St. Anselm Parish – Christmas Messages
Christmas Message from Fr. Noel Clarke – Parish Priest
“And the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14
As we enter this Christmas season, let it be a time in which we realise using the words of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et misera “each day of our journey is marked by God’s presence. He guides our steps with the power of the grace that the Spirit pours into our hearts to make them capable of loving.”
So as we gather to celebrate yet another Christmas, another year has passed with many events, public and private, touching our lives and those of the people in our parish community in various ways. No doubt, 2016 has brought its joys and sadness in different measure to each person: all colouring our memories of this past year. Let us strive to open our hearts to others, especially being aware of those who have lost a loved one since last Christmas, or the many over-burdened by worries, sickness and family problems or for any other reason.
As we are invited by Pope Francis to be instruments of mercy, in his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et misera which means that we have to open our hearts to those living on the outmost fringes of society. We are called to believe that no one is ever beyond hope, past the point where God’s grace and love apply to them. God does not give up on people, even if they give up on themselves.
This Christmas, may we reflect on the Incarnation as God’s invitation to us to see Him in our brothers and sisters who are hurting.
Christmas is an opportunity to thank so many parishioners who give abundantly of their time and talents in making our parish the growing vibrant, faith-filled community that it is. It is calculated that over 190 parishioners take an active part in some form of ministry or parish activity, letting Christ’s light shine in the midst of the struggles and joys. To these volunteers who are the heartbeat of the parish, I am truly grateful.
May I take this opportunity to thank all our parishioners here at St Anselm for helping us along the journey; a special thank you to the Parish Council and the Parish Staff for their support throughout the year. To all parishioners, for your prayers, good wishes and for all that you do in actively revealing Emmanuel – God with us: let this Christmas be a time of true conversion to God’s total self-emptying in Christ and his audacious identification with those on the margin of our community and wider society.
May our parish community reach out to all so that the God’s love and compassion may reach everyone through our witness.
On behalf of the pastoral team and staff of the parish, I wish all our parishioners a very happy and holy Christmas. I thank you sincerely for your ongoing support and kindness, demonstrated in so many ways; I value above all your fidelity and commitment. May the Lord bless your homes and families and give you his peace and joy.
Yours in Christ
Noel Clarke, Parish Priest
St. Anselm Catholic Church
Christmas Message from Msgr. Peston Moss – (Retired)
“The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9: 1)
Beloved family and friends,
It is a real joy and privilege to greet you at this Christmastide when we celebrate and remember, with gratitude, the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Isaiah foretold that the coming of the Saviour would come as ‘Light’ in the midst of our world filled with so much darkness. It is obvious that although we believe Jesus is the Light of the world, just as the sun gives light and life to our home, planet Earth, not all of us have seen and welcomed the Great Light, the only true Saviour. The Great Light, when welcomed, causes us to see and to have a true perspective of the meaning of life. Light for us Christians is linked to faith. Only with the gift of faith can we truly recognize who Jesus is and welcome Him. In welcoming Him as God’s love for us in the world, we come to recognize each other with a genuine love and respect as brothers and sisters. We seek to cooperate with the Lord in building a Kingdom of justice for all, which brings true peace that only Christ can give. Pope Francis says, “Today many people have no experience of God Himself, and this represents the greatest poverty and the major obstacle to recognizing the inviolable dignity of human life.” We need to experience this God who brings us out of darkness into the light of truth.
This year, because of what is happening in our country and our world, I have been constantly reminded of the necessity of true faith in order to see, else we walk in darkness and we bump into each other and destroy one another in so many different ways. As our planet Earth cannot exist without the sun, so can we not be a human family and care for each other without Christ, the Son of the Father.
Thank God He has come among us and has never left us, even amidst so much darkness, even as we experience the darkness of night each day. Yet, we know that just as the sun is there and never ceases to shine, giving new light and life, so does the Lord, our only Saviour, shine on us and let us come to new life and love so that we can share His life and love with others. Thank you for the light of His love that I have experienced in you.
You will be remembered in all the Masses that I am privileged to celebrate during this Christmas time.
Have a blessed Christmas and a hope-filled New Year.
In His love,
(Msgr.) Preston A. Moss (“Retired”)