Happy New Year!
I always enjoy reading and comparing the various New Year messages from World Leaders which not only offer us the occasional inspiration for our approach to the New Year but also give us a clear insight into their hopes and priorities for the year ahead. President Trump wants his nation to ‘calm down and enjoy the ride’ – people are earning more money and we are doing really well as a country! Our own Prime Minister wants us to ‘put divisions aside and move forward together’ – let us start a new chapter of cooperation for 2019! I’m not sure either of those two leaders’ hopes for the year will even survive past January. Archbishop Justin Welbys’ message called for a new spirit of openness towards each other so that despite our differences we could foster a spirit of neighbourliness and cooperation as citizens. Pope Francis message was a reflection on the Feast of New Year’s Day – Mary the Mother of God. It was a call for greater compassion. ‘A world that looks to the future without a mothers gaze is shortsighted. It may well increase its profits but it will no longer see others as children. It will make money but not for everyone. We will all dwell in the same house but not as brothers and sisters. A world in which maternal tenderness is dismissed as mere sentiment may be rich materially but poor where the future is concerned.’
The last two messages offer us plenty of food for thought but not much inspiration for our own individual resolutions for the year. Anyway I wish you all a very happy New Year and best of luck in keeping to any resolutions you have made.
This Weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany commemorating the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus at Bethlehem. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at the 11am Solemn Mass. There will be a special Epiphany service of Carols and Readings at 3pm to mark this final great Feast of the Christmas Season.
Please remember in your prayers Sister Mary, of the Daughters of Charity, who was a member of the community of sisters here at the Cathedral and was the sacristan in the Crypt prior to Sister Christine. When she left here she retired to the convent in Southport and sadly passed away last week. We were informed by Archbishop Patrick Kelly who is a neighbour to the convent and often says Mass for the sisters and kept contact with Sister Mary in recent years. May she rest in peace.
Canon Anthony O’Brien