Each New Year offers us a welcome chance to make a fresh start. Many of us have, I’m sure, made resolutions to eat more healthily, to take more exercise, to connect more often with family and friends, to take up a new hobby or to fulfil that goal that we have always dreamed of.
As a parish, our New Year’s resolution, our goal for the coming year, is to invite as many people as possible into playing a role in the life of our parish. We are looking for people who would be willing to serve our community not just in traditional roles such as Ministers of the Word or Ministers of the Eucharist but in other roles that can enhance the life of our parish. These might be Ministers of Welcome or Ushers who welcome people to our celebrations as they arrive or being part of a Baptism Team that takes turns to join us in our baptism ceremonies and represent the community in welcoming the child and family into the parish. Other services might include being part of a Funeral Team that helps to lead some of the Funeral Prayers in the Funeral Home and in our churches.
People may have a particular gift or talent that they would like to share: you might like flower arranging or you might have creative ideas for setting up sacred spaces that focus on different themes as we move through the year. You might have a love of graphic art and printing and might like to help creating posters and signs for our notice boards or you might help us have a better online presence. You might simply be willing to give an hour of your time to help clean your local Church. Whatever way you feel you can contribute you will be most welcome. Some of the greatest initiatives in any parish started with someone saying: I would like to do such and such. St Paul once said: There are all kinds of service to be done but always to the same Lord. That remains true. There are many ways of playing an active part in the life of our faith community. As we start this New Year we’d like to ask you to think about something that you would like to contribute, some gift or talent that you would like to share, some ministry in which you would like to get involved.
We are blessed to have in our parish someone who has a great gift for inviting people to get involved and who has a special knack for getting people to agree. I am speaking of course of Fr Con who has kindly agreed to become our unofficial ‘Recruitment Officer’. Don’t be surprised if he approaches you and asks you to become involved in some way or other. Better still, don’t wait for him to ask you! Take the initiative and tell him how you would like to be involved! Everyone’s contribution is welcome. All of us together have a part to play.
This year Lent will begin on the 14th February. That’s just a month away. By then we would love if many of you accepted our invitation to take up a more active role in our parish. That way we can use Lent as an opportunity to invite someone to come and lead us all in exploring the connection between faith and service that lies at the heart of all ministry and Easter this year can truly be a celebration of new life for our parish. We very much hope that you will be part of that new life. Fr Seán