Mary, Mother of God

Dear Friends in Christ

We begin the new Year with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Truly, there is no better way of beginning 2017 than by putting ourselves under the maternal protection of the Mother of our Saviour. This New Year is also the start of our Diocesan Centenary. Brentwood Diocese is, like our Parish, dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. As we move through this milestone Year, we hope to mark the occasion with several important celebrations, the details of which will follow.

As we end one year and begin a new one, let us raise up our hands in thanksgiving to the Most Blessed Trinity, who has called us to live in the Church, the Body of Christ. May Mary accompany us each day of this New Year, as we all seek and strive to know, love and serve Christ in His Holy Catholic Church!

At the end of this Christmas Octave, I thank you all for the greetings that you have sent to me and the other Priests of the Parish: the many cards, gifts and the generous Christmas Offerings. As always at this time, I extend a particular thanks to all of the members of the Parish Family who contribute to the practical and day-to-day efficient running of life here. Without the collaboration of so many of you — especially with my out-of-Parish duties — it would not be possible to continue effectively as Parish Priest. I thank you in the only appropriate way possible: remembering you and yours each day in the prayer of the Divine Office and at Holy Mass.

I am also very grateful to the Priests of the Parish — Fathers Con Joyce, Basil Pearson & John McCollough — for their continued work, availability and willingness to assist me whenever requested.

At the start of a New Year, as we celebrate the Motherhood of Mary, I make some words of St Ambrose my own for you all:

Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us. For every soul can receive the Word of God if only it is pure and preserves itself in chastity and modesty.
— St Ambrose

Wishing you all a very blessed and grace-filled New Year!

Msgr Kevin Hale