The Bishop’s Blog: Build the Church … Love Life…

Hello & welcome to this week’s Bishop’s Blog!Sunday saw me return to Workington, Christ the Good Shepherd parish. Since August 2010 this had been my home, and I was happy there amongst the good people of West Cumbria. I was returning to say thank-you and a sort of goodbye. The Corpus Christi Mass was a beautiful celebration followed by refreshments and a presentation in St.Joseph’s school next-door. There simply was not time to have a word with everyone. What was good to see was that there are some new faces amongst the regulars, including Iraqi families, part of a refugee resettlement programme. The work of building our parishes as welcoming Faith communities goes on.On Tuesday I attended a meeting of the Trustees of Ushaw College, Durham, the seminary I attended from 1976 to 1982.For some years it has been closed as a seminary but it remains a magnificent site not just for the history of the Catholic community but as a place discovering how to play its part in the Church’s future. I recommend it as a place to visit. You may start by visiting the College website. Following the tragic referendum result in Ireland it is heart-breaking to see the pro-abortion lobby turning its attention towards the North of Ireland, intent on dismantling the laws that protect unborn children. We must persevere in hope and prayer, and we must do penance, something I have neglected. Earlier in the week I was humbled by a conversation with a Nun. I was commenting on how we did not have to fast on Friday because it is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Sister was very well aware of this and so was keeping Thursday as a day of fasting instead. There is a lesson to reflect on, and an example to follow. Enjoy the feasts but don’t neglect the fasts. Both are essential

With every good wishes and prayer for the week ahead,


Paul Swarbrick

Bishop of Lancaster