Message from the Parish
1st October 2023 ~ 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
"Thank you for your Welcome!"
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The past two weeks have seen our church numbers swell, almost beyond its capacity for Saturday evening and Sunday morning celebrations of the Eucharist. Parish regulars were saying…”If only it is like this every weekend!” Indeed, if only that was the case. However, given the diversity of people who came with their children, their daughters and sons, for the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist, something else was happening.
I am sure that so many of those who came, maybe for the first time in a long time, experienced “something”. That “something” was the experience of hospitality and a warm welcome, perhaps a gentle word or two that touched their souls through the celebration and Fr Dean’s homily, or the experience of being together to celebrate their child, or, hopefully, actually the celebration of the Eucharist.
I want to say “thank you”, too, for many of you who came to the celebrations despite their length (about an hour and a half), and the at-times disorderly and chatty spirit of our enhanced congregation, and didn’t dive off to other Masses round about. You made space for these fresh new-comers and their families, as you congregated in different parts of the church to make allowances for their need for assigned pews.
Over the next few weekends, as we reflect on our commitment to the works of the parish and our finances, we place this in the context of what we experienced in the last two weekends. Pope Francis continues to remind us to be a church with an “open-door”. Everyone is welcome.
We don’t know what lasting effect the past ceremonies would have on last week’s new visitors in the long run, or whether our Mass-going numbers would grow, or if some new families would formally join our parish through filling out the “connection card” they received in their “Welcome Pack”, but in essence, we do what we do because we believe that God’s spirit is at work among us, in the lives of those fully initiated into the life of the Catholic Church over the past two weekends, and that we are committed to being a hospitable and welcoming parish.
This is our parish mission and you are at the heart of that spirit.