We had an open meeting on Thursday evening to chat about moving onwards and upwards as parish. Fr. John O’Brien, Spiritan, led the discussion. Quoting Pope Francis regularly, John pointed to the ‘perfect storm’ that will be the shortage in priestly numbers. I’m sure we are wise enough to realise the reality of this imminent storm. If nothing else, a meeting like this brought together a broad spectrum of ideas, hopes, fears and what has already been achieved in our parish. There was real openness from all present and with John’s gentle guidance, we were able to look at many aspects of parish life. Our hope now is to have a second such meeting followed by a bigger gathering. For me, as Parish Priest, it struck me that first, we have so much to be grateful for in our parish but also, none of us are getting any younger, so how can we pass on a legacy that is not simply maintenance of buildings and structures but moving on with excitement and possibility. As the son of an Israeli hostage and peace activist, Noam Sagiv says “we cannot open new doors with old keys.” If there was one thing I took from Thursday’s meeting, it was the passion we all share for our parish.
Last Sunday’s International Meal was a great success. Thanks to all for their national dishes. Well done to those who put so much effort into organising it. We look forward to regular gatherings. “The best meals are those prepared by loving hands.” Ken Poirot.
“Events in Israel and Gaza have deeply shocked us all. There is no justification for Hamas’ barbaric terrorist act against civilians, including children and babies. We must acknowledge this and pause. Also, we must urge Israel to uphold international law as it prepares to invade Gaza. But then the next step is to ask: what now? Do we surrender to this terrible violence and let our striving for peace die – or do we insist that there must and can be peace? I am convinced that we have to move on and keep the larger context of the conflict in mind.” Daniel Barenboim