I would just like to begin my word this morning to thank everyone who made our celebration of Holy Week and Easter so spiritually meaningful. The wonderful attendances at all our liturgies bear witness to the faith of the parish community. And the beauty and dignity of our services was made possible only by the countless people who contributed so much of their time in loving service. In particular I would like to thank the sacristans and the altar servers, the various choirs and readers, who prepared so well for all our ceremonies. So too, I should thank the people who cleaned the Church and those who decorated the Church so beautifully for the Easter Masses. It was also a great joy to receive 17 adults into full communion with the Church, and I must also thank the RCIA leaders for their dedication in preparing them over a 40 week period. Indeed, we have so much to give thanks for. The whole week was a clear demonstration that our parish is blessed with a very strong faith community.
Another wonderful sign of faith in our midst is the fact that we have many people who dedicate time each day to pray in the Adoration Chapel and whose prayers bring many blessings to all of us.
As you know, last winter, when we experienced so many power outages, it became necessary to curtail the times of Adoration from 9.a.m. till 5.p.m. each day. Ever since then many people have expressed the wish that we could once again move back to more extended times of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. This is particularly true of those who work during the day and have no longer been able to spend some silent time of prayer in the Chapel. I fully understand this desire, and I think that now is an appropriate time to extend our hours for Adoration again. Of course we will have to pray that we do not have a similar experience to last year, with all its outages!
So this weekend at all our Masses, there will be an opportunity for parishioners to sign up for an hour before the Blessed Sacrament each week. Of course, if you would like to sign up for more than an hour per week, that would be wonderful. In particular, we will need new people to sign up for the hours between 5.p.m. and 9.p.m. The present team of those who participate in Adoration will be present at each Mass, and will give you any further information that you might need.
In our busy and frenetic world, it is a wonderful thing to take a quiet hour in the week, to spend time in prayer before the Lord, and to pray for our personal needs, for the needs of our parish, and for peace in our troubled world. So it would also be my hope that this could be a family experience too and an opportunity for the many young people who would like to deepen their relationship to God.
I hope and pray that all will respond generously to this call to prayer and to answer the call of God for a prayerful life. A little generosity from each of us will bring an abundance of grace and blessings to all who attend Holy Redeemer Church.
Fr Gerard, CSsR