Pippa Bonner

With older and younger generations on either side, Pippa Bonner considers the spiritual aspects of growing older. She writes as part of the Dympna Circle, three women writers who reflect on spiritual and therapeutic issues.

Three of us write as the Dympna Circle for The Pastoral Review. Last year we all had grandchildren born within a six week period, and my fourth grandchild was born. I offer this personal reflection about getting older.

I recently celebrated my sixty-fourth birthday and my new grand-daughter Emily shares this birthday with me, as indeed does her father’s sister! I remember listening to the song When I’m Sixty Four, newly released by the Beatles, when I had just completed my Scottish Highers. We were sitting in the lovely Perthshire sunshine, behind the Refectory, so the nuns couldn’t see us lifting our divided skirts – ever so slightly – to tan ourselves. Sixty four years old seemed a world away – and indeed it has been. At the risk of falling foul of copyright law, I assume reader familiarity with the Beatles’ words. I do keep receiving ‘valentines’ from my husband, and I do ‘knit sweaters’ for the grandchildren – who are not called ‘Vera, Chuck and Dave’.

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March/April 2015

Stephen J. McKinney, Robert J. Hill and Honor Hania

Child slavery and child labour deny children their God-given dignity and freedom, and their right to education. Catholic Social Teaching is unequivocal in resolute condemnation of child slavery and child labour, in all of their forms. Stephen J.McKinney and Honor Hania are from the University of Glasgow, Robert J. Hill is parish priest of St Matthew’s, Bishopbriggs.

Introduction
Over the last few months, we have presented a series of articles in The Pastoral Review on the topic of contemporary slavery and the responses from scripture and Catholic Social Teaching. In this article we examine child slavery and the related problem of child labour. We also examine the very consistent and forcible condemnation of all forms of child exploitation and slavery in the response from Catholic Social Teaching. This response has three strands: first, a strong commitment to raising awareness and identifying the extent and the effects of child slavery and child labour; second, the Church draws on the Christian understanding of the dignity of the individual and her/his rights to challenge child slavery and child labour and third, a call to action to support the efforts to eliminate child slavery and child labour.

Distinguishing between child labour and child slavery
Children are defined by the United Nations as a person under the age of eighteen unless otherwise legally specified. There are estimated to be around 8.4 million child slaves in the contemporary world.

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March/April 2015

Claire Fernandes

Claire Fernandes draws from her experience as a visiting lecturer in Primary Religious Education at St Mary’s University, Twickenham and her training in ‘Catechesis of the Good Shepherd’.

Through Christ’s resurrection, we have come to know that life is stronger than death, light stronger than darkness. The resurrection of Jesus compels us to share the Good News of his life with all people.  This article provides an example of how we might lift up the discovery of the empty tomb to young children to enable a deepening of their relationship with the risen Lord.  The following could be used as an Early Years/Key Stage 1 class act of worship.

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March/April 2015

Sean Whittle

In the 1990s Anglican vicars became able to be ordained as Catholic priests. Here, one lay person living and working in the diocese of Westminster offers some personal reflections on the pastoral implications for the Catholic Church in England.

It is now about twenty years since the first wave of former Anglican vicars were received into the Church and were ordained Catholic priests. In those early days the presence of a former Anglican vicar, possibly married, being a priest was something novel. It was almost exciting and at times amusing to come across a married Catholic priest. However, over the past twenty years this novelty has given way to the situation today where it is estimated that up to one in ten Catholic priests are former Anglican clergy.1 It has been worked out that there are currently about three thousand active diocesan clergy in England and over three hundred of these are former Anglican clergy. There are a further eighty-seven ministers within the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

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March/April 2015

Christopher Budd

The former Bishop of Plymouth (1986-2013), Christopher Budd  shares a few reflections about being a bishop in a diocese in England and Wales at the turn of the millennia (20th – 21st century).
As we keep moving forward in time, he remembers that becoming ‘emeritus’ means becoming yesterday’s bishop!

How it began
I was appointed to Plymouth in November 1985. A phone call from the Nunciature inviting me to lunch came out of the blue and I was left speculating as to its purpose. As I had recently been a seminary rector for six years I was wondering whether heretical or dodgy teaching had been reported! I had finished my time as rector the previous summer and, after a short sabbatical, I had just started a new ministry at Brentwood. Tony, the assistant priest, and the people of the parish were incredibly understanding of their ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ priest as I packed up my personal belongings for the second time in less than six months. I am deeply grateful to Brentwood Cathedral parish for giving me a home for eight weeks where I could celebrate Advent and Christmas with them. I bade farewell to them as the Magi arrived at the Crib!

My pre-ordination retreat (between Christmas and New Year) was incredibly important, enabling me to sort out some of my confused thoughts. The retreat, guided by a sister of the Cenacle at Grayshott and based, in the Ignatian tradition, on silence and scripture, helped me to give some perspective on what was happening to me.

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March/April 2015

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