Jesuit works make a stand on Red Wednesday
Wednesday 28th November is ‘Red Wednesday’, a day to show solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters suffering persecution throughout the world. Aid to the Church in Need invites everyone to join the campaign by doing something peaceful and positive: unite in prayer, wear red, light the church in red, organise activities or attend themed events already in place – which could be easily searched through a map on the organisation’s website.
Several Jesuit works make a stand on this day, to highlight the injustices and discrimination suffered by Christians, which often go unnoticed.
Manchester’s Holy Name Church on Oxford Road in the heart of the Universities Quarter had its entrance and interior lit in red, joining other iconic buildings around the world such as the Palace of Westminster/the Houses of Parliament, the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
The Holy Name is the Universities' Catholic Church, serving the Catholic Chaplaincy - hub of a thriving community of students where prayer, reflection and social outreach go hand in hand. The Chaplaincy houses the Central Manchester Foodbank and the office of Greater Manchester Citizens, and students also run a winter night shelter in cooperation with the Boaz Trust.
“Red Wednesday honours those who have suffered because of their religion, and invites us to stand in solidarity with millions of people targeted for their beliefs and living in fear” said Brendan Callaghan SJ, Superior of the Manchester Jesuit community. “Students will be keeping a vigil for faith and freedom outside the church through the evening, inviting anyone who wishes to come into the church to say a prayer and to light a candle.”
At 6.00pm Bishop John Arnold, the Bishop of Salford, will preside at a Mass for persecuted Christians in the Church of the Holy Name.
‘Will you show your support for the Suffering Church?’ reads the ACN UK’s webpage for the campaign, prompting visitors to spread the word by using social media with the related hashtag #RedWednesday. And so Stonyhurst College and St Mary’s Hall did. Pupils and staff showed solidarity with all those around the world unable to practice their faith freely by wearing red and organising an evening reflection.
In London, the Mount Street façade of the church of the Immaculate Conception has been illuminated red during the days leading up to this Wednesday. The parishioners have also been invited to join the vigil procession, from Parliament Square to Westminster Cathedral Piazza. The programme for the evening included a live link to Aleppo, Syria, from the Piazza.
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