Sharing Sunday’s Gospel
The Wednesday Word is a 21st Century mission for Catholic primary schools, and a simple mid-week habit of prayer and reflection on the Word of God for parishioners and Catholic school families. Linked to the celebration of Sunday Mass, this is a new way to share the Gospel and the teaching of the Catholic Church, rooting the partnership between home, school and parish in the Word of God.
THERE ARE TWO VERSIONS OF THE WEDNESDAY WORD LEAFLET:
The Primary School version and the Parish version.
In support of the New Evangelisation, the President of the Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, has endorsed The Wednesday Word: a new and lively, mid-week (Wednesday) contact between the Church and primary school families. The enthusiasm of so many Catholic headteachers, school governors, RE coordinators, teachers and parish priests around the country to share the Word of God in this new way has been overwhelming – it’s ‘Good News’ for families.
‘GOOD NEWS’ FOR FAMILY FAITH
The best and most memorable stories in life are true. They are usually about some significant happening that has made a big difference in a person's life. The Wednesday Word mission (to send God’s Word into primary school family homes each week) started through a Catholic school family’s awakening and growth in faith - through reading the gospels together. Dannie (a married father of 3 children) was a lapsed Catholic for many years. He rediscovered his faith and returned to the Church after being encouraged to read the gospels. Over time, wanting to share what he had found with his family, he started to read the gospel with his wife and children too. Together they talked about the gospel’s meaning and relevance for their lives together. This special ‘Gospel Family Time’ proved to be a great way for the family to discuss faith and many other aspects of their lives - deepening their relationship with Christ, their local parish church and, indeed, strengthening their family relationships.
SCHOOL MISSION - SOWING SEEDS
Evangelisation for school parents:putting the Word of God, each week, into the home of every child in a Catholic primary school From very small beginnings, The Wednesday Word primary school resource developed.
Primarily, The Wednesday Word is an agent for the New Evangelisation, gently informing non-churchgoing parents about the ‘Good News’ and the relevance of the Christian faith. With its focus on the Sunday Gospel, this primary school resource is an attractive and colourful double-sided A4 leaflet which is designed to sow the seeds of God's Word; especially among the majority of parents who do not take their children to church. Statistics tell us this can be as high as 80% or above in many schools. The children receive the primary school version of The Wednesday Word, as a gift, in school each week for them to carry into the family home to read with their parents. In this way the Word is sent out by the school, just as (in the Parable) the Sower sends out the Seed, and so The Wednesday Word makes the Word of God present in thousands of school family homes each week, creating a new and powerful opportunity for the evangelisation of school parents.
GOSPEL FAMILY TIME CUSTOM
A new family habit of prayer and reflection based on the Sunday Gospel.
It is the parents who are the primary educators in their children's faith and The Wednesday Word helps them in this role, and also acts as a regular reminder of and invitation to Church. The resource also seeks to evangelise through a special ‘Gospel Family Time’ section on the back page. We suggest a particular day for ‘Gospel Family Time’ to help parents connect the name of the resource with the day on which they receive it from school (Wednesday). Since most of us are creatures of habit, nominating the same day each week helps families develop a new family custom of mid-week prayer. Moreover, Wednesday is the day which the Catholic Church dedicates to St Joseph, who is the Patron Saint of Families and Protector of the Church.
PARISHIONERS PRAYER CUSTOM
Forming hearts and minds to hear and understand the Word of God on Sunday
The success of the school mission is supported through parish prayer. The Parish version of The Wednesday Word is available free-of-charge on The Wednesday Word website (www.wednesdayword.org). This is a black and white resource which is designed for parish priests to download and print on the parish bulletin (or as a stand-alone leaflet) each week. It is offered as a gift for all parishioners to take home to be prayed on the following Wednesday, either individually or with other family members at home, or in small groups in the parish or the home. With its focus on the following Sunday’s Gospel, the Parish version invites all adult parishioners to encounter Christ regularly through this new Wednesday habit of prayer and reflection on the Word of God. This is a fruitful way to prepare for the hearing of the gospel at the following Sunday Mass. Moreover, it encourages parishioners to support the school mission by praying for (and in solidarity with) the families of our primary schools, thereby enhancing the spiritual communion between home, school and parish.
STRENGTHENING THE HOME, SCHOOL & PARISH PARTNERSHIP
When schools, parents and parishes work together, they deliver the best possible start for the faith-life of the children. A deep spiritual communion, based on the Word of God, between parishioners and school families on the same day each week will help build up the Body of Christ in school and in church and in the home. For more information please see: www.wednesdayword.org