During 1 – 7 October the Catholic Community in England and Wales is being invited to participate in Little Way Week which is an initiative that encourages people to do seven small actions – one a day for a week – to witness to their faith through service.
The initiative takes its inspiration from St Thérèse of Lisieux, the universal Patroness of Mission, who gave to the Church a teaching called the ‘Little Way’; the saint lived by this pathway which is a commitment to do small tasks every day with love. It is a simple way of witnessing to the love of God and neighbour.
This year the initiative is being offered in support of the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK who said to those gathered in Oscott in 2010: “I know that you will take a lead in calling for solidarity with those in need. The prophetic voice of Christians has an important role in highlighting the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, who can so easily be overlooked in the allocation of limited resources. In their teaching document Choosing the Common Good, the Bishops of England and Wales underlined the importance of the practice of virtue in public life. Today’s circumstances provide a good opportunity to reinforce that message.” (19 September)
Bishop Kieran Conry (Arundel and Brighton), Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Bishops’ Conference and Patron of the initiative said: “In our communities many people are in need and it is the task of every Christian to reach out to them in love and service. During 1 – 7 October you are invited to be especially attentive to those who might need help, ready to share as appropriate the reason for your actions – that you are following the command of Jesus Christ to love your neighbour as yourself.”
Little Way Week this year also coincides with the release (3 October) of a DVD titled ‘Relics and Roses’ which is a documentary about the first UK tour of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux (2009). Filmed by Michael Whyte, the DVD features exclusive interviews with the Archbishop of Westminster, the Dean of York and a number of pilgrims.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Westminster) said: “This attractive film about the relics of St Thérèse to this country is a sensitive exploration of devotion in the Catholic community. The impressionistic film shows the strong and living faith of Catholics in this country, while also giving space for other points of view. The excellent editing allows for moments of humour and great insight, posing important questions about life and faith, ultimately witnessing to the value and fruits of prayer.”
Downloadable resources to support Little Way Week are available from Home Mission.
Christ the Prince of Peace, Weybridge, Surrey, is one of the participating parishes. Parishioner, Mary Lee, said: “We will embark on the excellent suggestion from the Legacy Timetable 2011 to follow the ‘Little Way Week’ 1 – 7 October and promote it in the school and in our parish by making sure it is in the newsletter too. We had two coaches from our parish that went to see St Thérèse’s relics in 2009 so we have a lot of interest in St Thérèse.”
Little Way Week is part of a year-long programme called ‘Some Definite Service’ that was launched in January 2011 to support people to take a new step in response to Pope Benedict’s visit. See: thepapalvisit.org.uk/legacy
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