A Christmas Message from Fr Michael

FROM FR MICHAEL This has been such a difficult time for all of us and especially as a community. It has been a time of anxiety and uncertainty for all. Although there is now hope on the horizon with the coming of a vaccine, we are about to celebrate a Christmas that will be totally different from any before. I ask you to put Jesus at the centre of your homes this Christmas. I asked our school children and encourage all our families to have a crib at the centre of your decorations at home. Many will celebrate Christmas in the home this year and this little reminder will put Christ at the centre of your domestic Church. I also ask you to try to attend and celebrate a Christmas Mass, but this will be difficult for some as numbers are limited this year. So, I encourage you to come to Mass within the Octave (8 days) of Christmas. It is necessary to book, as we have limited availability due to social distancing this year, but it will be wonderful to see you. www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-patricks-catholic-church-corsham-30646123644. If you cannot come, then you might watch the Midnight Mass (11.45pm) on TV from our Cathedral Church in Clifton this year celebrated by our Bishop Declan!
As the world faces up to the widespread disruption to life being caused by the pandemic, let us ask for God’s help in what lies ahead in the New Year. Let us pray for all those who are working to control the spread of the virus. Let us pray for all those in our NHS who are tasked with caring for those who have the virus. Let us pray for all the sick, all carers and the anxious and lonely. Every one of us wishes we could gather our families as we have for generations, hug our parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren and celebrate this holy time. We simply cannot wish away the reality that the virus is having a major effect on all our lives. We cannot ignore the growing number of family and friends who are afflicted. God calls every one of us to do our part and make sacrifices to protect the old, the sick and the vulnerable. I’m sure that as a community we will be able reach out and so just that. I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have diligently helped St Patrick’s Church to continue its mission since the first lockdown in March. Many of you have given of yourselves sacrificially in so many ways and that self-giving has truly been inspirational. May God bless you all, your homes and families this Christmas as we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Although it is one like no other, let us still make it a Christmas of love, joy and peace!