Welcome to Edition 2 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 is discipleship, which means to be a follower of Jesus. Jesus calls every single one of us to be His disciples but it’s often not always that easy to hear that call, or understand what we can do to be a disciple in today’s world. On Wednesday in our Year of The Word Morning Prayer, we heard the story of the calling of Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-10). In this story Samuel, a servant, hears the literal voice of God calling him but at first he thinks it’s his master Eli. After going to Eli twice, only to be turned away, Eli realises and explains to Samuel that it’s actually the voice of God calling him. Unfortunately, for most of us, we don’t hear the literal voice of God calling us to be disciples of Jesus. Our call might come to us more subtly but even Samuel didn’t recognise his call from God at first. Today (Friday 18th January) we celebrate the feast of St Anthony of Egypt, a man who was very wealthy. After hearing Matthew 19:21 (Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me”) he decided to donate all his wealth to the poor and dedicate his life to God by living simply. St. Anthony is a great example of how we can hear God’s call and act on it, without having to hear the “booming voice” that Samuel did. One of the best ways we can be disciples of Jesus today, is by using the opportunities we have to do the best we can – for St. Anthony he used the wealth he had to do good with. Last week we thought about our gifts and talents which we have been given by God. This week, maybe we can look more closely for the opportunities we have in our lives to use those gifts and talents to be disciples of Jesus, by helping others and showing love to one another.
Feedback on the Act of Worship this week
This week’s Act of Worship was led by Mr Heath and focussed on the idea that to become a disciple, sometimes we need to change things. We looked at examples of people who had changed their lives to become better in both scripture and a modern day setting. In scripture, we heard the story of Saul, a man who persecuted and killed Christians but after an encounter with Jesus changed everything and dedicated his whole life to spreading Jesus’ word. We also watched a video explaining the inspirational story of Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, a woman who was homeless at the age of 15 but is now one of the most senior firefighters in the UK. Mr Heath challenged us to reflect on what we could change to better ourselves and set us the task of making, and sticking to, a New Year’s resolution, which we wrote on leaves and will be made into a display in The Chapel.
Events from around the World
This week, The Vatican (Catholic Church HQ) appointed a woman to one of its senior management positions for the first time in history. Francesca Di Giovanni is a lawyer who has specialised in areas including migration and refugees, the status of women, intellectual property and tourism. Now, she will serve as the Under Secretary for Multilateral Affairs in the Secretariat of State. This means she will be responsible for co-ordinating The Vatican’s relationships with groups, including the United Nations. This is really ground breaking for the future of the church as it shows the start of Pope Francis’ plans to offer more roles of authority to women in the church; something the Catholic Church has not been very good at in the past.
The ‘Year of the Word’ – How has this affected Blessed Robert Sutton this week?
This week at Blessed Robert Sutton we started offering the option to our young people to have a Year of The Word Form time prayer, instead of their usual one. In this Morning Prayer we read a piece of scripture, usually one of the readings of the day, and discuss together 3 questions that help us think about the scripture more alternatively. These might be about the atmosphere of the setting of the scripture, how we think characters might have felt, or encourage us to think about similar situations we may have been in ourselves. We then end with a prayer, related to what we’ve been thinking about.
News from St Ralph Sherwin Partner Schools in our Parish
The second half of Year 5 started their Faith in Action Award this week as St. Edwards. They are very excited to have the opportunity to explore their faith creatively and help others.
Years 5 and 6 at Holy Rosary school went to the National Space Centre this week which they really enjoyed and had an amazing time!
Thoughts from Pope Francis (Social Media)
Pope Francis baptised some children this week to celebrate the feast of Jesus’ baptism. He encouraged us to pray for them and their families. He also wrote the following about worship…
“Worship means bringing our lives to the Lord, and allowing Him to enter into them. It means letting His consolation come down to earth, and letting ourselves be pervaded by His tender love.”