Dear parishioners and friends!
Today we enjoy just a little more freedom than we have for over 6 weeks of level 5 of the National Lockdown! Level 4 means that we can walk and run in the mornings and some are able to go back to work. However, it seems that very little has changed for the Church! We are still unable to gather for Mass, prayer or catechism. An exception has been made for funerals (under strict conditions and very limited numbers). So, for us, we continue as we have been! While this is a little frustrating and difficult, I am really pleased at the response of our community, and many others who have joined us from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, India, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States of America, on our online liturgies, catechism and adult formation sessions! By using the many new media platforms, we have been able to reach so many people and grow in faith together!
As I said in my April message, the Church must be open to these new ways of connecting and furthering the mission of the Church! I encourage each and every one of us to make a real effort to deepen our spiritual life and discipleship at this time. I also challenge our community to invite others to an experience of Jesus through these new methods – we can make a real difference to the lives of others even though we are separated physically!
Our commitment to becoming a community that reaches out has found expression in the establishment of the new St. Joseph’s Care Relief Fund. This fund was launched on our YouTube channel just over a week ago with the goal of raising R200 000.00 in order to help members of our community affected by the Corona Virus Pandemic. In this short time, we have raised over R28 000.00; thank you so much for your generosity! However, every day I hear of parishioners and friends in real financial difficulty; hungry and unemployed! Consequently, I renew my challenge to every one of us to make a contribution to this Care Relief Fund. Your little will make a significant difference in the lives of people you know, people you worship with; your brothers and sisters!
Again, I encourage those who are lonely, sad or discouraged to make use of our prayer warriors and support line. Details of both, are in our bulletin this week and on the parish website; please remember you are not alone, there are people willing to listen, pray and help you!
In this month of May, a month traditionally dedicated to Our Lady, I recommend that we try to pray the rosary (or at least a decade!) every day! May our Blessed Mother pray for us!
God bless you and keep you safe!