Men's Society hosts CIMS Branches








CIMS Meeting for Branches








On Tuesday 6 November St John’s branch hosted 84 members from other branches and visitors from other churches in South Belfast for a very interesting talk by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland. Following the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August and his attendance at a Synod in Rome in October on “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”, Archbishop Eamon reflected on the theme: “The Family as the ‘Little Church’- Nurturing a Living Faith” Canon Fielding welcomed everyone and said the Opening Prayers. Gordon Millington then introduced Archbishop Eamon.

 “In the western world Church attendance is declining whereas elsewhere it is vibrant. However passing on the Faith is the role of the family. There is no perfect family. The family is the “Little Church”. It is there that parents or grand-parent by example pass on Gospel Values. There young people are told what they have done wrong and are then hugged. In Croke Park the Pope said the three most important words are “Please – Thank you – Sorry”.  The family is part of larger groups of families – coming together for Sunday worship is a family of families and the Worldwide Church is a bigger group. We must care for anyone who is hungry, marginalised or persecuted. Child soldiers or caravans of people must concern us. The Pope said God is family – True – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 Some aspects in our modern society are difficult:

1.  To view all life as sacred.  – Unless we love the vulnerable unborn child in the womb we lose something in life. The frailty of old age and terminal illness is part of life’s story.

2.  To share generously from what we have ourselves rather than from our left-overs.

3.  To value Chastity rather than follow the trends of Society


 In Rome young people from around the world gave their testimonies. A girl spoke of the pressures to look good. Few young can meet their own expectations – getting less than 10 A* can be viewed as failure. Young people need to learn to fail. Another spoke about exploitation – expected to work late at night and on Saturday, and to travel abroad. A bad work-life balance. What pressures do we put on young people?  Young people struggle with mental illness – teenagers feel lost - drugs – addiction – internet – pornography. Society presses for Supremacy of the Individual but family is important to provide support. It is the glue of society.

 We need to pressurise Government, Public representatives and Society to support Family life and the roles of fathers and mothers. A Society which doesn’t will fail. The importance of fathers was stressed – it was noted the opinion of fathers wasn’t mentioned in the debate on Abortion.”

 On conclusion of the talk Archbishop Eamon answered many questions from the audience. Then in the absence of Bishop Alan Abernethy due to illness, the Vote of Thanks was given by a former CIMS Chairman, Bishop Alan Harper. Everyone then proceeded to the Seaver Hall for refreshments, and Archbishop Eamon spoke to many of those present.


  Archbishop Eamon Martin  
  Gordon Millington (Branch Chairman), Archbishop Eamon Martin (Roman catholic Primate of All Ireland)
Bishop Alan Harper (Former CIMS Chairman) and Canon Stephen Fielding (Branch President)