Mark Lambert writes:
Bishop Alan Williams sm visited Leigh on Sea for the first time recently for a joint Sacrament of Confirmation for the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes & St Joseph and its neighbour Saint Peter’s, Eastwood.
The beautiful liturgy marked the culmination of many weeks work for 34 members of the two parishes. The Confirmandi had been prepared with a series of monthly sessions based around the Ascension Press programme Chosen, which mixes vibrant short video presentations with discussion and challenging questions. The team of catechists in Leigh tried to ground the teaching in solid Catholic principles which show how living a Catholic life has practical and real implications for each of us every day. They built up the underpinning principles and then showed how these truths affect decisions we all face daily in life. The programme also included liturgy in every session, exposing the blessed Sacrament and praying together each week. The candidates were asked to write a short essay on what they had learned and why they wanted to be Confirmed. The final session included the Sacrament of Reconciliation and a penitential liturgy.
Our Lady of Lourdes pooled resources with the neighbouring parish of St. Peter’s for this preparation and it was wonderful to have Fr Jeff Woolnough present, supporting and inspiring the young people as well as Fr. Kevin. Bishop Alan saw first-hand some of the joy that the work of evangelisation has wrought in these parishes.
Leigh parish priest Mgr Kevin Hale paid tribute to the work the young people and their catechists had done in preparing for the Sacrament.