Br Guy Consolmagno SJ comes to Gidea Park

10 April 2017 at 10:30
Gidea Park, Essex

Fifth Gidea Park Study Day

God and the Cosmos with Br Guy Consolmagno SJ

Saturday 10th June 2017

11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.

Christ the Eternal High Priest Church, 410 Brentwood Road Gidea Park RM2 6DH

Brother Guy writes: ‘By seeing, with the eyes of an astronomer, how God has made creation in all its immensity, we can become more familiar with who God is and how God loves us.’

Brother Guy earned his PhD in Planetary Science at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in 1978. In 1989 he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and took vows as a brother in 1991. He was assigned as an astronomer to the Vatican Observatory, where he served as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection. In 2014 he was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for public outreach.

In 2015 Pope Francis named him Director of the Vatican Observatory.

All are welcome. Admission is free but booking essential by email GPstudydays [at] gmail [dot] com Coffee will be available from 10.30 a.m. Please bring your own lunch. Local eateries available. Easy access by road from the M25 and Gallows Corner. Ample free parking available at the church. Three minutes’ walk from Gidea Park station. Please check the Abellio Greater Anglia website for possible service alterations.

Legacies of Luther and Calvin: A Study Day with John Morrill

Why was there such a great schism in Western Christendom in the sixteenth century? What made the Catholic Church so unacceptable to men like Martin Luther and Jean Calvin? What made THEIR ideas so unacceptable to the Catholic Church? What, as modern Catholics and modern Protestants, should we make of their ideas? As we approach 500 years since the Reformation began, can we all still learn from them?

Join us when we welcome Rev Professor John Morrill who will share his insights with us at the twenty second Ecumenical Study Day for Essex and East London Christians.

Rev Prof John Morrill FBA is a permanent deacon in the diocese of East Anglia and chair of the Commission for the New Evangelisation there. Until December 2013 he was Professor of British and Irish History at the University of Cambridge and he is a life Fellow of Selwyn College Cambridge.

Admission is free – A light buffet lunch is provided – Please book your place!

The study day is Saturday 13th June 2015 and runs from 10.30 am – 3 pm.  The event takes place at Brentwood Cathedral Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood CM15 8AT.  A light buffet lunch is provided. All are welcome to attend and there is the opportunity to ask questions and make a donation. Booking is essential.

To book, please contact the CEF office on 01277 265289 or email cef [at] dioceseofbrentwood [dot] org.

The Holy Land and its People

The Commission for Evangelisation and Formation offered two related Ecumenical Study Days when Sr Margaret Shepherd presented Milestones in Modern Jewish Catholic Relations in October of last year and Della Shenton DHS portrayed Jerusalem: the Spiritual Heart of the World this March. Both speakers shared their great passion and invited their respective audiences to reflect on these subjects in relationship with our Christian faith.

In October Sr Margaret, who is Secretary to the Committee for Catholic Jewish Relations for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, illustrated the growth and development of the dialogue between the Jewish and Catholic faiths.   Quoting the resources compiled by the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department she pointed to the many encouraging encounters between Jews and Catholics since the end of the Second World War and to the emerging cooperation since Vatican II.   In the light of this true progress, she did not ignore the difficult times that preceded it or the challenges and responsibilities interfaith dialogue still faces. Crucially she reminded her audience that they too must embrace those challenges.

More recently Della Shenton also talked of shared responsibilities when she considered how we can move from three faiths in conflict to an “open door of prayer beyond the smoke of bombs and war”. (Pope Francis, August 2014) Describing herself as an “experienced pilgrim”, Della shared her extensive knowledge and experience of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. She spoke movingly about this very special part of the world and divided her talk into three parts: the Jewish, Christian and Muslim heritage of Jerusalem, through which she portrayed several thousand years of the Holy Land’s history.

Both speakers highlighted the significant roles played by recent Popes in promoting peace and understanding. While Sr Margaret showcased the historic visit by Pope Saint John Paul II to Israel in 2000 during which he prayed at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, Della finished her talk with Pope Francis’ joint prayer for peace which was said in the Vatican garden with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents after his visit to the Holy Land in 2014.

Listen to both these talks by clicking on the links below.

Sr Margaret Shepherd, Milestones in Modern Jewish Catholic Relations Part 1

Sr Margaret Shepherd, Milestones in Modern Jewish Catholic Relations Part 2

Sr Margaret Shepherd, Milestones in Modern Jewish Catholic Relations Part 3

Della Shenton DHS, Jerusalem: the Spiritual Heart of the World Part 1

Della Shenton DHS, Jerusalem: the Spiritual Heart of the World Part 2

Della Shenton DHS, Jerusalem: the Spiritual Heart of the World Part 3

The Commission for Evangelization and Formation in the Diocese of Brentwood is pleased to offer these Ecumenical Study Days. Read more about the study days and listen to more podcasts taken from them at What Good News Ecumenical Study Days.

Della Shenton – Jerusalem: the Spiritual Heart of the World – Pt 3

Della Shenton – Jerusalem: the Spiritual Heart of the World – Pt 2

Della Shenton – Jerusalem: the Spiritual Heart of the World – Pt 1

Sr Margaret Shepherd: Milestones in Modern Jewish Catholic Relations Pt 1

Look at http://www.scarboromissions.ca/JC_Relations/catholic_jewish_relations.php for background links to Sr Margaret’s talk.

Sr Margaret Shepherd: Milestones in Modern Jewish Catholic Relations Pt 2

Look at http://www.scarboromissions.ca/JC_Relations/catholic_jewish_relations.php for background links to Sr Margaret’s talk.

Sr Margaret Shepherd: Milestones in Modern Jewish Catholic Relations Pt 3

Look at http://www.scarboromissions.ca/JC_Relations/catholic_jewish_relations.php for background links to Sr Margaret’s talk.

18th Ecumenical Study Day: Rev Dr Adrian Graffy “Wrestling with Romans”

The Letter to the Romans is arguably the most difficult book in the Bible, and certainly one of the most important. This is possibly why a crowd of over one hundred people gathered at Brentwood Cathedral Hall for an Ecumenical Study Day on Romans given by the director of CEF, Fr Adrian Graffy.

The focus on Romans comes at a particularly interesting time. We are approaching the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Two years earlier Martin Luther was working on his Commentary on Romans, and grasped that the ‘justice’ or ‘righteousness’ of God should be understood as an invitation to trust in God’s mercy.

Paul says in a crucial verse: ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, for in it the justice of God is revealed for all those who believe, Jews first and Gentiles also.’ (1:16)

Romans highlights the fundamental points of Paul’s teaching. Firstly, it is through faith that salvation comes. Paul places the figure of Abraham before us. He believed and that is what justified him. The same is true for those who believe in Christ. We are saved by faith and the freely given gift of God, and not by the works of the law. In the magnificent eighth chapter of his letter, Paul explains what it is to live according to the ‘law of the spirit’. Later on, Paul explains the mysterious plan of God which welcomes both Jew and Gentile into the community of faith. In chapters 9-11 he shows that the slowness to believe in Christ of the majority of Jews was God’s way of giving Gentiles the opportunity to become believers. Paul is convinced that in time the Jews too will come to Christ and ‘all Israel will be saved’. These statements of Paul have been of the utmost importance in developing the outreach to Judaism found in the document on Non-Christian religions of the Second Vatican Council.

Romans has influenced theology from the very start. Great commentaries were written by John Chrysostom, Augustine and others. Romans has had and continues to have an enormous impact on Christian faith and Christian life. As we have noted, it had a crucial part to play in the development of ideas at the Reformation. But it remains a difficult letter. No surprise then that Fr Adrian borrowed the title for the Ecumenical Study Day from Bishop John A T Robinson and called the day ‘Wrestling with Romans’

To listen to the three parts of Fr Adrian’s fascinating talk click here:  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.