During the last number of weeks we have suffered the death of so many of our parishioners. This always brings a sadness to our whole parish community, as well as to the grieving families and the loved ones of those who have died. It is a good thing, as well as our Catholic duty, to pray for the dying and for those who have died. We should all pray each day for those of our own parish community who have died and gone home to be with God.
But parish life is about much more than sorrow and grief. We also have the sacramental joys of baptisms and weddings which bring new spiritual life to us all. We also have each year the celebrations of First Holy Communion and Confirmation, which bring joy to the hearts of all who worship here.
So there is always reason to give thanks to God for the many blessings we receive too. I want to express a word about two marvellous recent events which have highlighted for me the way that our parish is blessed by so many people of deep faith.
On Tuesday evening Holy Redeemer parish was privileged to be asked to host a special Mass of Thanksgiving for the Canonisation of Mother Teresa, which was celebrated by Archbishop Brislin. There was a wonderful attendance at the Mass, and I felt so proud of our parish that we were able to organise such a beautiful and dignified Liturgy. So many people were involved in this special evening and I would like to offer a special word of thanks to the sacristans, the parish staff and the Altar servers who worked so hard to add to the dignity of the occasion. A special word of thanks is also offered too for the beautiful music at the Thanksgiving Mass, and to the Choirs who prepared everything so thoroughly and did us all proud.
The one group we need to thank more than anyone is our extremely dedicated group of the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa. This is a group within our parish who dedicate themselves to assisting the poor and needy in our midst, under the patronage of Mother Teresa’s dedication to the most abandoned and helpless. They all worked so hard to prepare a wonderful tea in the hall after Mass, and served so many people with love. I would like to recommend this group to anyone in our parish who has the time and the capacity to share in their important work. It would be a fitting way for our parish to celebrate the Canonisation of Mother Teresa to strengthen the numbers of the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa.
The other thing I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for is the way that the parish responded so generously to our special collection to refurbish the Shrine of our Mother of Perpetual Help. The money raised surpassed all expectations, and I would like to thank each and every one of you who contributed. It is a real sign that our parish treasures our long tradition of devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, and I am sure that the parish will be blessed for such generosity. It is hoped that the refurbishment of the Shrine will be completed fairly soon, and that we will have a special Novena where the Shrine will be blessed and consecrated in the Year of Mercy.
So, as a parish, we have so much to be thankful for, and let us pray that God will continue to bless all of us as we strive to live our faith and our lives together here at Holy Redeemer.
Fr Gerard, CSsR