As we celebrate the beautiful Feast of Christmas I would like to thank all parishioners for the kindness, support and generosity shown to me in so many ways over the year. It is truly appreciated. I wish to express a particular word of thanks to all who are involved in any parish committee or ministry. Your giving of your time ensures that our parish is a vibrant one where the message of Jesus Christ is witnessed to in a whole variety of ways. Your input makes such a huge difference to the parish.
A word of thanks too goes to the parish staff who go about their work in such an efficient manner. Their work makes mine that much easier. In all areas of the parish there is a lot of voluntary work done that enhances the community and makes it a better place for us all to live in.
Congratulations to all in the parish who celebrated Marriage and baptism during the year. They are happy occasions that we all rejoice in. As we come to Christmas let us spare a thought for those who have lost a loved one during the year as Christmas can be a difficult time for all who were bereaved during 2015. Let us keep them and indeed all who are sick or facing any challenge in our prayers at this time. Likewise let us think of those who are far away from home. Miles may separate us but you are in our thoughts and prayers.
I thank all who do such great work in the schools of the parish at both primary and secondary level and to all who give so generously of their time to voluntary organisations in all four areas of the parish. Our community is a much better place as a result of your efforts.
During the year I assumed the role of Parish Priest of Mayo Abbey . It reflects the reality of parish life today. It will bring changes to both parishes going forward . We should never be afraid of change. We should embrace it and move forward in hope. As we celebrate Christmas we welcome Emmanuel a name which means God is with us.
May God be with us all as we go forward. May he fill our hearts with peace and hope. May you all experience his presence during this Christmas time and throughout 2016.
Happy Christmas to all in the parish and to former parishioners wherever you are now.