Message from Fr John

Dear Friends,
I hope this message finds you well and adjusting to the changing needs of your lives!
As things begin to speed up I want to try and encourage you each day through my prayers and Mass, to have hope in the person of Jesus!
Below is an extract from the Bishop to his priests, asking that we take care of ourselves. As you know I have had an underlying chest infection for the last few months and I need to take care. As I am one of the priests with an underlying health issue I have been directed to ‘stand down’ during this time of the Coronavirus. Therefore, I have to make big adjustments to my life.
“I emphasise again how important each of you are to me, as your bishop, and how deeply I appreciate your ministry in our diocese. That’s why I ask you to listen carefully to your local Dean who will, with the support of the Vicar Generals, be encouraging you not to minister publicly during this period if you are over 70 years of age, or have a particular underlying health issue that makes you more vulnerable to this virus.
I know personally, as a priest of many years, how this ‘goes against the grain’ of our pastoral instinct to care for the spiritual needs of our parishioners, especially at times like this. But, as priests serving in the diocese, we are called to be marathon men rather than sprinters. I need you, who fall into this category to ‘stand down’ graciously during this time from public ministry, so as to protect your health and those you would minister to publicly, so that when this virus comes to an end you are there to ‘pick up the reins’ again”.
My friends this is a difficult time for all of us and as we pray for all of our amazing doctors, nurses and care staff, along with all of those caught up in caring for those in need, please pray for the priests who have to carry the extra work load at this time.
Please stay, safe, well and happy in the days and weeks ahead.
Oceans of love and wheelbarrows full of blessings to each and every one of you and all those you love!
Peace and stay safe!
Fr John