Lenten New Beginnings!

Dear friends in Christ,

Welcome to this week’s Bishop’s Blog!Last Saturday I presided at the Rite of Election in the Cathedral, Lancaster, receiving those who desire to be baptized into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil. Also present were those adults from a number of parishes across the Diocese, wishing to be received into the Church during the Vigil.None of them looked mad, none gave the impression of ‘doing it for a bet’. They were genuine and sincere in their desire to become Catholics. What a joy this is to share! They have found the pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in the field.Complacency is always a temptation for those of us who were baptized as infants and have known no other way of life. How easily we can take our Faith for granted. How easy it is to neglect caring for it.How easy it is to let it risk being lost or damaged. How much in need we stand of being refreshed in Faith. Lent provides a suitable time for this, and these individuals making a choice to become Catholics provide us with good example.The risk of spreading Corona-virus is constantly ‘in our faces’ through the Media. We now hear of cases within the Diocese. Our response is led by Government guidelines and more detailed advice from the Bishops’ Conference Health desk. Of course, all this comes on top of everything else we have to attend to.Beware doing things in such a way as to ignite panic or distress in others. We must play our part within the national picture, and do it in a way that gives evidence of Faith. The way we treat one another can help or hinder, depending on the choices we make. Let this be a time when we can look after one another better.Finally, something that made me smile . . . . On Wednesday I had to go down to London for a meeting. On the Underground a young Moslem lady offered me her seat. I declined, politely of course! It seems I have crossed a certain ‘age-threshold’. Sometimes others recognize this more quickly than we do.
Don’t forget the Stations of the Cross . . . . . and Confession. As I write this I am preparing to head off to make mine.


Let us continue to pray for those experiencing the deepest despair and darkness at this time.

As ever in Christ our Lord,

Paul Swarbrick

Bishop of Lancaster