Dear friends in Christ
The liturgy of this Octave day of Easter continues with all the joy of Easter Day itself. The Gospel - which records the evening apparition of Jesus to the Eleven in the Upper Room - is the commission to bring divine healing and mercy to souls through the pardon of sin in the Sacrament of Confession. This is the first Easter gift of Christ to His Church. Ever since the Pontificate of St Pope John Paul II this day has been the Feast of Divine Mercy. This Sunday afternoon there will be the Devotions in honour of the Divine Mercy beginning 2.30pm and which includes the sung Chaplet, veneration of the relic of St Faustina, Benediction and the opportunity for Confession.
At the end of the Easter Octave as usual, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all those who have collaborated to ensure that the Ceremonies of Holy Week were celebrated with all the decorum that is due to the mysteries we have relived. There are very many members of the Parish Family who work tirelessly behind the scenes as well as those who play a more evident part; I thank you all. I thank you also for the many expressions of prayer and support I have received, especially in my new responsibilities, and for your kind Easter greetings and the Easter collection.
The Lenten season was a fruitful time for many of us within the Parish Family, as the large numbers at Mass and the Evenings of Recollection manifested. Also, the group of twenty who were received into the Church during the Easter vigil is likewise a sign of the vibrancy of Faith and presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst; we must give thanks to God continually for all these blessings and signs of His love.
Please pray for our young adults who this Sunday evening begin their preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation at Pentecost. This Easter season will be for them a period of intense formation through prayer and reflection.
Please also pray for those Clergy who will be taking-up new appointments in our Deanery next week: Fr Eamonn Power to Canvey Island, Fr Paul Fox to Rayleigh and Fr Brett Adams to Shoebury; and may God continue to bless you all!
Msgr Kevin Hale