Columban speaker at Day for Religious in Birmingham
13th February 2017 - by Ellen Teague
St Chad’s Cathedral saw the annual Day for Religious on 4 February and around 120 religious were present, along with Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham.
Ellen Teague of Columban JPIC gave a talk to the religious on ‘The Mission Imperatives of Laudato Si’. The imperatives included an understanding of the ecological crisis as a moral and spiritual crisis, recognising the impact of environmental problems on the poor, and working towards ecological conversion as a summons to renew our relationships with God, one another and the rest of the created world. Columban Father Jim Fleming was present and Sr Anna O’Connor, the Episcopal Vicar for Religious and a Columban friend, chaired the day.
Archbishop Longley was the Principal celebrant and preacher at the Mass of the day in Pugin’s beautiful cathedral. Concelebrating with Archbishop Longley was Fr Stephen Wright, Episcopal Vicar for Religious, and others priests of the diocese and Religious Orders. Preaching from the First Reading of the day from Hebrews 13:21 Archbishop Longley began with and based his homily on, ‘May God make you ready to do his will in any kind of good action’. ‘
The congregation of around 120 included representatives from all the various Religious Orders across the diocese. These included four sisters celebrating jubilees: Sr Joanna Currie OP and Sr Monica Mary LSOP celebrating their Golden Jubilees; Sr Teresa De Maria Gomez, Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart, and Sr Joseph Wallace LSOP their Diamond Jubilees. As well as recognising the Jubilarians the Mass also gave an opportunity for everyone to renew their Religious vows.
During a meal and social to round off the day, many of the religious signed the Columbans UK centenary cloth, which will be used when the Columbans and friends start celebrating 100 years of missionary work later this year.