This week marks the end of our holiday season and the beginning of the 2011 school and work year. For the parish too this is a significant week.
As a result of your increased planned-giving generosity we have been able to create a greater organised network of pastoral care at Our Lady of Victories Parish.
You know Jean Buist: Jean has been our parish secretary for the past few years and increasingly her work has become more pastoral. However the financial administration demands of the office have made it impossible for her to spend more time with parishioners in need. This week Julie Mardon has been employed for a few hours each week to pick up the financial administration role. This frees Jean for several hours each week to serve more fully in the pastoral care role.
You also know Carey Haines. For some years Carey has been our Co-ordinator of Liturgy. From this week Carey will take on an increased role in pastoral care in the parish. Both Jean and Carey will work with the priests of the parish to ensure that good contact is made and maintained with all parishioners on the parish roll, whether they are at Sunday Mass or not.
This week I met with Chris Lysaght of the Christchurch Diocese Youth Team. There will be a much greater contact between the Youth teams of the diocese and our parish this year. Thomas Saywell of the parish is on the Diocesan Youth Mission Team this year and we are delighted that Thomas will keep us informed of youth events from his diocesan office.
Today we welcome Fr. Andrew Bernady to serve as the Assistant Priest in both Our Lady of Victories Parish Sockburn, and St. Joseph’s parish Darfield. Fr. Andrew has spent the past two years in the Christchurch Diocese, first at the Cathedral, then last year in the Timaru / Waimate parish.
Fr. Andrew we are happy to have you with us. We hope and pray that your time with us will be happy and fruitful for all members of our parish. You are very welcome.
Today Fr. John is at Darfield for his first Sunday as Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s. Each week now Fr John & Fr Andrew will alternate the Masses at Our Lady of Victories and Darfield, with one priest celebrating the 6pm at OLV and the 8.30 at Darfield, and the other priest the 10 and 5 at OLV.
On Friday night the priests hosted a gathering of the Parish Council/ Finance Committee, Parish Pastoral Team, OLV School staff and Board of Trustees. It was a happy gathering at the presbytery, with many signs of new beginnings and new hope.
Next week, in the first parish newsletter of 2011 there will be further details of the above pastoral appointments.
Please keep your parish in prayer. This week school begins, on Wednesday evening the Parish Council and Finance Committee meet for the first time. We together a committed to serving God in every moment.
Thank you for being a part of our parish community. May God continue to bless us all. I am delighted to be the Parish Priest of this wonderful parish and I look forward to my twelfth year as your Parish Priest.