Monday, 12 February 2018

Bishop's Homily

One of the many wonderful things about yesterday's celebration was the encouraging homily from our Bishop.

Click here to read it.

Here are two key passages, one from the beginning, one from the end of the Bishop's words:

But what no short history can adequately portray, however, is the faith and commitment of your forebears in this church, (many of whom may be family, relations or friends of yours) — their trust in God, their love and encouragement for one another as a parish community down through the past hundred years, their commitment to bear witness to Christ and Christian values, ecumenically and in the wider community. Tonight/today it is fitting then that we acknowledge and give thanks to God for the many men and women who have gathered in this church to pray and worship, and to be fed and nourished by the Lord in the Word of God and the Eucharist. Fitting too that we acknowledge and give thanks to God for all those who have here, before God, pledged their love for one another in the sacrament of marriage; for the faith of those couples who have brought their children to this church to be baptised, and then later to be strengthened in their Christian witness by the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation; and for all who have celebrated and received the healing forgiveness and love of the Lord in both the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of the Sick. Let’s also commend to the Lord all those who have worshipped in this church and have now gone before us, marked with the sign of faith. May they rest in his eternal peace.
This, therefore, is a special parish occasion, not only to look back with gratitude to God for the past 100 years, but also to look forward in trust and hope as a parish community ready and willing to pledge itself afresh to God. This Anniversary can, therefore, be a special moment of surrender, an opportunity as a parish community to express a new YES to God:
YES to who God is and to all that he has done for you in Jesus.
YES to his life giving, life-changing Holy Spirit.
YES to all that he still wants to do in your lives as individuals and as a parish community.
May God bless you, and may the prayers of Our Lady of Lourdes always accompany you as you confidently journey forward as a parish community into the next 100 years.