Dear Friends in Christ,
Two important and significant moments for the Church in Carlisle were marked at a Mass of celebration in Our Lady & St. Joseph’s last Saturday. (My homily is here)
The first was the establishment of a new parish under, appropriately, under the title of Our Lady of Eden, which brought into a single unity Our Lady & St. Joseph’s in Warwick Square, Our Lady & St. Wilfrid’s, Warwick Bridge, and St. Ninian’s, Brampton.
This new parish has the wholehearted support of the Catholics of all three churches, and at the reception afterwards many expressed pleasure at the union of the three communities.
Our Lady of Eden will be blessed in as much as three priests, based at Warwick Square, Carlisle, will be ministering to the parish. The good representation of parishioners at the Mass, which was outstanding for the quality of its liturgy and sacred music, augurs well for the future of the Church in this Northern part of our diocese. May the venture prosper under God!
The second cause for celebration was the canonical erection of a House of Clerics, a fairly recent innovation or perhaps restoration of an ancient practice in these islands. A Press Release is here.
The three priests who are resident at the Rectory in Warwick Square, Carlisle, have agreed to share a common life of public prayer and meals together.
As I observed in my homily at the Mass, we have fewer priests at the present time while the burden of work does not diminish, so a shared priestly life offers mutual support and encouragement in their ministry.
I warmly commend this faith-filled and bold initiative, which also enjoys the approval of recent Popes as is clear from their different addresses to bishops and priests.
What was overall a very pleasing celebration concluded with excellent and generous refreshments on offer in the Waterton parish hall afterwards, named after an outstanding parish priest of yesteryear.
The happiness and optimism which was so evident among the people was, for me, a further indication of the quiet movement of the Holy Spirit nudging the Church (and us!) gently but firmly forward in the ways of the Lord. We have indeed much for which to be grateful!
As ever in Christ our Lord,
+Michael G Campbell OSA
Bishop of Lancaster
Acknowledgement: 3 Photos used from Moreno Berti