Hundreds of students from schools in the Archdiocese gathered together in prayer at St Chad’s Cathedral to mark #RedWednesday.

Today’s (Tues 21 Nov) Mass was held the day before the #RedWednesday campaign day, organised by the charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Students from St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, Birmingham; St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Birmingham; St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, Birmingham; St Benedict’s Catholic School, Alcester were in attendance, along with pupils from St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, Hednesford; Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, Coventry; Bishop Challoner Catholic School, Birmingham; St John Fisher Catholic School, Newcastle under Lyme; Archbishop Ilsley, Acocks Green and St Thomas More Catholic Academy & Sixth Form College, Nuneaton.

ACN are hosting three key events in the Archdiocese to mark #RedWednesday and Archbishop Bernard Longley also recorded a special video message for the occasion.

Tomorrow (Wed) schools will be joining a live stream in collaboration with the Mark 10 Mission and St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School. 

Today’s Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Timothy Menezes, Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral.

He opened his Homily with:

If you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad.

Does that line from St Paul that we heard in our Reading just now sound a bit strange to you?

Be glad of suffering in your life.

But you can find such ‘strange’ contradictions throughout the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels:

Blessed are you when people persecute you and speak ill of you: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven!

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain.
But if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.

So as we approach the subject of persecution Christians today, we understand and accept that just as suffering is not something to be avoided if it comes our way, so persecution can be an experience which we can encounter in solidarity with Jesus himself.

The reason for the charity Aid to the Church in Need is that the persecution of Christians generally happens without the world knowing about it.

Read Homily in full

Tomorrow, and throughout the Autumn, all are invited to join ACN’s #TeamRed, taking action to help countless Christians in Africa suffering targeted violence for their loyalty to Christ. 

Help to Break the Silence on the persecution of Christians worldwide – especially those in Africa! Africa is now a priority for ACN with nine countries in the emergency category.

This year any money raised as part of Red Wednesday will be matched pound for pound up to £100,000, so let’s make this year the best yet.

Find out more about #RedWednesday

Photo Gallery

#RedWednesday Schools Mass