PRE was started by Fr Brian Green in 1978 to allow those involved in pastoral work to exchange ideas, personal experiences and information. Fr Brian taught at Ushaw College from 1969 -77 and developed a Pastoral Theology course. He then moved to Dinnington to become parish priest of St Joseph’s in 1977.
PRE is received by clergy, religious and lay members of the Church in the British Isles, Europe, Australia and Canada. Editions are now produced biennially and are packed with interesting quotations, reflections, book reviews and writing on pastoral work. (See the index for issue 162 below)
In his second editorial in 1979, musing on when he first started working in a parish, Fr Brian wrote:
“First of all, it helped to see the value of what can be called PASTORAL REFLECTION. In some ways it is just a practical form of meditation and prayer. Renewal, after all, is the work of God, so our first task is simply to “let God be God” in us.
It is a matter of opening ourselves up so that his ways of thinking become ours and what we do flows from his presence in us.
Prayer is the starting point of renewal. Someone has said that we should pray with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Pastoral reflection means listening in our hearts both to the Word of God revealed to us in the Scriptures and teachings of the Church, and the Word of God speaking to us through the world in which we live. We discover a new harmony between the two – indeed an ever-changing range of harmonies; and through the harmony we begin to detect the voice of God, showing us the way forward, resolving doubts and restoring confidence. Especially when two or three are gathered for such prayerful and theological reflection, Christ is there. We may pick up his message through any of his members, and the occasion may be informal and light-hearted.
(The) conviction grew during my stay at Ushaw: that the parish must take a central position in our work for renewal. Small basic communities may well provide the spearhead for the Church’s future mission: but they need to be serviced and anchored to the larger community of the Church. Narrow parochialism must go. A revitalising of the parish, and especially of a team of people at the creative centre of the parish, seems at the moment to be one of our most urgent priorities. “
Discernment and synodality explained in less than 300 words!
If you’re interested in receiving PRE please write to Tony Lear at email@example.com
In the most recent issue, PRE 162, the Native American 10 commandments
The Earth is our Mother, care for Her.
Honour all your relations.
Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit.
All life is sacred; treat all beings with respect.
Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more. Do what needs to be done for the good of all.
Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each day. Speak the truth but only for the good in others.
Follow the rhythms of nature.
Enjoy life’s journey, but leave no tracks.
PRE 162 Index – to give you a flavour of the contents
1 Ten Years of PRE
2 Christ in the Here and Now – Fr Brian Green
3 Speaking Personally – Fr Brian Green
4 Jesus lives in our hearts – Fr Brian Green
5 A prayer for the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia
6 Pope Francis to Europe’s Catholic Bishops
7 God comes to women too by Heather Farrell
8 Synodality Church’s “antidote to clericalism” by Maurice Cardinal Piat
9 What Is Spirituality by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
10 The Native American 10 Commandments by Duane Short
11-12 Notes and Quotes
13 Positive Attitudes by Courtney E. Ackerman
14 The Promotion of Positive Attitudes Towards Disability by Courtney E. Ackerman
15 Reflections On War And Politics, Hermann Hesse
16 The Way of Discernment by Elizabeth Liebert
17-18 Gratitude in a Time of Drought by Norann Voll
19-20 Not in God’s Name by Jonathan Sacks (Hard Texts)
21-22 St. Joseph’s Dinnington Journey – CAFOD Live Simply Campaign by Chris Parrott 23-24 Confetti All Around by Eric Clayton.