The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY started on Tuesday 18th January and ends with the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. Each day at Mass, we remember different Christian Communities in our prayers as we pray that ‘all may be one.’
Materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 have been prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches on behalf of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches based in Beirut, Lebanon.They chose the theme, “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Mt 2:2). More than ever, in these difficult times, we need a light that shines in the darkness and that light, Christians proclaim, has been manifested in Jesus Christ.In a region of the world where human rights are habitually trampled underfoot by unjust political and economic interests, in the face of an unprecedented international health crisis and bearing the human and material consequences of the serious explosion that devastated Beirut on 4 August 2020, the local ecumenical group nevertheless made every effort to present the results of its work by participating in the online meetings.We pray for greater unity among Christians in the Middle East and around the world that they may contribute to a more dignified, just and peaceful life for all men and women in our time and in the times to come.

Synod 2023

SYNOD 2023 Pope Francis has asked the whole Catholic Church worldwide to engage in a process of discernment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This process is called a synod. It involves everyone in the Church – clergy, religious, and lay Catholics, each participating according to the gifts and charisms of their vocation. Our next PPC meeting on Thursday 20th January will be focusing on our own Parish approach to Pope Francis’ invitation to journey together, listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the lives of the people we meet. We are currently exploring various ways in which we can engage with our wider Parish community, not just those who currently attend Mass, so that all are able to share their experience of the Church with us, including a possible on-line parish questionnaire. This will enable our parish to give a considered and unified response. In the meantime, the following Listening Events (both face to face and via Zoom), have been arranged by the Clifton Cathedral delegates: CLIFTON CATHEDRAL LISTENING EVENTS We aim to provide a range of events for you to choose from. The first three dates are consecutive and intended for you to attend all three if you can. The Saturday dates cover the same themes but over a three-hour period. The final three dates are consecutive but on Zoom. Three consecutive Tuesday evenings – 11th, 18th, 25th January: after Mass until 9pm in the Apostle Room; Saturday 15th January: after Mass until 1.30pm in the Apostle Room; Three consecutive Thursday evenings via Zoom – 13th, 20th, 27th January: 7.30pm – 9pm. To get your Zoom invitation, please register via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/clifton-cathedral-synod-listening-event-tickets-239466590017 Saturday 22nd January: after Mass until 1.30pm. There will also be opportunities for you to share your views outside of these meetings by talking to the delegates, or by writing to them at synod2023.cathedral@cliftondiocese.com

The Holy Family

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY On this, the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, we honour the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Why did Jesus choose to become a baby born of a mother and father and to spend all but his last years living in an ordinary human family? In part, to reveal God’s plan to make all people live as one “holy family” in His Church. In the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, God reveals our true home. We’re to live as his children, “chosen ones, holy and beloved.” The family advice we hear in today’s readings—for mothers, fathers, and children—is all solid and practical. Happy homes are the fruit of our faithfulness to the Lord, we sing in today’s Psalm. But the Liturgy is inviting us to see more, to see how, through our family obligations and relationships, our families become heralds of the family of God that He wants to create on earth. Jesus shows us this in today’s Gospel. His obedience to His earthly parents flows directly from His obedience to the will of His heavenly Father. Joseph and Mary aren’t identified by name, but three times are called “his parents” and are referred to separately as his “mother” and “father.” The emphasis is all on their familial ties to Jesus. But these ties are emphasised only so that Jesus, in the first words He speaks in Luke’s Gospel, can point us beyond that earthly relationship to the Fatherhood of God. In what Jesus calls “my Father’s house,” every family finds its true meaning and purpose. The Temple we read about in the Gospel today is God’s house, his dwelling. But it’s also an image of the family of God, the Church. In our families we’re to build up this household, this family, this living temple of God—until He reveals his new dwelling among us and says of every person: “I shall be his God and he will be my son.”