For the regular readers of this message, you would be aware that I mostly put my thoughts into words on a Sunday evening. Today is no different, except I have had a different sort of day, because Allen and I went to see a movie, The Eagle Huntress, directed by Otto Bell, at the Regal Theatre at Birmingham Gardens.
While listening to the Gospel (Matthew 15:21-28) being proclaimed on Sunday, I was struck by the absolute persistence of a woman who believed in Jesus and who wanted her daughter to be cured. She, a Canaanite woman, an absolute outsider, would not take no for an answer. She persisted with her cause and eventually Jesus was forced to hear her and to acknowledge her great faith – and he cured her daughter. I am impressed that she showed great courage, amazing faith and hope and deep love; she is a model of the true disciple of Jesus.
Last week, you received my weekly message on the feast day of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, and this week, it comes to you on the Feast of the Assumption.
Last week Vivien Williams, Diocesan Co-ordinator of Adult Faith Formation, assembled the weekly message with contributions from Massimo Faggioli along with Sam Hill, Carmel Moore, Michael O’Connor, Paul O’Heir, Lidy Waanders and Helen Whale.
As a diocese we take seriously the requirement to provide opportunities for people’s growth in faith, and over recent weeks Teresa has been speaking about our array of visiting speakers. Building so well on our previous visitors (Cardinal John Dew and Dr James McEvoy), our most recent guest, courtesy of the Catholic Schools Office – Professor Massimo Faggioli – really fired imaginations. Co-ordinator of Adult Faith Formation, Vivien Williams, reports.
Pope Francis was not present at the Second Vatican Council, but he has absorbed its relevance and meaning for directing the Catholic Church in the modern era.
The final phrase spoken by Jesus at the end of this weekend’s Gospel reading (Mt 13:24-43) was “Listen, anyone who has ears!”
Last week the CSO RE & Spirituality Team hosted Professor Massimo Faggioli from Villa Nova Pensylvannia who addressed several diocesan groups on Vatican II and its history, relevance and impact upon society and the Catholic Church fifty years since the event.