Lay Chaplain’s Catholic Life Blog – Edition 1

Will Cruddace, Lay Chaplain
Will Cruddace
(Lay Chaplain for Burton-on-Trent and Swadlincote)

Welcome to Edition 1 of the Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Life Blog by Will Cruddace, Lay Chaplain for Burton-on-Trent and Swadlincote.

Firstly, let me introduce myself. I am Will Cruddace, Lay Chaplain for Blessed Robert Sutton, Holy Rosary and St Edward’s Catholic schools. As part of my job role, I also represent the local parish with Fr Neil Peoples.

Reflection on ‘Theme of the Week’

This week’s theme of the week is ‘Epiphany’, an important feast in the church’s calendar where we celebrate ‘the three wise men’, or ‘Magi’, visiting the baby Jesus and giving the three gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. It’s easy to look at this story as a long-off fairy tale that we’ve heard since we were young children and as something that doesn’t really have that much relevance two thousand years later, although it can actually be reflected in our own lives very easily. Over Christmas I spent a lot of time travelling to see family and friends and sharing gifts with the people I love, as I’m sure many of you did. It’s not always easy to organise seeing people and picking gifts can often be quite tricky, but we do it because people are special to us.  It was exactly the same when the Magi visited Jesus. They took time to go on a long journey and they picked gifts that would suit the baby they were visiting; not just the first things they could find on the shelves. They chose Gold – a gift for a King, Frankincense – a perfume associated with God, and Myrrh – an oil used for embalming to signify Jesus’ eventual death on the cross. They gave Jesus these gifts because he was special, just as we do the same for those special to us. It is important to remember that we also special, which is why God has given us our own gifts and talents unique to us. This epiphany, I encourage you to think about the gifts which God has given you, and how you can use them in the world.

Feedback on the Act of Worship this week

This week’s act of Worship was led by Miss O’Leary. We learnt about Epiphany and its importance in the Christmas Story, and thought about the gifts of the Magi. We reflected on the gifts we’ve been given by God, in particular the ones we use in school, and thought about how we can use those to the best of our abilities. Miss O’Leary explained how at the start of the New Year and a new decade we have the ultimate opportunity for a fresh start, and challenged us to show off our gifts and talents by trying our best in classes, and taking pride in book presentation.

News from St Ralph Sherwin Partner Schools in our Parish

This week St. Edwards Year 5 started their Faith in Action Award programme and PIN Level. They are really looking forward to the creative ways they can explore their faith, and can’t wait to start helping others. 

Holy Rosary have relaunched their Achievement Assemblies, celebrating all the wonderful gifts that we have been given by God.

Thoughts from Pope Francis (Social Media)

This week on Instagram, Pope Francis encouraged us to pray for Australia and all the victims of the wildfires happening. He also wrote the following on Epiphany…

“Worship is an act of love that changes our lives. It is to do what the Magi did. To bring gold to the Lord and to tell him that nothing is more precious than he is. To offer him incense and to tell him that only in union with him can our lives rise up to heaven. To present him with myrrh, balm for the bruised and wounded, and to promise him that we will aid our marginalised and suffering neighbours, in whom he himself is present.”