Plan Launch Rally 2016
This year we launched the Annual Plan Study in Leith starting with the branch Corporate Mass after which
a new member, Bro. Chris Cullen, was inducted into the Society. This year's Plan Study addresses some of
the issues facing the Church at present. Its title is 'From Mercy to Migration'. The bulletins cover six areas
of study. 1. Beyond the Year of Mercy. What do we do next. 2., Austerity. Is it affecting our faith. 3. The
Sacramental Church. A fresh look at the Sacraments. 4. Amoris Laititia - The Joy of Love. A guide to Pope
Francis' Exhortation. 5. Vatican II - Over 50 years on. What was it, and has it been implemented? 6
. Migration. How do we respond? If anyone outwith the CMS wishes a copy of the bulletin please contact
the Scottish National Secretary (click on 'Information' above). Clearly the breadth of this year's Plan should
provide a fair amount to interest any person with an interest in Catholic beliefs and practices but also will
provide much more areas of possible discussion than time available. But this is no bad thing. If our plan
study doesn't leave us thinking and looking for more then we haven't got it quite right. If anyone wishes to
share any views on any items in the plan study please e-mail them to the National President (click on
'Information' above.) Below are a couple of pictures taken at the Plan Launch. Thanks to Gerry Halloran.
As you can see a thoughtful and chatty bunch.
Plan Discussion 2014-2015
Each year we discuss a specific aspect of the Church's teaching.
This year the discussions will be on the Scriptural Readings for the Seasons.
Looking at Advent
with supporting references to Pope Francis' Exhortation -Evangellii Gaudium.
We hosted the Scottish Plan Launching Rally on 19th October and will hold the next branch meeting after morning Mass on Monday 3rd November. As previously a summary of the discussion points will appear on this page.
Any men wishing to join us for our meetings will be most welcome. Meetings finish by 12.30.
What follows are some points raised over the year in reverse order.(i.e. latest last)
We discussed chapter 2 of Evangelli Gaudium
Evangelii gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel
Chapter Two:- Amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment
Pope Francis wants to look at the context in which we live and work. He expects us to scrutinise the signs of the times. We need to distinguish between choosing the movements of the spirit of good and rejecting those of the spirit of evil.
Some challenges of Today’s world
Pope Francis notes all the amazing things that have been discovered in the last centuries such as in health, science, education and communications. But he notes that the majority of our contemporaries in other parts of the world are living from day to day. Witness of the Holy Ghost FR Mc Fadden at yesterday’s sermon – who said thatr many in Africa are only one crop away from disaster. Vanuatu – the group of islands sever;ly affected by a strong typhoon at the previous weekend in March etc.
No to the economy of exclusion
Just as “Thou shalt not kill” sets clear limits safety and the value of human life, today we have to say “Thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Points out the scandal of food being thrown away while people are starving. Supermarkets and family purchases. Today’s laws of competition and survival of the fittest work benefit the powerful who feed upon the powerless.
Some people defend the “trickle down” theories of economics which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in their wake. He feels that there is no evidence that this is actually the case. Today the Millennium Goals project set by the UN reported that while the goal was for all young children to receive at least Primary Education in fact the 15 year timespan is now up and 58 Million youngsters do not receive such an education.
No to the idolatry of money
The Pope points out our unhealthy relationship with money. New idols have been created- he notes how the drop in a stock market value is big news but the death of an old person due to hypothermia is not noteworthy. He likens our attitudes to the worship of the golden calf in Exodus. It is noted that the statue outside the Wall Street stock exchange is of a brass bull.
He points out this modern phenomenon of the earnings of a small group of people whose earnings are growing exponentially – Banks, heads of FOOTSIE companies etc. There is also the modern corruption that takes place such as banks manipulating LIBOR rate, Manipulation of exchange rates, etc. Big companies seeking ways to avoid tax by relocating their HQs to some tax friendly place such as Luxembourg or Liechtenstein etc.
No to a financial system which rules rather than serves
Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and of God. He quotes from St John Chrysostom “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods we hold but theirs.”
He urges political leaders to face this challenge with determination. Money must serve not rule.
No to the inequality which spawns violence
He sees the call for increased security, law and order etc. as acting against the exclusion and inequality which exists in society. He thinks that this is the case because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the life.
Economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption and when you get unbridled consumerism combined with inequality it proves doubly damaging to the social fabric.
Some cultural challenges
Evangelism also causes reactions in various ways. In some countries the faith is under actual physical attack. Recent cases in Nigeria, Kenya and Pakistan illustrate this in recent weeks.
In other places there is indifference and relativism. Sometimes this indifference becomes intolerance of Christian symbols or events or the ignoring of Christian contribution to history in a place. In this way the practice of religion is taken out of the public forum and should only take place in private places. The Paris metro refused to issue a poster advertising a concert to fund raise for a charity of Christians in the East. While other posters openly mention Ramadan were accepted.
In the present environment priority is given to the immediate, the visible and the superficial. Examples in recent time are when the media focus on people with a some debilitating disease to promote changing the law on assisted dying campaigns.
The Catholic faith is also challenged by a proliferation of religious movements some Fundamentalist in nature eg in S America a deal of success has been achieved in Brazil by fundamentalist groups. Others promote a spirituality without God. Example Humanist activity in carrying out funerals and weddings.
By reducing the transcendent the secularisation has meant a deterioration of ethics , a weakening of a sense of personal sin and a steady increase of relativism.
The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis. The weakening of these bonds is particularly dangerous as the family is the fundamental cell of society.
Challenges to inculturating the faith
Temptations faced by Pastoral Workers
The pope notes the tremendous work done by many religious. He also notes the damage done by the sins of some of their colleagues. But these should never outshine the work done by the many in the fields of Education, Health & care of the dying, Care of the old. Communicating values in a hostile environment etc. The Ebola outbreak illustrated the sacrifice of some priests and nuns who were the health workers before all the foreign aid from the West came in.
Yes to a culture of missing spirituality
Concern was expressed about those pastoral workers who have inordinate concern for their personal freedom and relaxation. Their work is of secondary importance. The media culture and intellectual circles combine to make a climate of scepticism of the Church’s message and some priests develop an inferiority complex which leads them to relativise or conceal their Christian identity and convictions.
No to spiritual sloth and selfishness and No to sterile pessimism
There is a need to fight against the pessimistic feeling. The joy of the gospel is such that it cannot be taken away from us by anyone or anything. He quotes John XXIII who disagreed with the prophets of doom at the opening of the Vatican Council in 1962.
Must try to be more positive. Nobody can go into battle unless they are convinced of victory beforehand. He wants families and workplaces to be the places whereby living of your life in a Christian way you point the the way to the promised land and keep hope alive.
Para 86. Spiritual Desertification due to attempts to build societies without God or to eliminate Christian roots. E.g.The European Union seems unwilling to acknowledge the Christian heritage underlying many centuries of history. He thinks that violent opposition to Christianity forces Christians to hide their faith. But another source of desertification is the lack of Christianity in some families.
Yes to new relationships brought about by Christ
Para 8.7 He wants us to make more use of modern techniques of communication eg Social media – eg John Feeney on Facebook, websites, emails, etc. Many try to insulate themselves in small groups of like-minded people. He wants us to face the world. Wants face-to-face encounters to spread the message.
Para 90. Genuine forms of popular religiosity are incarnate, They entail a personal relationship to be established with God,, Christ, Mary and the Saints.
In places we see a spirituality of well-being but divorced from any form of community life, or a theology of prosperity detached from responsibility for our brothers and sisters.
No to Spiritual Worldiness
Spiritual worldliness hides behind the appearance of piety and even love for Church consists of not seeking the Lord’s glory but human glory and personal well-being. It vis what the Lord reprimanded the Pharisees for
Worldliness - One attraction of gnosticism Other self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism. It is a manifestation of anthropocentric immantentism.
Para 95. Pretence of “taking over the space of the Church”. In some people it is manifested in ostentatious preoccupation with the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige. In others it lurks behind a fascination with social and political gain or pride in ability to manage practical affairs. It can be a social life full of appearances, meetings, dinners and receptions. It can lead to a business mentality etc.
No to Warring among Ourselves
Para 98. Wars within the people of God and in Communities . Wars- envy jealousy even among Christians. People who stand in their way in a quest for power prestige pleasure and economic gain. Need to understand the concept of love.
Other Ecclesial Challenges
Para 102. There is a need to engage the lay people. The formation of the laity and the evangelisation of professional and intellectual life represent a significant pastoral challenge.
Para 103. Women have a distinctive skill set eg concern for others
Para 104. Legitimate rights of women to be respected and present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded. Reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the spouse, is not a question open to discussion but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is closely identified with power in general.
Para 105. Youth ministry has also suffered the impact of social change. Young people often fail to find responses to their concerns in the usual structures. The rise of associations and movements can be seen as a sign of the Holy Spirit. He notes the energy of young people who take up forms of activism and volunteer . Noted the young people who work as street preachers.
Para 107. Notes the lack of vocations in many places. Perhaps due to a lack of contagious apostolic fervour in communities. Need to pray for vocations. Seminaries need to be careful about who they select to study for the priesthood.
Para 109. Challenges exist to be overcome!
Lent: It is a common experience amongst mature (we haven't been the CYMS for a time now) that Lent has always been and will probably always be a time for minor sacrifices of our little treats: like sugar in tea, cakes and chocolate biscuits or the occasional glass of claret. We clearly all recognise that such actions plus additional times given to prayer are part but not the whole of our Lenten duty to refresh our spiritual lives. We all see that, just as Jesus never deviated from his path of righteousness, we need to bring ourselves back to the straight path and that Lent is an opportunity to refocus on this obligation. We all share the knowledge of our human weakness and accept that even although we shouldn't need a special season each year to help us get back to spiritual fitness most of us do need to be given a little prompt to do so. It was pointed out that the word Lent comes from an anglo saxon word for lengthening. A time when the day's lengthen and spring brings new growth and new hopes for a fruitful year. This can applied just as appropriately to our spiritual life as our secular one. It was pointed our that the liturgy of Lent - as of all seasons is fundamental to our inner growth. For this we need a rich liturgical life: "Without Sunday liturgy we cannot live." , "Liturgy from which my strength flows." This liturgical life cannot exist in isolation - it takes two to tango - and much better to have more than that for a liturgical service. We discussed the many forms of celebration available to us in Lent: obviously daily Mass, Stations of the Cross, Benedictions and prayer services but also musical productions, Glasgow Artfest and committed ourselves to as full a participation as possible. We agreed wholeheartedly of the importance of celebrating prayerfully the triduum rites culminating in the central act of the church's year the Easter Vigil service. We will take any opportunity we can to encourage those around us to join in this Lent's liturgical life, including advertising and taking part in any activities we can.
Lent part 1. Some time was spent thinking about how we had experienced Lent in the past. Reference was made to the level of fasting which pertained not too long before our time. In the 1920's and 1930's there were many fast days throughout the year but particularly during Lent. (Ember days were days of fasting which seemed to appear very frequently in the Church's calendar.) The amount of food indicated to be appropriate for these fast days seem startlingly low. We could not imagine how our parents/grandparents coped. This led to a discussion on what was the appropriate way to approach Lent now that we are being exhorted to take up positive challenges in preference to giving things up for Lent. More will be done on this topic next month.
Bulletin 2 Epiphany.
We noted that the Eastern Orthodox Church's celebrate the baptism of Christ in the Jordan at the feast of the Epiphany. It was interesting to note that importance of the feast is that feast celebrates the 'new' Church. The arrival of Jesus Christ signals the extension of God's promise to those outwith the Jewish faith. We felt that we had always had a view of the feast as celebrating the interest of outsiders in the birth of Christ. But the Epiphany should be seen as the revelation of God's saving plan to all mankind. This leads to us having to ask ourselves how well we pass on this revelation to those around us.
The Epiphany readings were read and discussed. Reference was made to the very erudite sermon preached by the visiting priest to St. Mary's on the Feast of the Epiphany. He had pointed out that the first 59 chapters of Isiah had dealt with God's dealings with a troublesome people. Because of their lack of constancy to Yaweh's teaching the chosen people had experienced many hardships and divisions. The 1st reading (Isaiah 60:1-6 promises a new dawning. A re-gathering of the tribes of Israel, coming together bringing gold and incense.
The second reading from St. Paul deals with the baptism into the new religion of Christianity of gentiles. The message of the gospel is for all men. We were seriously stumped when we asked ourselves how we have proclaimed the Good News to others this week.
We then discussed the Gospel which tells the story of the Magi. The star they followed and the gifts they brought. We digressed a little into discussing just what following the star meant, since it's quite hard to see any stars as being over a particular building. However, we accepted the importance that the early church recognised that the birth of Christ was important to people from distant lands whom came to visit. One brother added an interesting touch to a popular story about the nativity where the animals came to the stable bringing their gifts of milk, wool, transport etc. But the little mouse had nothing to bring. But he noticed that their was a draught blowing on the baby Jesus and climbed up to the hole and blocked the hole with his body. The follow on idea offered was that the mouse took the chill out of the air for all the others in the stable but died of cold himself, thus presaging the one who would take on his shoulders the sins of the world and give up his life for the benefit of all.
We will look for our own stars in the year to come and will return to this discussion at the Central Branch meeting in a fortnight's time.
Bulletin 1. Advent.
This is the time for new year resolutions. It's the start of the Church's year. In a world where annual appraisals/ performance reviews are common surely doing a personal spiritual review is appropriate. Review where you are and write down targets for the coming year. Be prepared to return to your written targets in a year's time. This personal review should be made against the background of Pope Francis' "Mission Statement" - Evangelii Gaudium.. This challenging document lays out the Holy Father's challenge to the Church. How do you/I measure up to the challenges.
What have I done to proclaim to others the Jesus Christ loves them? What a major victory for the devil that this message is so successfully caricatured to sound naive and unworldly! What can you do to fix this?
What have you done to simplify the message you send to others through your actions? On many issues the Church's teachings can be complex, theologically challenging, difficult to understand - we do accept that some issues are mysteries - and challenging. Pope Francis seems to have a knack of putting the simple message to the forefront. Love your fellow man. Live the Beatitudes.
What am I doing to liberate and promote the poor? Could I do more? (Sadly that question might be, "Could I do less?")
I'm reminded of a sermon from long, long ago when the priest told the story of the man arriving at Heaven with his guardian angel seeking admission. Presenting his credentials the guardian angel pointed out that the man had quite scrupulously followed the ten commandments throughout his life. St. Peter checking the records asked if he'd ever done anything positive to help someone in need. After a long discussion the guardian angel at last announced, with some relief, that 35 years before the man had given 50p to a beggar. St. Peter said, "That's it? Here give him his 50p back and tell him to go to Hell."
How are you renewing your personal encounter with Jesus? Do you attempt to do this every day? Well at least your doing it today by considering this topic.
How do you respond to the thirst for God in others? Last year's discussion featured the Samaritan women at the well whose thirst Jesus promised to quench. There are still those thirsting for the living water. Do I need to be more aware and more responsive to their needs.
A challenging start to the liturgical year. But a good time to do it. When I put up the Christmas decorations - including fairy lights in the garden - I'm saying to the world that I wish to celebrate the birth of Christ. My actions for the rest of the year should continue this message. Maybe this year they will?
Some pre-Advent thoughts on the month of November.
One branch discussion was based on a slightly old fashioned sermon preached by a visiting missionary priest on the duty to pray for the dead that they will find a happy place in Heaven. He reminded the parishioners of 'the four last things', Death, judgement and Heaven or Hell. With reference to Purgatory - by co-incidence the bro who presented the pre-discussion reflection had chosen one on the month of the holy souls which contained an almost identical analogy on the nature of Purgatory as presented by the visiting priest. That is that purgatory is a cleansing process. If you arrived home after a hot sticky day you would go for a shower before you sat down to a feast. Purgatory is just a cleansing process, once described as whispering our story in God's ear. God receives us as prodigal children. The exhortation, "to do for them as they would do for us", in relation to those who have gone before us was shared and taken to heart.
Discussions for year 2013-2014
Summary of discussion points at November meeting.
Topic 1: Slightly strange title- "Re-enchantment with the World and its Peoples." This basically means cosidering how best to re-engage with the world and make the Church as meaningful as possible to those who find the Church not meaningful in their lives.
- The lapsed Catholic. How do we counsel those who have become disillusioned with the Church or those who have experienced some kind of hurt as members of the Church?
- The victims of the recession. How can we represent the interests of those who are suffering from the effects of the recession and the hurt caused by press and government attempts to stigmatise and characterise those out of work as scroungers?
Experience and views were shared. We felt that it was very difficult to engage with many lapsed Catholics since we seldom met those lapsed Catholics who had specific issues with Church membership. We felt that for many lethargy was generally more of an issue than disenchantment. Serious concern was expressed for those suffering from governmental punitive policies. We felt that it was important to highlight issues in the press and society in general. The place of food kitchens was discussed.
We experience feelings of inadequacy in addressing these issues apart from engaging in dialogue with as many people as possible.
Any views from outside the branch would be welcomed.
Discussion at December meeting.
Topic 1 (part 2)
- Welcoming the stanger. We discussed the situation, as we saw it, of immigrant groups to our country. We considered the things we needed to do to make acceptance of immigrant groups a reality. Discussion took place on eductional provision and the steps needed to make integration easier. The plight of asylum seekers was also touched upon. We touched on the experience of many of our ancestors who had moved to our area from Ireland. (Which was at that time part of Great Britain. So they were not technically immigrants.) And discussed the difficulties they faced and progress towards integration.
- We also discussed the situation with regard to dementia within our community and indeed our families.
Discussion points from January meeting.
" New evangelisation: Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel"
Does this mean we should be tub-thumpers? Many of us shrink from being Bible thumpers and quote St. Francis: "Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words." An interesting take on my sense of humility there. I don't want to appear to be promoting myself as a goodie goodie by preaching the Gospel, but assume that my basic holiness, kindness and generocity are so obvious that I don't need to draw any attention to the one who inspired these qualities. Probably most of us should be more willing to proclaim a bit more publicly this is how God wants me to be and I really must keep trying to get a little closer to this ideal.
The Samaritan woman at the well. There is no-one who doesn't ever find themselves figuritively beside a well with an empty bucket wanting it filled with something that will bring fulfillment. Many think money, fame, sporting achievement, promotion, loss of weight etc will fit the bill. We have to be willing to help others and ourselves be aware of the wells which offer up polluted waters. We must be willing to share our faith as the opportunity arises.
By 'new evangelisation' we are recognising that many have heard the word of Jesus and have drifted away. Witness funerals. Quite often we attend funerals where the are signs of a belief in the importance of praying for the dead, commiting the soul of the deceased to God's loving care and appreciation of aspects of holiness which should be in evidence in each of our lives. But also evidence of little recent experience of church rituals. We need, collectively, to be aware of a duty in faith to take any opportunity to offer a helping hand to any such person to return to the regular practice of the Faith.
Our immediate next step is to give some thought to particular saints who have shown us the way to preach the Gospel to others by either words or deeds.
Discussion at the February meeting.
Is it harder to call back to the Faith those who have heard and rejected the message than to it is to call those who haven't heard the word.
There was probably never an 'easy' time to preach the Gospel. St. Paul clearly had to have a few forceful words of caution to some of the new Christian communities. The crusades dealt with a genuine challenge from Islamic forces but were carried out without the expected degree of Christian willingness to forgive one's enemies. In colonisation of South America there appear to be instances of forced conversion and a lot of missionary work in Africa seemed linked a bit too closely to imperial colonisation.
But there were also times when public attitude was better. There was a time when people would proudly claim to be a, "good Christian gentleman" No we seem to live in a world where the term 'do gooder' is an insult.
Are we (Scottish Catholics) optimistic or pessimistic? How does this effect our willingness to spread the good news.
Discussion at the March meeting.
Discussion about the place of today's 'irregular' families and there place in the Church. Generally agreed that the message that all are welcome to worship in the Catholic Church should be clearly expressed. We accepted that the fundamental role of the family in the life of the Church is well understood but expressed concern about the value attached to single people. Some have expressed the view that their value is often expressed in terms of Aunt or Uncle roles and we agreed that this was a very unfortunate state of affairs.
We are well aware of the ongoing discussion of the situation of 'irregular families' within the Church and agreed that there was a need to consider this issue carefully and with due charity.
The position of gay couples was also discussed and we agreed that regardless of our concerns about same sex 'marriage' we believed that all who come to pray in our Church are welcome and should feel welcomed.
Supporting the youth within the Church is an ongoing challenge. We are encouraged by the developments within RE education in schools and the development of the Caritas programme. We continue to consider any contribution we could make to this programme.
We discussed Ignatian spirituality. As we look to the leadership of Pope Francis we discussed the formative influences on his priestly life.
The Jesuist order were founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius. They take vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. St. Ignatius warned them against the pursuit of riches, honours and pride. They were the shock troops in the counter reformation in Elizabethian England. They risked betrayal and death as they moved round the country celebrating Mass in secret, sometimes having to hide for long periods of time in 'priests' holes' built into the walls of stately homes. Their spirituality consists of
1. Finding God in all things
2. Being a Contemplative in Action
3. Looking at the World in an Incarnational Way.
4. Seeking Freedom and Detachment.
In order to achieve their spiritual aims the Jesuits have a well developed prayer structure.
This includes 'the Examen'. This is a type of daily examination of conscience. It consists of firstly giving thanks for the benefits received each day. Not just counting but giving thanks for your blessings. Secondly identifying your sins but don't dwell on them. Just recognise them. Next you are asked to review the day like a film picking out the main events. Fourthly ask God's forgiveness for anything you have done wrong and then ask for help through the next day.
Methods of Contemplative Prayer.
a. Focus closely on an episode from the scriptures. e.g. picture the boat in the storm, rapidly filling up with water, battered by the storm, the apostles starting to panic, Jesus asleep. Focus in on one aspect of this story. Experience it with the apostles or Jesus himself.
b. Lectio divina. Read a passage chosen from the Gospel. Try to focus on what exactly is meant by the words being used. What do they mean to me, today. What do I want to say to God about this text? Am I being called to make some kind of stand? Do I have the courage , like Jesus, to accept rejection. This is what Ignatius calls Detachment. What action should follow my study of this text.
c. Centering prayer. This is the practice of trying to find God as the centre of one's being. Take a minute or two to quieten down and say the Our Father. Take a single word and begin to repeat it to your self. If distracted simply return to the word. This is a difficult form of prayer but can lead to finding God at the centre of our beings.
If we become familiar with the spiritual exercises and motivating forces associated with being a Jesuit we will be better able to follow the leadership of Pope F
Here is a summary of in our plan discussions last year on Aspects of Faith.
Ø The availability of different forms of the Catechism. We found the ‘official one’ a bit on the heavy side, both literally and figuratively but we felt that the UCAT youth catechism and Fr. Shaughnessy’s ‘A concise Catholic Catechism’ were worth buying.
Ø The state of the Church in terms of numbers of priests and the movement in these numbers.
Ø We discussed what it means to be a people of faith in a culture where a demand for scientific proof for matters spiritual can stand easily alongside a willingness to believe implicitly in unsupported rumour and factoids.
Ø We gave some thought to our own faith journeys.
Ø We thought about what and who brought us to our present level of Faith and once again appreciated what we can give to and receive from those around us.
Ø We discussed faith in others and how we help each other to grow as a community. It was perhaps worth mentioning that when asked to consider any life-long friendships we had only a few, due largely to the reality of social mobility in our life time. But this didn’t detract from the fact that we gained from even transient friendships and could learn from this that even passing strangers are on their and our roads to Faith and we should both give and receive encouragement on the journey.
Ø We concluded that faith in doctors, train drivers etc. was more usually a faith in the system of checks and balances built into the structures which ‘licensed’ such people. At the present moment when we have some cause to question the effectiveness of these checks and balances within our own Church we begin to recognise a faith within a faith. That is faith in Church structures and the integrity of those who lead it and faith in Christ and the doctrines and practices which the Church teaches. And see that both are important but that faith in Christ is of the essence. Faith in his servants may very occasionally be misplaced.
Ø We discussed the importance of the Year of Faith and the journey of Faith carried out by our society through the Plans of previous years – particularly those following Vatican II.
Ø We discussed the progress so far of bringing to life the Year of Faith in our parishes and felt that so far we were falling a bit short in Scotland. We had been represented at a National Conference and a couple of celebratory Masses but felt that to an extent it was passing the ordinary parishioner by. Some of the work reported at the Conference was inspiring and contributions very full and thoughtful but that there was a problem bringing the message to the Church as a whole.
Ø We are very conscious that we are called to holiness and hope that to some extent our activities through the CMS help us to make progress in following that call. But as with humility, it might be said that once you think you’ve achieved it you’ve just lost it again. So our search for holiness continues.
This year's discussion will continue in the theme of Faith but lead us from Faith to Evangelisation.
We will first consider the people of the world : we will start our discussion of this topic at the November 4th meeting.
The lapsed Catholic
Welcoming the stranger
Victims of the recession
Then we will discuss New Evangelisation.
The Church and I. Are we evangelisers?
How do we evangelise in the present climate.
Then the New Pope and Ignation Spirituality.
What kind of formation led Pope Francis to his present spirituality.
What can we learn from his journey of faith.
Finally - Re-enchantment with Creation.
How do we value the world and it's wonders?
How should we celebrate the wonders of God's creation.