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‘I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’
’In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25: 35-36, 40
The National Justice and Peace Network of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales is a broad umbrella organisation which pulls together many strands: peace issues; the arms trade; human rights; prisoners; asylum seekers, migrants and refugees; poverty at home and overseas; international development; fair trade; caring for creation and climate change, and more. St. Vincent’s parish is a member of the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN). NJPN also produce a fortnightly e-bulletin with a comprehensive round-up of current events, campaigns, e-petitions and resources. You can sign up here to receive this: email@example.com
Find the fortnightly bulletin and other resources, including the monthly North West e-bulletin, on NJPN’s news page which is updated weekly at: https://www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/news/
J&P works at local, national and international levels in response to the message of the gospels and is firmly rooted in Catholic Social Teaching, seeking to build the Kingdom of God, here and now: a Kingdom where every individual is loved, valued and respected; where injustice of every kind is challenged; where all people can live in peace and safety; and where our role as stewards of God’s wonderful creation for future generations and for the good of the planet is recognised.
If you would like to be part of the parish J&P steering group to help, in one project or another, you will be warmly welcomed. Please contact the parish office on 0161 928 1689.https://www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/news/
NEWS AND INFORMATION:
2021: Cafod Afghanistan crisis appeal :
“The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, as tens of thousands more Afghans flee their homes, compounding an existing crisis following decades of conflict and drought. Afghan families displaced inside the country and those who have reached neighbouring countries need humanitarian assistance – the basics of life: food, water and shelter. The situation in Afghanistan is highly complex with decades of conflict that have taken a terrible toll on Afghan people, resulting in deaths, injuries and pushing families further into poverty. Drought and coronavirus have added even greater problems for vulnerable families struggling with hunger and healthcare. The UN estimates that 80 per cent of Afghans forced to flee since the end of May 2021 are women and children now in desperate need of humanitarian aid. CAFOD started working in Afghanistan in the late 1980s and a core part of their work has been to support Afghan organisations committed to improving the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people caught up in the crisis. You can donate to the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal here (and link to https://cafod.org.uk/donations/picker?singleamount=25®ularamount=&defaultuniversaltype=single&_Appeal=124814).
Please pray for the people of Afghanistan. Cafod have a suggested prayer here (and link to https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources/Prayer-for-help).
The Cafod wall box collection in church will go to support the Afghanistan crisis appeal for the next few weeks.
If you would like to read more about Justice and Peace issues, please take a look at MouthPeace the quarterly newsletter for the Shrewsbury and Liverpool J & P networks (NW NJPN). There are links to recent newsletters here and you can sign up via the links to receive these directly.
NW NJPN Justice and Peace Bulletin January 2022
To read this bulletin please click here
NW NJPN Justice and Peace Bulletin December 2021
To read this bulleting please click here
NW NJPN Justice and Peace Bulletin mid-November 2021
To read this bulleting please click here
NW NJPN Justice and Peace Bulletin November 2021
To read this bulletin please click here.
NJPN Justice and Peace Bulletin September 2021
Please follow this link to read the NJPN September Bulletin
WINTER 2021 MOUTH PEACE NEWSLETTER
Please follow this link to read the Winter 2021 Mouth Peace Newsletter.
AUTUMN 2021 MOUTH PEACE NEWSLETTER
Please follow this link to read the Autumn 2021 Mouth Peace Newsletter
St. Vincent’s parish is a member of the Association of Christians Against Torture (ACAT, a UK ecumenical organisation that is a ‘body in association’ with the national ecumenical organisation Churches Together in England and affiliated to the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT). Torture is banned in international law, yet its use is widespread. ACAT’s aims are to increase awareness of its use, and to pray and campaign for its abolition. As a parish, we can do this by supporting victims of torture (as we do with our Christmas and Easter card campaigns), to write to governments where torture is practised to call for its abolition, and to pray for torturers and the tortured. More information, including the ACAT prayer, details of recent and current campaigns, and many useful links, is at ACAT’s website: https://www.acatuk.org.uk
ACAT December 2021 to February Newsletter
Please follow this link to read the ACAT Newsletter.
LOCAL MP GRILLED ON GLOBAL WARMING
In a Zoomed, virtual meeting on 6th October, Sir Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale (West), was questioned by members of St. Vincent’s and other local parishes on issues of global warming and climate change. Participants included sixth formers from Loreto and a pupil from St. Ambrose College.
All the questioners expressed deep concern about the crisis now facing the earth, evident in the melting of the ice cap, forest fires in several continents, pollution of rivers, seas and atmosphere, and deforestation, with resulting grave threats to people and wildlife. Pope Francis was quoted as calling for urgent action by all countries to avert this catastrophe.
It was clear that Sir Graham’s responses did not satisfy many questioners, including, especially, the younger ones who called for more action from the British government. He offered, at the end, to go to Loreto to meet their sixth form. It is clear that, if that happens, he will face an even livelier and more challenging session!
The meeting was arranged by the parish Justice and Peace/CAFOD group under the CAFOD Parliament in the Parish scheme and we are grateful to Sir Graham for giving his time.
A PASTORAL LETTER FOR PENTECOST SUNDAY 24 MAY 2021
A Pastoral Letter on the environment, prepared by the Bishops of England and Wales, for use in churches on 23 May 2021, Pentecost Sunday.
Several Parish groups are working together to achieve the CAFOD Livesimply Award.
CAFOD describes livesimply as an opportunity for Catholic communities – parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in his encyclical Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”. They award livesimply status to communities who can show that they have been living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty, and sustainably with creation. To read more about the award, click here
Our own Parish project is well underway. In February 2020 the Diocese signed up to use a green energy provider, environmental Stations of the Cross have been read during Lent in both 2020 and 2021 and the Church garden now has two bird boxes and a hedgehog home.
We have several more ideas for this major project, and we would be delighted to welcome new members to the group to help realise these. We also welcome ideas.
Much of what the Justice and Peace network does is inspired by Catholic Social Teaching. Please see below a selection of documents from Pope Francis:
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for our Common Home, 24 May 2015) remains a profound invitation to care for our common home.
For additional resources visit https://cafod.org.uk/search?basicsearch%5Bterm%5D=encyclicals
In his latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, (On Fraternity and Social Friendship, 3 October 2020) Pope Francis calls for a new world order with human dignity at its centre.
The encyclical warns against a culture of individualism, nationalism, and economic models that line the pockets of the rich, at the expensive of our collective ‘silence’ on pressing issues such as global poverty and hunger, the proliferation of more wars and the structures and systems that de-humanise the individual.
CAFOD director Christine Allen says: “This encyclical is a radical blueprint for a post-coronavirus world. Now is the time to change the framework of our economic systems, through debt relief for the poorest countries, the reduction of inequality, and investment in local, green, sustainable economic development.”
The Pope’s vision of the future is one rooted in human solidarity.
“Solidarity means much more than engaging in sporadic acts of generosity. It means thinking and acting in terms of community. It means that the lives of all are prior to the appropriation of goods by a few. It also means combatting the structural causes of poverty, inequality, the lack of work, land and housing, the denial of social and labour rights. It means confronting the destructive effects of the empire of money… Solidarity, understood in its most profound meaning, is a way of making history, and this is what popular movements are doing…”
Allen concludes: “The encyclical holds up a vision for real and lasting change, by calling on us to build community at all levels – personal, societal and global, where walls of fear and distrust are replaced by a ‘culture of encounter’, and our solidarity with others restores human dignity”. https://cafod.org.uk/News/Press-office/Press-releases/Post-Covid-world
Vatican speaker tells NJPN: ‘this must be the decade for action, inspired by Laudato Si’: Please click here to find out more.
See also: https://www.jesuit.org.uk/zampini-davies-church-won%E2%80%99t-wait-politicians
Lumen Fidei (The light of Faith, 29 June 2013)
What is faith? The two Popes – Francis editing Benedict’s draft – paint the picture in bright colours. `In the love of God revealed in Jesus, faith perceives the foundation on which all reality and its final destiny lies… Faith knows that God has drawn close to us, that Christ has been given to us as a great gift which inwardly transforms us, dwells within us and thus bestows on us the light that illumines the origin and the end of life.’
To have faith is to hear God’s call, to see your life as part of his awesome reality, to touch the Lord in the sacraments. It is `to grasp reality’s deepest meaning and to see how much God loves this world and is constantly guiding it towards himself… to live our lives in this world with ever greater commitment and intensity’.
Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel, 26 November 2013)
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis is calling upon the Church and the world with encouragement to begin a new chapter in evangelisation. This dynamic document is written in the plain, everyday language for which the Pope has become famous. “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day,” Pope Francis writes in the opening of the document.
Read an interesting reflection on the document by Julian Filochowski of Jesuit Missions.
St. Vincent’s Justice and Peace Group have a range of Prayer Resources.
Lenten Reflections: New Beginnings – A Journey from Lent to Easter. Click here to access a daily reflection throughout Lent.
Stations of the Cross in a Time of Fear and Uncertainty
An Environmental Stations of the Cross
Lenten Resources: For details of several sources of Lenten reflections, prayers and courses please visit the Independent Catholic News website page.
WAY OF THE CROSS – WAY OF JUSTICE
The risen Jesus penetrates the entire cosmos pervades the whole world, and makes his presence felt in every human being.
The resurrection is a process that began with Jesus and will go on until it embraces all creation
Wherever an authentically human life is growing the world, wherever justice is triumphing over the instincts of domination, wherever grace is winning out over the power of sin, in their social life together, wherever love is getting the better of selfish interests and hope is resisting the lure of cynicism or despair, there the process of resurrection is being turned into reality.
Way of the Cross – Way of Justice Leonardo Boff, Brazilian theologian and writer
CAFOD is a huge source of inspiration for our group. In 2019 they (along with several other NGOs), organised the mass lobby of Parliament, and they award livesimply, as described above. Please click here to visit their website.
Launch of ‘Guardians of Creation’ ecological project
The Diocese of Salford has launched a new research project that Bishop John Arnold hopes will spearhead the efforts of the Catholic community in England and Wales to tackle the current ecological crisis by paving the way to a sustainable, carbon neutral future.
The research team will collaborate with other dioceses, parish communities, industry experts, theologians and other groups to develop carbon accounting and environmental management tools that will lead to an implementation framework for use in other dioceses…..
For the full story please visit the CBCEW website at https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishop-john-arnold-spearheads-catholic-efforts-to-go-carbon-neutral/ and the Independent Catholic News: https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/41574
This seems particularly topical in the light of Sir David Attenborough’s recent address to the UN Security Council https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7I5Ala6KYc and the recent broadcast, ‘A Perfect Planet’, which is currently available on BBC iPlayer.
From the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales
‘As Christians we are inspired to be good stewards of the earth, to conserve and protect God’s creation and the earth’s resources
By our actions, we can mitigate the effects of climate change stop the destruction of habitats and reverse the decline of species worldwide.
The way we treat the earth today is already affecting the poorest and most vulnerable in the world and, in time, will affect us all.
I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us.’
Climate Change is a broad issue, and the parish group have a range of reports and resources, including Bishop Arnold’s cookbook and our report on a most thought-provoking meeting of the Clean Air Action Group in Hale. Please see below recommended resources and reading about Climate Change.
Live Simply cookbook
The Bishop of Salford has officially launched The Live Simply Book of Recipes and Tips written and produced by a group of dedicated volunteers in Oxford. The book is packed with wonderful recipes: soups and breads, a wide range of vegetarian savoury meals, some fish and meat dishes, and a collection of desserts and cakes. There are also useful tips on storing leftovers, freezing and defrosting. Find out more at: https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/38279
The Live Simply Book of Recipes and Tips – price £5 (+£1.60. P&P)
To order copies e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain payment details.
Air Pollution In Trafford: Please click here to read a report, written by a J&P group member, on a meeting held locally by the Cleaner Air Action Group.
Climate Change: This is a pastoral letter by Bishop Arnold, which gives good suggestions for energy conservation. https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/36646
With reference to the Refugee Crisis, please click here to visit the web page of the Jesuit Refugee Service UK.
If you would like to join the St. Vincent’s Justice and Peace group, we would be delighted to welcome you to our next meeting. To give an idea of what topics we cover, please see our latest minutes.