PASTORAL MESSAGE

LENT - 2016

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ 

As we begin Lent in this Year of Mercy, the traditional elements of prayer, fasting and sharing with the poor become a more pivotal focus for the way we live Lent this year.

With prayer, can we make a special effort on the 4th and 5th March for ‘24 hours with the Lord’?  Can I ask that every family in that 24 hour period light a little candle and have some prayer time, thanking God for the love they have, and finding a way to show mercy to someone through their family?

Fasting is one of the three pillars of Jewish piety, like the prayer of almsgiving.  It is not just a ritual.  It is an expression of our desire for union with God and his people, especially our solidarity with those who are deprived of the basic necessities of life.

Sharing.  In the past, our Diocese has made wonderful contributions to Project Compassion.  In this Year of Mercy, let us all try to make a special effort to make this a most wonderful gift of mercy to the poor.

Pope Francis has not only asked us to make Fridays special through this year, but has personally committed himself to one significant event in the month on a Friday.  Today, or tomorrow his time, he meets with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba on his way to Mexico.  He has asked us all to pray for this meeting and in a special way to bring about greater unity between Orthodox Christians and ourselves.

On the local level, Lent might be a time to reach out as a family or a community to Christian Churches in our community and to plan an event in this Year of Mercy.

May the blessing of mercy touch us personally this Lent.

Yours in Christ Jesus.
REV MICHAEL LOWCOCK
Diocesan Administrator

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