with gratitude

As my time at the Liturgical Institute draws to a close I am filled with gratitude to the many people who have made it possible for me to be here.

This study was to be nothing more than six weeks studying liturgy on a sabbatical in 2010. But on my return to the diocese Bishop Barry Jones was enthusiastic about the programme and the courses and a graced turn of post-earthquake events and a scholarship made it possible for me to continue these studies.

I am most grateful to Bishop Barry. Please join me in praying that he now shares fully in the eternal liturgy with the communion of saints.

In my home diocese of Christchurch a number of priests have generously provided cover form my pastoral commitments and I am grateful to each of them.

The faculty and students of the Liturgical Institute and the University of St. Mary of the Lake have provided an academically robust learning environment and a supportive faith-filled environment where (as the LI website announces) fidelity and joy meet in prayer and study. The formal photo above was taken after the banquet during the week. We don’t always look this formal! Some of the most significant moments of learning have been over food and drink and much merriment. Thank you all for your friendship.

I am grateful to you all, and most of all to God who through the liturgy continue to make the fulness of life available to us today, drawing us into the eternal life for which we were created.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be working on the paper to complete the degree, then some vacation time before returning to New Zealand.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me and kept me in your prayer, especially over this past week of comprehensive exams.

Gratefully, in friendship with Christ

John

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