|Welcome to Grapevine|
We hope you enjoyed reading the first issue of Grapevine a week or two ago. There’s plenty more where that came from – we hope to send an issue every couple of weeks.
Several parishes circulated the last edition to parishioners with their own weekly email, or put it into their bulletin. That’s what it’s all about – please do circulate it, and encourage readers to sign up for their own regular email.
Paul (Programme Leader for Social Action)
Diane (Adult Formation Administrator)
In this issue
Laudato Si’ – build a better world after lockdown
A parish pandemic toolkit from SVP, CSAN and Nottingham Diocese
Catholics reach out to Uganda under lockdown
Praying with Mary in May and beyond
Going online – Leicestershire Catholics stay connected.
Let’s build a better world together
Five years ago this week, Pope Francis published his groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si, on Care for our Common Home, the Earth. The need for a change of heart and of lifestyle, particularly among rich nations, is as urgent as ever.
Emerging from the Coronavirus pandemic is a rare opportunity to build a new, more compassionate and more sustainable society. Let’s take it!
Don’t miss the rich programme of online events going on this week to mark five years of Laudato Si.
Here in Nottingham Diocese, an environmental working party is leading our response, developing resources for parishes for prayer and learning, measuring the church’s footprint, buying ethically and going carbon neutral. We’re developing a strategy, even during lockdown! If you’d like to join the party get in touch.
Covid-19 toolkit for parishes
What can I do to support vulnerable people in my parish?
What sources of help are there to which I can signpost people in distress?
These are just two of the questions everyone has had to wrestle with during the lockdown. Now you can get help in thinking them through and finding creative solutions that work for you.
The Covid-19 Toolkit for Catholic Parishes is published by Caritas Social Action Network and SVP with help from us here in the Diocese of Nottingham. Please do share it with your parish pastoral care network, and make its ideas your own.
Support for foodbanks and crisis funds
If your parish is helping to run a foodbank or a scheme to offer crisis funds to local families, here is a funding opportunity which may be useful. The Albert Gubay Foundation is offering grants to Catholic parishes and SVP Conferences. Details have yet to be published online, but you can contact Paul for an application form.Domestic abuse in the pandemicThe Bishops’ Conference is encouraging parishes to raise awareness of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 crisis and support local services which support victims.
Bishop John Sherrington said: “Catholic parishes can play an important role in the fighting the scourge of domestic abuse, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic where we are seeing some shocking statistics from leading domestic abuse organisations. My thanks go to those organisations and individuals already working so hard to ensure that people suffering domestic abuse can live safe lives.” Please do what you can to pass this information on.
Coronavirus in the wider world
Covid-19 has now spread to some of the poorest countries in the world. The economic impact of lockdown has been as bad as the impact on health, especially in communities with no access to healthcare. Several parishes in Nottingham Diocese are supporting communities with which they have longstanding friendships. These too are our neighbours.
Parishioners at St Mary’s in Marple Bridge helped to set up Helping Uganda Schools and are seeking donations for food relief. Likewise Holy Spirit in West Bridgford are supporting Fr Vincent Kanyankole in Uganda to feed hungry parishioners. And CAFOD’s Coronavirus appeal is helping to provide relief and prevent the spread of the disease.
May is Mary’s month
St Mary’s Church and School, Derby, have made a couple of videos to celebrate the month of Mary. Watch the video below to hear the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary prayed with different voices – young and old. The parish has also produced this meditative sequence of images of Mary that parishioners have at home.
The Redemptorists are promoting a ‘perpetual novena at home as a way of continuing prayer with Mary through the year. This informative website tells you more.
Leicestershire parishes online
Many parishes are finding that social media are helping people stay in touch during social distancing. Two parishes have found Facebook Groups particularly useful. These are interactive forums where people can start written conversations and respond to others members’ posts.
St Mary’s Parish in Loughborough and St Joseph’s in Leicester have both set up private Facebook Groups which parishioners can join. They can share messages, news and requests for prayer or help. Read more about how a Group has helped St Mary’s here, and different ways parishes can keep in contact here.
And here’s a simple introduction to cost-free online technologies which parishes are likely to find useful. Perhaps there is someone in your parish who could set something up? If not contact us, and we may be able to fix you up with advice and coaching.
Pray with us
For people in the poorest countries without access to food or healthcare during the pandemic.
For those experiencing domestic violence during the lockdown, adults and children alike.
For world leaders preparing for crucial environmental summits, postponed to next year, on climate change and wildlife.
Finally, as anyone who has edited a newsletter knows, feedback is rare but highly prized! So please do help us to cover the issues and opportunities that matter to you. Particularly welcome are snippets of parish news which have wider appeal – especially if they come with a photo. Contact us by clicking on one of the email links below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Paul and Diane
- Grapevine 1 | News from Adult Formation, Justice & Peace and Caritas (7/5/20)
- Grapevine 3 | News from Adult Formation, Justice & Peace and Caritas (2/6/20)