LONDON PRELATE PROPOSES “POPE BENEDICT PARTY”

Faithful Invited to Reminisce About Papal Visit on 1-Year Anniversary

LONDON, AUG. 30, 2011 (Zenit.org).- As the one-year anniversary of Benedict XVI’s visit to the United Kingdom is on the horizon, Archbishop Vincent Nichols is inviting the faithful to share their memories of the trip at “Pope Benedict parties.”

A video message released today ahead of the Sept. 16-19 anniversary and the Sept. 18 Home Mission Sunday, invites Catholics to participate in a weekend of celebration.

“I hope that you will find time as a family or as a group of friends or as a group of youngsters, to get together, to remember the stories of that weekend,” the Westminster prelate said. “Find your photographs, have another look at the DVD. Maybe you made home recordings of episodes of the papal visit? Maybe some of you went and travelled to these events? On this anniversary Saturday could I please ask you to delve into that memory bank and bring out those treasured memories again and enjoy them. Sit down together and have a Pope Benedict party.”

The archbishop explained that the theme for Home Mission Sunday, “Fresh Wind in Our Sails,” comes from a reflection that the Holy Father’s personal secretary made about how the visit to the United Kingdom affected the Pope: “It’s put fresh wing in his sails,” he said.

Meatless Fridays

The anniversary weekend is made up of three parts, beginning Friday, Sept. 16, with the re-establishment of the practice of Friday penance, the traditional sacrifice of abstaining from meat.

Then, families and parishes are encouraged to gather for a special celebration on Saturday. And Sunday is Home Mission Sunday, which is an annual day of prayer and affirmation of the mission of the Church.”

“I think this Home Mission Sunday on the anniversary of the Papal Visit is a huge opportunity for us to remember again the graces and the energy that surrounded the visit of Pope Benedict and to take fresh encouragement from that,” Archbishop Nichols said. “We need confidence, we need a renewed wind of the Holy Spirit in our backs so that we don’t look down, we don’t look backwards, we face the future, we face forward confident in the message that the Lord gives us, that the Holy Father affirmed within us.”

The prelate said that message is “essentially about our search for holiness through service of Christ, and the service of Christ and the search for holiness finds an important expression in the role that we play in our everyday lives outside of Church, in our homes, in our places of work, where with confidence we put forward the vision of faith in practice.”

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