Report of Annual Day with Archbishop Bernard for Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions - Wednesday 8 February 2023

“Thank you so much a million times for the wonderful time yesterday” wrote Fr Solomon in an email, the day after the highly successful Conference.

Anne-Marie Johnson, Training and Development Officer for the Young Christian Workers, wrote “What a wonderful turnout! So lovely to chat to the various priests, religious sisters, and Chaplaincy representatives.”

The main focus of the day was a key priority for Ethnic Communities: seeking to pass on their Faith and Culture to future generations.

One of the most successful methods is “See, Judge, Act” initiated by Cardinal Cardijn in Belgium and promoted by the Young Christian Worker Movement through the “Impact” Programme for 11-15 year olds, and Y.C.W. at 16 plus.

Fr John Marsland, National Chaplain, and Anne-Marie delivered a major interactive presentation in the morning. Fr John drew on his experience as International Chaplain some years ago, showing pictures of the Y.C.W. in action in different parts of the world. He highlighted the way Y.C.W. changed young people’s lives in places like Uganda and Ethiopia. The method, he said, “leads to young people becoming aware of their dignity and destiny.”

In the middle of the day, the Conference moved to the Chapel in St Columban’s, Knowle, where the prayer was led by Sub-Deacon Dr Subhi Zora.

After the lunch break Archbishop Bernard Longley spoke of the importance of the new Ethnic Communities in taking forward the Diocesan Vision and Pastoral Plan.

The final presentation was by Dr Judith Champ who involved the participants in reflection on the changing story of the Church in the Diocese as migration, which has increased in more recent times, has re-energised our Communities, particularly through the Priests who came with their communities: “As a Community we have a responsibility to be aware of these matters”, she said.

Monsignor Daniel McHugh, the Co-ordinator for Ethnic Chaplaincies in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, concluded the day looking towards future events and topics that would feature in the next conference.

Photo Gallery by Con McHugh

Eparchies and Missions, Ethnic Chaplaincies Conference Day with Archbishop Bernard Longley

Prayer led by Dr Subhi Zora

Ethnic Chaplaincies in our Archdiocese