Dear Friends in Christ
With this Sunday we begin what is known as Ordinary Time which continues from now until the start of Lent on 1st March. The liturgy of this Sunday draws our attention to Christ, the Lamb of God, who has come to take away the sins of the world. The words spoken by John the Baptist are heard in every celebration of the Mass. His invitation is a daily reminder to us of our responsibility and obligation, to show Christ to the world, to make Him known and loved. This is the real aim of the celebration of our Diocesan Centenary Year. This year we are celebrating one hundred years since our Diocese of Brentwood was founded (from the Archdiocese of Westminster). It comprises five London Boroughs and the County of Essex; a wide and varied constituency. In fact Brentwood is now the fourth largest Diocese in England Wales. This provides special opportunities and responsibilities for us to spread the Catholic Faith with renewed enthusiasm.
The official start of the Centenary will be on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes - 11th February - it being the patronal festival of our Diocese and Parish. In Leigh we shall mark the commencement of the Centenary, and our Patronal Festival, by a period of exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. There will be a Sung Mass at noon on 11th followed by a Parish lunch in the Centre. I have invited Fr Stephen Morrison of the Norbertine Priory in Chelmsford to preach that day. Later on in the year, there will be a Parish Mission during the final week of September. I will give more details about this shortly and also indicate the way in which we can prepare for this. I hope 2017 can be for us, and the Diocese in general, a time of wonderful growth in Faith and renewed confidence in our mission to bring Christ to our world.
God bless you all
Msgr Kevin Hale