Lent series to look at Catholic priorities in England and Wales

By staff writers
20 Feb 2012

A four part ‘Faith Matters’ lecture series takes place in Westminster Cathedral Hall on Tuesday evenings in Lent 2012.

The lectures examine some of the Catholic Church’s key priorities identified by the Catholic Bishops’ of England and Wales in their 2011 document ‘A Vision for the Church in Our Land’.

The opening lecture, on Tuesday 28 February 2012, 'Faith of our Fathers: Legacies of English Catholic History', sets the scene for an exploration of how Catholics can be confident today through looking to the legacies of the past. John Morrill, Professor of British and Irish History at Cambridge University is a permanent deacon in the Diocese of East Anglia.

In his lecture he will seek show how English Catholicism, forged in the age of dungeon, fire and sword, and emerging confident and affirmed into modern times, has constantly been enriched by its ready acceptance of Irish, continental and post-colonial influences.

On Tuesday 6 March, in a joint lecture, Fr Paul O’Reilly SJ, a priest who works as a doctor, and Mr Martin Rainsford, Headteacher of Douay Martyrs School, Ickenham, will discuss the priority of 'Vocation in Church and World'. One of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council is that all have a vocation, be it to marriage and family, to be a priest or deacon, to the consecrated life, as a lay apostle.

On Tuesday 20 March, Faith Matters will explore the priority of deepening social engagement. Dr Anna Rowlands, Director of Studies at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge, will speak on 'Catholic Social Teaching: Practising Visions of Hope'. Dr Rowlands will concentrate on the three elements of social teaching much to the fore in current political debate about social responsibility: the nature of the human person and their role in civil society, solidarity and the common good.

Finally, on Tuesday 27 March the focus will be on the contemporary challenge to proclaim and live the Gospel in a multifaith society. Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations and Office For Relations with Other Religions, will look at 'Sharing our spiritual riches: Interreligious Dialogue'.

‘Faith Matters’ is a collaborative project of the Agency for Evangelisation and the Mount St Jesuit Centre. Following each lecture, recorded video and text along with an online discussion forum will be posted on the Diocese of Westminster’s website: www.rcdow.org.uk

‘Faith Matters’ are all public lectures to which all are welcome. All Lectures will start at 7.00pm and will be held at Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1.

[Ekk/3]

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