Saturday, 21 July 2012

Catholics need help experiencing 'Interactive Prayer'

Lets Pray is one of many interactive prayer services

A brilliant article by CNS about reacing out to the youth of the church (like me). The Article Read:

The church must offer people -- especially the young -- a spirituality that responds to their computer-driven desire for interactive experiences, said an influential Jesuit magazine.

The Italian magazine, La Civilta Cattolica, said the church does not have to invent a new spirituality for a new generation. It just has to recognize that because of intensive computer and social network use people have changed, so the church must change the way it offers its spiritual treasures.

The key, the magazine said, is to help people take the step from superficial interaction -- "surfing the net" and clicking on link after link -- to contemplation.

First, people must recognize the need "to safeguard spaces that allow interiorization to develop." That means a bit of silence and being out of arm's reach of the computer or smartphone, the magazine said.

But the church also must offer Catholics ideas of what to do with that quiet time, and the magazine started with something its Jesuit staff knows something about: the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits whose feast is July 31.

The exercises, it said, offer a systematic formula for helping someone take the already-interactive experience of reading to a new level.

For example, its suggestion for contemplating the birth of Jesus begins by asking the reader to "see with the imagination the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem, considering the length and breadth of it, whether it is a flat road or goes through valleys or over hills; and similarly to look at the place of the Nativity, to see how big or small it is, how low or high, and what is in it."

The reader is asked to look around the cave or grotto and see who is there and then to imagine himself or herself in the scene as well, watching, listening and helping, if possible.

In the exercises, the magazine said, the person praying imagines being in the biblical scene, shares the emotions of those present and tries to relive the mystery, "interacting with the personalities and the environment."

Through the use of prayerful imagination, the Bible becomes a "virtual reality" for the reader, it said. How deep the experience is depends on "the intensity of the relationships and interactions that are created during the contemplation."

The church needs to help people "learn to live their spirituality interacting and immersing themselves in the word of God," the magazine said.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

'Jesus' is not a word!

According to a game on Facebook called 'Words With Friends' (which is basically scrabble): 'Jesus is not a valid word'!

At first I thought maybe it's because it's a name like Sue or Jeff or Paul or something. But then...I used the word 'Sue' and 'Paul' and, although they too are names, they were accepted!

It is an absolute outrage!

Pope: Vocations are born from openness to the love of God

Our great leader (Pope Benedict XVI) has done it again. Very wise words (as always). He has released his papal message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In his message he wrote:
"Love of God nurtures love of neighbor, especially in people with vocations to the priesthood or religious life. The profound truth of our existence is thus contained in this surprising mystery: Every creature, and in particular every human person, is the fruit of God's thought and an act of his love, a love that is boundless, faithful and everlasting, It is in this soil of self-offering and openness to the love of God, and as the fruit of that love, that all vocations are born and grow. By drawing from this wellspring through prayer, constant recourse to God's word and to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, it becomes possible to live a life of love for our neighbors, in whom we come to perceive the face of Christ the Lord."
Read the full message for yourself at:

Time to admit it: The Catholic Church has always been right on Contraception

Protest Pope Condom
I was delighted to read an article on that was about how the Catholic Church has always been right about contraception. The article was produced by someone who isn't a Catholic, infact he isn't even religius at all! Yet here he is saying the Catholic Church has been right all along, which is, lets face it, a very rare thing in todays society. Anyway Here is some of the article:
"The Catholic Church is the world's biggest and oldest organization. It has buried all of the greatest empires known to man, from the Romans to the Soviets. It has establishments literally all over the world, touching every area of human endeavor. It's given us some of the world's greatest thinkers, from Saint Augustine on down to René Girard. When it does things, it usually has a good reason. Everyone has a right to disagree, but it's not that they're a bunch of crazy old white dudes who are stuck in the Middle Ages."
He Goes on to say:
"So, what's going on?
The Church teaches that love, marriage, sex, and procreation are all things that belong together. That's it. But it's pretty important. And though the Church has been teaching this for 2,000 years, it's probably never been as salient as today.
Today's injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae Vitae. He warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:
  1. General lowering of moral standards
  2. A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy
  3. The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.
  4. Government coercion in reproductive matters.
Does that sound familiar?
Because it sure sounds like what's been happening for the past 40 years."

 A very rare and great statement from a non-religious person. Praise the Lord for this man.

Read the full article for yourself at:

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Great Servers of St Helens Hoyland

We have had a lot of Altar Servers over the years (as you will probably have guessed), but two of them were by far the best. Both Head Servers: Luke Doyle and Anthony Dyson were by far the best servers our church has ever seen.

I don't know much about Luke, as he sadly died before I was born. But I did know that he was a very genorous man, always giving up both time and money for the needs of the church. And he was a server of our parish for over 60 years!

Anthony Dyson, however, I did know. He was the Head Server of the parish when I first started serving about 8 years ago, so (as you will have guessed) he was the one that trained me and as such I have the upmost respect for him, even today. He was very much like Luke in that he was generous in the same way Luke was and he was also a very dedicated man. He served for around 40 years (5 of which I served too). In his early serving life both him and his brother, Terry, served with the Pope (don't know which one) but still serving with the Pope is a once in a lifetime thing which some people never have the chance to do!

So there you have it, two really dedicated servers.

My Parish

As you will hve read in my first post there are 3 churches in my parish (Corpus Christi). St Michaels Wombwell, St Helens Hoyland (where I attend) and Sacred Heart Goldthorpe. In this post I am going to explain the parish (St Helens) in more detail and some of the main people and their role within the parish.

So, St Helens.
St Helens Sanctuary

The church may look old fashioned but it is far from it. We are quite a modern parish always striving towards the next venture. The main roles within this church include:

Parish Priest: Fr Brian Davies
Parish Deacon: David Barber
Parish Sister: Sr Beate
Head Altar Server: Bradley Jacobs

Organist: Bill Callaghan
Guitarist & Choir Leader: Bradley Jacobs

So thats St Helens, the church and the main people in it.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Power of Prayer

Just discovered this great new video entited 'The Power of Prayer'. Well worth watching.

Pope Benedict XVI: Lent

Pope Benedict XVI recieving the ashes on Ash Wednesday
In his Lenten message, Pope Benedict XVI called on the faithful to be concerned for one another and "not to remain isolated and indifferent" to the fate of others. The Pope stated that:
"Materialism and a sense of self-sufficiency are obstacles to a Christian life of charity. Instead of looking first to God and then to the well-being of others, people often have an attitude of indifference and disinterest born of selfishness and masked as a respect for privacy.

God's commandment to love demands that we acknowledge our responsibility toward those who, like ourselves, are creatures and children of God."
Wise words from a very wise man. We (Catholics) are truly blessed to have a leader that is so wise and understanding.

And don't forget we start the season of Lent in just two weeks!

Read the popes message in full at:

Faith cards ID English, Welsh Catholics in case of accident

I recently read on CNS (Catholic News Service) that the Bishops of England & Wales are producing a million 'Faith Cards'.  The cards are there to identify the holder as a Catholic in case of accident. A brilliant idea I think. CNS stated that:
"The credit card-sized items will be distributed during February and March throughout all dioceses, including the Bishopric of the Forces and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham."

The Department for Evangelization and Catechesis of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales announced on Jan. 31:
 "The cards should serve as a reminder that all baptized are invited to know and share their faith."
I think the new cards are a great idea and wish the Bishops and all involved in the production of these cards the best of luck.

Read the article in full for yourself at:

Creating Cardinals

Cardinals holding their red birettas

I recently read on CNS(Catholic News Service) an article about the ceremony for creating cardinals. The title read:

"Something old, something new, something borrowed and something red will be part of the mix Feb. 18 when Pope Benedict XVI creates new cardinals."
 I read on and it literally meant what was said in the title. 'Something Old' was the prayers borrowed from ancient Roman liturgies (this was also the something borrowed).

The 'Something New' was that the new cardinal will address the College of Cardinals (in this case on the subject of new evangelization).

And of course the 'Something Red' is the colour of vestments etc. as the colour of cardinals is red.

Read the article yourself at: