I am writing this month's reflection from Rome where I am enjoying a few days' retreat with those priests of our Archdiocese who have been ordained less than ten years. It is an enriching experience for me to be with them.
Maybe it is because they are all younger than me but their faith and joy in their ministry gives me much hope for the future of the diocese. Sister Emanuela, originally from Wigan, is leading us as we explore the relationship between faith and art.
Her talks are deeply moving as they reveal to us the relationship between beauty and faith in the ancient carvings on the tombs of early Christians as well as the glories of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Another unexpected joy for me was to meet Cardinal Kelvin Felix from St Lucia in the Caribbean. Our paths first crossed nearly fifty years ago when he was a young priest based in Yorkshire and he spoke to a student conference at Wood Hall near Leeds. I remember him being concerned for the welfare of the West Indian people who had settled in the mill towns and were now finding themselves in difficult circumstances. He introduced to us the notion of credit unions as means of people helping themselves to avoid serious debt and poverty.
Cardinal Kelvin was an inspiration then and he still is nowadays even though he is well over eighty years of age. As we hear a lot about the Windrush generation and how unfairly they have been treated, let us give thanks to God for the contribution they have made to our common society, and do whatever we can to bring them justice.