The celebration of the St. Joseph’s Penny Appeal masses was a wonderful occasion for pupils of our primary and secondary schools to get together and celebrate through their generosity and prayers the charitable work that the appeal funds through the millions of pennies collected each year during Lent. This year, the St. Joseph’s Penny Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral in Salford on Wednesday 21st June and at St. Alban’s Parish church in Blackburn on Friday 23rd June.
In the mother house of the Diocese, Bishop John encouraged everyone to be missionary disciples. As disciples he said, “We learn about our faith” and as missionaries “we share our faith with others”. Developing this theme he said, “Faith is not just a private matter and if we are to share it we need to do this through the care and love for other people.” He concluded by saying that we all had a privileged opportunity to care for other people and that the strength to do so came from our own personal conversations with God and that we should all “Talk to Jesus like you would talk to your best friend.”
At St. Alban’s, Blackburn, Fr Jude Harrison encouraged young people to celebrate life and live it to the full by enjoying all the wonderful opportunities they had through school and family life. He shared his own memories as a pupil at St. Mary’s, Burnley collecting for the St. Joseph Penny Appeal and said, “By supporting the charitable works of Caritas through the Penny Appeal we are helping other young people to have new opportunities to life to the full.”
On both occasions, Mark Wiggin, Director of Caritas spoke of the importance of the Lenten Appeal reminding everyone that it was named after St. Joseph who was given the job of looking after Jesus and protecting him as he grew up. He said, “Caritas is like St. Joseph….helping to protect people and keep them safe just like your mums and dads and teachers do for you”. That, he said was the purpose of the appeal – to help Caritas protect all people who needed help on their journey through life.
Having two celebrations this year, one in the North and one in the South of the Diocese of Salford is to recognise the participation of all the schools in Salford Diocese in this amazing appeal that this year celebrated 113 years of raising money and awareness for the charitable works of the diocese through Caritas. A BIG THANK YOU to every school for your support.