Well, I will see you the weekend of March 24th! I have left for my six week mission as Vicar General of the Josephite Fathers to the Democratic Republic of Congo with meetings in UK and Belgium before and afterwards. Please pray for my confreres in the Congo. The country is huge and its problems even larger: the failed politics and economics and constant civil conflicts especially in the most recent years have meant much poverty and continued social unrest. Yet in all this the Josephites run parishes and schools, bring faith, hope and love resulting in opportunity and personal growth and stability for tens of thousands and their families. Great work by good men under very difficult circumstances and provision. I’m sure that it will be an emotional experience for me.
In Belgium where it all started we have the opening rites of the 200 Year Jubilee of the Josephites and the Daughters of Mary on the 19th March. More on this when I get back but please on that day pray for the two religious orders that have looked after this parish and served you and your families for over 50 years and educated many children for 60.
In the meantime,the Together in Mission gets into full gear now with Commitment Sunday. As I said at all the SLdM Masses last weekend in English (Fr John will support this for the Spanish Masses) we are inordinately proud of the generosity of heart and support given by this wonderful parish; may such witness to faith in action continue in this year’s Together in Mission Campaign.
In the following weeks whilst I am away I have chosen some passages to fill this slot on the bulletin. They all come from Pope Francis so you know they will be better than anything I might say!
God bless you and your loved ones all over the coming weeks. I will celebrate Mass literally in the jungle for all your intentions!
Fr Aidan Peter CJ