Being a single parent takes enormous strength. Every worry, every concern is yours. Maybe you think that people are judging you - but what do they know about your life and the problems which you have had to overcome. At St. Wilfrid's we do not judge, we just welcome and accept and offer whatever support we can. So, in answer to the usual questions - yes, you can have your child Baptised; yes, they can make their First Holy Communion; yes, they can get Confirmed; yes, even if you are not married!
If you have been through the pain of divorce you can still be nurtured on the Sacraments, especially Confession & Holy Communion. As Catholics we believe in the sanctity of marriage but we also recognise that sometimes staying together is not an option. When people want to remarry, they will often ask the Archbishop to examine their first marriage. If he finds that the marriage lacked the essential elements to be a valid marriage, he will declare the marriage invalid and then you are free to marry in Church.
In order to receive Holy Communion, you have to be in a state of sanctifying grace. If you commit a serious sin (mortal sin) you need to go to confession prior to receiving Holy Communion. But confession is not magic, in order to be forgiven we must repent of our sins and have a firm desire not to sin again.
As an ex-offender or someone who received a non-custodial sentence, the world can seem very different - as if you do not quite belong or fit in. Your family and friends may not understand what you have been through, let alone how difficult it is to cope with being out on licence or having a SOPO. We all make mistakes. At St. Wilfrid's we do not believe that your mistakes define who you are. We believe very much in the power of God's grace to heal the wounds of the past and give us the hope of a bright future. Trying to reintegrate into society and face the future is difficult, but you are not alone. We will give you a warm welcome and a listening ear. We will walk with you and do all that we can to support and encourage you in your journey to a brighter future. Don't forget, Jesus was in prison and considered an outcast as was St. Peter and St. Paul!
While our sexuality does not define us, it is an important part of who we are. While we know that God created us in His image and likeness, and God does not make mistakes, we can often struggle to reconcile who we are with our faith. At
St. Wilfrid's we believe that Jesus calls, embraces and supports us as we are. In order to be holy we have to accept ourselves as we are - wholeness - and then, with God's grace, we can achieve the seemingly impossible. Pope Francis reminds us that the Church is a field hospital where wounds are healed and people are made strong. As a family we love and support each other and do our best to help each person to be the image of Christ in the world. If you are struggling, do not suppress or hide your feelings. Hear the voice of Christ calling Lazarus from the dark tomb of death to life; listen closely, because it is you he is calling.
If I had a physical wound it would be so much easier for people to understand. Some people think I am odd or stand-offish, others think I am lazy and don't care. But living with depression or a mental illness can be like walking through a dark cloud. There is nothing to look forward to; at times I wonder what the point of life is. There are days when it takes all my energy to get up and wash. The thought of going out to the shop to get a carton of milk will play on my mind all day until finally, just before it closes, I get there - another days work completed! Anxiety seems to come from nowhere. I am convinced others are talking about me or looking in a judgemental way. I would talk to my therapist but it takes months to get an appointment. At St. Wilfrid's I find people who listen and care. What I like most is I am not the centre of attention and they just treat me like everyone else. I often find myself telling jokes or encouraging someone else who suffers the same way I do - I am certainly not alone! When I pray, I often think of Our Lady at the foot of the cross going through mental agony and feeling every wound Jesus endured - she knows what I am going through.
St Wilfrid's Parish is part of the Roman Catholic Church. The head of the Church is Jesus Christ who we believe to be both God and Man. During his earthly life Jesus established the One True Church and endowed it with authority to teach, and grace to administer the sacraments - seven signs of God's love. The earthly head of the Church is the successor of