" Jesus, thank you for everything, for my very beginning and my very end. "
Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa OSsR
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Wholly Holy 2015

Be Alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Let Love be in all. 

June 20th 2015 at Hawkstone Hall

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After last years successful event Wholly Holy returned to Hawkstone Hall on Saturday 20th June. This years event was subtitled ' Stand Firm in the Faith' and promised : input; reflection; adoration; Mass; praise and worship and more. The keynote speaker was Fr. Jim McManus C.Ss.R. Fr. Jim is well known throughout the world as an author and missioner. He is currently the London Province's link person for the 150th Jubilee Year for the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. For more information on the jubilee year visit http://www.iconoflove.org/

The majority of the delegates arrived on Friday evening allowing them time to appreciate the beautiful surroundings and for those who did not know each other a chance to bond over prayer, card games and a social. Those arriving on the day had a very early start.

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For those who stayed the night the day began at 7.30 with Morning prayers though some had been woken earlier by birdsong. Amongst the prayers was a chance to reflect on the day ahead



    • What would make this day successful for me as a Christian?
    • What blind spots could put me at odds with God’s Kingdon?
    • Is there a hidden place in my day to find God’s presence?
    • Where will I cross God’s path in other people today? 

The day ahead

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Once the remaining delegates arrived,the day started with an introduction and welcome from Fr. Maurice

Fr. Maurice welcomed everyone - and talked through the programme for the day, when lunch would be, the times for Adoration and confession, and he welcomed Fr. Jim who would be providing two periods of input over the day.

He then passed over to Paul (who everyone was pleased to see was looking  in better health) to add his words of welcome.





Praise and Worship session

The day's programme began with around half an hour of Praise and Worship music.

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Amongst the music played was Build Your Kingdom here by Rend Collective 


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The musicians Paul, Eibhlin, Lizzie and Brother James.

Morning Liturgy

The morning liturgy began with a thought provoking video from the Redemptorists of Dundalk.

Be still and Know

When you face the storms of life, God is with you.

Posted by Redemptorists Dundalk on Wednesday, 11 March 2015


We were led in prayer by Dave, Clare and Helen, with several scriptual quotes being read to inform the rest of the day.

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The liturgy ended with another Redemptorist of Dundalk video.
Let Your Light Shine

YOU are the light of the world. Let YOUR light shine!

Posted by Redemptorists Dundalk on Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Fr. Jim input 1

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Fr. Jim spoke on the secret of happiness, i.e Know yourself.  We are called to love and only by loving can we be truly happy. True love is self giving it is not self-serving, the latter is more of an investment. He spoke about how we both live in faith and live by faith. In order to illustrate these points he used some church documents as references.
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Prayer to end Morning session 

The morning concluded with prayers and another Praise and Worship song. Amongst the prayers we were reminded of Mother Teresa's words

Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service. A mission of love can come only from union with God. From the union, love for the family, love for one’s neighbour, love for the poor is the natural fruit.

A third video from the Redemptorists in Dundalk brought the morning session to a close. 
Love is ...

"God is Love" 1 John 4:8Where there is love , there is God

Posted by Redemptorists Dundalk on Saturday, 14 February 2015

Break for lunch

A filling lunch was served in the Refectory and there was  time to explore the grounds before the afternoon session. About half the group went to avoid the surroundings and despite threatening weather did not get too wet. Others stayed to have a rest or to prepare the afternoons events.
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The afternoons session began with a video about Asylum Link in Liverpool. Many of those present were from Liverpool so his had a particular resonance.

Fr. Jim input 2

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Fr. Jim spoke about our Faith and why we believe. How we are blessed that our Faith has been revealed to us. He illustrated this by referring to the Gospel.

In particular he asked us to consider the following.

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.…

He asked us to consider what our answer would be if Christ asked us directly, and if we could answer as St. Peter how is this reflected in the way we live our lives. He suggested that we meditate on this during Eucharistic Adoration.

A time for Reflection

The Time of Reflection was split into four parts
  • Reflect : Ponder

We were asked to consider one of three statements, and then discuss what we have written with someone else. The statements were.

    • “There is within every soul a thirst for happiness and meaning.”
    • “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off “
    • “Wonder is the desire of knowledge” 
  • Reflect : Reconcile

We were provided with handouts that prompted us on examining our life and how we could mend it.  There was an examination on conscience and a reflection to help those who wished to receive the sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation.  

We would do well to remember the words of St. Augustine of Hippo :

Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence.

  • Reflect : Love

In addition to meditating on Fr. Jim's question  - What would we answer if Christ asked us who he was, we had some additional quotes to reflect on from Blessed Oscar Romero, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP and Pope Benedict XVI

  • Reflect : Journey
 Prayer stations had been set up around the Hall with activities to help us grow.
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At this prayer station we were asked to reflect on things causing pain in our life. To reflect on the pain and ask God to take it away from us.
Symbolically a pebble was placed in some water to represent freedom from the pain.
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Take what you need

What is it you need in your life the most at this moment?

Take a minute to look at the words in front of you. Choose the ones that speak the most to you. Pick them up and hold them in your hands. Spend time now asking God to come help you with what you need.

Love, Hope, patience, understanding, healing, peace, courage, strength

“Do not be anxious about anything, in prayer and petition; present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, with guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:6-7


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“You , Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light” 2 Samuel 22:29

Think of an area of darkness know to you.

Light a candle, watch the candle’s flame and see the light move. Spend a few minutes no asking God to move that light into the area of darkness you thought about.

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"The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace” Isaiah  59:8

 There are many people and places in our world today that cannot live in full and true Peace. Join with us in praying for peace in the world today. Write your prayer for peace on the back of the dove and when finished place it around the map of the world. This we do as a sign of us standing in  solidarity with our brothers and sisters living in fear, war or brokenness.

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 “Be Still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

Take a few moments to sit in stillness before your God and allow him to delve into the depth of your heart.

“Speak Lord, your servant is listening” 1 Samuel 3:9

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“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13

You are Christ’s friend and he lay down his life for you.

Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice Christ took for you.

We invite you to write down what sacrifice means to you and place it at the foot of the cross.
(The photograph has been digitally altered to remove the words that the delgates left)

Adoration and Benediction

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Fr. Maurice led us through guided Adoration and Benediction
We were asked to reflect on the following:
As you sit here in the presence of Jesus who gives himself to us in this amazing sacrament : Listen to him in the silence of your heart.
  • Ask him to be with you in every moment of every day
  • Thank him for being with you in every moment of the every day
  • Tell him about how you want to walk in his presence during each day
  • Thank him for all that he has done and continues to do for you
  • Ask him to be with you in everything you do.

Following the recitation of the Divine Praises - the Blessed Sacrament was reposed.

Afterthe final prayer Benediction ended with the musicians singing Matt Redman's Benediction
The day fell within the nine days leading up to the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the statue and icon were accordingly surrounded with flowers.
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Finally Mass was celebrated.

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Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Jim and Fr. Maurice.  Fr. Jim’s Homily was the four ordinary activities that we do whenever we attend Mass.

  • We listen
  • We respond
  • We offer
  • We receive

Again he stressed the importance of doing things out of love and not as an investment for we could get out of things.

The musicians again provided beautiful music for the Mass. After Mass was over Fr. Maurice thanked those who had made the day a success.

 Although the gathering was smaller than last year this resulted in the experience being a more intimate affair, and thanks go to Fr. Maurice and the staff of Hawkstone form making everyone feel welcome, to Fr. Jim for his insight and thought provoking words, to the musicians who played and sang beautifully throughout the day and to those who helped draw the liturgies together. A special thanks to Dave who had held things together during Paul's illness and to those who prayed for the success of the day.
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A final photo infront of the Hall

Watch below a slide-show of the day