Although we might not often think about it, one of the great treasures of our Catholic faith is the way in which it plans the liturgical year in such a way that over the whole year we are given the opportunity to reflect on, and deepen our understanding of, the central mysteries of our faith. That this happens for us each and every year, the hope is that we grow into our Catholic journey of faith and move into an ever deepening sense in the way that God continues to lead us along His paths.

The liturgical year always begins with the season of Advent when we are invited to be more attentive to the Christian experience of waiting for God, not only at Christmas, but at all times of the year, where we live in prayerful waiting for God to reveal Himself to us in the events and circumstances of our daily lives.

The season of Christmas is intended not simply to be an annual time of joy at the birth of Jesus, but a joy that we carry throughout the year in the wonder that God loved the world so much that He sent His Beloved Son to share our human condition and to redeem us.

The season of Lent calls on us to reflect and to appreciate the fact that Jesus loves us so much that He was prepared to give His life for the salvation of the world.  This period of Lent is immediately followed by the joyful season of Easter, where we are called to grow in our faith that by the Resurrection of Our Redeemer, the life and the death of each of us is forever transformed. So, all the various seasons in the life of the Church, present us with an ongoing gift and opportunity to grow into temples of the living Christ.

Besides these major seasons which shape our Catholic faith, we also celebrate the great feasts of the Church, such as the Feast of the Ascension, the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother into Heaven.

We are offered other gifts too to assist us in our Catholic faith. On a devotional level, each May and October, we are asked to reflect more deeply on the special relationship we have with Mary, whom Jesus gave to us as the Mother of the Church, as he was dying on the Cross.  Now that we are entering into the month of May, it is my prayer that each of us makes use of this month to grow into a more loving relationship with the Mother of Jesus and of all of us. I would ask that in our homes we make time as families to pray even a decade of the rosary each day, thanking God for the gift of Our Blessed Mother, and bringing before Her all our family needs.

I would urge us too to make a special effort during May to attend our weekly Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We had a wonderful attendance during our Lenten Novena services, but I remain convinced that the normal attendance at weekly Novena should be much larger than it currently is. Let us make this month of May, truly Mary’s month.

Fr Gerard, CSsR

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