These reports are from our 2019 AGM. 2020 was an online AGM and took a very different format. We hope to update with reports as soon as possible.
Relief & Refugee Committee
The Committee meets every month to assess applications received from the National Secretary.Your donations have helped Asylum Seekers and Refugees who have sought refuge in the UK since the First World War. Please continue to support the R & R Fund.
Applicants Countries of Origin – having arrived in the UK from 39 different countries, exhausted, malnourished and in need of help. Asylum Seekers have to rely on the support of charitable agencies and organisations.
Charity Commission Registered Agencies listed – that currently send applications to us via the National Secretary. Two of them, Freedom from Torture and Hibiscus, specifically deal with those who have been trafficked and abused.
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is based at their centre in Wapping on the river Thames. They provide many services for their refugee friends. Services provided by the British Red Cross Destitution Centre were also available for members to see.
African Refugee Community – A message sent by the organiser, Mr Makuka, –
“ Your grant always makes a difference in their life, this is demonstrated on the day of collection of their grant when I see them smiling and saying a Big Thank You and May God continue to bless people working for the CWL”.
(SDCAS) A Local supermarket Morrison’s asked whether the volunteers at the centre could organise some music for Valentine’s Day –
One of the volunteers played a gig at the supermarket, but not on Valentine’s Day. He played his guitar and sang for 30 minutes, many staff and customers joined in.
Afterwards he struck a deal with the supermarket.
The new R & R Prayer given to the committee by the National President.
Heavenly Father, you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.
We thank you for opening the hearts of many to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope and lives torn apart be restored.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your son, Our Lord who fled persecution
At his birth and at his last triumphed over death.
OUR LADY’S CATECHISTS
HISTORY OF THE OLC
Our Lady’s Catechists, (OLC), have been working in the field of catechesis for 96 years. Our Lady’s Catechists was founded in 1923 when Cardinal Bourne asked Margaret Fletcher, Foundress of the Catholic Women’s League, to help with the instruction of children not at Catholic schools.
Two years later there were 52 trained catechists and an equal number in training. In 1931 a standing committee of Our Ladies Catechists was established.
In 1956 OLC became a special committee of the Catholic Women’s League, with a representative from every Diocesan branch of the CWL.
In 1960 the OLC Certificate was recognised by the Hierarchy and the Bishops agreed to countersign the certificates. OLC is an associate member of the National Board of Religious Inspectors and Advisors, (NBRIA). OLC believes that the work of Parish catechists is as important now as it was in the 1920’s when OLC started. With the shortage of Parish priests, the role of lay catechists could become even more important. Although many Dioceses have their own training courses, OLC courses have several advantages.
OUR NEW WEB SITE
Our main development in the last year has been our new website at www.catechists.org.uk, which ‘went live’ around Christmas last year. This is well worth a visit as it introduces the OLC Executive, gives a brief history of OLC, gives details of all of our courses with application forms, and provides resources to work with children which can be downloaded for free, amongst many other features.
We also have new leaflets for all of our courses, (available this weekend): ‘Sowing the Seed’ – Foundation Course, which gives training for Parish Catechists or for adult formation; ‘Reaping the Harvest’ – Diploma course, a more in depth course to enable catechists to lead parish programs; Catholicism Made Simple – an introduction to the Catholic faith for adults or young people, and, Mysteries of the Christian Life – a course based on the Holy Rosary
To keep up to date with OLC news there is our annual magazine, Notes and News.
OLC CONFERENCE 2019
This year, for OLC’s annual Conference and AGM, we tried a new venue, moving to the Royal Court Hotel in Coventry. Our guest speaker was Fr. Mark Moran who gave two very interesting talks on the Holy Spirit. We were blessed in having our Spiritual Director, Fr Harry Curtis and OLC’s good friend Canon John Minh with us, and we were very grateful to Bishop Peter Doyle who joined us to celebrate Mass on the Saturday. In all, it was a very enjoyable, restful and spiritual weekend. Paul Swinhoe, our web master introduced us to the new web site.
OLC CONFERENCE 2020
We will be using the same venue again for next year’s Conference, which will run from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th April. Our guest speaker will be Revd Dr Gareth Leyshon, a member of the Sion Community, who will speak on the theme, ‘Why am I a Catholic?’ – the relationship between catechesis and evangelisation. Details from firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would love to welcome members of CWL to our Conference to find out a bit more about our work.
The Executive and members of OLC would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the members of CWL who have supported us financially and in prayer throughout the year.