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Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Séamus Cunningham


Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network

The Holy Father has asked the Jesuits across the world to promote a network of prayer as a new initiative from the former Apostolate of Prayer.

Each province has a national contact for this work, ours being Fr. David Stewart SJ.

Each month the Holy Father will have a main prayer intention for people to use as part of their daily prayer, and he will also announce an "urgent intention" for people’s prayer. A short video based on the main intention published each month and known as 'The Pope Video'.

Fr. Stewart publishes a webpage each month with prayer reflections based on the main intention.

Bookmark this page and revisit monthly for the latest intentions.

Further information through the Pathways to God and Click to Pray websites.

 

Image reproduced courtesy of The Catholic Church in England and Wales.


December 2018

In the Service of the Transmission of Faith

Let us listen to how others speak and live, and let us communicate the Gospel in such a way that they can receive it in their heart. This way, we can be sure they´ll understand us. Once again, it's simply a matter of following the example of Jesus Christ, the master of communicating the faith.

"If you want to share your faith through the word, you have to listen much and carefully.

Let us imitate the style of Jesus, who adapted himself to the people He had in front of Him so as to bring God´s love to them.

Let us pray that people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time, in their dialogue with people´s hearts, and above all, by listening much."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for December.


NB. All previous videos can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

November 2018

In the Service of Peace

Peace. These are five letters that some people use as if it were the most normal thing in the world, while others haven't experienced peace in years. There are many places in the world where peace doesn't exist: for thousands of people who suffer its absence, it’s only a dream. Rather than think about those five letters, let's think about what they mean. Let us pray and work to obtain true peace.

"We all want peace. It is desired above all by those who suffer its absence.

Let us remember that Jesus also lived in times of violence. He taught us that true peace is in the human heart.

We can speak with splendid words, but if there is no peace in our heart, there will be no peace in the world.

Let us practice this peace in small things, letting dialogue guide our personal and social relationships.

With zero violence and 100 percent tenderness, let us build the evangelical peace that excludes no one, but rather includes everyone, especially young people and children.

Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for November.


October 2018

The Mission of Religious

The joy with which men and women religious fulfill their mission is a blessing for us all. Let us support them so they may find their path, accompanying the most disadvantaged.

"Religious, with their prayer, poverty, and patience, are essential to the Church's mission.

Religious, monks, and nuns, as well as consecrated lay people, because of their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, offer their lives for the Gospel.

I am thankful for their lives, spent so close to families, to refugees, to the elderly, to the poor, to children...

More than ever, with the challenges of today's world, we need your complete dedication to proclaiming the Gospel in every corner of the world.

Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm, and let us pray that consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice."

 

Special Intention: Pray for the Church

The Devil is a seducer. This is why, without our knowing it, we let him enter into our lives. This also applies to the life of the Church. This is why the Pope is asking us this month of October to pray the Rosary of the Virgin Mary and the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to fight against the power of evil and to protect the Church. Will we all join in with this request?

"The Devil presents himself with great power. He brings you gifts. But you don't know what's inside.

I renew the invitation to everyone to pray the Rosary every day in October, ending with the antiphon "We fly to thy patronage" and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, to repel the attacks of the Devil who wants to divide the Church."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for October.


September 2018

Young People in Africa

Africa is a wealthy continent, and its greatest, most valuable resource is its young people. They should be able to choose between letting themselves be overcome by difficulty or transforming the difficulty into an opportunity.

The most effective way to help them in this choice is to invest in their education. If young people don't have the possibility of education, what future can they have? If young people don't have a job, what future awaits them?

Let us pray that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for September.


August 2018

The Treasure of Families

No family is perfect. Love is demanding, although there is no greater happiness. There are many ways to approach the ideal of a Christian family (see "The Joy of Love" 32-57). 

But what all of them have in common is respect for others and lasting love, values that make them a treasure that must be protected. “When speaking of families, often the image of a treasure comes to my mind.

Today's rhythm of life, stress, pressure at work, and also the little attention paid by institutions, could put them in danger.

It's not enough to talk about their importance: it's necessary to promote concrete means and to develop their role in society with a good family policy.

Together, let us ask Jesus that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity"

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for August is not available.


July 2018

Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

Your parish priest is always available for you, to celebrate Mass, visit the sick, speak with someone who doesn't have anyone else who will listen to him, and much more. 

But he's not a superman. He's a person who, like everyone else, also feels alone sometimes. During those moments of loneliness, you can do a lot for him. Listen to him, visit him, smile at him. He needs it.

“The tiredness of priests... Do you know how often I think about it?

Priests, with their virtues and defects, work in many different areas. Working on so many active fronts, they cannot remain inactive after a disappointment. At such times, it's good for them to remember that the people love their priests, need them, and trust in them.

Let us pray together that priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for July is not available.


June 2018

That Social Networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

Internet and social networks open many possibilities to us. However, it is necessary to use them well, and to do good; not to isolate ourselves, but to communicate better; not to spread lies, but to speak the truth.

"The Internet is a gift of God, but it is also a great responsibility.

Communication technology, its places, its instruments have brought with it a lengthening of horizons, a widening, for so many people.

It can offer immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.

May the digital network not be a place of alienation. May it be a concrete place, a place rich in humanity.

Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for June.

May 2018

The laity are a fundamental part of the Church. Our commitment, our testimony, and our service, especially in the most difficult situations, help to spread the truth of the Gospel.

"Lay people are on the front line of the life of the Church. We need their testimony regarding the truth of the Gospel and their example of expressing their faith by practicing solidarity.

Let us give thanks for the lay people who take risks, who are not afraid and who offer reasons for hope to the poorest, to the excluded, to the marginalized.

Let us pray together this month that the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, the mission that they received in Baptism, putting their creativity at the service of the challenges of today's world."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for May.


April 2018

The economy needs to be at the service of social justice, benefitting, above all, those who need it most. Those who have responsibility in economic matters must put it at the service of the common good.

"The economy cannot attempt only to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.

It must follow the path marked out by business leaders, politicians, thinkers, and leaders in society who place the human person in first place, and do everything possible to ensure that there are opportunities of dignified work.

Let us say “no” to an economy of exclusion, an economy that kills. And let us fight to achieve a “yes” to an economy that lets live because it shares, includes the poor, and uses profits to create communion.

Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths".

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for April.


March 2018

In the midst of all the things we hear and the messages that we get, we must learn how to discern what Christ is asking. To do this, we must have good formation based on discerning the voice of the Lord. “The Church today needs to grow in the ability of spiritual discernment. There are many ways of living life well, using it for serving human and Christian ideals. We were created by God out of love and to love. Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission. The times in which we live demand that we develop a profound capacity of discernment… To discern, from among all the voices we hear, which is the Lord’s voice, which is the voice of Him who guides us to the Resurrection, to Life, and the voice that frees us from falling into the “culture of death. Let us pray together that the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.”

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for March.


February 2018

Ignoring the corruption around us doesn’t do any good. If we want to end corruption and stop it from doing so much damage in our world, we have to stare it down and speak clearly, just as Pope Francis is. “What is at the root of slavery, unemployment, and disregard for nature and goods held in common? Corruption, a process of death that feeds the culture of death. Because the thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. Corruption is not countered with silence. We must speak about it, denounce its evils, and try to understand it so as to show our resolve to make mercy reign over meanness, beauty over nothingness. Let us pray that those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption."

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for February.


January 2018

Sometimes we might think that being Christian is difficult. But what’s certain is that it is much more difficult in some places than in others. Asia is one of these places. Here, Christianity is a minority religion, and like other minorities, Christians often suffer persecution. Let us pray that all religions, also those that are minorities, are given the freedom that sometimes today on the Asian continent, they are lacking.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for January.


Archive:

2017

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for December 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for November 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for October 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for September 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for August 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for July 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for June 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for May 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for April 2017.

Link to Fr. Stewart's webpage for March 2017.