Pope Francis on Holiness for our time

Pope Francis has released a new Apostolic Exhortation ‘Gaudete et Exsultate‘ on the call to holiness in today’s world.
There is an emphasis on the document being practical and useful in modern times and it is not intended to be an academic or doctrinal text. As its summary document states, its goal is “to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time.”

The call to holiness is one that cries out to all of us in our daily lives. Gaudete et Exsultate encourages us to take inspiration from the ‘Saints next door’ – people who may not be officially canonised but can be decisive in bringing about change.
“The greatest figures of prophecy and sanctity step forth out of the darkest night. But for the most part, the formative stream of the mystical life remains invisible. Certainly the most decisive turning points in world history are substantially co-determined by souls whom no history book ever mentions. And we will only find out about those souls to whom we owe the decisive turning points in our personal lives on the day when all that is hidden is revealed.”

Holiness is described as the “most attractive face of the Church” and is attainable despite the challenges of everyday life. Pope Francis wants people to know that they don’t need special education or qualifications, nor to have taken religious vows to be holy – just an open heart and a desire to spend some time with the Lord in prayer and by reading the Gospel. He also wants people to know that the Church makes available everything they need to become holy.

A far reaching and accessible document, Gaudete et Exsultate examines many subjects tied in to our relationship with Christ – prayer, reading scripture, helping others, maintaining and upholding human dignity not to mention challenges to holiness such as the danger of gossip.

Edited from the Bishops’ Conference site where you can download the Document and information: www.catholicnews.org.uk/exhortation-gaudete-et-exsultate

Vocation Sunday

Today we pray for vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life. Please take an envelope for your contribution to the training of seminarians for our diocese. In the light of my 40th anniversary of ordination, some people have asked me in which parishes and ministries I have served. So here’s a quick CV of one priest. But, of course, the real story is one of the Lord, his people and an all too human servant leader, of journeys and sharing the joys and challenges of life in the Lord.

1964 – 1970 St Illtyd’s, Cardiff
1971 – 1974 Downing College, Cambridge (Modern Languages) 1974 – 1978 Beda Seminary, Rome
1986 – 1988 St Paul University, Ottawa, Canada (Cannon Law) 1978 1 April Ordained priest, St Brigid’s Church
1978 – 1979 Assistant priest, St Theresa of Lisieux, Port Talbot 1979 – 1981 Assistant priest, St Francis & St Clare, Ely
1981 – 1983 Parish Priest, St Cuthbert, Docks
1983 – 1986 Parish Priest, Ledbury, Herefordshire
1988 – 1997 Parish Priest, St Francis & St Clare, Ely
1997 – 2000 Parish Priest, Penarth & Dinas Powys
2000 – 2004 Parish Priest, St Cadoc, Llanrumney
2004 – Parish Priest, St Brigid’s / St Paul’s / Christ the King

1988 – 2007 Member of Cardiff / Menevia Tribunal
2007 – Judicial Vicar (leader), National Tribunal for Wales 2005 – 2013 Chairman, Diocesan Council of Priests
2008 – Canon of Cathedral Chapter
2016 – Diocesan Consultor
2016 – Dean of Cardiff

School Governor at 7 primary schools and 5 secondary schools. Chaplain at hospitals: Ely, Hamadryad, Llandough and Holme Tower Prison Chaplain HMP Cardiff, and Port Chaplain Cardiff

Fr Matthew

A lively spring

There are many special events and celebrations in our 3 Churches between now and the summer. Note that some are on a Friday or Saturday and will affect the times of Mass on those days.
Read your newsletter (except when we get it wrong!)

So, here is what is coming up …

Archbishop George Stack will be with us this coming Saturday 21 April to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at Christ the King 10am. Come and support our young people.
This annual family weekend takes place at Mary Immaculate High School next weekend Saturday – Sunday 21 – 22 April www.celebrateconference.org/wales
On Friday 27 April there will be a Thanksgiving Mass at 7pm for Fr Matthew’s 40th Anniversary. Followed by a Bring-and-Share supper – finger food only! All are very welcome!
Our younger children receive Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion on Saturday 12 May at St Brigid’s at 11am.
Sunday 20 May: This is the third of the great 3 feast days of the year, with Easter and Christmas – the feast day of the Holy Spirit and of the Church
Saturday 26 May: We welcome especially those who cannot normally get to Mass. Please assist anyone who is in this category. Transport details are elsewhere in the newsletter.
Deacon Peter Davies will be ordained priest by Archbishop Stack on Friday 29 June, the Feast of Sts Peter & Paul, at 7pm in St Brigid’s.

Fr Matthew