Office of Marriage and Family Life - Diocese of Westminster - Edmund's Friday F A S T
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Edmund's Friday F A S T - Family Actions - Spirituality Thoughts
Friday January 16th, 2015
Prayer is done among the pots and pans
This year marks the 500th anniversary of that great Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila. There is a wonderful little exhibition about her life and Carmelite spirituality in Westminster Cathedral - St. Patrick and the Irish Saints chapel - at the moment. Well worth a visit. What struck me about Teresa’s wonderfully simple take on prayer ultimately being a conversation with a Friend, Jesus Christ, was this statement in the exhibition that the Saint, ‘Understands prayer as an activity embedded in daily life. It is not something that can only be done in silence and solitude but amidst the "pots and pans." '
It reminds me of that old adage, “can you smoke whilst you pray? No, but you can pray whilst you smoke.” In other words, the Spirit of Christ is to be found in the seemingly mundane and ordinary stuff of life, so long as we actually make the effort to seek Him and invite Him there.  It’s all part of this ‘Kitchen Table Theology’ I mentioned last year. The Domestic Church in real time if you like – which is why I was struck by another obvious but revelatory piece in this article which stated:   
Family dinners have been found to be a more powerful deterrent against high-risk teen behaviours than church attendance or good grades … and that children will learn 1,000 more rare words at table during conversation than being read to aloud. Family dinners or lunches at the weekends have their own interpersonal qualities argues the piece. Well of course they do, which is why every meal shared among loved ones, especially family is reminiscent of the Christ-centred Last Supper and a foretaste - however small - of the great feast of heaven. Hopefully they humanise us in preparation for the great banquet where we will become MOST human, with Christ, Our Lady and all the Angels and Saints.  

Meanwhile on another but not altogether unrelated note, please pray for the priests of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy who are behind this timely statement below and who clearly value the family and home as central to their priestly life and ministry.   

"The International gathering of Confraternities of Catholic Clergy meeting in Rome (January 5th to 9th 2015), have discussed issues pertinent to the forthcoming Synod on the Family in response to the Holy Father's call for reflection. The fathers pledge their unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality as proclaimed in the Word of God and set out clearly in the Church's Ordinary and Universal Magisterium. Confraternity priests from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and the United States commit themselves to the work of presenting anew the Good News about marriage and family life in all its fullness and helping, with the Lord’s compassion, those who struggle to follow the Gospel in a secular society. The Confraternities, furthermore, affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments and that doctrine and practice must remain firmly and inseparably in harmony."

You can read more here.
- Edmund Adamus
Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life - Diocese of Westminster

Please read request from Pope Francis
In response to our Holy Father’s request to spend time reflecting on the themes of the Synod on Marriage and Family Life, the Bishops’ Conference pamphlet inviting people to reflect between now and Pentecost on the themes of the October Synod on the Family is available here

Additionally, Cardinal Nichols is asking Catholics to complete an online survey to share their responses. The deadline for survey responses is 17 April.
Events and Initiatives
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - an information workshop for parents and others interested.
Monday January 19th, 10:30AM - 12:30PM for further details contact Christina Manara on

The Humanum colloquium features the premier of six short films focusing on different aspects of marriage as the foundation for the family and for society. you can view them all here Also, be sure to check out the other videos on the Humanum YouTube channel.  Many of the addresses delivered at the colloquium as well as brief interviews with several participants are posted there.

World Meeting of Families 2015 will take place in Philadephia USA on the theme “Love is our Mission: The family Fully Alive".The event is accompanied by an official catechesis and is available now at

Annual Theology of the Body lecture
"Facing difficulties in Christian family life. Insights from Theology of the Body"
Dr. Peter Kahn Professor of Higher Education Liverpool University is publishing a new CTS booklet in January so he will address the theme
Friday 20th March 
6.45pm-8.45pm VH conference room [publicity coming soon!]
Concert Events
Heavens Road Catholic Radio announces a UK tour entitled “God’s Gift of Love” honouring the Sacrament of Marriage and featuring Catholic Singer Songwriter and Poet Gerry Coates plus Friends.

Eighteen FREE concerts start on Friday January 30th. All concerts begin at 7PM unless otherwise stated.
Each show will feature many of Gerry's original songs from his triple CD release “ God’s Month of Valentine” released early January.  Each night will also feature a Catholic Art Exhibition featuring artist’s interpretations of Love and Marriage in this modern high sped world. Audiences are invited to send their own wedding photos to be displayed and be given the opportunity to tell their own romantic poems, tales, secrets and experiences of a successful marriage.
Further venue details and further dates to be added for March & April see

“God's Gift of Love” honouring the Sacrament of Marriage FREE Concert
 with Gerry Coates and Friends

Fri 30th Jan     Epsom St Josephs St Margaret Drive KT18 7JQ  
Sat 31st Jan    Crawley St Francis & St Anthony Friary Hall
                                             14 Haslett Avenue West RH10 1HR 

Sun 1st Feb    Southampton St Edmunds The Avenue
                                              SO15 2EQ 7.45pm after Mass

Wed 4th Feb   St Albans SS Alban & Stephen Beaconsfield Rd
                                               AKL1 3RB

Thu 5th Feb    Brentwood Cathedral Hall, Ingrave Road CM15 8AT

Fri 6th Feb      Watford Church of St Helen The Harebreaks WD24 6NJ

Sat 7th Feb     Peterborough St Peter and All Souls Geneva St PE1 2RS

Sun 8th Feb    Wolverhampton St Patricks Parish Centre
                                                 Wolverhampton Rd WV10 0QQ 7.15

Wed 11th Feb Guildford St Josephs 12 Eastgate Gardens
                                                 GU1 4AZ  7.30pm

Thu 12th Feb  Swindon St Peters Parish Centre Cannon Bridge Rd
                                                  Eastleaze SN5 7ES

Sat 14th Feb   West Norwood Virgo Fidelis School Central Hill
                                                 West Norwood 7. 30pm

Sun 15th Feb  Pimlico London Holy Apostles Parish Centre
                                                 Cumberland Street  SW1V 4L

Thu 19th Feb  Worthing St Michael’s 19 Hayling Rise BN13 2AL 7.15pm

Fri 20th Feb    Bournemouth Edmund Campion Edward Campion
                                                  Charminster Rd BH8 9RW

Sat 21st Feb   Portsmouth Our Lady of Lourdes & St Swithuns
                                              105 Waverley Rd Southsea PO5 2PL
                                             7.45pm after Mass 

Sun 22nd Feb Shoreham on Sea St Peters West Street BN4 3SW

Fri 27th Feb    Northampton St Gregory The Great 2
                                              2 Park Avenue North NN3 2HS

Sat 28th Feb   Hounslow St Michael & St Martin Bath Rd TW3 3EH
                                               7.15pm after Mass

Tue 17th Mar  Bolton St James the Great Bowland Drive
                                              Montserrat BL1 5TX after 7pm Mass

Fri 20th Mar    Manchester St Anns 1043 Chester Road,
                                              Stretford, M32 8LF 7.15pm

Helpful Resources

In response to our Holy Father’s request to spend time reflecting on the themes of the Synod on Marriage and Family Life, the Bishops’ Conference pamphlet inviting people to reflect between now and Pentecost on the themes of the October Synod on the Family is available here

Additionally, Cardinal Nichols is asking Catholics to complete an online survey to share their responses. The deadline for survey responses is 17 April.

Don’t forget the excellent Family Matters series of booklets from the Catholic Truth Society These little booklets are excellent and inspiring for families …titles include: Faith in the Family, Effective Parenting, Being A Parent Today, Sex Education; A Parent’s Guide, The Special Gift of Women, The Role of Christian Grandparents, Work and the Christian Family, Role of a Christian Mother, Role of a Christian Father, Questions & Answers About Sex and Marriage, Sexuality and Love, The Familys Mission to Love, Prayer & The Family, Passing on Faith to Your Children, True Love, Passion & Purity.  

Catholic Family e-Magazine | a web site dedicated to assisting families in making the home the living heart of the church.

“As I Have Loved You”
Excellent resource for parents to be inspired in their efforts to talk to their children, through the years of innocence and puberty, about emotional and sexual development

Beginning Experience helps separated, divorced or widowed Catholics to make a fresh start in life, with hope and trust in God. contact Freda 01322 401243 or Sandra 01293 783965 to explore whether this programme is for you.

Catholic Grandparents Association to encourage awareness and membership

Catholic Marriage Preparation, answers questions about how to get married in the Catholic Church, visit 

Child Healing, educating parents about the common symptoms and causes of emotional, cognitive and behavioral conflicts in youth, visit

Engage, an easy way for parishes to provide their own marriage preparation courses, using their own parishioners as facilitators, visit

Explore, providing remote marriage preparation to youth about what makes for lifelong committed marriage, visit

In the Presence of Humanity’s Greatest Treasure
A beautiful and inspiring piece on the value of Eucharistic adoration.

Marital Healing, educating spouses, marital therapists and clergy about common causes of conflicts, visit 

Retrouvaille brings healing and new hope to hurting marriages.  Next programme end of March Ramada Hotel Hatfield. Contact Clive & Kathy 0788 7296983 in complete confidence or see

Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) for today's primary school children. This new publication promotes good practice in primary schools where parents are the main educators of their children in sexual matters and where schools have a key role in supporting parents.
Please forward this link to anyone interested and able to benefit from these guidelines:   

Sexuality Explained – A Guide for Parents & Children uses stories to engage children’s attention, and that of their parents too. The conversational style gives a warm and friendly feel to the biology which is explained in growing detail as the book develops. This, and the repetition between the chapters, makes facts easy to remember. The book is aimed first at parents. It is recommended that they read it as a whole, to forearm them for their children’s questions.

Smart Loving, a series of resources supporting couples in their commitment life-cycle, visit   

Theology of the Body, download practical audio files on Pope John Paul II's teaching, visit

Two in One Flesh - marital reflections on Sunday readings

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