Falling on their knees they did him homage
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 St. Peter, Pope Francis. Together with the College of bishops, Pope Francis continues the mission entrusted by Our Lord to the Apostles. The centre of our faith is the belief that at every Mass, through the action of an ordained priest, the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Mass makes present the one perfect sacrifice of Calvary, the action of Christ at the Last Supper and his glorious resurrection.