Friday, 31 October 2014

Why Celebrate Halloween in a 'Catholic' School?

Three Alternative Ways at Looking at Death
      
      a. The Egyptians
      Perhaps the most famous tombs in the world are the pyramids built for the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt between 2630 – 2611 BC. The Pharaohs didn’t have the healthiest way of looking at death. Believing themselves to be gods they not only were entombed themselves, after death, but also with many of their servants, slaves and riches. Many Israelites, enslaved to build the pyramids, were badly injured or died during the building process and so these tombs became symbols of death and oppression. 
      
      b. The Celts
      Leaping forward a few hundred years and we find the Celtic tribes of Europe whose culture grew from their experience of the land and nature. Their new year was what we calculate as the 1st November when the life giving harvest was gathered and the deadly cold winter started to set in. The feast of Samhain was their new years eve, which they believed to be a time where the dead and living would mix in this world. To scare off unfriendly ghosts they often dressed as ghosts themselves to confuse them.
      
      c. The Christians
      Pope Gregory III (731-741) introduced the current format for the feasts of All Saints and All Souls Days as Christianity continued to spread through Britain and many of the Celtic celebrations were given a new focus through the eyes of faith. Rather than being fearful of death, the Church wanted to emphasise Christ’s power over sin and death. The word ‘hallowed’ used in the prayer that Jesus gave us, the ‘Our Father’, means to make holy. The feast of All Saints was thus called All-hallows with the evening before named All-hallows eve and so the feast of Halloween emerged. At the end of the harvesting season it was a time of celebration where people dressed as ghosts or devils to mock the power of evil & celebrate God's power over evil in Jesus’s death and resurrection. They might also dress up as saints and strut around as examples of people who truly new God’s power in their lives.

Halloween Today
If your faith isn't central to your life and the Church no longer offers meaning for you - other things will fill the gap. St Valentines Day dropped the Saint for commercial interests, Christmas becomes Winter Fest & Easter becomes chocolate centred rather than the new life symbolised in the egg. For many reasons, perhaps even relating to horror movies and books or the opportunity to sell scary costumes, for some people Halloween has become more of a celebration of evil rather than a celebration of God's power over evil. For other people, Halloween has no meaning other than a time to have fun. You can discover an animated interpretation of the history of Halloween at the following link: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

What can we do?
One path is to abandon ship and have nothing to do with Halloween; closing the curtains and hiding yourself away when the trick or treaters come a calling? You can also embrace some people's celebration that evil rules? There’s a big difference between going to your neighbours house with your family, knowing that your trick or treating will be welcomed, compared with walking around with friends to random houses and knocking on the doors of vulnerable people. In choosing your costume it makes a big difference to choose one that causes fear rather than one that is fun and makes people laugh. There are always choices to make and this year St Clare’s School is offering another path.

From All-hallows to Halloween and Back…
At St Clare’s we’re reclaiming the feast of All-hallows as a celebration of the power of God over death & evil. To make fun of the spooks, devils & skeletons by dancing or even strutting our stuff dressed as a saint – we’ll be having fun within the safety of the school community. We’ll be joining thousands and thousands of Christians around the world who celebrate this as a feast with a life giving meaning. Many people take off their costumes and destroy them at the end of the night to symbolise God’s power over them but in the spirit of recycling perhaps you could pull your tongue out at the costume instead? We all have choices to make but choosing to make others laugh rather than cry, to celebrate God's power lived through the saints and keeping safe is a great way to draw a line in the sand and say, "This is our feast... we're taking it back!"

God bless,

Fr David.

You can find some alternative arguments via the two following links but be aware of external advertising on this website:

Six Reasons Why Halloween is Far From Harmless

Six Reasons Why We Should Celebrate Halloween


Friday, 24 October 2014

Newsletter - 30th Sunday (A)

Click on the image below to see this coming weekend's Parish Newsletter.

Rosmini Centre in Ratcliffe

Saturday 8th November. “Martin Luther King”, Nick Walsh, Head of RE at Ratcliffe College; 11.00 to 2.00 pm; shared lunch.
Saturday 22nd November. Afternoon Retreat 3.00-7.00pm; reflection theme “Eucharist”.
Sunday 7th December.  RETREAT DAY given by Fr. John Daley IC. 10.30 am to 4.00 pm; lunch included.
Please telephone 01509 813078 or email rosminicentreinfo@gmail.come. Donations appreciated to cover costs and stipends.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Diocesan Families & Faith Day

Sign up at the back of church with your details and workshop choices…



Newsletter - 29th Sunday (A)

Click here to see this coming week's Parish Newsletter.

Almaz's Story

Benjamin Dix and Lindsay Pollock tell the disturbing story of a young Ethiopian woman abused by her employers in Saudi Arabia. Click on the image below


Teaching Position in Measham

St Charles School in Measham is looking for teaching cover for maternity leave from after Christmas until June 2015 for a year 5/6 class… phone 01530 270 572.

Teaching Position in Nottingham


The Good Shepherd Primary Catholic Voluntary Academy, Notts - The Governors are seeking to appoint a KS 2 Class Teacher. This is a temporary appointment of two terms until July 2015. For further details please contact the school office,  Email: office@goodshepherd.notts.sch.uk / Tel:  0115 9262983. The closing date for applications is NOON on Friday 31st October.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Newsletter 28th Sunday (A)

Click here to see this coming week's Parish Newsletter.

Christians Against Poverty - Money Course

Click on the logo below to find out more about the forthcoming CAP Money Course on Thursday 6th November at St Michael & All Angels Church on Main Street in Markfield, LE67 9UU.


Rosmini Centre - October Events

Sunday 19 October RETREAT DAY “Why GK Chesterton should be Beatified?”, Fr.John Udris postulator of Cause.  11.00 to 4.00  including Mass and lunch.

Saturday 25 October Afternoon Retreat 3.00-7.00pm; reflection theme “Confirmation”.

Book 01509 813078 or rosminicentreinfo@gmail.com

CANONS Youth Event


Join the Briars Team 2015-16


CAFOD e-Bulletin for October

Click here to download the latest edition.

CAFOD Exploration Day


AlterNativity - Doing Christmas Differently


CAFOD Nottingham Diocesan Officer Vacancy


Catholic Youth Worker Vacancy in Derby


Friday, 3 October 2014

Newsletter 27th Sunday (A)

Click here to see this coming week's Parish Newsletter.

Young People's Afternoon Retreat

Sign up at the back of church so we can organise car sharing…


Rosmini Centre Events


J & P Diocesan Assembly 2014


Prayer for a New Bishop

Father, Eternal Shepherd of your people, you never cease to lead your Church with unfailing providence and to guide and nourish your flock. In your goodness, grant to your Church of Nottingham, a holy Shepherd under whose watchful care we may grow in love and grace. We make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever... Amen.

New CAFOD Resources for Schools & Parishes

Three new resources which may be of interest to you and to parish and school communities.

·         Reflection on Saint Francis of Assisi, ‘Protectors of our fragile world’ ahead of the Feast day this Saturday 4 October (powerpoint)

·         CAFOD’s new short report, Pushing People over the Edge, shows that four out of ten people (44%) at highest risk from climate change impacts are already surviving on less than $1.25, or 77p, a day. Read more and download it here:

·         What happened at the UN climate summit in New York?