Faithfest 2015 runs till 5 December in St Helens

Morning prayer sessions, afternoon workshops and evening events are taking place in different parishes across St Helens between Saturday 28 November and Saturday 5 December as part of Faithfest aimed at helping people to think about 'Food for your Journey'. Speakers include: Father Jim McManus CSsR, Monsignor Richard Atherton, Steve Atherton, Maureen Knight, Father Chris Fallon, Father Tony Slingo, Father John McLoughlin and Veronica Murphy. Plus there are activities for children and young people.

Through the week the following themes will be explored:

Luke’s Wonderful Stories
The Gospel according to Luke is filled with wonderful stories which don’t appear in the other three gospels. They show us a deeply compassionate, forgiving God who wants everyone to know God’s love. This is a chance to become more familiar with these stories through images and words and to reflect together on the beautiful prayer we often take for granted: the Hail Mary. This will provide food for our journey through the Year of Mercy.

Bread for the Journey – Towards the Holy Door
Pope Francis, in The Joy of the Gospel, said: "A Church which 'goes forth' is a Church whose doors are open. Going out to others in order to reach the fringes of humanity does not mean rushing out aimlessly into the world. Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way. At times we have to be like the father of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door open so that when the son returns, he can readily pass through it." (Evangelii Gaudium 46)
In this interactive workshop, we will reflect on how we are responding to Pope Francis's invitation to come and meet Jesus at the Holy Door. How will we make our way there? What might be holding us back? How will we help each other along the path? How will the Word of God feed us on this journey?

The Camino – a Pilgrim’s Perspective
Since the Middle Ages people have been benefiting from completing pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Deacon Kevin Duffy has been blessed to have followed both the Camino Portugués and the Camino Inglés with his wife Pat. In this session he will share some of the history and details of the many routes that pilgrims have travelled over the centuries to Santiago – along with his personal reflections and insights gained by following the footsteps of millions of pilgrims who have travelled those same ways.

Food for your Journey – a Child’s Perspective

Children are welcome to come and explore the Faithfest theme of 'Food for the Journey' through crafts, activities, worship and a snack.
Laudato Si'
Caring for our common home: Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si' is official church teaching on how we can show our faith by the way we live our lives. This workshop will introduce themes from the encyclical and look at a few paragraphs in detail.
The Psalms are not only our words directed to God, but also God’s words directed to us. They are intended as nourishment and support for us on our pilgrim journey.
In these sessions there are two main objectives. The first is to offer a general view of the psalms: what they are, where they come from, the various forms they take, why the Church embraces them in the liturgy and how we can make them our own. The second is to offer encouragement to those who pray the Prayer of the Church, which is composed almost entirely of the psalms. Then there is a third, overriding, purpose: to fire God’s people with love for this precious prayer book.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Fr Jim McManus will help us explore forgiveness and reconciliation as we prepare to enter the Year of Mercy.
Traidcraft goods and books will be available to purchase at events throughout the week

The full programme is available here