SDC activities in London

The captions and images shown below give an idea of activities and special events held at our SDC centre in London. Our main contribution in parishes mainly involves running catechism groups but other activities are held throughout the year for other groups for young people and adults.

2017

Website Resources

Our SDC website www.sdc.me.uk continued to provide new resources for catechists and RE teachers in English. Apart from the well established programmes for First Communion, Confirmation and Sunday Liturgy, recent resources included a new set of resources for the RCIC programme, a series of photo galleries on Religious objects and places used in liturgy and worship, as well as new powerpoint presentations and some new biographies of saints.

Confirmations

Sunday 25th June 2017 was a special day as we had the Celebration of Confirmation in two different parishes where we run this programme. 38 young people were confirmed by Archbishop Peter Smith in the morning at the Holy Rosary Parish in Brixton while another group of 15 candidates received the same sacrament in the evening at Virgo Fidelis Parish, Upper Norwood.

Feast of St George Preca 2017

The feast of the Founder was celebrated this year on Sunday 12th May 2017. A mass was organized for friends, parents and other parishioners at the Holy Rosary Parish. It was led by Fr Victor Camilleri assisted by two other priests. It was encouraging to see a good number of parents as well as children from various catechism programs attending the mass which was followed by a reception in the parish hall.

Reflection day

A retreat day was held on Sunday 7th May 2017 for members of the SDC Friends Group. The reflection day was held in a Dominican Convent in Hook, Hampshire. The day consisted of Bible Study and reflection session, prayer sessions including the Rosary prayer as well as the celebration of the Holy Mass. The theme chosen for this reflection day was ‘The Virtues’ with special reference to the six virtues in our SDC daily resolution prayer. The SDC Friends group is a group of adults who meet regularly every month for bible reflection sessions at the SDC House in Upper Norwood.

SDC Friends meetings

During this year in which SDC is reflecting on the set of six virtues we resolve to practise every day, we are having our SDC Friends meetings to reflect on these virtues inspired by St Vincent Ferrer and adopted by our Founder. We use Scripture readings and reflections on these virtues in order that more people will have the opportunity to share in our SDC spirituality and try to practice the virtues of poverty, simplicity, meekness, humility, love being despised and loving others with great charity.

2016

Catechism programmes 2016-17

Our contribution in parish catechism programmes continued this year in a number of parishes in south London where we lead or contribute to the running of First communion or Confirmation programmes. Our programmes usually follow the school year. Some groups meet in the evenings while others meet at weekends. Apart from the regular sessions for children a number of parents meetings are held for each programme – a good opportunity to meet parents and share ideas for family catechesis.

SDC Juniors Activities

A number of activities are regularly organised for our group of SDC Juniors. Apart from our youth group meetings at the Rosary parish, Brixton, we also meet once a month at the SDC House in Upper Norwood. A number of trips were also organised this year such as football or sports activities, barbecues and others especially during school holidays.

Christmas Activities

Christmas is always a most important event for all of us in SDC as we reflect on ‘The Word of God that became flesh’. As in other years we continued to hold meetings about the real meaning of Christmas for all those in the different groups we run. In a number of parishes we were also able to give our Christmas gifts to children and young people in the form of cribs or statues of Baby Jesus which are always treasured so dearly by all those who get them. Our Christmas carol service in Brixton took place on Saturday 17th December 2016.

Pilgrimage to Aylesford - SDC Juniors

On the 25th September 2016, a pilgramage to Aylesford Priory was held for the SDC Juniors Group. Apart from attending mass we had reflection sessions as well as a Rosary walk. This was also an opportunity to do the Year of Mercy prayers and go through the Jubilee door at this shrine in Kent. At the end of the day we went for a bowling game and food in nearby Maidstone.

Founder's Feast 2016

For the feast of our founder we had presentations for children of different ages from the various groups we work with including first communion and Confirmation Groups. On Sunday 8th May a mass was organised at the Holy Rosary Parish in Brixton, which was followed by a reception in the parish hall. Other presentations and discussions were prepared for the Bible study group as well as the group who attended the Year of Mercy pilgrimage at Aylesford. We also invited a group of young people from St Andrew's parish where we run a youth group to come over to the SDC House where we also had a presentation on the life of our Founder.

Year of Mercy Pilgrimage

A year of Mercy pilgrimage was organised on Sunday 1st May 2016. A group of twenty one people took part - some from our monthly Bible study group and others from nearby parishes. We went to the Shrine of Our Lady and Saint Simon Stock in Aylesford, Kent and we had a programme of activities which included Holy mass, Bible reflection; prayers and reflections taken from writings of our Founder as well as a Rosary walk which ended with prayers and entrance through the Jubilee Door.

Holy Week Programm

For this year’s Holy Week programme we were accompanied by Tonio Caruana and Ruben Pace from the SDC General Council. Some of the sessions were held at the SDC House in Upper Norwood while others were held at the Rosary parish in Brixton. We also took part in the Holy Week Triduum Liturgies in different parishes. At the Saturday Easter Vigil a number of children as well as adults from some of our groups were baptised or received into the Church. In the afternoon of Sunday 27th March SDC Juniors were invited for a sports afternoon and Barbeque.

The Echo Newsletter

More issues of The ECHO, a newsletter continued to be published every term. The last edition of this newsletter which is mainly intended for catechists and RE teachers, included a reflection on the role of the catechist and an article about Eugenio Borg – a role model catechist and first superior general of SDC. The ECHO can be downloaded from the SDC London website www.sdc.me.uk.

2015

Visit

SDC Superior General Natalino Camilleri visited our London Centre at the end of December through to the first week of January. Apart from our discussions in our community we also had the opportunity to spend a weekend away at a Retreat Centre in Sandymount, Liverpool.

Year of Consecrated Life Meetings 2015

On the occasion of the year of the Consecrated Life, the SDC Friends meetings were about saints who were members of a religious order such as St Augustine, St Therese of Lisieux, St Ignatius and others. This groups meets on the second Friday of each month at the SDC House in Upper Norwood. Meetings usually include Bible reflection and meditation, prayer time and discussion about the chosen theme.

SDC Youth Group

Our SDC Youth Group started meeting again after the August break. We meet twice a month on a Sunday afternoon in the parish hall at the Holy Rosary Parish in Brixton, London. Most of the young people who attend are also part of one of the Confirmation groups of the parish. They engage in a range of activities, indoor games as well as discussion time.

The Echo - Newsletter for Catechists

In September 2015 the first issue of ‘The ECHO’ was issued. This termly newsletter aims at providing parish catechists and teachers of RE in schools some support in terms of reflections, ideas, useful resources they can use and so on. The Newsletter’s name was inspired by the very meaning of the word ‘Catechist’ which refers to someone who echoes a message they heard from someone else. As catechists we try to echo Jesus’ message to others. The ECHO is distributed to local catechists and mailed to a number of parishes but there is also an online version anyone can download from our website www.sdc.me.uk.

Christian Initiation for Children

The RCIC group at St Andrew’s parish this year is meeting on Tuesday nights. This group is for children who are above the normal First Holy Communion age who come together to prepare for Baptism, First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Parents attend and take part in each session with a view that they can help and support their children at home as they prepare for these three important sacraments.

2014

Visit by Mrs Ruth Lassiter - June 2014

In June 2014, Mrs Ruth Lassiter visited our centre for a few days. Mrs Lassiter has asked and is working towards the setting up of an SDC centre in the US. Having seen how SDC operates in Malta where it was founded, this visit was an opportunity to get to know more about the activities, mission and way of life of SDC members outside of Malta.

Visit by Superior General Natalino Camilleri - March 2014

In March 2014 Superior General Natalino Camilleri visited our London Branch. It was an opportunity for us to get to know more about SDC work elsewhere and to discuss issues related to our mission and future direction of SDC in London.

2013

Catechesis and Programmes 2013-2014

During this last year members of our London branch continued to lead or help out with a number of catechism programmes in four different parishes in the south London area (Diocese of Southwark). These included programmes in which children and young people came together to prepare for the sacraments of Baptism Confirmation and Holy communion, youth groups and other similar gatherings.

Training for Catechists - October 2013

On the occasion of the end of the Year of Faith, a series of three meetings were organised for parish catechists of the Croydon Deanery in October 2013. The sessions were held at the Addiscombe parish, Thornton heath and at the SDC House in Upper Norwood. Catechists from Holy Comunnion, Confirmation and RCIA programmes took part. At these meetings different aspects such as 'the Role of the Catechist, the Object of Catechesis and planning and preparation were discussed.

Paul Hendricks

Bishop Paul Hendricks - auxiliary bishop of Southwark Diocese

Visit by Bishop Paul Hendricks - July 2013

On Monday 8th July Bishop Paul Hendricks, visited our SDC House in Upper Norwood. This was the first visit ever by a bishop to our SDC centre. It was a good opportunity for us to welcome Bishop Paul, talk to him about our Society and many other issues and also share a meal together. Bishop Paul usually celebrates confirmation ceremonies in three of the four parishes where we lead confirmation programmes.

preca

Founder's Feast Day
May 2013

The feast of SDC founder St George Preca was celebrated in London on Sunday 12th May 2013. A mass was celebrated at the Holy Rosary Parish Church which was followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. Other initiatives around this feastday included presentations and special sessions with children from various groups we run in different parishes.

Year of Faith Meetings - January to July 2013

year of faith

To mark the special year of Faith we are currently holding our monthly SDC Friends meeting on the theme of ‘Our Creed’. At each of these meetings which are aimed at adults who want to find out more about our Catholic Faith, one or two of the articles of the Creed are addressed. Meetings are held at the SDC House in Upper Norwood every third Friday of the month and consist of presentations on the main theme, discussions, bible study and prayer.

2012

Catechism Programmes 2012-2013

This year we led a number of catechism programmes in four different parishes in our area – Virgo Fidelis in Upper Norwood, St Andrew’s in Thornton Heath, Our Lady’s in Addiscombe and the Holy Rosary Parish in Brixton. These included confirmation programmes, First communion and RCIC groups.

thwaites

Fr Hugh Thwaites SJ

Death of Fr Hugh Thwaites - August 2012

On Tuesday 21st August 2012 Fr Hugh Thwaites passed away and moved on to meet the risen Lord at the age of 95. Fr Hugh played a key role in the establishment of SDC in London as it was him who in 1988 asked for SDC members to assist him in running the ‘Brixton Youth Project’ which he had set up in South London. He was a convert to Catholicism and became a Jesuit priest. He worked in a number of parishes and other organisations and touched the lives of many people.

SDC Youth Encounter - July/August 2012

An SDC Youth Encounter was held in Malta for a group of young people from UK, Peru, Albania, Kenya and Malta. During this fortnight (24th July to the 7th August 2012) young people had the opportunity to visit a number of SDC Centres and many places of interest in Malta and Gozo. They also had the opportunity to gather together to reflect on SDC spirituality and its founder St George Preca.

sdc youths

The SDC Youth Members from London in Malta: left to right - Mirwet Semra, Charles Lwanga, Nnamdi Nnadi and John Camilleri (in charge).

pulo

S George Preca by artist Joseph Pulo

50th Anniversary - Death of St George Preca
July 2012

The 26th July 2012 marked the 50th Anniversary of the death of St George Preca, Founder of SDC. Among the special occasions organised for this special anniversary there was a mass at the SDC Auditorium in Blata l-Bajda, Malta on Thursday 26th July and an exhibition of paintings on Dun Gorg by Maltese artist Joseph Pulo.

Unofficial Patron Saint of Podcasts - March 2012

Two seminarians, Daniel Fitzpatrick and Frankie Mulgrew who produce a catholic podcast called ‘Vocationcast’ have nominated St George Preca as the unofficial patron Saint for Podcasting. They say they were struck among other things with his zeal to promote the ‘Voice of the beloved’ and his lifelong efforts in spreading the Gospel.