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Don Bosco relics to visit Southwark, January 2013

Friend of the young

Friend of the young

Here are the details about the relics tour.

Who are the Salesians?

The Salesians of Don Bosco are an international Roman Catholic Religious Order dedicated to be signs and bearers of the love of God for young people, especially those who are disadvantaged.

The Salesian family (made up of Priests, Brothers and Sisters as well as others, such as volunteers and past pupils), continues the work of its founder, Saint John Bosco, a priest who served the young and poor. Today the Salesians have projects such as schools, youth centres, homes for street children and vocational training centres.

Saint John Bosco has inspired thousands of people, young and old, priests, brothers, sisters and lay people, to strive for holiness in their lives. The Church has recognised many of them as outstanding in holiness and deserving the titles of Saint, Blessed, Venerable or Servant of God.

We, too, can be inspired by reading about their lives. The short accounts which appear on these pages are based on those appearing on the web site of the Salesians in Rome

bosco

Confession 3. When last have you taken the time to apologise?

Within the Sacrament of Reconciliation there are three rites of Reconciliation which all play a role in completing the process of Reconciliation. These rites are ordered the first rite, the second rite and the third rite of Reconciliation. The first rite of Reconciliation is Individual confession, the second rite is a communal celebration and the third rite is general absolution in a communal Rite of Reconciliation.

 The First Rite of Reconciliation (Individual Confession):
In this century, we as Christians complete this first Rite of Reconciliation most commonly than any other rite. Many churches today have a Reconciliation Room, where a penitent and a priest  are seated and the penitent begins confessing their sins. This is completed in a special process with four key elements. These elements are confession, act of contrition, absolution and penance. In this process the penitent begins confessing their sins, and acknowledging what they have done wrong and wanting to turn back to God. After they say a prayer of contrition which shows acknowledge of their sins the priest then absolves them from their sins. After this is completed the priest then gives the penitent penance which is a prayer or prayers that they have to say in order for their sins to be forgiven. This is the first rite of Reconciliation called individual confession. This is the rite which is now commonly used in the church and is most preferred.
 The Second Rite of Reconciliation(Communal Celebration):
Many churches provide opportunities for people to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a part of a communal celebration, rather than individually (the first Rite of Reconciliation). If there are communal celebrations, then they are usually held in Lent or Advent as these are the penitential season of the Church year. The celebration begins with a hymn, and a greeting by priest, immediately followed by a prayer expressing forgiveness . There are scripture readings from the Old testament as well as Gospels. After a brief homily and personal reflection time, each person then begins to confess to a priest individually and receives absolution. In this process there is more than one priest going around the church and they all use the same procedure as the First Rite (confession, act of contrition, absolution and penance). After the prayers of penance have been said the priest then says a blessing over the congregation and ends with “Go in peace”. This rite is still practiced although not as commonly as the first Rite of Reconciliation.
 The Third Rite of Reconciliation (General Absolution in a Communal Rite of Reconciliation):
This Rite of Reconciliation is only used in some circumstances where there is no opportunity for individual confession such as in war or national emergency’s. This Rite, in some ways  is similar to the second Rite, sometimes with hymns, scripture readings and a homily. However in this Rite individuals do not get to go up and speak to the priest individually. Instead of this procedure, the priest gives a general absolution of sins after the community have reflected on their sins, privately and have said a prayer acknowledging their repentance. The people who attend this Rite are expected to have a genuine sorrow for their sins and must want to live a better life in the future. If any penitent needs to confess a very serious sin, then they will be asked to confess it individually.
These are all the Three Rites of Reconciliation (individual confession, communal celebration and general absolution in a communal Rite of Reconciliation) which all portray different ways in which people confess sins and are able to confess sins, not always particularly individually.

Read more here.

The Catholic Connection: Part 1.

As I ‘ve aged and hopefully, made some small steps on my spiritual journey, I have become interested in the Early Church Fathers as well as the early Saints and Christians who have died for a Faith I am so blessed and privileged to be a part of. Each day I am grateful for the ‘freedom’ to write about and live my Faith. This is one of the reasons why I was so excited about our recent holiday to Rome, the seat of Christianity.

On hearing about our eminent trip to the Eternal City, Fr. Peter (our parish priest), offered to connect us with one of our parish Deacons who is in his second year of study at the Collegio Inglesi—-Roma. (The English College) That very same evening we received a jovial e-mail from Andrew. After a few emails sent to and fro, we established a firm date to meet up, after which we found out that Andrew would be smack-bang in the middle of end of year exams!

The above photo of Our Lady Of Walsingham was taken in the College. I just love this wooden statue. It’s got oodles of character. (I have yet to visit Walsingham here in England.) Andrew gave us an in-depth tour of the college, sharing many details about numerous martyrs, that are remembered through the art there. We were privileged to be able to hold a chalice that was used by a number of saints who themselves, had attended the college. Very special indeed.

Part of the ceiling .

We attended Mass at the college on both Sundays of our stay in Rome. At the first Mass we celebrated in awe of the four Cantors, the heavenly music and the fact that we were worshipping God in such a beautiful chapel. On the right and below is a taster of the beautiful decor of the chapel.  The marble flooring adds to the sumptuous beauty of the chapel, and behind the altar is a painting of Christ being removed from the Cross. It was only after close scrutiny that the detail of the painting became apparent. The Precious Blood of our Lord, pouring out of  His wounds onto the world. The Hands of God the Father can be seen too, holding up his Son, with the Holy Spirit in the centre.

As the tour continued Andrew named saint after saint after saint. Most of whom  I had never even heard of. It was a humbling experience.

I had always wanted to visit a Seminary, just to know what happens there, and here we were being personally chaperoned by a  prospective priest! It was such a privilege. We joined him for lunch,accompanied by much laughter and the excellent company of Fr. Guy and Benjamin. (a fourth year student priest.) We were made to feel so welcome, and the  unbreakable bond of Christianity was tangible and a sure source of unity.

Irritated and disappointed!

Image @esphoneblog.com

This morning I attended a Holy Communion celebration at a different parish. I sat in a noisy church for fifteen minutes before Mass began (it sounded like a market square!), and throughout the Mass there was chatting and nattering in varying degrees. I am certain I wasn’t the only Angry Bird there.  I found it really difficult to pray and after a while I just gave up trying. The noisy din quieted marginally at the Consecration but returned with a vengeance afterwards. This is what went through my mind:

  1. What proportion of the families present actually attend Mass, not a huge number, of that I’m sure!
  2. Surely it’s a given that when you attend a place of worship, you are respectful, or at least cautious not to offend?
  3. What are those first Holy Communicants learning by adult example?
  4. Even if I had turned around to ask for silence, it would’ve made little difference as there were conversations going on  all around me.
  5. Little reverence. So sad. Our Lord was not the focus of this gathering…
  6. Not once was mention made of the need for quiet from the pulpit. WHY NOT!
  7. I was appalled at the congratulations being metered out by one family member to a first Communicant en-route to receive the Blood of Christ. Kisses and hugs no less. Total disrespect.
  8. It’s not acceptable  to allow this sort of behaviour at Mass. The priest here has failed dismally at Catechises, and should re-Catechise his flock.
  9. I am soooo grateful for my wonderful parish priest. His ways are frowned upon by some as out-dated and draconian, but our Masses are opportunities to meditate, pray, listen and respond to the Word of God. It’s a quiet place that offers an opportunity to receive Our Lord in the right frame of mind, prayerfully.
  10. I’m going to make sure my disappointment is recorded and sent to the parish priest.

Father says…

Today’s readings:

Job 7:1-4, 6-7      

Psalm 147:1-6                                                                 

1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23

Mark 1:29-39                                                                                    

For a commentary on the readings for today click here: http://www.salvationhistory.com/homily_helps

Our Parish Priest’s homily focussed on the importance of  sharing The Good News. As Christians and followers of Christ we are called to share God’s plan for Salvation through our lives, words and actions. He then went on to use the example of  St. Vincent de Paul‘s life to demonstrate how an ordinary  Catholic made huge changes in the society in which he lived. Indeed, it’s an inspirational story! Read more here: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=326 Prayer too,  was highlighted in the homily tonight, as it is through regular and consistent conversation with the Lord  that we get to know Him and His will for our lives.

Image from Catholic Online

Naturally, I thought about what I need to do in order to improve my attempts on sharing the The Good News, and how much I still have to learn along the way. As usual, I am still contemplating the readings and mulling over Father’s  words of wisdom.

What a beautiful, meditative mass. Thank you Father!

I looked up the logo for the SVP Society in England and Wales. The message is clear.

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