25 Dec 2022
I want to take this opportunity to send my love and my prayers to all our parishioners at this joyful and happy time as we celebrate the birthday of the baby Jesus.
I want to thank, in anticipation, all those who will be working hard to ensure our churches look beautiful with trees and cribs and candles and all those involved in providing the music and singing that will make our celebrations of the Mass that bit more special and joyful.
Two thoughts always come to my mind at Christmas and New Year: those families who have welcomed a new one into their family through birth, adoption, marriage, or engagement and those families who have said ‘Goodbye’ to a loved one whether after a long illness or a long life, or only after a short life and those who have died in a moment and without any time to brace ourselves. Those who are present and those who are absent are very much in my prayers this Christmas. Please remember a prayer for all those members of our parish family who are grieving this Christmas and for those who, like our Lady and St Joseph, have welcomed a new life into their family, too.
Christmas and New Year also give me an opportunity to thank those who go the extra mile to support me in my responsibilities as your parish priest: many of these workers are volunteers and their work hidden and unnoticed. But without them, the parish would grind to a halt! I would like to thank, in particular, our parish secretary Ann O’Connor, Father Humphrey, Deacons Paul and ‘Tony, for all their work in the administration and pastoral care of the parish.
Finally, as 2022 gives way to 2023, I am hopeful that so many of the projects we have in preparation, especially the social supermarket, provision of a weekend foodbank, hot meals on Saturdays and Sundays, music at Mass, the children’s choir, our Rome Pilgrimage, our ecumenical relationships will all make 2023 a blessed – if busy – year in our parish.
It is a great joy to be your parish priest. Please pray for me. I will remember you all in my prayers at the Altar and at the Crib.