We have just concluded another year in the life of the Church and this Sunday we begin Advent. During the last year we have celebrated a special Jubilee Year of Mercy in which Pope Francis asked us to rediscover afresh the infinite mercy of God the Father. The Church has gone to the peripheries of society in order to draw souls to Christ and His Church; may the graces and lessons of this last year remain with us as we now go forward - thinking of the Second Coming of Jesus - into a new era. Very soon we shall begin the celebrations in our Diocese of it's Centenary. Over the coming twelve months we will celebrate our ‘coming of age’ through a number of initiatives and special events. Our hope is that, at the start of another century, we will find renewed confidence and faith in order to proclaim Christ and His Church.
I am very grateful for the generous and enthusiastic way that many of you have engaged with the invitation through the Stewards of the Gospel initiative to think about the ways we work as a Parish, Deanery and Diocese. These reflections and your responses through the Questionnaires, will help us to form strategy for the future of Brentwood Diocese. However, as I said in my Homily last Sunday, any pastoral plan or renewal for the Church, must begin with the perspective of our Faith and through intensive prayer. Any pastoral plans or discussions, however elaborately conceived and well-intentioned are worthless unless they bring us humbly to the Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist. God bless you in this Advent Season as we prepare for the Coming of Christ at the Incarnation, in our lives and at the end of time.
God bless you!
Msgr Kevin Hale