Wednesday November 22nd 2017

A WORD FROM YOUR PARISH PRIEST 10th September 2017

One of the things that I have really grown to admire about our parish community is the fact that we are a very generous parish. This generosity reveals itself in many different ways. Looking through the most recent edition of the Archdiocesan News, I saw that for all the second collections held throughout the year, particularly the Lenten Appeal, the funds raised from Holy Redeemer parish was the second highest in the whole Archdiocese. I mention this, not in any boastful manner, but as an indication that the parish feels a responsibility to help those in greater need than ourselves. Likewise, since our appeal for people to bring more bread to feed the hungry in our midst, there has been a wonderful response. This, to me, is a sign that we are taking the Gospel message seriously in responding generously to all those in need. It is a sign of the grace of God at work in our parish life. I am also well aware of the generous manner in which you respond to our yearly parish fund-raising.

Last year, I asked the parish to have a special second collection to restore and upgrade our shrine to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Your response was overwhelming, and as a result, we now have the lovely shrine which enhances the beauty of the Church, and reflects the centrality of devotion to Our Blessed Lady within our parish. This too was another sign of grace.

Because of the success of our appeal for the shrine, our Parish Pastoral Council agreed that each year we should have a special collection once a year to continue to enhance the Church, and to make some specific improvement each year. What we have done over the last month or two has been to completely refurbish and refresh our main Confessional. We have to thank Br Richard for all that he has done to create a very sacred space for all those who wish to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. It is now a much more prayerful and welcoming place for all those who seek God’s forgiveness through this Sacrament. To all those who may not have seen it yet, there are many opportunities for Confession each week!

The final cost of the refurbishment of our Confessional is somewhere between R18,000 and R20,000. I would consider that this is money well spent, and one that will help to transform the experience of all those who come to Confession here at Holy Redeemer, including the many people who come here from surrounding parishes.

It is our intention to hold that special second collection on the weekend of 30 Sep / 1 October. As well as the second collection, it will of course be possible to make your offering through EFT. Details will be provided in the bulletin over the coming weeks. Thank you, in advance, for the generous collection that will be taken for this very worthwhile project.

In other parish news: by the time that you read this, the Parish Pastoral Council will have held its special morning of reflection to try to find ways of continuing to improve the quality of our parish and community life. Among the topics that will have been discussed will be our Child Safeguarding Policy, our need to improve the quality of our music ministry so that all might participate in our singing at our Liturgies, the quality of our spirit of welcome to our parish, particularly to visitors and to non-Catholics, and to also reflect on the constant call from Pope Francis to do all that we can to serve the most abandoned in our midst; the sick and the elderly, and the homeless and hungry, as well as those who are in prison. Over the coming weeks, through my weekly letter to you,  I hope to make more explicit the considered views of the Pastoral Council on how best to improve the quality of our parish who are a community seeking to serve God in all possible ways.

Fr Gerard, CSsR

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