17th March 2017 – St. Patrick’s Day

On St. Patrick’s Day, we may reflect on the gift of faith that God gave to the people of Ireland over sixteen hundred years ago, through the ministry of a runaway slave who was obedient to the call of God.  The young Patrick having been captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland escaped and was  eventually restored to his family, but sensed a call to return to the Irish, as he describes in his “Confession:”                      
I saw in the night the vision of a man, whose name was Victoricus, coming as it were from Ireland, with countless letters. And he gave me one of them, and I read the opening words of the letter, which were, The voice of the Irish; and as I read the beginning of the letter I thought that at the same moment I heard their voice – and they cried out with one voice saying “we ask you, boy, come and walk among us once more.”  I was quite broken hearted, and could read no further, and so I woke up. Thanks be to God, after many years the Lord gave me to them in answer to that cry.”                                                                                           Having been ordained priest and bishop, Patrick returned to Ireland to minister here for the rest of his life and the faith that took root and grew in the fifth century has been handed down to us.  We pray that in spite of all the present difficulties the faith will continue to be passed on, and that future generations of our people will continue to know the good news of salvation, and that peace of Christ which is beyond all human understanding.

Our Parish Mission for Lent will run from Monday 20th to Friday 24th March and will be given by a team from St Patrick’s Community. A Mission helps us to withdraw a little from our normal day-to-day worries and concerns, to reflect on the meaning and purpose of our lives and to take stock of where we are in life.

Mission Evenings Monday to Friday at 7.30 pm will include a closing Mass of the Holy Spirit on Friday.  Mission Masses at 10.00 am Monday to Friday, with an extra Mass at 7.30 am on Monday to Thursday. Team member John Pridmore, ex-gangster and international bestselling Author of ‘From Gangland to Promised Land,’ will be sharing his amazing story on Monday night.

We pray that our Mission will help us to reflect on the mystery of God’s love for us, and to experience his care for us as we are renewed by the redeeming love of Christ. We pray for an increase in our faithfulness to Our Lord’s gift of himself to us in the Mass and a deeper appreciation of our faith.