What is Flourish! Sunday?
At all Masses throughout the Diocese of Clogher on the weekend of 23rd & 24th September next, we will address the issue of Suicide in a sensitive, prayerful and supportive manner; in a way that allows all of us to reflect on depression and suicide through the lens of our Christian faith.
Flourish! Sunday takes its name from a partnership initiative between Lighthouse Ireland, clergy from across the Christian churches in Northern Ireland and the Public Health Agency. It has worked in recent years to offer support to clergy and other church workers in the area of pastoral care for those affected by suicide, as well as self-care for clergy.
Locally, the Clogher Flourish Group has been working to prepare resources and training for clergy throughout the diocese in advance of this forthcoming weekend.
In addition to the provision of resources (see below), the Clogher Flourish Group together with the Diocesan Liturgy Commission, has organised two training days for priests and others in our diocese. These were delivered by a licenced psychotherapist who specialises in this field.
The Clogher Flourish Group consists of 10 people from throughout the diocese, some of whom have experienced loss through suicide. Among the members is Fr Cathal Deery who is the resource person for suicide awareness and prevention in the diocese.
Masses on Flourish! Sunday:
The question of suicide, including the destigmatising of it, and our closeness to God, will be the central feature of the prayers, readings and reflections on this Sunday. It is acknowledged that this is not an easy topic – knowing what to say and what not to say.
The readings from Scripture will be those of the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A). These are taken from Isaiah 55:6-9 (from the section known as the Book of Consolation); Psalm 144 (The Lord is close to all who call him); Philippians 1:20-24,27 (in which Paul concludes that ‘for me to stay alive …is a more urgent need for your sake.’); and the Gospel of Matthew 20: 1-16 (the parable known as ‘the workers in the vineyard’).
The resources provided include Prayers of Intercession, reflections of the readings, suggested homily notes and a post-communion reflection. The resources also include a musical setting of Psalm 144 by Mr Paul Flynn, Director of Music at St Michael’s Parish, Enniskillen.
Useful telephone contact details and resources for groups who work with people affected by depression and suicide have been given to parishes for publication and support purposes.