“We tried to involve all concerned groups in the Warrington area and from all churches. We had a beautiful prayerful week with the church open for visitors, Holy Hour and a Liturgical service. The school children also had their own Lampedusa prayer service. There was lots of positive feedback” Mary Glennon Parish Volunteer
During their week, for holding the Diocesan Lampedusa Cross, the parish church of St Monica’s pulled out all the stops. They created an opportunity for all parishioners and people from other churches, to respond to the refugee crisis and to show solidarity with those arriving in the UK and those far from our shores.
The cross was received in to the Church on a Friday afternoon. A number of parishioners, along with our Parish Volunteer, Mary Glennon, prepared the space to display the Cross. They gave it pride of place in the Church and this focus continued throughout the week with a series of services and events.
The following day the Church was open in the morning for individuals to come in and write messages of hope. In the afternoon, a Mass for the housebound was celebrated after which the congregation were able to write messages.
On Sunday, as well as the usual Sunday Mass celebrations, the Parish held a Holy Hour to pray for refugees and for peace throughout the world. The church stayed open afterwards – from 1pm to 4.00pm- for visitors, during which time many people called in to pray and sign a card of support.
On Tuesday evening they held a devotional half hour for those displaced from their lands, homes and relatives because of war, persecution and violence. The reflection liturgy was prayed at this time: this considers the plight of refugees and reflects on Scripture and the recent teachings of Pope Francis.
On Wednesday morning the Year 6 children from the Parish school along with CAFOD Education Volunteer Mary Hallam made a pilgrimage to the Church and prayed in front of the Cross.
A member of the J&P group said: “Through this reflection event we feel we are offering a welcome to the refugees arriving in the UK and also that we are answering the call of Pope Francis to show our love for those who are suffering.”