When we read the Gospels we are struck by the open-hearted way in which Jesus listened to people’s stories.
In this parish we want to do the same, not to condemn anyone but to listen and welcome.
Christians believe that the events of Holy Week are the most important thing ever to happen in human history. It has been described as the greatest story ever told. The journey of Jesus from Palm Sunday to Easter Day encapsulates all the struggles and victories of our own lives. In fact, we say that these events, sometimes called the Paschal Mystery, are what make sense of our lives.
There are all sorts of reasons why people stop coming to Church. For some, it may be a particular event such as an unpleasant experience which upset them. For others, it can centre on an issue which they feel the Church is handling badly or not at all, while for many it is a gradual drift away from something that has ceased to mean very much.
Catholics are not in the business of manipulating anyone into practising their faith. There is already far too much of that sort of emotional pressure in society through advertising and the media. The current Holy Father and his predecessor have both stressed that such things have no place in the Church, and that faith is a free gift of God which can only be responded to in an atmosphere of freedom.
Precisely for that reason many people, whether they have had a religious upbringing or not, are attracted by the gentle action of the Holy Spirit to the beauty and truth which God has given to his Catholic Church, despite all our unworthiness. How that happens is mysterious and different for each person.
If we can do anything at all to help you in your journey, it would be a great privilege for us. Please feel free to speak to a member of the parish, to me, or to our Parish Deacon, Eugene Adams. Alternatively download related material from here.
Whatever your situation or state of mind, we wish you every blessing, and may God travel with you on your journey, wherever it leads you,
Fr. Neil Chatfield