Our Lady Queen of Peace at Braintree is to hold a parish Mission Week from 12 October to 20 October. It aims to “build community, strengthen faith, give witness to that faith and encourage each believer to be a flicker of light in the world”. All are welcome.
Parish priest Mgr David Manson says: “In the midst of busy lives and with so much going on around us, every Christian and every Christian community needs to take time out. This will enable us to see what is really important in life and what our religious priorities should be. We do this following the example of our Lord Jesus himself. The Gospels recall how frequently we find Him getting up early before His day’s work begins and resting in prayer before His Father.”
The title of the Mission Week is ‘Renewal of Faith’, and it is being facilitated by the hugely experienced Des Kelly who has a MA Catholic Leadership. Des is a recipient of the Papal ‘Pro ecclesia et pontifice’ medal for distinguished work in Catholic education and evangelisation. Under his guidance, parishioners will experience a tailored week of events and services, including Healing and Thanksgiving Masses (celebrating the gifts of parish groups, organisations and volunteers), a priest and people concert at St Francis Primary School, an event focusing on happiness, and an inspiring personal witness by the parents of Jimmy Mizen, the schoolboy murdered in London.
The canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman in the same week adds an extra poignancy to the Mission, says Mgr David. “He is our first non-martyr saint since the Reformation. As a young man, one of his favourite sayings was ‘Growth is the only evidence of life’. And as an older man, he coined the famous phrase ‘To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often’. It is in the spirit of the words of our new Saint that we undertake this Week together.”
He concluded: “It is often said that our relationship with God can be personal but not private. This is the time for us – the people of God – to stop retreating and protecting. Now is the acceptable time for believing again and realising that ‘we are the children of God’.”