YCW Launches New Lenten Resources

The Young Christian Workers in England and Wales have launched new resources for the Lenten season - including a Review of Life and a Gospel Enquiry

Beginning on Ash Wednesday (14th February 2018) and ending on Easter Sunday (1st April 2018) Lent is that special time of prayer, sacrifice, good works and preparation for the wonderful celebration of Easter when we, as Christians, celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Many people use the forty days of Lent as a time of soul searching or sacrifice, giving up something they enjoy, like sweets, chocolate or alcohol. Others use the time to take up something new, like good works or acts of charity.

But Lent can also be a time for us to consider how we might live out our faith in our everyday lives as we journey towards the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. Through the method of See, Judge, Act we invite you to explore the Gospel with us as you journey through the season of Lent in preparation for the wonder of Easter.

The Trafford Park HQ is also running a series of Lenten Masses on each Thursday of Lent for the local workers in the area.

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Urmston IMPACT Group Pilgrimage to Rome

On the 10th February, the Urmston Impact group travelled on Pilgrimage to Rome. For many of the members it was their first time visiting Rome and what a first time it was for them! We asked Joe Shekelton to write up his review of the trip and share with us how it went:

With visits to all four major basilicas, celebrating mass in three of them (in beautiful side chapels) and Reconciliation in one, it highlighted to the group the strength and beauty of our own religion in a way that we had not seen before. Along with visiting many other churches, we could reflect on our own lives and come back with a better viewpoint of our daily responsibility to “be builders of the world” as Pope Francis asks us to do.

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Whilst also being in Rome, we were reminded of our responsibility to help others and stop injustices in society. This has inspired us to carry on with our work of community sponsorship of a refugee family in our very own parish. Whilst in Rome, we gave toiletries to the local friary which will directly go towards helping homeless people in the city of Rome.

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We also visited many historical sites such as: The Pantheon, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and The Spanish Steps. We also visited the Venerable English College, where we were given a tour and had Sunday mass. We saw Fr John, the National Chaplain, in the College – a lovely surprise.

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This was, of course, all topped off with amazing Italian food and gelato in various restaurants around this beautiful city.

The Urmston group would like to thank our adult companions for the trip: Michelle and Luke and also our Chaplain, Fr David Featherstone. We would also like to thank all the people who supported us with funds for our Pilgrimage and all the support which was given from our Parish. We could not have done it without you all!

Here are some of the thoughts from other members of the Group that we wanted to share:

“It was an amazing experience and we’re very fortunate to have had such amazing support from the Parish to go on this fantastic Pilgrimage” - Yasmin

“Our Rome Pilgrimage was a once in a lifetime opportunity made possibly through independent efforts of the group combined with the generosity of the Parish. The experience was thoroughly enriching, and I hope that I’ll get the chance to go back in the future” - Kate

“Rome was such an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget – it really helped me grow and understand my faith – I am very appreciative of the parish for help raising the money for the trip of a lifetime" - Anna

“A very inspiring trip and something that I am so glad I was part of” - Delfin

“The Pilgrimage to Rome was a great experience, I had an amazing time” - Aoife

Thursday Lenten Mass At Saint Antony's Church

The YCW has organised a programme of Masses over the Lenten period, celebrated by Mgr. John Marsland, National Chaplain of the YCW.

They will take place every Thursday from 12:30pm at Saint Anthony's Church, Eleventh Street, Trafford Park, M17 1JF.

All are welcome to attend especially those who work in and around the Trafford Park area. Please spread the word around.

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Trafford Park HQ YCW Group Meets

The regular meeting of the YCW Group based at the Trafford Park HQ has met to discuss the topic of young people and mental health.

The group used the National Campaign MIND! The Gap resource (which can be found here) to explore the topic and ask members of the group their thoughts and opinions about this incredibly important issue.

The first question they tackled was about the understanding of the term "mental health". It was generally agreed that using the term "mental health" often carried wholly negative ideas and emphasis, whereas the more positive areas of mental health were ignored. This often means that mental health becomes a taboo subject, compared to wider health issues that people seem happier to talk more freely about.

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The group also focused on the issues around mental health and work. The main conclusion here was that it didn't really matter the type of work you are doing, so long as it gave you dignity and you could feel valued and appreciated.

Alongside important issues of pay and conditions, members felt being able to take pride in one's work had the biggest impact on having good mental health.

Finally, stress and being made to over-work were the biggest aspects of poor mental health, and yet, few in the Group felt they would call in sick on the basis of poor mental health.

Preston YCW Visit

Last month, Marc from the YCW National Team visited the Preston YCW group to discuss their work, how they could help with the current National Campaign – MIND! The Gap – and what plans they have for the future.

About a dozen young members were there to discuss the topics with Marc and took the opportunity to elect their President, Secretary and Treasurer for the Group. They also shared with him some very positive press coverage recognising their activities and the benefits it has brought them.

Comments included that YCW/IMPACT gave them greater social skills, encouraged them to be more supportive of each other and explore how they can make positive differences.

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In addition to this, it was great to see the recent success at the Million Minutes Awards being celebrated by the Group and Diocese. In the Jimmy Mizen Award Category, a YCW member in Lytham called Ella Holliday won the award for promoting solidarity and peace.

Ella is currently the youngest member of the 'Young Peace Journalists'. She chose the refugee crisis as her focus and built her own links with various agencies to make contact with refugees. Within that work and her work as a Anti-Bullying Respect Ambassador she witnesses to and communicates the gospel message. Her teacher has said of her: “Ella is an inspiration, she lives out the Gospel values each day; her presence and maturity of faith in action is beyond her years."

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Marc also took the chance to discuss our MIND! The Gap campaign and run through some of the SEE stage questions that we are currently covering through a survey on our website. The feedback from Preston was about the pressures of studies and work-life on young people.

Finally, there were exiting plans from the Group to visit our partner YCW groups and young people around the world. 

Marc Besford welcomed the achievements of the Preston YCW Group saying: "The work being done by the Young People here is extraordinary. They are tremendous advocates for themselves and their peers. I hope to see their efforts continue and look forward to what else they can offer to our movement. Thanks also to Terry for his sterling work as ever being the Chaplain to the Group."

YCW Launches Time-2-Talk Regional Events

The YCW are pleased to announce two regional events will be taking place as part of our new National Campaign, MIND! The Gap.

To begin with, the YCW will be organising these event across the North-West and North-East of England.

The purpose of these events is to bring all the groups together within the regions to discuss how their thoughts about the issue of mental health and how these can help contribute to our campaign.

  • North East Region will take place on Sunday 18th March at Holy Rosary, Billingham, TS23 2EP starting at 11am and will finish around 3pm. You are also invited to attend the local Parish Mass in Holy Rosary Church at 9:30am before the event.
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  • North West Region will take place on Sunday 25th March at St Anthony's Centre, Trafford Park, M17 1JF starting at 10am and will finish around 3pm. There will be Mass following the event at St Anthony's Church (next door to the Centre).
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