A Brighter and Safer World for All

Saturday 13th June 2020

Catholics in the Diocese of Salford are to be invited to respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic by considering how we can make the pandemic a steppingstone to a brighter and safer world for all.

In a pastoral letter to be circulated across the diocese, Bishop John will tell parishioners that:

“The limitations on our personal freedom should not restrict, in any way, our lived practice of our Faith. On the contrary, we are being called to re-visit and develop our private prayer, our understanding that – wherever we are – we are the Church, members of the Body of Christ. We are invited to build that sense of “Church at home”, renewing the reality stated in St John’s Gospel “Remain in me as I in you” (Jn 15:7), and “He is with you, He is in you” (Jn 14:17)..”

He goes on to say:

“During this difficult time of not having access to our churches and while we are unable to participate fully  in Mass and other liturgies we can be in solidarity with those many Catholics throughout the world who, because of persecution or military conflict, are unable to receive sacraments for years on end. There are many people, in the squalor of refugee camps, who have no access to a place of prayer or sacrament. But they are very clearly Catholics to be admired for their strength of Faith.

We must now be absolutely sure to think globally and understand the impact that we have on one another throughout the world, and how we depend on others as they depend on us. We can no longer simply look inwards to our own needs and welfare.”

We are asked to think about the ways we have changed our lives and the lessons we have learnt over the last 3 months to see how we can take any positives steps forward, as we emerge from the pandemic.

Bishop John also addressed the difficulties many people have faced over the last few months when losing loved ones, he said:

“It is important that we continue to remember those who have died and those who have lost loved ones during this time. It must be particularly difficult to have the funeral of a loved one under present circumstances. In addition to any individual Requiem Mass or Memorial Service for those who have died during this period, it will be important that each parish has some form of special memorial service to which all the bereaved are invited as an opportunity to support each other in faith.”

Addressing recent world events following the death of George Floyd, Bishop John writes:

“The recent violence in the United States is a further reminder of our need to think globally and to recognise the dignity of every person of whatever colour, creed, or gender. We are privileged to be entrusted with the challenge which, with the grace and power of God, working in us and through us, we can achieve for our children’s future.”

He also thanked those working on the frontline and those who have helped parishioners access prayer resources and online liturgies.

You can read the full letter here or listen to Bishop John read the letter by clicking the link below.



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