Friday, 16 October 2009

Spiritual Mothers' Thanksgiving Novena Day 3: Archdiocese of Birmingham, UK

Day Three:

Opening prayer, ending, "We thank you that your Providence has arranged that the following should happen.

Announcement of a New Archbishop joyfully received; report from Spiritual Mothers in the Parish of St. John Fisher.

On the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, and whilst her relics were touring England, the Holy See announced that Pope Benedict has chosen Bishop Bernard Longley, at present an Auxiliary bishop in Westminster, to fill the See left vacamt by the departure of Archbishop Vincent Nichols for Westminster. Bernard Longley will be installed on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception this year. He himself was surprised, not only that he had been chosen, but also that the decision, which he had felt would probably not come until next year, had been made with such speed. British Catholics see this appointment as one of several things for which they thank Our Lord from the bottom of their hearts. First there is the projected visit of the Pope next Autumn , then the Beatification of Cardinal Newman, scheduled according to reports, to occur around the same time. Then there has been the Tour of St. Therese's relics and which has been responsible for an upsurge in Catholic devotion, giving as it has, an opportunity for Catholics to reclaim and to state their identity in our currently secularised society. Added to all this our Queen is reported as having become increasingly sympathetic to the Catholic Church and Prince Philip has been to Walsingham.

The above paragraph outlines 'the big picture' in our Islands. Meanwhile at the grass roots and on a very personal parish level for spiritual mothers attached to this blog, quiet but no less important things are happening.

I have received the following update from my 'sister' at St. John Fisher parish on whose spiritual mothers group I reported in an earlier post. On October 11 she wrote:

"I just wanted to let you know how our Spiritual Mothers initiative is going. We had the faithful 12 yesterday again, which was fantastic and next week, I hope that some of the mothers from the Union of Catholic Mothers will join us.

Additionally, the other day I was prompted (I'm sure it was by the Holy spirit) to think about our own Father George, and ways in which we could particularly support him. As you know, here in Birmingham each Priest is being prayed for on a particular day and Father George's 'day' is Tuesday October 27th. I have therefore started a kind of 'petition' asking people in the parish to commit to saying a prayer or prayers for Father on that day so that we can present him with his own Spiritual Bouquet.

I have written to our local Catholic primary school and asked them to do a similar bouquet from the children and they have agreed wholeheartedly. You will be delighted to know that the children are being encouraged to pray for Priests each day and to embrace our Holy Father's directive that this year be given over wholly to praying for our Priests..........."

Dear Lord Jesus we thank you for the blessings you are bestowing on Your Church in England and Wales. We thank you for inspiring us to offer ourselves as spiritual mothers of Your priests, and to make sure that your 'little children' are also being encouraged in Your way of love. We thank you for our dear Pope Benedict and pray that we may endure with him until we may at last, contemplate 'Your glorious Face'.

Holy Mary, Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Taper, Cardigan, pray for us.

Saints Hedwig and Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us,
Holy Martyrs of England and Wales, pray for us.
Saint Richard Gwyn, Martyr of Wales, pray for us.

Saint Therese of Lisieux, pray for our Priests and for their spiritual mothers.

Final prayer to the Holy Spirit, "Come, O Holy Spirit, ......." as on every day during this Novena.

Deo gratias.

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