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News, Articles & Resources from our Formation Team

Rescources from our Inclusion Advisor, Margaret Fraher

It is great that you are staying connected by visiting the Diocesan website. During this time of working from home I have gathered together some links that different people may find helpful to support them in their faith journey and by accessing resources in different formats.

The following may be of interest to people who are blind or have failing sight:

Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session (based on Ignatian Spirituality) to help you pray each day at a time which suits you best. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection to enable you to:

- Become more aware of God's presence in your life

- Listen to and reflect on God's word

- Grow in your relationship with God

You can access it through the spoken as well as the written word.

These resources may helpful for people who are D/deaf, Hard of Hearing as well as BSL Sign Interpreters/Communicators:

Fr Paul Fletcher SJ signing the Sunday Mass (available on the Saturday from 15.00)

BSL Signed Prayer for when there is no Mass

BSL Signed Prayer - An Act of entrusting England to Our Lady

Pope Francis: ‘Urbi et Orbi’ BSL signed by James Fitzgerald (with spoken translation in English)

https://www.cda-uk.com/videos

The following may be of use to the family and carers of those living with Dementia:

This resource is a simple A5 pack of information to guide people putting together a memory box that reflects the spiritual life of the person with dementia. It gives ideas that could be used to stimulate each of the five senses and includes a CD of many of the most familiar hymns sung by some of their parishioners. It could also be adapted to create a Prayer Box for anyone to use at home to prompt varied opportunities for prayer and reflection whilst in self-isolation.

 Let us pray together:

That God will hold those who are unwell in the palm of His Hand

That those who are struggling with self-isolation will know God’s presence in their home and their heart

That those who do not understand these difficult times will be able to put their trust in God.

Amen.

Resources to Support the Family from our Marriage & Family Life Advisor, Katherine Bergin

There is no doubt that for some parents the latest direction from the Bishop’s Conference  that we stay at home and refrain from coming to Sunday Mass, may come as a welcome relief from, what can often be, a difficult time for families with young children. For others staying away from a precious moment during the week when we can give our relationship with Our Lord some time and attention, will be a real loss. Coupled with that, being separated from our Parish community, from the people we smile at and feel connected to, through our faith, will be a sadness. The reality of the absence of this regular, focused time in the presence of our Lord, will quickly impact of the rhythm of our lives and our relationship with Him. It will become all the more necessary to make time to stop and recognise where we can nurture and sustain our relationship with God. It is helpful to try to ensure a better focus within the pattern of our lives at home, that will enable us to recollect the presence of God right at the heart of our family.

God can always be found in the heart of family life, in the messiness, the chaos, the loving, caring, forgiveness, patience, giving and sharing, he is central to it all, in revealing the meaning of unconditional love. We can help our children to recognise Him in four easy steps

1) Recognise Him Centrally, His presence in the midst of us.

Talking out loud to God or just generally chatting with Him as you would do to someone you can see, if a helpful way to recall that He is indeed present. Having a conversation is the best way to get to know someone, particularly if you take the time to listen to the answer. Share your thoughts and worries, bring Him into the central part of your family.

2) Gratitude; in all that we do we can thank him.

The beauty of the sunrise, the benefit of the rain, acknowledging that whatever we wake up to is a gift for us. Our daily food, for the effort that has gone into its production from the cook right back to the farmer, and particularly at the moment to those who are enabling supplies to remain on the shelves. For the roof over our heads and the support of having people who love us.

3) Petition, although He always knows what we need, to verbalise it, is helpful.

 Asking for help from someone who loves us is a natural response. We can remember particularly at the moment those who are isolated, whose lives are restricted, those who are alone or frightened, those who are working so incredibly hard to help us all in these difficult times. Perhaps as a family we could find ways to offer practical help to those in need, phoning elderly neighbours, supporting the isolated with practical responses such as doing their shopping.

4) Learning about Him;

In this year of the Word we can use the Sacred Scriptures to get to know God’s plan for us. We can discover how his love for us has been revealed over the ages and how the person of Christ came to bring us into a deeper relationship. Take time to read and reflect as a family, on small passages from the Bible, explore what they might mean, what are they saying to each of us. Asking questions such as I wonder why…. I wonder if….. are really helpful. Children will often astonish you with the depth of their understanding.

It might be that we set up a small “holy space” where we can put a bible and perhaps a candle that we can light before we say our prayers. Children can be encouraged to draw pictures or write their own prayers to leave here or perhaps to take turns in composing a grace to be said at a family meal.

There are some useful online resources here:

This new resource is designed to allow young people to connect with the mysteries of Holy Week during this time. Beginning with Palm Sunday, each day there will be a reflection on scripture, a journaling prompt for praying and reflecting with, and an activity to help to live this out daily. It can be found at: easterjourney2020.wordpress.com

Praying a Family Rosary

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/mary/rosary/how-to-pray-a-family-rosary

General Faith Resources for Children

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/2020-March-Catholic-Kids-Bulletins-5062455

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/2020-April-Catholic-Kids-Bulletins-5311897

Weekly Mass sheets https://thekidsbulletin.com/

There are some great Godly play resources to use with your children. Several of them are available as you tube videos

What is the time of Lent all about? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivkLTqkiWjc 

The different faces of the Easter story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlFho5BRyEc 

The Mystery of Easter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj_D7NIHXUM 

Many children will be busy with school work and adapting to a home-school routine though it is important to remember that we can spend some time nourishing our faith in God in a manner that is not always possible in our normal, busy lives. Guildford Parishes' Youth and Families worker, Aseel Gilbert, has put some wonderful resources on their website which can be accessed here https://www.cpg.church/family.html

Enjoy spending time together, coming closer as a family and coming closer to God.

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Articles and Resources from our Music & Liturgy Advisor, Catherine Christmas 

At a time when we may not be able physically to receive Holy Communion, we may experience a deep, painful longing which can help us to pray in solidarity with those who are denied the Eucharist, those who cannot receive it because of persecution, and those who are to be initiated and waiting to receive it for the first time (at Easter, Pentecost or whenever we're able to celebrate together again).

For many centuries in the history of the Church, reception of the Eucharist was a rare occurrence. This challenging time will enable us to treasure it all the more and anticipate with great joy the time when we can receive it again.

We can still join our prayers with the whole church, living and dead, with Mary, the Mother of God, and all the angels and saints. We may be isolated but we are still in communion with each other, with the Pope and with our bishops. And, in this Year of the Word, we have an opportunity to 
reflect and focus all the more deeply and intensely on Scripture, listening to what God has to say to us at this time. "Not on bread alone are we nourished, but on every word which comes from the mouth of God."

Magnificat is published monthly in a number of languages, including an English edition for the UK, based on our own liturgical calendar, Lectionary and feast days. It contains the Mass for each day with a meditation from the great spiritual writers of the Church throughout history. It also contains prayer for mornings and evenings based on the Liturgy of the Hours. It features lives of the saints, articles on spiritual topics by contemporary writers, Prayer at Night, hymns and in each issue an essay on a great example of Christian art.

Live-streamed Masses (and recordings)

Churchservices.tv- including diocesan churches (Caterham, Hove, Woking, Worthing) and others.

The Vatican’s YouTube channel - Pope Francis said on 9th March: “Let us pray together. During these days you can follow Mass from Santa Marta live every morning at 7am.” (Rome time; 6am UK time, but recorded for viewing later). Live feed, plus recordings (click on Videos tab), Wednesday Papal Audience, Angelus prayers, etc.

EWTN - A streamed Mass, Wednesday Papal Audience, and much more (this is an American-based channel so scripture readings are from the American Bible.)

Useful Internet and Social Media Resources:

The English Bishops' Conference Twitter feed is useful for its prayers, Scripture reflections and news https://twitter.com/catholicew
 
Pope Francis' Twitter account is good for gaining the Pope's insight and recieving reassurance https://twitter.com/pontifex
 
Visit this site for imorportant imformation on the Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary https://www.behold2020.com/
 
A modern take on spiritual Communion
https://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2020/03/15/seeking-to-encounter-the-eucharistic-christ-in-digital-bread-and-wine/
 
https://catholicherald.co.uk/video-masses-prayer-apps-and-virtual-retreats-spiritual-resources-for-this-time/