At a press conference in London today to launch the annual Day for Life, which this year focuses on the meaning of happiness, the Archbishop for Day for Life, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley explained how it is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation that we experience true happiness; it makes us at one with God; at one with our neighbour and at one with ourselves. He attributed, in part, the rise in the number of people going to confession to a deep desire within each one of us to return to God; the source of all happiness.
350,000 leaflets are being sent to parishes in England and Wales over the coming weeks to celebrate Day for Life 2011 (31 July 2011) which has ‘Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer’ (Rom: 12:12) as its theme. The leaflet text draws on the wisdom of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI when he spoke to the young people at the Big Assembly in Twickenham about happiness:
‘Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts’.
Other resources prepared for this year’s Day include online video interviews; one of which features an interview with Bishop Michael Evans, recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. He explains how he believes his illness can be a blessing to others while he continues in his ministry and remains as the bishop to the people of East Anglia. Despite being challenged by a terminal illness, the heart of his understanding of the Catholic faith is God as joyful love.
In parishes across England and Wales on or around the weekend of 31 July, there will be a second collection to assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre (formerly the Linacre Centre) and other life-related activities supported by the Church. Last year’s Day for Life, which had the meaning of a Christian death as its theme raised £267,309 through the second collection. Archbishop Longley thanked parishioners for their great generosity and outlined some of the recipients of last year’s Day for Life collection:
Production and distribution of Day for Life resources and web materials £35,000
Anscombe Bioethics Centre £50,000
Ethical Stem Cell Research £25,000
Mental Health Project and Grants £37,000
Joint Bioethics Commission £4,000
Relationships Project £25,000
CPCP (City Pregnancy Counselling Psychotherapy) £12,000
Care Not Killing £25,000
Bereavement video resource material for people with disabilities £10,000
Day for Life is the Day the Catholic Church in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales dedicates to celebrating the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
e. email@example.com t. 020 7901 4800 w. http://www.dayforlife.org/
Photos from the Day for Life press conference will appear very shortly on the Catholicism flickr photostream