by Pat Lythe

On the Saturday of Labour weekend, an assembly of people, mainly Catholics, gathered at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Herne Bay, Auckland, to witness the launch of Jocelyn Franklin’s beautiful book of reflections and prayers, titled Faith and Reflection. Jocelyn is a legend in the Catholic Church in Auckland and in New Zealand, a convert at the age of 20, a pioneer in the Young Christian Students (later Christian Youth Movement), recruited by Bishop Reginald Delargey to coordinate the movement, inspired by Cardinal
Cardijn’s principles of “See, Judge, Act”.

Later as Bishop Delargey’s secretary, she was heavily involved in the lay apostolate,
co-founder, mover and shaker in the Catholic Overseas Volunteers Service (COVS) as well as Justice and Peace work.

Encouraged by Bishop Mackey, she established the Lay Training Centre in two houses where working people flatted together and studied at night and weekends after work, focusing particularly on social justice work. Jocelyn has worked tirelessly for nigh on 70 years
as an inspirational lay woman leader, a mentor and model for many of us.

This book is a collection of her poems and reflections as she faces coping with aging and Parkinson’s Disease.

Those present were leaders themselves, people who had been influenced by Jocelyn,
those who had been overseas volunteers, Lay Training Centre personnel, justice and peace people — lay, religious and clergy. In a ceremony planned by her family of close nieces and nephews, some of whom had come from Australia, and friend Judith Crimmins, Bishop
Patrick Dunn blessed the book and many paid tribute to Jocelyn and her profound influence on the Catholic community.

In this beautifully presented, 52-page book, Jocelyn presents a selection of the poems and reflections she has written over the last 50 years. They represent her musings on her work particularly in justice and peace and more recently on ageing and her own declining health.

As the late Bishop Mackey’s foreword  points out “Jocelyn has been an icon for those who rejoice in the layperson’s work — Now in these poems she reveals the depths and richness of her faith.“

There are angry poems, joyful poems, despairing poems, hopeful poems, all reflecting a deep relationship with the God she served so well.

Paul Freedman has designed and laid out the booklet with superbly chosen illustrations, watermarks and photographs. The last 12 pages reproduce Nicholas Reid’s interview with Jocelyn for the book Founders and Keepers, giving those readers who do not know of Jocelyn’s life a glimpse into the amazing history of her involvement in so many Church
ministries and apostolates. A book to be treasured, reflected upon, and taken on
retreat. A lasting legacy to the spirituality of a living legend.

Distributor — Judith Crimmins, email crimmins@ihug.co.nz. Cost is $10 each, plus postage ($3.00 for one) or can be purchased by calling in to Pat Lythe’s office at the Pompallier Diocesan Centre (Cash only — no eftpos for Pat Lythe office option).

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