When I was studying in Rome I was friendly with a student from Lebanon. He told me of his beautiful country, of his lovely people, and how he was looking forward to going home to serve them as God’s priest.
A beautiful country in the 1960’s but now a country devastated by civil war, injustice and corrupt governments. Yet still that lovely country is a host for a million and a half refugees from the civil war in Syria. What goodness, what suffering.
When we heard about and saw the terrible explosion in Beirut at the beginning of the week we asked how much more suffering can they bear? And as we saw that horrifying mushroom cloud hovering over the city and its port we were reminded that 75 years ago atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We still do not know whether the explosion was caused by incompetence or sabotage; what we do know is nearly two hundred have died and many are homeless, refugees in their own lovely country. We pray for Lebanon and every country where there is suffering.
Across the world the numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths is still climbing steadily. We pray with everyone in the sadness of losing their loved ones – and then the further sadnesses of losing work as the economy closes down. Such individual and family pain – because where will they turn? We pray for our loved ones who have died, our loved ones who are suffering because of those deaths and whose lives seem to be facing great difficulties.
Here in the parish I am glad to be united with all of you in our prayer for our suffering world. I am making wonderful progress day by day, because I’m being so well looked after. Many cards, letters and messages are still arriving and you are giving me much strength. Thank you.
Over the page you will see a drone-view of our church. David, who has been co-ordinating the work for us, representing our buildings committee, is delighted with Jay and Darren of Cresta Roofing and Leadworks and how well they have co-operated. We are very grateful to David for his overseeing the work and to two good local firms who have carried it out. I am happy to share parish good news with you.
I thank everyone for donations to our buildings appeal – including people around the country and the city who now feel part of our parish because of attending mass with us via YouTube. They have written such generous notes of gratitude for feeling part of our community and wanting our church to be well looked after. On behalf of St Joseph’s I welcome them – we have become a very big community.
Thank you, everyone, for everything. Out of our relative security we pray with those who have lost loved ones, homes, employment and feel they have nowhere to turn.
God bless us all to survive together,