Fr Peter’s Message

Prayer before the Summer Holidays

Lord God, We put ourselves into Your hands, and pray that You will bless us and our families during the wonderful months of summer.
May we all help make our home a place of relaxation, joy, love, peace and safety.
May we be generous and considerate, not thinking only about ourselves, but helping others enjoy the blessings of summertime.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

Seeing your Life through the Gospel 22/05/2022

  1. Jesus seeks to reassure his followers in the face of his imminent death. Although he will be leaving them he promises them the gift of the Spirit. How have you been aware of the gift of the Spirit of God in your life?

  2. Remember times of separation from a loved one, through change of residence or other circumstances. How has the love between you been a support after the separation?

  3. To his followers Jesus promises ‘we will come and make our home with them’. Our God is not a distant God but one who lives in us. What has helped you to be aware of the closeness of God to you?

  4. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid’. When you have been anxious, who have been the Jesus people for you who were able to calm your anxiety. How did they do this? For whom have you been one who calmed anxiety?

 

Vocations Sunday- World Day of Prayer for Vocations 8th May 2022

 

 

Synod 2021/2023 – SYNODAL LISTENING IN OUR PASTORAL COMMUNITY. 

In order to journey together, Pope Francis wants every person to take their place at the heart of the Church and to hear every voice and the voice of the Holy Spirit.   Our local parishes are encouraged to come together, pray together, and enter into a Spiritual Conversation about our Church at this time. 

Bishop Treanor has encouraged each area of the Diocese to have a time of coming together as part of the Synod.  Coming together to listen and share helps us build flourishing and resilient communities for the mission of the Church today.   We invite you to come along and to take part in the synod by listening and talking to one another in an authentic, meaningful, and welcoming way.

If you would like to take part in this synodal moment then please feel welcome to join us on Thursday 28th April in Nativity Church, Poleglass from 7-9pm.    The session will be facilitated by Paula McKeown and Jim Deeds from the Living Church office. 

 

Prayer Meditation for Holy Saturday

My Lord, today all is silent. You have given Your precious life for the salvation of the world. You died a horrific death, poured out all Mercy from Your wounded Heart, and now You rest in peace in the tomb as the soldiers keep vigil.

Lord, may I also keep vigil with You as You sleep. I know that this day ends with Your glorious triumph, Your victory over sin and death. But for now I sit quietly mourning Your death.

Help me, dear Lord, to enter into the sorrow and the silence of this Holy Saturday. Today no Sacraments are celebrated. Today the world waits in mourning in anticipation of the glory of new life!

As I keep vigil, awaiting the celebration of Your Resurrection, fill me with hope. Help me to look forward to the celebration of Your Resurrection, but also to look forward to the hope of my own share in the new life You won for the world. I entrust my whole being to You, dear Lord, as You lay lifeless and still. May Your rest transform the brokenness of my own soul, my weaknesses, my sin and my frailty. You are glorious and You bring the greatest good out of Your apparent defeat. I trust in Your power to do all things and I entrust my life to You. Jesus, I trust in You.

Prepared by Pontifical University Saint Thomas Aquinas mycatholic.life

Trócaire is part of the worldwide Caritas Network, and has been supporting the Caritas Ukraine response since the outbreak of war. With the help of people across Ireland, and the “Ireland for Ukraine” campaign, Trócaire will continue to support Caritas Ukraine, Caritas Poland and Caritas Romania and are currently finalising plans with Caritas Czech to support their work with Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic.

Caritas Ukraine Response

Since February 24, approximately 30 local Caritas centres and multiple parish communities have been actively responding to the devastating Ukraine crisis helping internally displaced families, and supporting those waiting to cross the borders to safety.

All Caritas field offices are involved in the response and are spread across every region in Ukraine, even in active warzones. Where offices must be closed due to hostilities, evacuated staff swiftly move on to help in other Caritas offices.

To date Caritas operations across Ukraine had helped approximately 320,000 people inside Ukraine, providing shelter, medical care, education and trauma support for children, and channelling 750 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including food, blankets, hygiene kits and medical supplies, where needed most.

Through its Caritas partners, funds from the ‘Ireland for Ukraine’ campaign will be used by Trócaire to provide supports such as:

  • Housing and shelter for internally displaced people in Ukraine, and refugees in neighbouring countries such as Poland and Romania

  • Food, blankets and hygiene items

  • Medical care, particularly for Ukrainian children, including those suffering with cancer.

  • Education for displaced children and trauma counselling for people whose lives have been shattered by the brutal assault.

 

 

Check this out:   Synod on Synodality- All You Need to Know

 

 

The Synod Prayer

Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer ‘Adsumus Sancte Spiritus’, the first word of the original Latin, meaning, ‘We stand before You, Holy Spirit’, which has been historically used at Councils, Synods, and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years, and is attributed to St. Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 4 April 636). As we embrace this Synodal Process, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to be at work in us so that we may be a community and a people of grace.

 

We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever.
Amen.

 

Prayers against Human Trafficking (8 February )

For an end to the coercion and exploitation of vulnerable persons at factories, farms, and brothels, we pray: Hear us God of freedom.

For an eradication of the poverty and lack of opportunity that breeds human trafficking, we pray: Hear us God of freedom.

For a greater awareness of the reality and signs of human trafficking in our midst, we pray: Hear us God of freedom.

For cooperation between governments and social service agencies to neutralize traffickers and their networks, we pray: Hear us God of freedom.

God of liberation, we pray for all your children who are enslaved by human trafficking.

Free them from their bondage, heal them of their wounds, protect them from further harm, turn the hearts of their oppressors, and sustain them with hope for a new beginning in safety and peace.

Amen.

Sunday 23rd January 2022

Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel

The scene in the synagogue marks the launch of the public ministry of Jesus in Luke. Jesus was filled with the Spirit and sent. He came bursting with a message to communicate. When have you had the experience of being enthused by something in that way? Who have been the people you met who had that kind of enthusiasm?

His message was addressed to those who were poor, oppressed, blind, or captives. Who are these today? In what ways have you been, or are you, among these? How has the message of Jesus been good news for you, freed you, given you new sight, or revealed God’s favour to you?

The message Jesus had was one of liberation and he told his listeners that it was being fulfilled even as they listened. It is being fulfilled even as we hear it If this does not resonate with you right now, when has the gospel given you an experience of liberation?

This is the Sunday of the Word of God, the word that gives life. The written word of God is not always easy to understand. What has helped you to be more at home with the Bible so that you could find there encouragement, hope, inspiration, meaning and purpose in life?

Sunday 16th January 2022 –

Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel- The Wedding Feast of Cana

1.  The story is a story of abundance, the abundance of the blessings God gives us. How have you been aware of the abundance of God’s blessings? Let the memories lead you to prayer of thanks and praise for the times in your life when that joy and fulfilment have been very real to you.

2.  The hour of Jesus had not yet come when the glory of God would be fully revealed, yet even so something of the glory of God was revealed in the sign that took place. For us also the revelation of the full glory of God lies in the future, but we do get glimpses along the way. Recall some of the signs that have revealed to you something of the glory of God, e.g., nature, art, friendship, etc.

3.  Mary/Jesus. It is interesting to note that despite the apparent rebuff, Mary is the first person in the narrative to show (at the level of the action of the story) that the correct response to the presence of Jesus is to trust in him. When have you trusted in the word of Jesus like that? What relationships do you have that you can trust like that? Do you recall times when your trust was rewarded even when you had been initially disappointed?

Fr. Peter wishes all our parishioners a very Happy New Year. May the Child Jesus bring you and your family many blessings and keep you all safe in 2022.

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  • The Parish COVID Support Team met again this week to review our Risk assessment and discuss the Covid-19 safety measures we have in place in St. Anne’s and the provision of Masses at Christmas.

  • At this time, with the increasing threat of steep rises in Covid-19 case numbers over the next few weeks, and we are hearing that the number is to double every couple of days, we will not be making any changes to the current arrangements inside the church.

  • We propose to have 3 Masses over the Christmas weekend:

9.00pm on Friday 24th Dec, Christmas Eve11.00am on Saturday 25th Dec, Christmas Day and11.00am on Sunday 26th Dec, Feast of the Holy Family.

 

  • We understand that, in normal circumstances, the numbers of people who wish to attend Mass at Christmas is much higher than at any other time. However, these are certainly not normal circumstances, and we will not be able to accommodate all those who may wish to come.

 

  • There will be limited places in the church at all Masses. We know that people are disappointed when the church becomes full and there are no further places inside the building.

 

  • With the facility of the speakers on the outside of the church, many people attend Mass in their cars or in the area outside the front doors. They receive Holy Communion in the porch with the rest of congregation who are inside the building.

  • The weather in December is not always pleasant. It could be cold, wet, icy or snowy.

  • It will definitely be dark during the Christmas Eve Mass!

  • Please consider all these issues before you make the decision to attend Mass in person at Christmas this year.

  • I would ask you to please consider joining us online this Christmas as a family and to make it a special time.
  • Always remember that the obligation to attend Mass is still suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Please understand that all our decisions are made in order to keep those who attend Mass as safe as possible. Like you we look forward to the time when this will not be necessary, but that time is not now.

 

Sunday 5th December 2021 – 1st Sunday of Advent

Sunday 21st November 2021 – Feast of Christ the King

 

Sunday 7th November 2021

Sunday 24th October 2021 – World Mission Sunday

What is World Mission Sunday?

World Mission Sunday is the Holy Father’s annual appeal for spiritual and financial support so that the life-giving work of overseas mission and missionaries can continue. It always falls on the second last Sunday in October, and like the Good Friday collection for the Holy Land and Peter’s Pence, it is one of three yearly universal Church collections.

 

World Mission Sunday collections take place in every single parish where the Church is present. This includes not only Ireland and Europe, but also in poorer parishes in developing countries. It is a moment of universal solidarity when each member of the Church family, regardless of location or background, play their part in supporting each other. This is what makes it such a special celebration.

All offerings and donations made for World Mission Sunday become part of the Holy Father’s Universal Solidarity Fund. This fund is a lifeline for struggling missionaries and the communities they serve across Africa, Asia and Latin America, where over 1,100 mission dioceses are found. As these dioceses form and grow, so do their needs. On top of this, mission dioceses are often in remote areas devastated by war and natural disasters, or where suppressed communities are just opening up to the life-saving message of Jesus Christ.

This is why World Mission Sunday is so important. It offers young dioceses the financial and spiritual assistance they need to help their men, women, and children to survive and thrive.

 

Sunday 17th October 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday 10th October 2021

Sunday 3rd October 2021: Day for Life

A Prayer for those who are ill

God our Father, we bring before you today those who suffer from illness or disability—those whose lives are profoundly affected by their illness.

When they feel fragile and broken,
remind them that you call them by name
and hold them in the palm of your hand.

When they feel devalued, remind them
that they are made in the image Jesus.

When they are reminded of different times in the past,
lead them to grow in the faith that you love them today, as they are,
in the reality of their lives this day.

When they feel uncertain and fearful about the future,
lead them to that perfect love which casts out all fear.

When situations remind them not of what they can do,
but of what they cannot do, remind them that love never fails.

May all of us, whatever our circumstances, never be so taken up with our own concerns that we do not see or respond to the needs of others, especially those who suffer in our midst. May we live with courage to respond to the challenges that each of us faces. Amen.

(Catholic Health Association of the United States)

Sunday 19th September 2021

In today’s gospel Jesus is instructing those who will follow on from him and carry on his work for future generations.

He took a little child and said to the disciples,

‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me,

and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

As we continue our journey through the Season of Creation, we are reminded of Pope Francis’ words in Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home, where he challenges us to reflect:

‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?’ (Laudato Si, 160).

In the context of the environmental crises our world is facing, how are we welcoming the generations to come?

Pope Francis does not hold back when referring to the challenges: ‘We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth’ (LS, 161).

We know that climate change and the biodiversity crisis are driving so many problems in our world at present.

‘Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods.

It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.’ (LS, 25).

Yet our pace of consumption does not ease.

Young people are standing up and calling governments and world leaders to account, rightly concerned about their future.

During this Season of Creation, we must pray for our world, and act.

How can we restore our common home and ensure that our world is liveable for the generations who are coming after us?

Can your parish explore becoming an Eco-Parish, setting up a care for creation team, turning church grounds in areas which promote biodiversity?

There is so much we can do, and no action is too small.

We must listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of our young people.

‘The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.

So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.’ – Greta Thunberg.

                                                                                                           (Jane Mellett)

 

Sunday 12th September 2021

‘By my words, I will show you my faith’

In the second reading today from St James we read, ‘What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?’

And in our Gospel reading we hear: ‘The way you think is not God’s way but man’s…’.

These are challenging texts which remind us to reflect on what path we are walking as followers of Jesus. Jesus’ path was radically different to what people of his time expected of a Messiah. It was a path that would lead to much sacrifice.

Being a Christian today means following Jesus’ example, being counter-cultural and making sacrifices for a greater good.

Today is also the second Sunday in the Season of Creation, a time we are called to explore our relationship with nature, God’s creation. Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home that ‘We are not God’ (LS, 67).

He challenges us to re-examine our vocation to care for creation.

In the past we misinterpreted God’s words in Genesis to mean that we could have dominion over all of creation, own it and plunder it for our own use. Pope Francis invites us instead to explore our role as carers of creation and reminds us that the very first commandment we were ever given was to be protectors of this beautiful world.

Yet, we know the earth cries out to us and that we are living through the sixth mass extinction of life on this earth due to human activity. Ecosystems are collapsing; biodiversity is in crisis.

Laudato Si’ is a hope-filled document, reminding us that we can set out on a new path, that we are capable of turning things around.

 One key action each of us can take this Season of Creation is to plant a native Irish tree. Each parish, diocese, family, school, university can engage in this symbolic action to help Restore Our Common Home.

This week, gather two or three people and explore what can be done, mindful that our Gospel today urges us to walk God’s ways not man’s.

                                                                                                                    Jane Mellett  mellettj@gmail.com

Sunday 5th September 2021

This Sunday is the First Sunday of the Season of Creation, a global ecumenical season which runs from 1 September until the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, 4 October.

All Christians are invited to embrace this season in prayer, especially in our liturgies, in deep reflection, in living more sustainably and in raising our voices in the public sphere.

We are invited to think more deeply about what is happening at present to the earth, the environmental destruction which now threatens our world

….. and the call to ‘eco-conversion’.

The theme for this year’s Season is ‘Restoring Our Common Home’.

It offers all of us a unique opportunity to renew our vocation to care more deeply for God’s creation.

In today’s Gospel Jesus heals a man who was deaf and who had a speech impediment. Jesus says to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ which means “Be Opened.”

Immediately this man was healed.

….. sometimes because they overwhelm us.

The environmental crises are an example.

Pope Francis invites us in Laudato Si’, his letter on the environment, to really hear and really listen to the earth, which is crying out to us, to the scientific community who are sounding the alarm bells, to young people who are deeply concerned.

Ephphatha!

Ephphatha!

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Sunday 29th August 2021

What’s on the inside?

‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts.’

How often do we hear this?

Yet we get contradictory messages.

We are continually bombarded with messages about how we should dress or act, or what is appropriate behaviour.

Rules about outward behaviour govern many aspects of life, from our school and work-place environment……. our churches.

Today, Jesus has something to say about the tension between outward appearances and what’s on the inside.

To the religious authorities who challenge Jesus, outer appearances and traditions are important, and they complain to Jesus for allowing his disciples to eat with ‘unclean hands’.

But Jesus explains that it is not external actions that make a person unclean.

It is what’s on the inside that indicates the true nature of our hearts.

‘Lip-service’ is not worth very much if our hearts are not in tune with God.

As Jesus puts it, ‘You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’

Today’s gospel, I think, is an invitation to examine how we put our faith into practice, as individuals and as a church community.

Which human traditions do we ‘cling’ to?

Do we become so focused on outward rituals that we risk losing sight of the teaching of Jesus and its radical implications?

Do we treat our religious life as checklist of observances, or ……. is it a real encounter with Jesus?

Are we really meeting our friend, Jesus?

‘The words of the Sacred Scripture were not written to remain imprisoned on papyrus, or parchment or paper, but to be received by a person who prays, making them blossom in his or her heart.’ (Pope Francis)

Sunday 22nd August: Leap of faith – seeing beyond the obvious!

Children are often adept at looking beyond the practicalities and seeing the possibilities. Where a parent or guardian might only see a messy room in need of tidying, a child sees an obstacle course, a castle, a jungle, a magical fairy forest.

It always good to take a breath and remember that there is more to life than our physical, tangible world with its routines and to-do lists.

Sometimes things can leave us blinded to life’s beauty.

In today’s Gospel, some of Jesus’ followers are finding it difficult to see beyond the physical.

He has been teaching them that he is the living bread, but it is hard for them to accept.

They dismiss it as ‘intolerable language’ and they wonder ‘How could anyone accept it?’

His teachings are too difficult to understand, and they get annoyed. Some of them even walk away.

But Jesus is offering something more than the practicalities, more than physical food or drink: he offers the bread of life, living bread, his very self.

Yes! It is a difficult message, but Simon Peter goes to the heart of it: ‘You have the message of eternal life, and we believe.’

He can see beyond the obvious, to hear the truth at the heart of Jesus’ words.

Jesus demands a lot of his followers, who must each decide whether they want to follow, or not!

Are we ready to make that leap of faith?

Will you see beyond the obvious today?

Sunday 8th August 2021 – An Uphill struggle

Have you ever felt like giving up?

Elijah certainly did.

In today’s first reading we meet a prophet who has had enough.

He is fleeing from trouble and things seem so hopeless after a day’s journey that he sits under a bush and begs God to take his life.

Life has a way of getting on top of us, such as when we are grieving a loss, when we are hurt by a friend, when illness strikes, or when we are simply exhausted.

We experience the feelings described in the famous poem –

Don’t Quit:

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to 
smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

At these times of struggle, it is helpful to pause and to refuel for the journey.

Elijah was visited by an angel who offered him comfort and respite, giving him the strength he needed to carry on.

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus again say he is the living bread.

Some people have been complaining about his teaching.

Surely this is the son of Joseph, they say, demonstrating their lack of understanding of who Jesus really is.

Again, he explains that he is the bread of life – more than physical food…… more than an ordinary man, he is the living bread, and he is God.

 

Sunday 1st August 2021 – Food for Life!

Growing up, did you hear any ‘old wives’ tales’ about food

– eating carrots helps you see in the dark

– an apple a day keeps the doctor away

– bread crusts will make your hair curly

 

There was one in our house….and I don’t remember what food stuff it referred to…but…..it made your teeth curly and your toes open and close with a bang!!

Or…one of your granny’s sayings

          – you’ll eat it before it eats you!

 

These wise old sayings, passed down the generations, were employed to encourage us to eat certain foods, mainly healthy fruit and veg. Many even had an element of truth.

These days we can easily establish the accuracy of such claims, but many parents still find themselves falling back on these nuggets of wisdom.

Behind it all is a desire to see children grow up strong and healthy.

Recent years have seen an increased focus on health, both physical and mental.

 The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to look after our mental health in particular!

 

Nourishing one’s body and mind and keeping them healthy are essential long-term projects, the work of a lifetime.

 In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about a different type of nourishment – bread that gives life, food that satisfies, food that endures.

 ‘I am the bread of life,’ says Jesus.

It is Jesus who nourishes us at the very core of our being,

He tells us today:

‘Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life.’

As we continue on our journey today and this week…….. learning how best to nourish our body and mind……..

……. let us not forget to nourish our spirit with Jesus, the bread of life.

 

Sunday 25th July 2021 – A Gift of love

We meet Jesus today in a situation of need.

The crowds have followed him and they are hungry.

Jesus challenges his disciples to provide a meal for them.

When they object that they don’t have enough money, and only a tiny amount of food, Jesus uses what they have to pull off a remarkable feat (and feast).

“Five barley loaves and two fish”          “But what is that between so many?”

For us, this Gospel might bring to mind the situation of migrants and asylum-seekers who experience hunger and hardship today.

We heard about the great numbers who have taken the risk of crossing the English Channel in the last few days….

As a people of the Gospel…..

We are left in no doubt about our obligation to protect and care for those in need, just as Jesus provided for the hungry crowds.

This feeding account also has the elements of a Eucharistic meal, with Jesus taking the food, giving thanks, and distributing it to everyone.

Jesus doesn’t produce this meal from nothing but transforms what the disciples provide into a blessing for many.

Sharing in Eucharist means sharing our resources.

It means ensuring people are not left to fend for themselves in crisis situations.

When we receive the body of Jesus, it is a gift of love.

But if we do not give and love in return, we are wasting the gift.

 Where people are in need, it is our responsibility, as followers of Jesus, to share and to provide.

God will provide beyond our imagining, no matter how little we think we have to give, but we are invited to take the first step.

 

‘If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is somehow incomplete everywhere in the world… We cannot properly receive the Bread of Life unless at the same time we give the bread of life to those in need wherever and whoever they may be.’

(Pedro Arrupe SJ)

Sunday 18th July 2021: Take a break!

We all need a break sometimes.

In today’s Gospel, the disciples need a break.

They have returned from their mission, eager to catch up with Jesus, but there is so much happening that they barely have time to eat.

Jesus sees their need and invites them to take a boat with him to a quiet place and rest for a while.

But there is no time for rest……… as the crowds have followed them on foot.

Jesus is moved by them because they are ‘like sheep without a shepherd’.

He is the Good Shepherd who always cares for his flock, and he responds with compassion and love.

No doubt the disciples are drafted in to help: it turns out it is not break time!

We can imagine their exhaustion.

 

We all feel tired or overwhelmed from time to time, from work or family pressures, from the Covid restrictions…. or simply trying to balance everything.

Postponing our own needs to care for others is familiar to every parent or caregiver.

We don’t know if the disciples got a rest at that point, but we know that Jesus valued time apart as he later sends the disciples off in the boat again while he goes away by himself to pray.

In the chaos of life, even when there are demands on our time and energy, it is important to take some time to reflect and to pray. We all need to take a break!

 

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Our Live Streaming Service!

We have recently (January 2021) installed a number of cameras and some new sound equipment in our church, so that our live streaming of all our services can be of the best quality for our parishioners and the many others beyond, who join us in worship online. This has been a huge investment for the future of our parish and it will allow us, in these very uncertain times of Covid-19, to continue to provide strong and good quality communication. This future-proofing has cost over £15,000 and already we have had generous donations towards the cost of the project. If you are in a position to do so, may I ask you to please consider making a donation to cover the costs incurred? Your continued generosity to the upkeep of our parish in these difficult days is very much appreciated, and please continue to help us provide you with the best pastoral care and service.

We continue to hold each other in prayer during these pandemic days.

 

 

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Your continued generosity is much appreciated.