Marriage and Family Life Coordinator, Antonia Braithwaite, said: “The Helpers of the Listening and Prayer Ministry meet with people in need and endeavour to lead them closer to Christ and assist them in feeling a sense of being healed and strengthened through prayer and active listening. In addition they help them to more clearly identify their current difficulties so that they can decide what steps, if any, they wish to take next.”
This charge of accompaniment to the Lord and of being His loving face to those in need is a blessed calling, the Bishop told the Helpers during his homily. Reflecting on Christ’s call to Levi the tax collector, the team was reminded that Levi was challenged to trust Jesus, as we all are, with the first step in response to His call.
Like Levi we all stand in need of the healing that only Christ can provide and if we are to be transformed ourselves, to be healed and so able to be healers for others, we need to take that first step towards Him, but then must also remain with Him for the remainder of the journey.
The Listening and Prayer Ministry was launched in the Diocese in 2022 and is now actively working to see people-in-need throughout the Diocese. A new cohort of volunteers are currently being trained to join the current Helpers in this important ministry.
Volunteers spend a year being professionally trained as Helpers and then meet in pairs with people-in-need throughout the Diocese, either on Zoom or face-to-face, for hour-long sessions up to six times.
If you feel you would like to speak to someone in a prayerful Catholic environment about any life difficulties you have been suffering, then you are invited to phone the Ministry telephone number. This is not a crisis line, but rather an answer phone service. All calls are strictly confidential and will be returned within 48 hours. Phone: 01603 957653.
Any enquiries about this ministry can be directed to the Marriage and Family Life Coordinator, Antonia Braithwaite firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above are the Listening and Prayer Ministry Helpers with Bishop Peter Collins at the commissioning Mass at St Catherine’s Dominican convent in Cambridge.