Steward of the Gospel – Francis O’Brien

Dear Fellow Parishioners, we shall shortly be celebrating, come 2017, the first centenary, the first one hundred years, of our Brentwood Diocese. Thank God, there will be much to celebrate! At the same time, however, we now find ourselves standing on the threshold of the next centenary in which we are called upon once again to proclaim and pass on, as did our forebears, the Good News of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Looking to the future, our Bishop is  asking each and every one of us, as members of our parish communities, to pause and take stock, to reflect together in a spirit of prayerfulness and take time to discern the road that lies ahead! How shall we best be able to proclaim anew the Joy of the Gospel, both within our own parish and to the world beyond? How shall we ensure the continued provision of the Sacraments to our parish community in the years ahead, anticipating (in so far as we can) the challenges those years might bring?   My task as Steward of the Gospel for our parish is to help instigate and lead this period and process of reflection and discernment in cooperation with Father Kevin and the priests of our parish, and very importantly in collaboration with all parishioners as well as with any others who contribute to the life and mission of our parish. Stewards of the Gospel are expected by Bishop Alan to encourage and stimulate discussion amongst parishioners and to be an advocate for their views, suggestions, concerns and ideas such that these might in due course be reflected in the future plans and aspirations of our Diocese. The first stage of the discernment process is one (requested by the Diocese) of drawing up an ‘audit’ of the life of the Parish, its human, material and spiritual resources and what is “going on” here! The intention is to share the ‘picture’ which emerges with parishioners prior to (probably in mid-September) involving them in contributing their thoughts and ideas as to how we might build upon the achievements of the last one hundred years and, placing our trust in the Good Lord, go forth in faith once again to share the good news of the Gospel with fellow parishioners and our fellow citizens! Please take a copy of the ‘Brentwood News’ from the back of the church which features a leading article on this most important Diocesan initiative! I will be in touch again to report progress and, in time, to request your involvement upon which the fruitfulness of this enterprise rests! Thank you!.