on the River Dee which was great fun! There were also trips to a
candle workshop and the Creation Station where we could paint pottery which was
then glazed for us. In the evenings we relaxed in the local pub. On the final
night we enjoyed music, dancing and a quiz.
I really enjoyed
and benefited from the balance between the relaxation, the social and the more
retreat elements of the week. Highlights for me included the candle-lit Mass on
Wednesday evening after a tiring afternoon in Chester (especially for those of
us who had gone rowing!) as well as the opportunity to explore my creativity. My
only regret, which others shared, was that we wished we could have stayed
Again many thanks
to Fr. Hugh and the staff at St. Joseph’s Centre, Malpas for a great week!
August 31 - Wednesday
GLASGOW 20S QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
These were the questions that were raised at the Glasgow 20s Question and Answer Session this evening. My answers will appear in the diary in the coming weeks.
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