Parish of St John Henry Newman travels to England’s Nazareth
Ten families with children under the age of 18 enjoyed an overnight retreat in Walsingham during the Autumn Half Term school holidays. The group belonging to the East Leeds parish of St John Henry Newman were led by Fr Ghebreyesus Ghebrezghi and Deacon Henry Longbottom. The programme comprised a mix of worship, catechetical and social activities. Creative talents shone during a lantern-making workshop and then the rain miraculously stopped for a “mini candlelit procession” through the village. During the course of the retreat, parents and children were split up for two catechesis sessions. Parents looked at the role of the family in creating the “Domestic Church” while the children explored the topic “Who is Jesus?”.
Reflecting on the experience, Jayden Maliyo (aged 11) who impressed everyone by reciting (from memory!) the Litany of Loreto over the megaphone during the Holy Mile Procession said “When we did the Holy Mile I started to feel tired because I was carrying the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. But I was spurred on when I remembered that Mary would intercede for us and that we could use the mile as a sacrifice for all suffering souls as well as ourselves.” Andrea Latham commented “our four kids had a lovely time and we enjoyed getting to know other families from the parish’s three churches”. Husband Paul added “We all enjoyed the peaceful surroundings to reflect and connect with the other families, we feel truly blessed to have been part of this spiritual experience”.