Jesuit outreach - forming people of prayer
In early October members of the Jesuits’ spirituality outreach team, led by Stephen Hoyland, were at St Mary’s Brownedge delivering a retreat day for school chaplains of the Diocese of Salford.
“We were joined by about 35 school chaplains from across the diocese,” explained Vron Smith, the new Wider Mission Co-ordinator of the spirituality team, “they were mostly lay people working in Catholic primary and secondary schools; some had teaching roles alongside their chaplaincy work. Some were also parents from the school community.”
The day was offered to chaplains as an element in a wider diocesan strategy to form “people of prayer”. Bishop of Salford John Arnold asked the Jesuits to deliver 15 weeks of guided prayer in parishes of the diocese last year. Many “graduates” from these weeks are now attending a prayer guides course run by our outreach team, so that they in turn can become “missionary disciples” within their own parishes, forming a diocesan network of prayer leaders.
“The chaplains’ retreat day was about opening up other ways of praying, both for themselves and for children and young people. We had good feedback that people found it enjoyable and life giving, and that they want more!” observed Vron.
The next phase of the strategy is to offer retreats in daily life in 2018 to those who have completed the prayer guides course, and to offer a further prayer guides course.
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