Pastoral Area News
This is a letter from the parish priests and assistant priests of our pastoral area
We, the priests of the pastoral area are taking this opportunity on the Solemnity of the Epiphany to write to all Catholics in the parishes of St Christopher, St Ambrose, St Mary, St John Vianney, Our Lady of the Annunciation, Our Lady of the Assumption and Christ the King and Our Lady. The purpose of this letter is to invite you to pray, to discern together and take practical steps towards becoming a more collaborative pastoral area in serving the mission of Christ.
As you know, a Eucharistic Congress is to be held in Liverpool in September this year. Ten thousand delegates from England and Wales will take part, including delegates from our own parishes. Then, in 2020, there will be an Archdiocesan Synod. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the Synod will set out priorities for being a missionary church, - as a Diocese, as a pastoral area, and as parish communities.
The wise men left their homes and their countries because of a belief. They believed that the star they had seen rising was no ordinary star. It was a sign: a sign of a birth: of a new born king of the Jews. And on the strength of their belief they set out on a journey. They couldn’t rest until they had followed the star and found the child and paid homage to him. Their belief led them on. We, too, believe in this child. Like the wise men we see in this birth a turning point for the human race.
The wise men returned to their country by a different way. But also with changed hearts and minds; with a new understanding of themselves and of the world. Our belief in the Christ child gives us a new perspective too.
The Eucharistic Congress is entitled ‘Adoremus’, - Let us Adore. As we worship and honour our God as Catholics in this pastoral our hope is that we can change our direction of travel to become the Church God wants us to be.
This move in a new direction is marked by small but significant steps. We, your priests, are already working together to serve Christ and his people more effectively in this pastoral area. We have been away twice during the past year to pray together and to reflect on our mission. We have established a monthly gathering at Hope University and invited parishioners to join us in prayer. We have met with our deacons to discuss with them how they see their ministry being shaped in today’s world.
Looking forward, - between now and the beginning of Lent we will be inviting parishioners, young people, priests and religious to be delegates to the Eucharistic Congress. Once they are appointed they will establish a Pastoral Area Forum to examine how the Catholic community in this pastoral area can become more focussed on its mission. These ideas will feed into the Synod in 2020.
To demonstrate a deepening of our collaboration in ministry each priest will visit each of the churches of our Pastoral Area in turn and celebrate Sunday Mass .
And finally, on Thursday 12th April the Archbishop will lead a joint Pastoral Area Holy Hour, together with all the parishes of South Liverpool. We invite you to take part in this important time of prayer. More details of this event will be available shortly.
As we embark on this new path with you we ask you to pray, to share your expertise, energy and commitment so that together we can be true disciples of Jesus Christ in this place.
Yours in Christ
And the letter is signed by the parish priests and assistant priests of the pastoral area, including Fr Tim and Fr Charles.