Catholic Theology Research Seminar: Sacramentality of Mercy

SacramentalityOfMercyDr Ben Kautzer will speak on “The Sacramentality of Mercy: Practising the Compassion of God” at the Catholic Theology Research Seminar on Tuesday 1 December.

5.15pm for drinks; seminar 5.30pm-7.00pm
Venue: Seminar Room C, Abbey House, Palace Green

A group will share a meal afterwards at a local restaurant.

All are welcome to attend. Please email ccs.admin@durham.ac.uk or call 0191 334 1656 if you wish to attend, noting whether or not you wish to dine afterwards.

Teams of Our Lady

Teams of Our Lady is a worldwide organisation which helps married couples to develop and live out their married spirituality. Tom and Maureen Hoban will give a presentation about Teams after the 10:00am Mass on Sunday 22 November. We hope to start a group here at St Cuthbert’s and would encourage interested couples to attend this presentation. If you are unable to attend the presentation and would like to know more about Teams please contact fr. David.

Youth Ministry Trust Collection

On Sunday 22 November – Youth Sunday and the Feast of Christ the King – there is the annual collection for the work of the Diocese’s Youth Ministry Trust. Envelopes are available at the back of the church and can be dropped into the usual collection baskets. More information about the work of the Youth Ministry Trust can be found at www.ymt.org.

And his kingdom shall have no end

Christ the KingThe creed answers the question, ‘who is Jesus?’ from three angles. First, the creed tells us who Jesus is from eternity: Son of the Father Almighty. But unlike human sons, who are like and unlike their fathers, Jesus is of the Father’s being, like the Father in every way. He is fully God.

The second angle is historical: we declare that Jesus was born, suffered, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven. In this, the briefest of narratives, we affirm what Jesus did for us and for our salvation.

The solemnity of Christ the King invites us to consider Christ from the third angle, the eschatological, that is, with reference to the end (ta eschata are “the last things” in Greek). This phrase in the creed quotes Luke 1:33 and Isaiah 9:7 to assert that even though Jesus will hand the kingdom – that is his people – to the Father, and even though God will be “all in all” as 1 Cor 15:28 tells us, Christ will continue to reign with the Father, united with his Body the Church in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

But Christ the king is also judge of his Body and of all humanity, and “judge” can be a fearful image. Our fear should only ever be a holy fear, though, not a terror. When Peter, in his boat full of fish, recognised Christ, he exclaimed, ‘Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.’ Yet Jesus responded to Peter’s admission of sin with mercy, and called Peter to be his disciple. So also Jesus reveals us to ourselves even as he is revealed to us, and as he spoke to Peter he speaks to us as well: ‘Fear not.’ As we say the creed today, let us do so in confidence of his mercy and his power. Faithful is he who calls us, and he will lead us into his glory.

Part of a series by Medi Ann Volpe

College Mass – St John’s

St Johns ChapelThe first college Mass of term takes place at 7:00pm on Wednesday 18 November in the Chapel of St John’s College (i.e. the Church of St Mary the Less on South Bailey).

All parishioners and University members are welcome and warmly invited to the Mass.

Because of the college Mass there will be no “holy half hour” of Vespers, exposition and confessions at St Cuthbert’s that Wednesday evening.

One God, the Father Almighty

Baptism of the LordTaken in isolation, reference to the all-powerful God might be frightening rather than comforting. After all, in the contemporary world power is suspect, and absolute power all the more so. But God’s power is not corruptible, and it cannot be considered in isolation from three truths about the divine.

Firstly, the one in whom we believe, ‘God, the Father Almighty,’ is the Lord who is slow to anger and rich in mercy, near to the brokenhearted, and the saviour of all those who are crushed in spirit. God is love — boundless love that surpasses all we can imagine. Secondly, the power of the Almighty is the power of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We have seen this power: Jesus shows us the Father (John 14.8-10). He shows us compassion and love, and he makes use of the divine power in laying down his life and taking it up again, for our sake. God’s power comes to us in the eternal mercy this Father shows his eternal Son.

Finally, ‘Almighty’ means that God’s power is unique, unrivalled and beyond our comprehension. The emphasis on the oneness of this God in the creed reflects a theme Christians inherited from their Jewish origins (Deut 6.4), and it shows us that above and beyond all power in this world is that of the Father Almighty. But this power is something that exceeds our capacity to imagine. The greatness of this power is in its ability to love and to give life without loss, to create and recreate. Yet, far from being a stony and distant strength, the almighty power of God has drawn near to us in Christ and remains with us in the Holy Spirit. As nothing exists that could challenge the Almighty, that makes us very safe indeed.

Part of a series by Medi Ann Volpe

Prisons Week: 15-21 November

The
Parish Seeks to offer support to prisoners and their families in a
number of ways. On Sunday 22 November we will be having our annual
collection of toys, puzzles, coloured pencils etc. for children to
play with whilst visiting family members in prison. Please leave your
items under the bench in the narthex. 

Policing in the 21st Century

Inspector Dave CoxonDixon of Dock Green? The Sweeney? Cuffs? Come and listen to Inspector Dave Coxon’s presentation on the subject of real modern policing. Hosted by St Cuthbert’s Catholic Church on Tuesday 17th November at 7pm, this talk is one of Churches Together in Elvet & Shincliffe’s occasional series looking at the many facets of the world in which we live.

Responding to Laudato si’

Laudato si'The first Catholic Social Thought and Practice Lecture of 2015/16 will take place on Thursday 19 November:

Professor Peter Scott (Manchester University)
Responding to Pope Francis’ ‘Encyclical on the Environment’ 

Time: 4.00pm-6.00pm
Venue: Pemberton Rooms, PG21, Palace Green, Durham

If you wish to attend the lecture please email ccs.admin@durham.ac.uk or call 0191 334 1656.

Your Money or your Afterlife

SunsetA Public Forum at the Prior’s Hall, Durham Cathedral, Thursday 19 November 7:00pm-9:00pm on the subject of gift and offerings in Judaism, Islam and Christian denominations. How religious institutions are supported, how this is connected to conceptions of the afterlife, and what the place of money is (or is not) within religious and spiritual life will be explored.The following day, Friday 20 November10:00am-4:00pm, there will be a workshop in gifts in the Christian Middle Ages.

For more information contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Hope and rebuild

It is providential that the readings for Remembrance Sunday this year speak of two widows: the Sidonian widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:10-16) and the widow putting two copper coins into the temple treasury (Mark 12:41-44).We do not know how these two women came to be widows: it may or may not have been through warfare. But certainly we know the immense human cost of war through the ages on those who are made widows and orphans. How should the Christian respond to such tragedy?

The stories of these two widows perhaps give us some guidance. The Sidonian widow, bereaved and believing that starvation is just round the corner, shares what little she has with the Prophet Elijah and receives from him a message of hope from the Lord for the future. In the face of warfare we must continue to hope for a better future, both in this world and the world to come.
The widow at the temple gives “all she had to live on” to the temple; we too should give our all for the building up of God’s temple: not so much the physical edifice, but the communion of faith, charity and peace which is the Church. After the destruction of war, we rebuild for a peaceful and faithful future.

We hope, and we rebuild: and thus show a world of despair and destruction a better way.

Catholic Theology Research Seminar

Dr Eduardo Echeverria (Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit) will speak on “Predestination, Election and Reprobation in Balthasar’s Theology of Hope” at the Catholic Theology Research Seminar on Tuesday 10 November.

5.15pm for drinks; seminar 5.30pm-7.00pm
Venue: Dun Cow Cottage Seminar Room.

A group will share a meal afterwards at a local restaurant.

All are welcome to attend. Please email ccs.admin@durham.ac.uk or call 0191 334 3952 if you wish to attend, noting whether or not you wish to dine afterwards.

Café Lumière

During the Lumière festival Thursday 12th – Saturday 14th November the church will be open and we hope to serve soup and refreshments from 6:30pm until 9:30pm. We are seeking volunteers who would be able to welcome festival visitors and prepare refreshments during this period. If you are able to help please contact Andy Doyle on 0191 378 3660 or andydoyle1066@sky.com.

Update: Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture

Prof Eamon Duffy, FBADue to ill health, Cardinal Walter Kasper is unable to come to Durham to deliver the Centre for Catholic Studies’ Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture. We wish him a speedy recovery.

In his place, Prof. Eamon Duffy, FBA, Emeritus Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge, will deliver the lecture prepared by Cardinal Kasper entitled Church, Mercy and the Signs of the Times. The lecture is part of The Tablet‘s 175th Anniversary Conference.

The lecture takes place at 8:00pm on Tuesday 3 November at the Arnold Wolfendale Lecture Theatre in the Calman Learning Centre. 

Tickets are £12 with concessions (free for students) available: contact Theresa Phillips (theresa.phillips@durham.ac.uk or 0191 334 1656).

Following the lecture (c. 10:00pm), Compline will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s Church – all are welcome.

Chair: fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP (Blackfriars, Oxford)
Respondent: Prof. Janet Soskice (Cambridge)

Saints in the Creed

Most of what the Creed says is about God: we say, “I believe in one God”, and then say lots of things about that God in whom we believe.

But the Creed also relates these truths about God to humanity. It emphasises that what Jesus does is “for us men and for our salvation” and “for our sake”. And it ends by recognising our “baptism for the forgiveness of sins”, our “resurrection from the dead” and our “life of the world to come”.

The Creed may be mostly about God, but it is for humanity. We are sinners who need the forgiveness of baptism. Conscious of the mortality of our bodies, we look forward to resurrection. Recognising that this world is finite and imperfect, we hope for the next.

That hope is expressed in a special way this week. On All Saints’ Day, 1 November, we joyfully celebrate those whom Christ has made holy: those countless people, most of whose names have been forgotten by us, who nevertheless show us the way to God through their prayer and example. They show us hope. Then, on All Souls’ Day, 2 November, we show hope by praying for those others who have died in Christ still needing to be purified in order to come to the fullness of holiness.

The Creed expresses the faith of the whole Church, those who have passed beyond this life as well as those still walking this earth. As we remember them all in coming days, may the whole of the Church be bound ever closer together in expression of the unchanging faith.

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