Over many years the project of building a Mosaic as gift to Our Lady has grown. We now have in our Prayer Garden this mosaic showing the Prayer of the Hours composed by Father Kentenich while a prisoner in the Concentration Camp of Dachau. At the time the prayers were meant to help fellow priests who were imprisoned with him since they were not allowed any prayerbooks. They learned the prayers off by heart. One of the Pallotine Fathers with Father Kentenich in Dachau translated then into Latin so that all the priests had access to this spiritual comfort in time of need. The Schoenstatt Family in England and Wales had the idea to build a Mosaic with the prayers in our Quite Garden. Paul Cooper was the artist and this Way of Prayer through the day has now become a feature for pilgrims and visitors to the Shrine. The Mosaic team would like to put four benches around the Mosaic so that people can stay and enjoy the peace and quite. There is an opportunity that you can contribute towards the cost of these benches. Please contact any member of the Mosaic Team for details.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis has urged us to develop a culture of encounter so that we increase our support for one another and those on the edges of society. He has said that Marriage and Family is one of the main schools for such and encounter. Throughout this year we have been looking at Marriage and Family from the point of view of our mission. From Philadelphia we hear: Our Mission is Love: Family fully Alive. Our Covenant Mass is this Saturday 18th July at 7.30pm celebrated by Fr David and prepared by the St Michael’s Group. The Mass will be at the Shrine with procession to the Mosaic and Shrine afterwards. You are invited to stay for light refreshments. We look forward to seeing you. Please bring a donation of non-perishable goods which Sandra Borg Fenech will pass on to the Brothers of Charity.
It’s a conundrum. As citizens and conscientious Catholics, we want to (and should) keep informed of current events. That’s not easy. When our news overflow with examples of immorality, religious persecution, heinous crimes and devastation, we can feel discouraged, fearful, and even hopeless. But if we lose hope, we lose everything. Hope leads to apathy, and apathy leads to inactivity. Inactive Christians become monuments – they display nice words about God, but don’t carry those words into the world around them. We must not become monuments by succumbing to hopelessness. It’s human nature to feel overwhelmed from time to time, but it’s God’s nature to uphold you in his grace. Never forget that. No matter how bad things look from your point of view, God sees the world from an entirely different perspective. In that respect, there are three things to remember when you’re feeling hopeless. 1. God will not desert you. Oh, it may feel like it at times, but it hasn’t and isn’t going to happen, no matter what. True, Jesus instructed us to live and speak his message in the world, which means being a part of the world rather than hiding away from it. However, he also promised that he’d go with us. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28-19-20) Our Lord will not abandon you, no matter how tough things get – until the end of time. 2. You are a child of God. You received that gift at your Baptism, when you were incorporated into Christ, configured to him, and sealed with an indelible spiritual mark (character) of belonging to Christ. It’s a mark that can never be removed (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1272). You’re loved and cherished by God beyond your human comprehension. Jesus has assured us of that. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Mt 10-29-31) Fear not, therefore, Jesus tells us. 3. God has overcome the world. The headlines may scream mayhem, but that doesn’t mean God’s lost his grip on you. He never turns his back on you, even when you turn your back on him. What’s more, there is no power greater than his. “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33) Even in the worst of tribulations, you have reason to be at peace in our Lord. Yes, pay attention to those worrisome headlines, but don’t become obsessed by them and slide into hopelessness. There may be reason for concern, but there is always a reason for hope. [From Marge Fenelon, USA – Picture: “Angel of Hope” by Carlos Schwabe]
You are invited to our Taste and See Family Mass at the Shrine this coming Sunday, 12th July at 3.30pm followed by input for adults and a programme for children. We will conclude with a shared meal. The theme is our topic preparing for the Synod on the Family: Our Mission is Love. Family fully Alive. The topic for this input will consider Marriage as a Sacrament – Living in faithfulness and fruitfulness a new life in Christ. Our Taste and See team invite you to come along and bring your friends with you. Please bring a contribution of non-perishable foodstuffs which we pass on to the Brothers of Charity for their work caring for those in need.