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A WORD FROM YOUR PARISH PRIEST 24th May 2015

Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and transformed them from frightened and timid individuals into a true community, filled with missionary courage and zeal. The gift of the Holy Spirit was promised to them by Jesus before His Ascension, and all who are baptised and confirmed in our Catholic faith receive the very same gift of the Holy Spirit as received by the apostles on Pentecost Sunday. Receiving this gift, we too are given the grace to be spiritually transformed and to become communities of missionary courage and signs of the grace of God constantly at work in our world.

Looking at our own parish of Holy Redeemer, we are asked to make manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit to one another and to all those around us. St. Paul makes clear what these gifts of the Holy Spirit are: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He adds that if we live by the gift of the Holy Spirit then there would be no place for pride, or envy or selfishness or gossip. These might sound like impossible demands to be made on any individual person. After all, we are all aware that, despite the gift of faith, we all remain weak and prone to sin. But, since we have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it becomes our personal vocation to do all we can to manifest these gifts to one another and to the world.

I have already mentioned several times before that our parish is very blessed in having excellent structures to serve the needs of us all, and many good people who serve the parish in so many different ways. But the existence of good structures is not in itself sufficient to make our parish a true witness that we are living the life of the Holy Spirit. It is all too easy for a parish to be spiritually damaged by internal strife and negativity. It easily happens that a parish can descend into groups of people who are divided amongst themselves. It is a constant danger that parishes fall into the trap of living on gossip and criticism, destroying one another rather than building one another up for the sake of the Gospel.

As we celebrate today this great feast of Pentecost, let us pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on each of us at Holy Redeemer, that we might all bear witness to the gifts of the Holy Spirit that lead to unity and love and peace.

I have already mentioned several times before that our parish is very blessed in having excellent structures to serve the needs of us all, and many good people who serve the parish in so many different ways. But the existence of good structures is not in itself sufficient to make our parish a true witness that we are living the life of the Holy Spirit. It is all too easy for a parish to be spiritually damaged by internal strife and negativity. It easily happens that a parish can descend into groups of people who are divided amongst themselves. It is a constant danger that parishes fall into the trap of living on gossip and criticism, destroying one another rather than building one another up for the sake of the Gospel.As we celebrate today this great feast of Pentecost, let us pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on each of us at Holy Redeemer, that we might all bear witness to the gifts of the Holy Spirit that lead to unity and love and peace.

Fr Gerard, CSsR

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