As I write for this, our first parish bulletin of the New Year, 2021, I do so after a great celebration of Christmas and New Year. I also write to you knowing that, since then, we have heard that +Paul is no longer the Bishop of Christchurch but has a new assignment – Bishop of the Arch Diocese of Wellington. I, like all of you were somewhat surprised when the announcement was made. I know that +Paul will do great work in Wellington – as he has done amongst us here. Lets continue to pray for him, and of course for our diocese of Christchurch, as we await now the appointment of a new chief shepherd for us.
Fr Tien and I have both been away from the parish at the start of 2021. Fr Tien has been tramping with a group of friends down south, and I spent the New Year up in Marton at Hearts Aflame accompanied by a good sized group from our own parish. Hearts Aflame is an annual summer camp for Catholic Young Adults. It runs for 10 days, and it is, from personal experience, a wonderful time of faith renewal. My thanks to Fr Dan Doyle, and Fr Greg, for looking after the parish in our absence.
Jesus invites us to ‘come and see’ in our gospel this weekend. Let’s pray that this new year might be a time when we take up that invitation. A time when our faith is strengthened, when we grow in our love for God the Father by coming to know more deeply His Son Jesus. This always happens at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, so, lets pray, as we now do at the start of every Sunday mass, ‘Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of your love.’
Fr John Adams