New Year Greetings to our parishes from Bishop Ray

Happy New Year and every blessing on your parish and all your homes. In 2021 may we all act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God. (Mi 6:8)

Sincere thanks to:

  • all who contributed to the successful arrangement of the Christmas Masses, and keeping the church open so that families could visit the crib.
  • all the wonderful people who were good neighbours at several levels in response to the corona virus since last March
  • all in the community involved in parish life through all those months

These days the great concern is that the virus is so easily spread. Many people of all ages are troubled, frightened, or feeling low. The good news is that our hospitals have found ways of treating many who get seriously ill, and, best of all, vaccines are now being administered.  It is vital we unite in solidarity and be there to support one another. The end is in sight but is not just yet.

Pope Francis, mindful of the corona virus, focused on a ‘Culture of Care’ in his New Year Peace message. Speaking of how caring Jesus was, and encouraging people to take care of each other and of the sick, the poor, and the most vulnerable, he said:

“We have realised that we are in the same boat,

all of us fragile and disoriented,

but at the same time important and needed,

all of us called to row together”.

Prayer is a great asset currently, even though we no longer have congregations at our Masses. Personal prayer, daily prayer, prayer in the home and prayer with children is vital. Praying with the scriptures or joining in with the local parish via parish radio, internet, or social media can nourish our prayer lives. Each day find strength and peace in prayer.

Prayer is raising the mind and heart to God: God is our supreme source of love and hope. Ps 31 is often spoken of as, “A confident prayer in distress”:

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in distress…

But as for me, I trust in you, Lord,

I say: ‘You are my God, My life is in your hands…’

Be strong, let your heart take courage,

all who hope in the Lord.

In prayer we hear the words of Jesus, ‘Do not be afraid, Peace be with you’. Focus on prayer. Talk to children and young people about God, who is ever present to us. God is the sure source of our hope. Pray slowly the Our Father or the Hail Holy Queen; pray the Rosary.

Let us pray for each other and all peoples worldwide coping with the corona virus.

+ Ray Browne

1st January 2021