Volunteer Spotlight: Ann Meehan

Written by on 24/02/2023

Volunteer Spotlight: Ann Meehan

My name is Ann Meehan and on the 8th February this year, the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, I had the privilege of presenting on Just Life: Modern Slavery, An Ecumenical approach – A call to action.

Thank you to all who listened and for all the support I have received since the programme. Radio Maria have asked me to pen a few words regarding my journey to delivering this broadcast.

The honest answer as to how all this happened is I don’t know. I believe in my particular case the Lord has opened doors for me and the Holy Spirit gave me a big shove to go through. My kind of Catholicism is that the Lord has a plan for me, I trust and follow-then amazing things happen.

It hasn’t always been that way. I am a very average parishioner. I have no set role in the Church and for years I sat in the Mass oblivious as to what or who were beside me. A church, I discovered, can be a very lonely place. Like many of you I suspect I would sit and pray, the Mass happened around me and I gave little thought to those in the background making it happen – the volunteers.

A few things happened quite quickly. A friend asked me to travel with her to Medjugorje. Then our Parish priest fell ill and needed support, sadly he died. RIP. Suddenly before I knew it I was supporting and discovering the needs of my own Parish St Erconwald’s.
Covid came and the church closed down. We discovered live streaming, my role being to reach out to everyone from 8-99 years young to video the daily readings for us from home. That community has stayed with us as the church doors opened and our parish family continues to grow.

The world of zoom opened up and I attended many enlightening talks set up by the National Board of Catholic Women. Who knew they existed? I learnt about refugees, boat people and the hidden world of Modern Slavery. I am now one of approx 20 ambassadors representing the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton and the Anglican Diocese of Chichester-Churches together. We hope to spread awareness of Modern Slavery happening in the UK on our doorstep and the Modern Slavery helpline 08000 121 700 where people can report concerns.

A neighbouring church suggested contacting Radio Maria to help us spread awareness. With great trepidation I sent off the e-mail suggesting February 8th the day we concentrate on human trafficking and slavery. Miraculously the Lord opened the door once again and I tried to be the voice for those with no voice. I thank everyone from Radio Maria for guiding me through it.

If you are that bystander at church like I was, then be brave. Ask if you can help. You will be welcomed, I am sure, with open arms. If you would like to be an Ambassador the door is open for you to walk through.

God bless. Ann

Has Ann’s testimony inspired you?  Please consider volunteering with Radio Maria.  Click here to find out more.
Please listen to Ann’s broadcast on the link below:

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