This weekend we focus on the missionary life of the Church and here in our parish our very important, and literally life-giving, connection with the Josephite Missions in Africa. Thousands of children and their families are served by an ever growing number of schools. To go along with the growth of these schools there is, by God’s good grace, a growing number of Josephites in formation for the religious life priesthood to continue this work for years to come. It is all progressing well but like any area of growth and vitality it needs financial support. Again, in all humility as the Vicar General of the Josephites, I ask you for your support of this vibrant and developing missionary field. See the handout and the envelopes in the benches.
Also this weekend we are thinking about a mission nearer to our home, the disaffiliated Catholic. Bishop Robert Barron and all the bishops, and you yourselves, are very concerned that there is an increasing rate of lapsation from the Church. All of us know of members of our families and communities who have left the Church. This is a serious and saddening matter that must bring about reflection and analysis, practical outreach but at this initial stage profound prayer. This weekend after all Masses in the Gathering Area there will be the start of the St Monica Ministry. St Monica was the mother of St Augustine who for many years did not practice his faith, but through her prayers and God’s grace Augustine became the fearless theologian of the early Church. There will be the opportunity for you to offer names of those who have moved away from the Church to be put into a prayer book for us to pray for at Masses, and also St Monica novena cards to use. Please start this “missionary” process of bringing the stray sheep back to the fold.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter