Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin October 2022

I hope you have enjoyed celebrating nature this month, even as we become ever more aware of the efforts we must make to protect our common home. There is still the Feast of St Francis to come on Tuesday, 4th October, to close the season, as we seek his intercession and inspiration in our care for the environment for rest of the year. 

Our E-Bulletin this month contains a report from our most recent Westminster Social Justice and Peace Forum on Saturday, 17th September, when people from around the Diocese joined Bishop Nicholas Hudson and Bishop Paul McAleenan on Zoom. The theme of the Forum was ‘To Accompany Refugees’, and it took place on the weekend preceding the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (25th September). The Forum was chaired by Bishop Nicholas Hudson, who underlined that this was an opportunity to explore what the response in the ecclesial community in Westminster has been…  Read the full report on our website

Welcome to New Commission Member  

Fr Dominic writes: 

A warm welcome to Sr Carolyn Morrison ra, University Chaplain based at Newman House, to the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission. We look forward to benefiting from Sr Carolyn’s skills and experience. We hope to recruit more new members to the Commission in due course.  

The current Commission members are: Fr Dominic Robinson SJ (Chair), Colette Joyce (Co-ordinator), Tony Sheen (CAFOD), John Coleby (Caritas), Sr Carolyn Morrison ra 

Parish Contacts

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to serve as a Parish Contact for Justice & Peace in 2023.  The current list can be found here:

Westminster Justice and Peace Parish Contacts

Finally, in this month which includes Homeless Sunday and Challenge Poverty Week, we continue to consider how best we might help our communities rise to meet the current cost-of-living challenges. There are many links and events in the Diary pages to inform our response, including a one-day Conference with Caritas Westminster on 12th November at All Saints Catholic College, 75 Saint Charles Square, London, W10 6EL, which will bring together a number of different organisations offering assistance, with people from schools, parishes and projects across the Diocese. 

12th November, 10.30am-5.00pm: Firm Foundations in a Cost of Living Crisis

Please keep all the organisers of these events in your prayers. 

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin September 2022

The new term has seen a plethora of events dropping into my inbox so there are THREE pages of Diary Dates this month. No-one can do it all, but I hope you will find one or two things of particular interest to you among this myriad of ideas for putting our faith into practice.

Two highlights for us are:

The Season of Creation, 1st September – 4th October 

This year’s theme is “Listen to the Voice of Creation.” As the Psalmist declares:

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; 
and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge…their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the Earth
and their words to the end of the world.” 
(Psalm 19: 1-4)

Find resources for the Season of Creation

Westminster Social Justice and Peace Forum ‘To Accompany Refugees’, 17th September, 10am-1pm.

Join Bishops Nicholas Hudson and Paul McAleenan along with guest speakers including Megan Knowles (Jesuit Refugee Service) and Teresa Clarke (St Alban’s Hostel Visiting Group), for sharing and discussion of our response to the worldwide movement of peoples. 

Register with Eventbrite

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin July 2022

Kew Gardens, West London

We are reflecting on the theme of summer holidays for this month’s E-Bulletin.

Every year the first weekend of the school summer holidays, 22nd-24th July, witnesses the annual National Justice and Peace Network conference in Swanwick, Derbyshire, at the beautiful The Hayes Conference Centre. Fr Dominic and Colette will be attending and would love to see you there. It is always a great event with speakers, workshops, prayer, music, social time and networking to refresh and re-inspire your enthusiasm for peace and justice in our complicated world. Everybody is welcome and there are special programmes for children and teenagers, so the whole family can come along.

22nd-24th July – National Justice and Peace Network Annual Conference at Swanwick

Or perhaps you would like to join us in Kew Gardens on Tuesday, 9th August? More details are in the newsletter and on the website:

9th August – Kew Gardens Outing

If you are the festival-going type, you might like to consider Greenbelt, the ecumenical Christian festival at Boughton House, near Kettering, 26th-29th August, the bank holiday weekend. Colette is a regular attendee and happy to tell you all about it if you give her a call!

26th-29th August – Greenbelt Festival, Boughton House

There are the many other events to note across the usual array of issues. Please note that there is no E-Bulletin in August so the deadline for items for the September E-Bulletin is 30th August.

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin June 2022

Last week we heard the staggering news that the number of people displaced from their homes owing to violence, conflict or persecution passed 100 million for the first time.

United Nations Report

“It’s a record that should never have been set,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. “This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes”.

This month in the UK we mark Refugee Week from 20-26 June 2022 and the E-Bulletin Diary Dates highlights a number of events, especially from London Churches (of all denominations), as a means of engaging with the needs arising.

At the request of Bishops Paul McAleenan and Nicholas Hudson, our next Westminster Social Justice and Peace Forum will continue to support these efforts with a coming together to explore our Catholic response to migration, alongside all other sectors of society. This will be our first in-person Forum since the pandemic and we warmly invite you to join us at St Aloysius Church Hall, Euston, on Saturday 17th September, 10am-1pm, whether you are already involved in accompanying refugees, have personal experience of migration or are newly concerned and wanting to do more. 

Register for ‘To Accompany Refugees’ – 17th September 2022, 10am-1pm

There are many other events to explore, including a day out at Kew Gardens with CAFOD, Caritas and Justice & Peace during the summer holidays on 9th August and, of course, the NJPN national annual gathering at Swanwick 22nd-24th July.

We wish you all an enjoyable few days over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday.

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin May 2022

In this month’s E-Bulletin we draw attention to the Westminster Bishops Report which is based on response to the Diocesan Synodal Pathway and was published on the Diocesan website on 11th April 2022.

Westminster Bishops Synod Report

This report has been submitted to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to contribute to a national report finalised in June and sent to the Synod Office in the Vatican in July. The reports from this global exercise will then form the basis of preparatory documents for the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.

The Bishops of Westminster Diocese wish to express their deep gratitude to all who have contributed to this Synodal Process.

There are many other events and activities advertised in the E-Bulletin.

Download a copy and peruse at leisure!

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin April 2022

Fr Dominic Robinson SJ and Maggie Beirne at the Rally for Ukraine in Trafalgar Square, 26 March 2022

The Westminster Justice and Peace Commission posts on average three or four news stories or details of upcoming events a week. Maggie Beirne’s article on ‘Pacifism in the face of aggression – the Christian response?’ is recommended reading this month!

https://westminsterjusticeandpeace.org/category/news/

https://westminsterjusticeandpeace.org/2022/03/25/pacifism-in-the-face-of-aggression-the-christian-response/

To receive automatic notification of new posts, sign up using the ‘Follow’ button under the Twitter Feed on the right hand side of this page.

There are two significant anniversaries on the horizon for which we are hoping to organise events but have not yet finalised the details. Do please make a note in your diaries and keep an eye out for more information in the May E-Bulletin: 

Tuesday 24th May: Laudato Si’Seventh anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ Encyclical On The Care of Our Common Home (2015). Study sessions for morning, afternoon and evening. Times and venue tbc.  

Wednesday 25th May: Second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, United States (2020). We hope to organise a daytime seminar to reflect on conversations and actions for racial justice that have been taking place in the Diocese and UK since then and further discussion of our plans and intentions for the future. Times and venue tbc.  

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in taking part on either of these dates or to let us know what is happening in your parishes and schools around the care of creation and racial justice at this time.  

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin February 2022

Racial Justice Sunday – 13th February 2022

The E-Bulletin for this months lists events in the Diary Dates for CAFOD, Caritas Westminster, the Southern Dioceses Environment Network, the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) and many others. Please take a look!

If you have a peace or justice related event that you would like to advertise in the March E-Bulletin do please get in touch with all the details by 28th February. 

In particular, this month we invite you to visit the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales website to view and download resources for Racial Justice Sunday on 13th February 2022:

13th February: Racial Justice Sunday – Theme: In the Image and Likeness of God. Celebrating different presentations of the Holy Family from different countries and cultures. Materials for this year are published by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales:

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/rjs22/

Prayer – All Catholics are encouraged to mark the day by praying the words of Pope Francis taken from his encyclical letter ‘Fratelli Tutti’, On fraternity and Social Friendship:

Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves.
Amen.

Westminster Justice and Peace E-Bulletin January 2022

Dear Friends of Justice & Peace,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As 2022 begins, we wish you hope and encouragement to face all the challenges that the new year brings.

In the introduction to this month’s E-Bulletin Sr Elizabeth O’Donohoe reflects on her 20 years’ service with the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission on the occasion of her retirement. We thank her for all the grace and wisdom she has brought to the role. 

Sr Liz O’Donohoe (far right) receiving the Wilson-Hinkes Peace Prize award in 2018

PEACE SUNDAY 

Looking ahead, the month of January gives us the opportunity to reflect on Peace with Peace Sunday the centre of our focus on Sunday 16th January 2022. The Pope’s World Peace Message this year has as its central theme: “Education, work and dialogue between generations: tools for building lasting peace.” More inspiration can be found in The Tablet article: Catholics urged to mark Peace Sunday (thetablet.co.uk)  

ENVIRONMENT

Westminster Justice & Peace are working closely together with all the other Diocesan Agencies this year to implement the Westminster ‘Road to Carbon Neutrality Strategy’, especially Property Services, Education, Fundraising and Caritas. We also helping to co-ordinate a new network for the Southern Catholic Dioceses. The launch event is on Monday 10th January, 12.45-2.00pm and anyone with an interest in the climate and environment is invited to attend that. 

Booking with Eventbrite

There are many events of interest to be found in the Diary Dates of the E-Bulletin. Download a copy now!