Bernadette Broderick

Bernadette Broderick reflects on changes in family life and changes in the Church since Vatican II. She writes as part of the Dympna Circle, a group of three women therapists who combine spiritual and therapeutic thinking.

A recent period of sickness left me housebound for over a month. This was a rare and not entirely welcome experience for me. But once I accepted the situation, I enjoyed the advantage of spending many hours watching the comings and goings of life in my garden from my armchair.

The downside however was that during this time of incarceration, I missed out on many family events, in particular my grandchild’s first birthday celebrations. I made a cake to be enjoyed as part of the picnic that was planned. I wrote to my daughter ‘Make sure his other nanna does not get the soggy bottom in the middle or the burnt bit around the edges!’

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November/December 2015

Chris O’Gorman

This article explores the nature of leadership in the NHS, viewed through a theological and pastoral lens, namely the threefold office of Christ as prophet, priest and king. It aims to demonstrate the value of engagement between theologians, pastors and the leadership of the health service. Chris O’Gorman is a former NHS manager who now runs a healthcare management consultancy.

Catholic theology and pastoral teaching have conscientiously engaged with questions of healthcare, and to a lesser extent, with the concept of health over two millennia. In the West during the last fifty years, the primary preoccupation of this theology has been with healthcare ethics: today, amongst the issues provoking critique from Catholics are assisted suicide, infertility treatment and palliative care.

For many within the NHS in England these issues are marginal to other matters facing the service, to immediate priorities of policy and strategy, and to the clinical concerns of most practitioners and those who commission their services (i.e. clinical commissioning groups and NHS England).

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November/December 2015

Claire Fernandes

November is the ideal time to focus on the lives of saints. Claire Fernandes offers some suggestions for teachers in Catholic primary schools. She draws from her experience as a visiting lecturer in Primary Religious Education at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, and her training in catechesis.

Stories of the saints, candle, matches, bible, prayer table and green cloth for ordinary time.

Through Christ’s victory on the cross, we have come to know that life is stronger than death, light stronger than darkness. Leading up to the Feast of All Saints, you might like to share stories of the saints with the children in your class. The saints are heroes of faith that can inspire a new generation. As Pope John Paul II said, ‘Young people of every continent, do not be afraid to be saints of the new millennium!’ (World Youth Day, 2000)

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November/December 2015

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

The focus of this article is on the welcome to the stranger that is one of the key aspects of the Christian teaching to love your neighbour. We will discuss the life and teaching of Jesus in relation to this welcome and also provide an overview of the early Christian Church as a people on a journey. We will then discuss some of the important points raised in Catholic Social Teaching that pertain to the welcome to the stranger. Stephen J. McKinney and Honor Hania are from the University of Glasgow, Robert J. Hill is parish priest of St Matthew’s, Bishopbriggs.

Welcoming the stranger
The previous article (The Pastoral Review September-October 2015 vol 11, issue 5) highlighted the scale and complexity of contemporary migration and the challenges faced by migrants and refugees. It also examined the centrality of the motif of migration to the development of the covenant and the self-understanding of the Jewish people, and the mandate to the Jewish people to follow the example of God to love and care for the stranger. This article will examine migration and the position of the migrant from the perspective of the New Testament and Catholic Social Teaching.

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November/December 2015

Sean Loone

A reflection for Advent and Christmas on the annunciation, Luke 1.26-38, and the struggle of Mary.
Sean Loone is a deacon in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Recently I was talking to a young woman who was going through a really difficult time in her life. She turned to me and said, ‘Life must be alright for you. You have faith, surely faith makes everything alright.’

That’s not the first time someone has said that to me, so I paused before replying. Here is what I said.

Life for most people is a mess, everyone goes through difficult times and everyone at some time in their life suffers. Faith does not take that suffering away but it does help people cope with it. At this point, and having just entered the season of Advent, my thoughts went to Mary and how her life provides us with a perfect example of how a life of faith does not mean an end to pain, difficulty and suffering. Scholars tell us that Mary may well have been a young girl of about fourteen when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. She was already betrothed to Joseph.

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November/December 2015

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