Tag Archives: sharing

July 22: A memory unlocked.

‘They are French apricots today, and very good and juicy, so much better than the Spanish,’ said the stallholder in Canterbury market. I bought a pound – half a kilo – and she wrapped them in a brown paper bag.

As I said, ‘Thank you,’ the confluence of the warm sunshine, the brightly coloured fruit, the French text printed on the cardboard trays, the brown paper bag and the swing with which the lady sealed it with a twist, all together transported me back half a century. Almost without thinking I went on: ‘I remember when I was young, walking and hitch-hiking across France to visit a friend. I bought a kilo of apricots and a bottle of water, they kept me going through the mountains.’

‘You would remember that!’ she smiled: I did indeed.

Clement and I were in a group sharing an apartment in the seminary, and he was about to be ordained a missionary priest, I was summoning the courage to depart gracefully, but also to share the joy of his ordination. I was coming to the Massif Central from another ordination in Switzerland, travelling cross-country, a challenge then in France.

I hitched a lift to the border on a quiet road, and it was getting dark when I came upon a railway station that offered a slow train to the South Coast. En marche! as they say. I sat in a pull-down seat in the corridor, wrapped in a blanket, and slept fitfully as the kilometres went by. At Nîmes I slept on a bench until morning. The first bus in my direction was going as far as Alès, a market town, where I bought my kilo of apricots and walked on.

Lifts were few and far between but soon I was in the mountains under the blazing sun, eating my way through the apricots and replenishing the water bottle from wayside springs.

I met a cart drawn by two oxen, going the wrong way for me.

I kept on walking, accepting lifts of one or two kilometres until the bus from the morning overtook me, stopped and took me into Marvejols. The driver’s return journey began from there, but his drive from Alès was off timetable so I had a good ride for free. We shared the last apricots.

Statue de la Bête

The driver showed me the famous statue of the Beast of Gevaudan, a man-eating monster from the time of Louis XV; he also showed me the road to my friend’s village where my arrival in a passing car was greeted by Clement’s family with congratulations and a warm welcome. A day later, two friends of his offered a lift to Paris which I gladly accepted.

This month Clement is celebrating his 50 years as a missionary priest.
Let’s give thanks for his faithful service in all that time, and pray that the Synod will point us to ways in which we may all become missionaries, steadfast in the heat of the day, on the hard road; ready to share what we have: apricots, a lift, or the Good News.

Today, Mrs T is gathering damaged apricots from our tree to make jam to share at Christmas time. The BEST apricot jam.

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Filed under Advent and Christmas, Daily Reflections, Laudato si', Mission, PLaces, Summer

24 May: Going viral CVI: A pilgrim feeling very, very exposed.

These pilgrims are somewhat exposed. The woman in the middle at least has long sleeves against the nettles and brambles; the lads behind? Well, they lived to tell the tale. If it’s not nettles or brambles, it will be neck pain or blisters or soakings or sunburn. But pilgrimage can also lead us to friendship, hospitality, service; the discovery of who we are and where we are – eventually – hoping to be.

There seems to be a growing interest in pilgrimage these days, perhaps enhanced by the experience of confinement under covid regulations. Let’s get out of here! i’ll come to Mrs Turnstone’s and my visit to Bury Saint Edmund’s in another post. Here we share a reflection by the designer and tv presenter, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, one of a group of ‘celebrities’ who travelled across Ireland and the Irish Sea as pilgrims to Iona, for the BBC, and following journey of Saint Columba.

He tells Peter Stanford, “I am of a generation that has been war-free, plague-free, difficulty-free for most of our privileged lives, and suddenly here we are facing a plague [Covid], nuclear war [Ukraine] and gas prices going through the roof. We are literally touching cloth for the first time and we are feeling very, very exposed. We have nothing to believe in and yet we have to make some decisions quite quickly because we are running out of time.” (The well-tailored pilgrim, in The Tablet, 6 April, 2022).

Privileged we have been, but this blog does not accept that we have nothing to believe in.

The well-tailored pilgrim

by Peter Stanford

Pilgrimage: The Road to the Scottish Isles is available on BBC iPlayer for ten months.

https://wordpress.com/post/agnellusmirror.wordpress.com/30684 johnson

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Filed under Christian Unity, Daily Reflections, Easter, Mission, Pentecost, PLaces, Reviews

11 May: Honour the LORD with your wealth.

 
“Honour the LORD with your wealth and with the first-fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” Proverbs 3:9.
 
Christ Jesus would have approved of this mosaic in Broadstairs Baptist Church. The grapes, the wine, the bread could all be from very close by. There are still fishing boats working nearby, farms growing wheat and ever more vineyards as Kent’s climate favours the grape more and more. The mosaic brings to our consciousness the reality of where this church is sent.
 
The mosaic is honouring the Lord with the first-fruits of  the local community; presumably the Church used its collective wealth to commission the work from a local artist. A mosaicist used to live in our street, not so far away.
 
The church uses its wealth, in terms of the church, hall and meeting rooms, not only to worship and chat about the congregation’s business, but also open these up to local groups. They are conscious of other people’s needs and strive to meet them. I used to teach there: groups of teenagers who had fallen out of school for different reasons and who would not have been wanted in other halls because of occasionally unpredictable behaviour. But there was always something else going on in the building at the same time, or following on from us: playgroup, rehab exercises for older people, drop-in sessions of various sorts. 
 
Thank you to Broadstairs Baptist Church for honouring the Lord by sharing your wealth! 
 
In these last days of Lent, we can remember people like Mary Magdalene, Johanna, Susanna, and Mrs Zebedee who supported Jesus with their wealth, not forgetting Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea who provided Christ’s tomb, newly carved from the rock. Am I supporting Jesus with my wealth of money, time, abilities?

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4 April, My vocation today XVI: Friendship and wisdom.

The eighteenth century poet Edward Young seems to have been a poor sleeper! Did he lie awake in the dark, composing and memorising his verses to write them out in the morning, or keep a lit candle at his bedside, or fumble with flint and tinder box to strike a light? It’s clear that he did not trust solitary philosophising, but counted on discussion with friends to arrive at truth.

And if you raise an eyebrow at calling this post ‘my vocation today’, go back and read about the humble generosity of books. Writers’ vocation can live on after death, awaiting a new companion when a book is opened. Let’s read what Edward Young has to say to us about flesh and blood friendship and its challenges to see through another’s eyes. Lorenzo is an imaginary friend.

How often we talk’d down the summer’s sun,  
And cool’d our passions by the breezy stream! 
How often thaw’d and shorten’d winter’s eve, 
By conflict kind, that struck out latent truth, 
Best found, so sought; to the recluse more coy! 
Thoughts disentangle passing o’er the lip; 
Clean runs the thread; if not, ’tis thrown away, 
Or kept to tie up nonsense for a song.

Know’st thou, Lorenzo! what a friend contains? 
As bees mix’d nectar draw from fragrant flowers, 
So men from friendship, wisdom and delight; 
Twins tied by Nature, if they part, they die. 
Hast thou no friend to set thy mind abroach? 
Good sense will stagnate. Thoughts shut up, want air, 
And spoil, like bales unopen’d to the sun. 
Had thought been all, sweet speech had been denied; 
Speech, thought’s canal! speech, thought’s criterion too! 
Thought in the mine, may come forth gold, or dross; 
When coin’d in words, we know its real worth."
 
From " Night Thoughts" by Edward Young.

The other day I called on a friend who had a few worries on her plate, ‘thoughts shut up’ began to ‘disentangle passing o’er the lip’. We draw wisdom and delight from friendship because of the trust between us, the safe space we can offer each other, the chance to reflect on a bigger picture of whatever is worrying us.

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20 March: On not reinventing the wheel.

Two young mothers pushing their babies on Margate prom. Their buggies double up as shopping trolleys.

The discussion drifted to mobility and the challenges posed by diminishing powers in later life.

Jane had struggled with herself to adopt a walking stick, and then a walker with a seat and shopping box. ‘But that was silly of me, because now I can get down to the shops and the promenade.’ The thought of not seeing the sea, though living so close, had steeled her to swallow her pride and try the aids.

‘I can do so much more now’, she says.

Reinventing the wheel or even the walking stick seems excessive, but many of us learn the hard way. Jane would tell you how its tempting to be too self-reliant, too independent. In the 1980’s people in big mental hospitals were released into ‘the community’ to live independently; often in a one bedroom flat somewhere completely unknown to the person concerned who would have been incarcerated for decades.

‘The community’ did not exist for them unless someone made an effort to befriend them.

Jane’s first walker trolley was given to her by a fellow member of the exercise group, who had another that suited her better. The group is a little community, even when meeting by zoom.

What can we learn from this little story? To accept help or advice graciously, to admit that no man (or woman) is an island entire of itself, not even me! So we are all responsible for each other, and are diminished if a neighbour suffers; we are, or should be, involved in mankind, conscious of each other’s needs and gifts.

No Man Is An Island by John Donne

No man is an island, 
Entire of itself, 
Every man is a piece of the continent, 
A part of the main. 
If a clod be washed away by the sea, 
Europe is the less. 
As well as if a promontory were. 
As well as if a manor of thy friend's 
Or of thine own were: 
Any man's death diminishes me, 
Because I am involved in mankind, 
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

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8 March: Being Different Together

Being Different Together

We continue on our way through Lent. This post is an invitation to transcend false perceptions and be more conscious of the gifts and needs of people with a learning disability, through the eyes and heart of L’Arche. This link will lead you to the page about the impact of the last couple of years on our communities, with more pictures and videos of how L’Arche is trying to help. You will also find tabs leading to more about the people who make L’Arche.

Around 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom are thought to have a learning disability. Of these, 147,920 are accessing long-term support.

Many people with a learning disability experience multiple forms of inequality and discrimination throughout their lives: only 6% of adults with learning disability in England are in paid work; people with learning disability are seven times more likely to including chronic loneliness; the difference in median age of death between people with a learning disability and the general population is 23 years for men and 27 years for women.

What L’Arche is doing to help

The source of discrimination lies in the false perception that people with learning disabilities are unable to make positive contributions to the world around them. L’Arche challenges this by creating Communities where people with and without learning disabilities share their lives, from which we work together for a more human society.

L’Arche Communities are rooted in the simple activities of daily life: preparing a meal or making a handicraft together, going for a walk, sharing a cup of tea, celebrating a birthday. Every day, we grow extraordinary friendships through ordinary activities.

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Filed under corona virus, Daily Reflections, L'Arche, Lent, Mission

22 February: Night thoughts of joy among friends.

With all these apricots, do we let most of them rot? Do we make ourselves sick? Do we share? Whatever gifts we receive they are heaven-planted and not designed for monopolising, keeping for one’s own use. Our God-given nature denies an undivided joy; we are social beings. We need our friends to find out who we are and to enjoy being ourselves.
Nature, in zeal for human amity, 
Denies, or damps, an undivided joy. 
Joy is an import; joy is an exchange; 
Joy flies monopolists: it calls for two; 
Rich fruit! heaven-planted! never pluck’d by one. 
Needful auxiliars are our friends, to give  
To social man true relish of himself.

From Edward Young's Night Thoughts.

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Sing for your synod!

General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops
www.synod.va – media@synod.va
#newsletter n.05 – 02/2022 – Available also in FR – PT – ES – ITIt’s great to see you here again! Our newsletter is more musical than usual. Because if singing is praying twice, this week we went in search of songs and hymns written to enliven the synodical process. What joy and creativity we found! Let’s listen.

Singing Synodality

With her song “Poetas Sociales” the Catholic singer-songwriter Majo Febe, a student of Theology at the Theological Institute of Murcia (Spain), began the publication of a series of songs about synodality.
Listen to her here

“Listen, let us listen” is the title of the hymn that the Antilles Bishops’ Conference shares with us through the website it developed specifically to encourage the synodal journey we are on. The authors are from the Diocese of St. George’s, Grenada.
Let’s listen to them…

The Diocese of Ipiales recorded a song for the synodical journey with musical groups from Colombia to attract young people who do not participate in the life of the Church.
 Listen to the hymn here 

The Synod in the World
The Loyola University of Chicago is inviting the university students of the Americas to participate in a synodal encounter with Pope Francis. The name of the online event on February 24 comes with a challenge: “Building Bridges North-South“.
 For more information…

In the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, a participatory synod process is taking place through the pastoral action of the Salesian community, the Missionary Sisters of Charles de Foucauld, and the Jesuit Refugee Service. Take a look at their Lumko Method and read some testimonies.
To know more…

The largest parish in the Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi, in the financial center of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is preparing for a new synod meeting Feb. 24.

Read more… 



Pray for the Synod
In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 


We need You !
In the near future, we would like to focus on the priests and their contribution in this synodal journey. Share with us the experiences of priests who have allowed themselves to be transformed by listening and who sit with the people of God on the journey of discerning God’s will for the Church.
Copyright  2022 General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops
Via della Conciliazione, 34
Vatican City 00120
Vatican City State (Holy See)

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13 February: More from the Synod, Church on the Way.

General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops
www.synod.va – media@synod.va
#newsletter n.04 – 02/2022 – Available also in FR – PT – ES – ITA new weekend means a new newsletter! This time focused on young people, on their hope, present and future. Pope Francis asks young people not only to be free and authentic, but also the critical conscience of society (Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King, 2021). We have been looking, in the context of the Synod, at how young people are responding to this call of the Pope.
Sinodality and the young people
The Loyola University of Chicago is inviting the university students of the Americas to participate in a synodal encounter with Pope Francis. The name of the online event on February 24 comes with a challenge: “Building Bridges North-South“.
 For more information…

The Focolare Movement has entrusted the animation of the synodal journey of the young people to Teo and Kery, two friendly characters who dialogue with the young people on the theme of the synod.To know more…

The young people of the Archdiocese of Lima work together from the Youth Pastoral on the Synod on Synodality. The song “Levántate” – “Arise”, has become their anthem. Listen and you will see how catchy its lyrics are. Find out more….:

IN EXCLUSIVE :.
The person in charge of WYD in Lisbon, Bishop Américo Aguiar, speaks about the connection between the Synod and WYD.
 Read more…
What do the young people say about their experience of the synodal process?
How do they collaborate in their respective realities?
How do they live their relationships and mission?
What are their hopes for this ecclesial journey? We listen to them.Find out more…

The Synod in the World
In India, two consultation questionnaires have been developed to involve religious communities and promote parish/diocesan consultation.
 Read more…

An International Symposium entitled “For a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood”, promoted by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and the Center for Research and Anthropology of Vocations, will be held in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican from February 17-19. To know more…

The AMECEA -Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa- has created a website and a Facebook profile to provide information on celebrations, events, experiences, ideas, and reflections and to be a place for discussion. Now, this tool focuses on the synodal process in Africa. Read more… 

The Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga in the Philippines is promoting the Diocesan consultation phase through a website, entitled Mákiramdam, which translates “to listen” and “to feel” in the local language Kapampangan.To know more..

Pray for the Synod
You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… God is love

“Love is the one who prays, love is the one who seeks,
love is the one who calls, love is the one who finds, love is the one who abides.”

Making these words of St. Augustine our own,
we walk together as a contemplative Church
with one heart and one soul in God, to communicate the joy of the Gospel.
Mary Mother of the Church, pray for us. Amen.

Itzela Rodriguez, Monastery of the Augustinian Mothers
of St. Joseph, Chitre-Panama


Share our story!Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.

If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!
The synodal process turns the ecclesiastical pyramid upside down, according to a team from the synod of the Parish of Clare Priory in Suffolk (England).Continue to read…


We need You !
The reality of migrants and displaced persons is of particular concern to the ecclesial community. Share with us the experiences of participation of migrants in the synodal journey of your local reality or an organisation that you may know.

Latest news
2022.02.07 – The Synodal Process: an initial assessment
Copyright  2022 General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops
Via della Conciliazione, 34
Vatican City 00120
Vatican City State (Holy See)

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Synod Newsletter, February 2022.

#newsletter n.03 – 02/2022 
Hello, how is everything going?
Did you know that, following Pope Francis’ message for the 26th World Day for Consecrated Life, the Congregation for Consecrated and Apostolic Life invited us to reflect on the word “participation” linked to the synodal process? In response to the call, we wanted to know how consecrated persons participate in the synod. We share some of the resources received from all around the world.

Sinodality and Consecrated Life
The Pope Video For religious sisters and consecrated women Via the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer): https://www.popesprayer.va/

Religious missionaries of the Divine Word hope that the Synod will serve “to live the synodal experience in their life and mission wherever they are carrying out their missionary presence”.For more information…

Consecrated life “is the bearer of a great evangelical adventure open to the future and to the breath of the Spirit. It is a demanding and exciting task, a long-term process of conversion.Anne-Marie Grapton, secretary general of Corref (religious of France)
Read more in French…

With his book, Salvatore Cernuzio sheds light on a serious problem within the female consecrated life: the abuse of power, of conscience or sexual abuse within orders, monasteries, and institutes, which leads women and girls to put out the fire of their vocation and to abandon the religious path they have undertaken, even after years. It is they themselves, nuns, or former nuns, who are about to leave or have already left what for years was their “home”, who relate what they have suffered…. Read more

The Synod in the World
AMECA (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa) and the Jesuits Conference of Africa and Madagascar, are providing resources that will enable the local churches in Africa to engage fruitfully in the synodal process.Read more…

The Maronite Diocese of Antelias in Lebanon and the Bishops’ Conference of India use creative means to encourage the synodal journey and answer the fundamental questions: What is a synod, what are the differences between one synod and the other? Read More…
How to listen to the poorest in the Synod process? The Centre Sévres of Paris has prepared a tool for attentive and fraternal listening so that everyone can have a voice. For more information…

Pray for the Synod
In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

In silence, we listen

We come to you, Oh God,
in silence to listen with the ear of the heart 
to the indwelling voice of your Holy Spirit.

We pray for unity of all the poor,
the voiceless, the marginalised and all of those who are excluded.
Gift our bishops with open hearts and ears
to hear the Church, the people of God,
with wisdom, knowledge, patience and courage. Amen.

St. Scholastica Monastery – USA
Share our story!Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Have you experienced good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to  media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!
Radio continues to play a significant role in raising awareness and promoting the Synodal process in Africa. This situation came alive recently as Radio Tumaini – Radio station for the Archdiocese of Mombasa in Kenya hosted a panel of speakers Continue to read…


We need You !
Young People are fresh air moving in the Church around the world, so fundamental to the Synod. Tell us about the experience of your  youth organisation in the synodal process, to share it in Synod Resources.
Latest news
The Secretariat of the Synod met with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.The Spirit continues to overflow from the Amazon two years after Querida Amazonia
Copyright  2022 General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
General Secretariat for the Synod of BishopsVia della Conciliazione, 34Vatican City 00120Vatican City State (Holy See)

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