Dear friends in Christ
This Sunday is a very significant Day in the life of he Church: not only is it the Feast of Divine Mercy but two of our great Popes of the twentieth century are being Canonised in Rome: John XXIII & John Paul II. Each of these men in their own way played highly significant parts in the life of the Church and the world in our own time. Pope John reigned for a short period (1958-1963) but through his enthusiasm and holiness brought a substantial renewal to the way the Church sees Herself; he convened the Second Vatican Council. John Paul II was Pope throughout the lifetime of most of us and, as Pontiff for twenty-seven years, made a unique and lasting mark on the landscape of modern times. The list of his achievements is almost endless and with good reason has been often called The Great! With these two new Saints, the Church gives us not only truly heroic examples of the Christian life, but above all, we know they are friends in Heaven, continually supporting the Church from their places above, even more powerfully than they did whilst guiding the Church. Their images are displayed in the Lady Chapel of our church this week for veneration and devotion.
The celebration of Divine Mercy, which is part of this Sunday’s liturgy, was a special gift to the Church of Pope John Paul II. He knew it through his time as Archbishop of Krakow and himself Canonised Saint Faustina Kowalska in 2000. We will make the Divine Mercy devotions this Sunday afternoon beginning in the church at 2.30pm. There will be the recitation of the Chaplet, veneration of the relic of St Faustina, Benediction and Confessions. Do make a special effort to attend this year by way of celebrating the joint-canonisations of this Easter Octave Day!
I express once again my thanks to all those of you who sent me personal greetings this Easter and for the generous Easter offerings received. At this time of the year, the efforts of the whole Parish Family make possible the dignified and appropriate celebrations of the mysteries of our Faith. I am deeply grateful to all those who use their talents for the benefit of the Church, which includes very many of you behind the scenes as well as those who are evident. Thank you and God bless you all!
Fr Kevin Hale