Catholic Herald Reporter OVER 1,000 people, including hundreds of families. are attending each night of a "Christmas and You" campaign, organised by the priest and parishioners of St. Patrick's Church, Leeds, which ends this evening (Friday). "The emphasis this year is on the family", the parish priest, Fr. M. J. Buckley, told the CATHot it HERALD this week. "This theme was chosen because the whole structure of family life is under attack from all sides."
TO celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination Bishop Grasar of Shrewsbury will sing High Mass in the church of St. Peter and St. Paul. New Brighton, on Tuesday. This will be followed by a special luncheon for the clergy of the diocese.
At Bishop Grasar's own request there will he no official presentation from the diocese although f52 has been collected as a gift to the bishop by the people of the cathedral parish in Shrewsbury.
A former Vicar General of the Nottingham Diocese, Mgr. Grasar was consecrated bishop of Shrewsbury in June this year.
"The thalidomide pill murders", Fr. Buckley added, "did not shatter people as much as should he expected. The problems of the adolescent need attention too, and we, as Catholics, must give the lead to the rest of our neighbours."
Before Cluistmas Family Week opened on December 10, details of the conferences and lectures planned for each night in the church were sent to Catholic families in the parish, together with a questionnaire asking how many there were in the family and when they would be attending.
"The pledges came flooding in," said Fr. Buckley. "When people in the rest of the city think of their own comfort, these people will brave the cold weather. They came out in smog and ice last year."
Ceremonies during the week placed special emphasis on the richness of the liturgy, and its place in the lives of every Christian family. The three Sacraments, Baptism, Marriage and Extreme Unction, received special, attention.
Each day had its own theme, and was opened by dialogue Mass. Monday was "Children's Day", Tuesday "Mother's Day", Wednesday "Husbands and Wives Day", Thursday "Family Day" and today is "Forefathers' Day".
"It may seem rather early to he talking about Christmas," Fr. Buckley added. "bin we decided to have another special week of preparation, just like the 'Apostolate Week' which was so magnificently attended last year."
This year the homes of lapsed and indifferent Catholics were visited and they were invited to attend. "The personal visit makes all the difference," Fr. Buckley stated. "Christmas is a time when people are most receptive to the word of God and this opportunity must not he allowed to slip by." A parish council of parochial societies was formed to help in the organisational work. and included members of the Union of Catholic Mothers, the C.Y.M.S., the Grail, The Legion of Mary and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.