Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin March 2023

Fr Dominic writes:

Prayer, fasting, and works of charity are the three traditional strands of Lenten observance recommended by the Church. 

As such, they are part of a whole, representing how on our Lenten journey we live out our faith as God’s Pilgrim People and, as the living out of the Church’s social teaching is at the heart of our faith, each dimension involves the hallmark of the Kingdom of love, peace, justice, truth. 

In our prayer we are called to remember those most in need, especially those affected by war and conflict, and those on the margins in whatever way. 

We are called to make some concrete expression of our need for God in fasting from earthly pleasures, and in so doing are in solidarity with those who suffer and grow into closer communion with the whole of creation groaning for rebirth.  CAFOD’s Lent Family Fast Day is a good time to do this but, of course, the whole of Lent presents opportunities for fasting. 

And we are called to do something tangible which assists those most in need and our ailing planet.  Here we can volunteer through Caritas with the homeless, food banks, with the SVP and so many other charities, and there are so many practical things we can do to care better for the environment 

There is so much we can do as individuals and as communities in our parishes, schools and chaplaincies, to prepare for the greatest feast of the Church’s year at Easter. If nothing else, however, I hope we can spend some more time reflecting on our own frailty and sinfulness as God’s constantly journeying Pilgrim People, to be renewed in our commitment to be a Church which truly proclaims the Kingdom of peace and justice, to be a Church which, as the Holy Father puts it, is a Church not just with or for but “of the poor”.

The Lent 2023 Faith-Sharing group resource, prepared this year by Westminster Justice and Peace, is there also to help us embrace Lenten renewal in communities.  I hope that our growing network of Contacts representing our communities can promote it.  Download a copy

In encouraging us to use it widely, this gives me the opportunity to thank all our contacts and other volunteers for the work of Justice & Peace in their communities, and especially Colette Joyce, for all the work on this and so much else as Justice & Peace Co-ordinator.

I thank also the Commission, now rebuilding and growing, and this month welcome back Hilda McAfferty, who will represent the vast network of parishes in West London where so much valuable work is going on.

Many thanks again for your faithfulness to the work of Justice and Peace in our diocese.

And a blessed Lent to all!   

Fr Dominic Robinson, SJ
Chair, Westminster Justice and Peace