This Sunday is the first ‘World Day of the Poor’. Pope Francis has instituted this new day as a way of inviting us to understand that sharing with those living in poverty “enables us to understand the deepest truth of the Gospel”. In his message for the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis asks all of us, whatever our means, to unite in love and in acts of service to one another. He explains: “It is my wish that … Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance.” Please consider how you can create moments of encounter and friendship today.
On this occasion I would like to start with a huge thanksgiving for all your help given to collect warm socks, travel mugs, donations and many other practical things to help the homeless people on the streets of Southsea and Portsmouth. We went around Southsea on Saturday 11th November, on the memorial of St Martin of Tours, whose journey to the holiness started with so merciful gesture of help to the beggar.
As a young soldier, Martin encountered a beggar in Amiens (France). The beggar was unclothed and it was very cold. Martin removed his cloak and with his sword, he cut it in half. He gave this half to the beggar and dressed himself in the remnant. That night, Martin had a vision in which Christ appeared to him. The vision spoke to him, “Martin , a mere man has clothed me.”
So, we have decided that St Martin of Tours will be our special Patron and intercessor for our dedication to this ministry among our poor Brothers and Sisters. On that day, early morning: Diane, Justyna, Lisa, Sr Marie Elise and myself we went with your merciful gifts to share it with the, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate and sandwiches. We have met 6 of them, and we would like to ask You to pray for them. Starting this Week of the Poor, the people of the Beacon Project will go again this Monday late evening again. We will continue this new charisma of our Parish to help the homeless through the next weeks, months and years. Another part of this ministry will be the event of the ‘Open Church’ in which we will participate.
You can read more about it in this Newsletter.