Intentional reading


‘How can we transmit a living, personal Catholic faith to future generations? By coming to know Jesus Christ, and following him as his disciples.

These are times of immense challenge and immense opportunity for the Catholic Church. Consider these statistics for the United States. Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing. Fully 10 percent of all adults in America are ex-Catholics. The number of marriages celebrated in the Church decreased dramatically, by nearly 60 percent, between 1972 and 2010. Only 60 percent of Catholics believe in a personal God. If the Church is to reverse these trends, the evangelizers must first be evangelized-in other words, Catholics-in-the-pew must make a conscious choice to know and follow Jesus before they can draw others to him. This work of discipleship lies at the heart of Forming Intentional Disciples, a book designed to help Church leaders, parish staff and all Catholics transform parish life from within. Drawing upon her fifteen years of experience with the Catherine of Siena Institute, Sherry Weddell leads readers through steps that will help Catholics enter more deeply into a relationship with God and the river of apostolic creativity, charisms, and vocation that flow from that relationship for the sake of the Church and the world. Learn about the five thresholds of postmodern conversion, how to open a conversation about faith and belief, how to ask thought-provoking questions and establish an atmosphere of trust, when to tell the Great Story of Jesus, how to help someone respond to God’s call to intentional discipleship, and much more. And be prepared for conversion because when life at the parish level changes, the life of the whole Church will change.’ (Amazon review)

Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry Weddell is a startlingly honest book about the state of most Catholic parishes today. I recognized many truths and heard the reasons for them explained. However, it wasn’t the problems which intrigued me so much as the hopeful signs, the solutions, and the positive maxim, “Never accept a label in place of a story.”

Her five thresholds of conversion were even more compelling as they’re readily identifiable points along the spiritual journey where the Holy Spirit is actively at work and by careful listening pastors and other church workers can facilitate smooth transitions to full discipleship.

They are:

1.) Initial trust—a positive association with Jesus Christ, the Church, a Christian believer, or something identifiably Christian; not the same as active personal faith.

2.) Spiritual curiosity—intrigued by or desiring to know more about Jesus, his life, and his teachings or some aspect of the Christian faith.

3.) Spiritual openness—personal acknowledgement of openness to the possibility of personal and spiritual change. This is not a commitment to change.

4.) Spiritual seeking—moving from being essentially passive to actively seeking to know God.

5.) Intentional discipleship—the decision to follow Jesus in the midst of his Church as an obedient disciple and to reorder one’s life accordingly.

When I finished Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus I had to walk away from it awhile. It contains a lot of statistics as well as a fair number of new concepts. The numbers were rather dismal but the ideas were hopeful and helpful, both on an individual and a group level. Ms. Weddell doesn’t offer enough solutions to the problems. If you are looking for some big fancy program which is going to ‘fix’ our broken parishes, then her book will be a disappointment. I believe in Jesus and the Holy Spirit and in the power of Love, prayer, communication and personal testimony to change hearts and lives.

So for me, this book is about how do I become a fully functional disciple? Some of this will involve my own relationship with Jesus, some will concern my other primary relationships, and the rest will involve what I do with, for and in my parish. If you want to change the world, or just your country, parish or home, best to begin with yourself.

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy – living in interesting times.

Cardinal Pell in the middle, from Australia and on the far right, Fr Peter Edwards of St Josephs New Malden.

On the left in second position I spy Fr Trujillo sm EWTN; Cardinal Pell in the middle from Australia and on the far right, Fr Peter Edwards , Parish Priest at St Josephs New Malden.

(Image from the Facebook page of Fr Marcus Holden)

Do you know that there is an association called the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy? Follow this link to find out a little more about the Confraternity in the USA and Australia. Here is the link to the British Confraternity, which leads to some interesting reading.

The British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy was established ‘for the sanctification and support of Priests, and in promotion of authentic Priestly life, holiness and mission by Fidelity, Formation and Fraternity.’
Read more:

Fr Peter Edwards, our parish priest at St Josephs New Malden, is a member of the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Not only did he attend the second international conference of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in Rome this month (5th -9th January 2015), he also co-chaired the conference and concelebrated the Epiphany Mass with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica. What an experience that must have been. Who would’ve thought? Our very own Fr Peter concelebrating with Papa Francisco! If there’s anyone who deserves this badge of honour, it’s Fr Peter.

The British branch of the confraternity was established following Benedict XVI’s Year for Priest’s in 2010 with the aim of “fidelity to Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Holy Father.” This is comforting knowledge.

This international conference brought together priests from the US, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. Each of these countries has an active confraternity which assists its clergy members to grow in zeal, learning and holiness.

Catholic clergy declare ‘unwavering fidelity’ to Church ahead of synod.(Directly quoted from the Catholic Herald.)

Statement from the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in support of Marriage:
The International gathering of Confraternities of Catholic Clergy meeting in Rome (January 5th to 9th 2015), have discussed issues pertinent to the forthcoming Synod on the Family in response to the Holy Father’s call for reflection. The fathers pledge their unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality as proclaimed in the Word of God and set out clearly in the Church’s Ordinary and Universal Magisterium. Confraternity priests from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and the United States commit themselves to the work of presenting anew the Good News about marriage and family life in all its fullness and helping, with the Lord’s compassion, those who struggle to follow the Gospel in a secular society. The Confraternities, furthermore, affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments and that doctrine and practice must remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.
We’re living in interesting times.


‘Even a clean and unoccupied room gathers dust…’



Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.
–St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul
Reposted as on the Catholic Connect page on Facebook)

Again and again…

I get caught up in the business and distractions of life and relationships resulting in fraught emotion that directs my conscience and consciousness away from Him – that  I know to be Truth; and I choose to rely on myself alone. This is a mistake I make again and again.

I thank God for His Wisdom and Mercy in providing for me, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so that I may take up my journey on the path He has set before me with Him as my companion and guide.

This quote redirected me to examining my Godly attitudes and I will be aspiring to understand and develop these virtues in the coming year. It’s going to be front and centre in everything I think and do.

Read Colossians 3:12-14

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,



Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation


Phillipians 2:3 (English Standard Version)

 Do nothing from kselfish ambition or lconceit, but in mhumility count others more significant than yourselves.





forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must FORGIVE.

And above all these put on LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect HARMONY. “

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…


Is 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.

You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.

For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.

For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains By judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

This is the Word of the Lord

Quiet consideration of the Mother of God and her Son, Jesus.

One perfect gift for Christmas sorted…

This version of ‘Mary did you know’ is so uplifting. I’m definitely buying this one to add to my collection of this song.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will make a blind man see?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the mute will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.




Set apart, marked, driven out, persecuted…and not one of the Western leaders condemn these atrocities!

Share this sign as a sign of solidarity with the Christians in Iraq

Share this sign as a sign of solidarity with the Christians in Iraq

Just in case you have come across this sign on social media sites and are not sure what it represents I thought I’d post it tonight in support of Christians in Mosul who are being crucified, murdered, tortured and forced out of Iraq for being Christian.The Pope has spoken out in support of these Christians, seemingly ‘forgotten’ by the Western leaders. Read articles here and here to understand the wider picture of the atrocities unfolding so far from us here in the West.

infographic …spreadshirts …pleasantly graphic …innovative …eye-catching …

Came across this infographic at one of the top Christian blogs in the UK – GOD AND POLITICS IN THE UK Take time to browse Informative and unbiased posts. sell T-shirts that will encourage comments at the very least or discussion at it’s best.

infographic @

infographic @


The Church and Discipleship

Be inspired! Read this inspiring post over at the Catholic blog Transformed in Christ. Excellent observations and ideas linked to the New Evangelisation.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 766 other followers