Report from Monze, Zambia

James Corboy School

This week I would like to say a little about the third important item dealt with during my visit to Zambia. This was the wish which had been expressed, on both sides, for the twinning of St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School and the Bishop James Corboy School in Mazabuka, southern Zambia. Bishop Corboy was the first bishop of Monze Diocese which is why the Sisters of the Holy Spirit wished to name their new primary school after him.

Our children not only prepared material for me to take to Zambia but took photos and a film of their school life with some children’s interviews. I in my turn visited and spoke to the children in the African school, took photos and some film work which I brought back with me. I hope to show this to you in the Haydock Centre on Tuesday, 18th July at 6.30pm and to the school children, Friday 14th July at 9am. The real challenge will be how we continue and expand this communication. Fr Jerome.

Monze Mission Hospital

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I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the many generous donations which have come in over the last few weeks in support of this hospital in the town of Monze managed by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit.

As well as the £506.95 from the parish plant sale, £107.24 from the Passover celebration and a £50 donation there have been gifts of £585.13 from the parish in Workington with two magnificent gifts of £1,595 and £1,875 each. This raised the total in our Helpers of the Holy Spirit Sisters Charity to over £11,000.

All this has been most opportune since in January I had asked Sr Juunza, who manages the Monze Hospital, if she had any particular project in hand which needed support. She forwarded the outline of a project for a new neonatal unit and though its cost is far in excess of what we can manage nevertheless our gift of £10,560, which I have just sent out to Zambia, will be a great help.

If you wish to know more about the details, both of our Charity Account and of the project for the new neonatal unit you may find copies for the same in the narthex. You are free to take from these. The former gives details of monies which have come into the Charity since its inception in 2004 - though with names of donors removed. Over £70,000 has been sent out to Zambia in the last thirteen years in the form of sixteen ‘gifts’. The second set of copies are of Sr Juunza’s more detailed account of the project for the neonatal unit. There are also copies of her details for the construction of the Outpatients Department which we previously supported and is now completed.

**  Details of St Catherine's primary school twinning with Bishop James Corboy School in Mazabuka, of the links between our Lancaster Diocese and the Diocese of Monze and not least of our support for the Monze Mission Hospital managed by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit will come soon. **

Fr Jerome

Food Bank donations needed

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There are many needy people in Penrith dependent on the town’s Food Bank. Please help by regularly donating non-perishables like: tinned soup, rice pudding, tinned meat/fish, tinned fruit, tinned tomatoes, sponge pudding ; UHT or powdered milk (not fresh); sugar; pasta sauces; fruit juice (cartons only); cereal; tea bags/instant coffee; rice/pasta; jam. Good shelf life essential.

** The Salvation army who take in, store and distribute the Penrith Foodbank donations have mentioned that they are particularly short of UHT milk, tinned meat (corned beef, Spam, chicken) tinned custard, tinned rice, tea, coffee, jam and tinned fruit. Help with these items would be much appreciated. At present the foodbank is supporting 17 people including 7 children. **

Thank you!

Please leave in the Food Bank box in the Narthex.

St Catherine's School - Ofsted report

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Congratulations to St Catherine's School following their recent positive Ofsted report. Ofsted described the school as 'a caring and inclusive school based on a strong Catholic ethos', ‘pupils' behaviour is exemplary’, ‘far-reaching and ambitious’, ‘teaching across school is at least good with much that is outstanding.’ The whole report will be available on the Ofsted website and school website next week. A huge thank you to Angela Hill, headteacher, all our staff, Governors and families for the continued success of our school.

News coming via the Internet

Increasing amount of news and information is coming by the Internet via emails, blogs, etc. in a way that is becoming very impractical and too expensive to print, though highlights can be put into our weekly newsletter.

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The Catholic Bishops Conference for England & Wales newsletter is a typical example: this digital newsletter gives a title and introduction to each article but you need to click the link provided to see the bulk of the article.

It would make sense to distribute such information to those of our parishioners who might be interested probably at the moment via email attachments, though as time progresses there will undoubtedly be more apposite methods. I will ask the PPC to discuss the practicalities of this which would depend on having parishioner email addresses gathered on one distribution list.

It does however concern me that those who do not have the technology or who choose not to use it are ‘getting left behind’, but I can see no alternative for distributing news items which come in this form. Fr Jerome

Your Parish needs You!

Lord KItchener

One of the major issues raised at the Parish pastoral Council meeting on Thursday 23rd March was the urgent need for volunteers to support the various activities within the parish - see list below. The PPC is asking for you to consider playing a part in supporting the following parish activities with whatever time you can give:

  • Church Fire Wardens at Mass
  • Organist/Cantor for the Sunday Masses
  • Helpers with post-baptismal programme
  • Group to serve refreshments after 8.30 Sunday Mass
  • Social Activities Co-ordinator
  • Church and grounds maintenance, Gardeners

If you feel you can help in any kind of way with the above then please contact me with your name, contact details and the area you would like to help with and I will get back to you with more information. Many thanks! Lorna Mullett, Secretary to the Parish Pastoral Council. Tel 01768 840903, Email: Wastwater@talktalk.net

Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

CAP is a 20 year old voluntary organisation to support those who seem to be in impossible financial difficulties. Its work is not to pay off whatever is the debt but, in both a professional and befriending way, to support the client to manage the situation.

There are two sides to its work. On the one hand professional advice is obtained with CAP negotiating with the banks, etc on behalf of the client. This financially professional body is based in Bradford. Individuals seeking the assistance of CAP give it authority to negotiate with creditors and organise the client's finances so as to make them debt free within 5 years or negotiate a managed insolvency.

On the other hand in the local regions, for instance in Penrith, there will be people who act as befrienders, that is who "walk with the client" to encourage and support him or her to carry out the plan of action which has been professionally negotiated by Bradford. Then there are others, those "bringing blessings" who give general & practical support to the client and the befriender, for instance preparing a Christmas hamper, or sending birthday greetings.

The emphasis is to reassure the clients they are not alone, and to encourage them to follow the financial plan negotiated by CAP to manage their finances.

CAP is a Christian initiative. Although CAP in Penrith is only a year old nevertheless there have been two successes with two clients completing the process of clearing their debts.

Would you like to know more? Do have a word with John Poland or me. I do think this is one of the surest ways of working together ecumenically with other Christian bodies which our Church encourages us to do. Fr Jerome.