Pastoral Message and Worksheet Series

Thursday 20th August 2020

In the Third Stage of our pastoral programme, Hope in the Future, Bishop John called on us “to value Sunday Mass more and more, devoting ourselves to its preparation and celebration.”

Over the last few months our access to the Celebration of Sunday Mass has been disrupted, but perhaps this has enabled us to respond to Bishop John’s call to value the Sunday Mass even more than we already did when things return to some form of normality.

Over the Third Stage of Hope in the Future, we have been sharing Pastoral Messages and Worksheets for parishes to read and reflect upon.  Below, we have summarised the pastoral messages and attached the link to read them.

Meeting Jesus in our Welcome

The first worskheet explains that Sunday Mass has been called “the shop window of the parish”, and describes it as the “central moment when we gather together to meet Jesus in each other, in the Word and in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. It is the “source and summit” of our
Christian lives—the place where we can bring all our experiences of life to God, and be nourished and filled for the journey of the coming week.”

Read the first worksheet by clicking here: Meeting Jesus in our Welcome – Worksheet One

Meeting Jesus in our Listening

In the second worksheet, Meeting Jesus in our Listening, Bishop John wrote: “Our spoken words are an essential and vital part of our prayer in the Eucharistic celebration.  We declare our Faith and give praise to God in the many familiar texts of the Mass, such as the Gloria, The Creed, the Our Father. We can also present our needs and concerns in the Prayers of the Faithful. But it is in listening to the readings from the Scriptures that we hear God Himself speaking to us.”

Read the second worksheet by clicking here: Meeting Jesus in our Listening – Worksheet Two

Meeting Jesus in our Offering

On the Feast of Corpus Christi, and during the long period of praying at home, Bishop John wrote: “As we pray at home, perhaps following streamed Masses from around the Diocese, we can experience special graces from the Lord at these challenging times. As the gifts of bread and wine are presented on the altar, we are invited to offer to God all our prayers, concerns and hopes, trusting that he will transform them just as he will transform the gifts of bread and wine into his very self. We are encouraged to join in praying the eucharistic prayer in our hearts as the priest offers the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father on behalf of the people.”

Read the third worksheet by clicking here: Meeting Jesus in our Offering – Worksheet Three

Meeting Jesus in our Mission

Our final pastoral message and worksheet focused on the Concluding Rites of the Mass and how we are sent out on Mission, to be Missionary Disciples in our Missionary Parishes.

In the worksheet, Bishop John wrote: “Having encountered Jesus in each other, in his word and in his body and blood we are called to go out from our parish communities and be the living Church. When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, he lives in us and we live in
him. This is the source for our Christian lives and the source of our strength for the mission that Jesus gave us “to make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).

“During these challenging days, we have had to be a missionary Church in different ways. It has been wonderful to see so many parishes live streaming Masses, offering online formation, and providing acts of service to their communities. As churches reopen, we have a wonderful challenge of welcoming newcomers to our parishes.”

Read the final worksheet by clicking here: Meeting Jesus in our Mission – Worksheet Four

Find out more about Hope in the Future by clicking here

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