EVANGELISATION IN OUR PARISH
The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church's journey in years to come.
Pope Francis– Evangelii Gaudium
ADULT FAITH FORMATION
‘Evangelisation demands familiarity with God’s word, which calls for dioceses, parishes and Catholic associations to provide for a serious, ongoing study of the Bible, while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading.’ (The Joy of the Gospel 175)
To grow in our faith and understanding, the parish offers opportunities to attend various short courses where people come together in fellowship to learn through study and shared experience. Over the past few years, we have used DVD resources produced by Catholic Faith Exploration (CaFE) and Ascension Press, both of which provide excellent expert teaching, testimonies and study books for participants.
Recent courses have included :-
‘The Big Picture’, ‘A Biblical Walk Through The Mass’, ‘Follow Me: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John’ and ‘Let it Be’.
In 2019, Fr Matt Blake lead two Bible studies, the first on the Gospel of Luke and the second on the Acts of the Apostles. He also led two sessions entitled 'Finding forgiveness, peace and freedom in the Sacrament of Reconciliation', helping participants to approach this sacrament of healing with renewed confidence.
Current courses are advertised in the newsletter and on this website; sign up is through the parish office and everyone is welcome.
Our parish Men’s group meets monthly on a Friday evening for a shared meal, fellowship, study and discussion. We are currently a group of 18 people with 8-12 of us attending any one meeting. Men from other local parishes such as Great Missenden, Uxbridge and Ruislip are also regular members.
The group originated at the Harvesters annual Men’s Weekend Retreat, when we decided to form local groups where men could meet to share and explore their faith in friendship and fellowship.
On a more practical level we occasionally help at the nearby Catholic Worker Farm with manual tasks such as setting up marquees for their summer events, and we would be keen to help other groups in similar ways. If you are interested in learning more about us or would like to join the group, then you would be most welcome. Please contact us via the parish office for further details.
Becoming a catholic is one of the most profound and joyous experiences of life. Life is a journey and all are welcome on this journey to discover more deeply God in their lives.
We welcome new members into the Roman Catholic Church through a process of study, prayer, faith sharing and rites known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. They undergo a process of conversion as they study the Gospel, profess their faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church and receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. With continual help and support from sponsors and the whole community, the new members are encouraged to take a full part in the life of the Church.
Please speak to the Parish Priest if you are interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith.
CHARISMATIC PRAYER GROUP
The Holy Cross ecumenical charismatic prayer group meets on Monday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm at member’s homes in the parish. The meetings include praise, sharing from Scriptures, teaching, prayer and personal ministry. Newcomers are most welcome. You can contact the group via the parish office.
PILGRIMAGES & RETREATS
Over the years there have been a number of parish pilgrimages to holy places in England and abroad. There are also regular diocesan and group pilgrimages to Lourdes and Walsingham. Details are in the parish newsletter and bookings are made through the parish office.
SECULAR ORDER OF DISCALCED CARMELITES
The Carmelite Secular Order is an association of lay people who pursue the path to holiness in the circumstances of their daily lives, inspired and assisted by the spirituality of the Teresian charism. It is an integral part of the Carmelite family and is open to men and women, married and single. A group of Secular Carmelites meet at St Joseph’s for prayer, worship, study and recreation on the second Saturday of each month from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Click here for a link to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites in England and Wales.
ECUMENICAL CHURCH LEADERS PRAY TOGETHER
The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.
Unitatis Redintegratio, para 1
Over the years here at St. Joseph's there has been good fellowship among all the denominations, with many shared events and projects, including a very successful two week long joint Mission in 1992 - "The Big Tent Event". Since that Mission, the main church leaders have been meeting monthly to pray together and have recently started making an annual two day retreat together in Oxford.
As Pope Saint John Paul ll reminds us in "Ut Unum Sint" paragraph 28: "Prayer, the 'soul' of ecumenical renewal".
For at least forty years, on Good Friday evening a procession of witness with the cross comes to St. Joseph's where the Stations of the Cross are prayed together, and an invited speaker gives a reflection. As Pope Francis expresses it in Evangelii Gaudium paragraphs 244-246: "We must never forget that we are pilgrims journeying alongside one another" and "What the Spirit has sown in them is also meant to be a gift for us". So we share our gift of the Stations of the Cross with the other churches.
As Pope Saint John Paul ll puts it: "The Ecumenical movement is not just an 'appendix', but an organic part of the Church's life and work.......What unites us is much greater than what divides us". (Ut Unum Sint, paragraph 20). At St. Joseph's we fully believe these words.
So our work for ever greater unity with our brothers and sisters in all the local Christian churches continues to grow, and we truly believe that the words of Jesus in John 17:21 "that they may all be one ......" are at the heart of Christ's mission. (Ut Unum Sint paragraph 9).
These are the churches in our area:
St. Peter's Parish Church, Gold Hill Baptist Church, All Saints Church, St. Joseph's Church, The Methodist Church, St. Andrew's United Reformed Church, St. James' Churches, St. Mary's Church and Latimer Minster.
Contact the Parish Office for more information.