Dear Friends in Christ,
Welcome to this week’s Bishop’s Blog.
The past week has been a varied one, taken up mostly with Confirmations and pastoral visits. At the weekend St. Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster was the setting for a really impressive flower display, with skilful and artistic floral arrangements depicting themes of one kind or another.
Different groups from the locality made their own contribution, and it was delightful to see such colour and natural beauty arrayed around the cathedral on a dull Saturday afternoon! Particularly eye-catching were the floral arrangements, sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need, evoking the persecution of Christians throughout the world.
Exhibitions such as this one help raise our sense of awareness to the wonder, colour and attractiveness of the world of flowers, and perhaps even afford us in the words of the poet a glimpse of the ‘author of all beauty.’
On Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with the Mother General of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, (from Kerala, India) Mother Sibi, two of whose Sisters are presently working within the Diocese. The Mother General was on a visit to her overseas communities.
In the same evening I administered Congregation to children and young people in St. Clare’s parish, Preston.
A packed church again underlines the importance placed by parents and families on their young people’s Confirmation, and the awareness that this is moment of great importance for their child.
St. Peter’s parish, Lytham, celebrated their patronal feast on Wednesday, with the feast of SS Peter and Paul. I offered Mass and during it Confirmed twelve of their young people. Peter and Paul, I commented, in their generous and ultimately total response to the Holy Spirit were powerful role models for those newly-Confirmed. May these great Apostles inspire and intercede for these and for all our young people.
The children of the Cathedral Primary School, with the feast of St. Peter on the previous day, were in celebratory mode this past week, and I joined them on Thursday morning for an assembly. The subject of their assembly, not surprisingly, was St. Peter, and from Reception to Year Six each class depicted an aspect of the Fisherman’s life, especially through their art work.
As is so often the case, when children make a presentation they provide us with much interesting and spiritual food for thought, and Thursday’s assembly was no exception. The great Apostle and close friend of the Lord Jesus will surely have been smiling from heaven (with his keys!) looking approvingly on the Cathedral children’s obvious affection for their patron saint. Well done to the staff and pupils of Cathedral School!
The day finished with a visit for Confirmation to St. Bernadette’s parish, Bispham, where I administered the sacrament to a group of young people and one adult.
Each Confirmation Mass has its own special atmosphere and, as I have often noted on this Blog, the smiles on the faces of the newly-Confirmed and the obvious pleasure of parents and family expressed in the reception which follows, indicate that something more is at work on such occasions. I have no doubt that this is indeed the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Until next week –
As ever in Christ,
+Michael G Campbell OSA
Bishop of Lancaster