Strengthening the Domestic ChurchThursday 8th July 2021
Although none of us would have chosen the pandemic if we had the choice, one of the benefits to lockdown has been the opportunity to strengthen the Domestic Church. The Church has always thought that parents are the first teachers of the Faith and through the Hope in the Future programme, we have been looking at developing Home, School, Parish links.
In January 2020, Bishop John shared his vision for this Home, School, Parish partnership.
Our parishes, schools and families working together in partnership to develop a shared faith journey for our young people.
To provide resources and to facilitate opportunities that enable our parishes, schools, and families to develop closer links, encouraging our young people to grow and develop their faith within their community.
Families are the ‘linchpin’ between school and parish. Young people may change school or parish, but the home remains consistent. For this reason, at the start of lockdown, we held a course called ‘Family is Sacred’ to enrich marriage and family life, which we hope to pilot in deaneries in September. You can view the recording from the webinar here.
During the period when our churches were closed, many families prayed at home whilst joining streamed parish celebrations. Whilst no substitute for attending Mass in-person and receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, the streamed liturgies and ‘Lord’s Day at Home’ with the prayer for Spiritual Communion kept us sustained spiritually during difficult times. Many ‘Stay at Home, Pray at Home’ resources were produced including a video series on Church at Home from Bishop John, ‘Faith in the Time of a Pandemic Videos’ for young people and resources for Advent and Lent.
In addition, Pope Francis invited the Church to Celebrate a Year of St Joseph and the Family which we marked in our Diocese from 19th March 2021 – 19th March 2022. Video reflections, a special hymn to St Joseph, and resources for use in the Home, School and Parish were also produced.
Finally, during Lent 2021, Austen Ivereigh who co-wrote the book ‘Let us Dream’ with Pope Francis, hosted a six-week course reflecting on building a stronger Church and World post-pandemic. You can watch the Introduction Session here. Austen also provided a session for young adults in April 2021.