Thoughts on St Beuno’s Outreach Meeting Group
By Janet Hedgecock
I attend this Prego Outreach Group every fortnight, regularly! We are all free to attend or not but are welcomed always with warmth and sincerity. What a loving, supportive and spiritual gathering of people! We come from different denominations, maybe, but we all share our Faith together so definitely inclusive. No division! In St Beunos, everyone is welcome! What joy!
Personally, I experience a warm, vital and caring atmosphere when we share thoughts, hopes, prayers and experiences together. We listen to one another.
We are led by Father Damian or Clare each time in a wonderful way. We are usually about 15 to 20 in number, and sit in a circle and it’s as though we are embracing one another. It certainly feels like that to me!
A typical meeting starts with a 15 minute Contemplation. A quiet piece of classical music is played whilst we commune with God. Father Damian, speaking softly and gently, leads us into a place of inner peace and rest.
This part of the meeting is essential for me and I seem to lose the sense of time as I travel deep within where God resides. I sometimes wonder afterwards, if I have dropped off to sleep! I hope not as I would be unconscious then and I want to be conscious!
We then turn our attention to the Gospel for the next week, usually. The Gospel is read a few times, slowly. And we are asked in turn to read parts of it. We then observe a phrase or word that resonates within us and are encouraged to speak of this to the group if we wish to share it. Others may wish to comment on our observations and so this helps us to clarify our own state of understanding.
We may turn our attention then to the Readings for the following week. Again, observing if any word stands out for us.
We are sometimes asked to put ourselves in the situation of the Gospel … and imagine we are one of the disciples, one of the crowd, or a specific person there, even Jesus! What was it like to experience that event or given parable?
We then are arranged in groups, so that we meet different people each time. We discuss the Gospel or reading fairly specifically as we are invited by Father Damian or Clare to focus on a given theme/question, contained in the Reading. This varies each meeting. This is a very valuable part of the Prego as we share our thoughts and experiences. We learn such a lot from each other. We become more compassionate, our eyes and ears open!
Intercessions are then welcomed and we pray for others as we share our hopes and fears and give thanks.
We conclude the Prego with a word or phrase which captures our feeling or impression of the evening. This is entirely voluntary but most people share willingly! Words I hear regularly are gratitude…peace…challenged… encouraged…
What JOY oozes quietly in the conference room…what abundance in the presence of Jesus and our fellows.
Thank God (Father Damian and Clare and ourselves!) for the Outreach Group.
Friends of St Beuno’s e-news Editor - there are many Prego Outreach Groups throughout the diocese of Wrexham - some have been on the go for 25 years. People find them invaluable. The Prego leaflets used in these meetings have a worldwide receivership. They can be delivered automatically to your inbox - to find out more please go to https://stbeunosoutreach.wordpress.com then scroll down and click on the invitation, "Follow this blog by email". You can unsubscribe at any time. In a further edition we will have something from Father Damian Jackson SJ who has been at the forefront of the Ignatian Outreach movement since its inception.