Christmas Message 2017
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Patrick,
Mary, did you know that…
when you kiss your little baby,
you have kissed the face of God
The words of this popular Christmas song remind us the reality of God becoming one of us, transforming humanity from within to become who we are meant to be. By reaching out to another person, we are truly reaching out to God…
Pope Francis in his reflection during the Mass at Santa Marta on September 13, 2016 invited all of us to work for “the culture of encounter”, in a simple way, “as Jesus did”: not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening; not just passing people by, but stopping with them; not just saying “what a shame, poor people!”, but allowing yourself to be moved with compassion; “and then to draw near, to touch and to say: ‘Do not weep’ and to give at least a drop of life”.
The mission of the Church, the mission of our parish “Love Others as Christ Loves You!” is all about recognizing the face of God by looking into the eyes of our brothers and sisters. Our mission indeed is “to give a drop of life”, to give hope!
We have focused our pastoral priorities this year to enhance the weekend experience. We truly hope that anyone coming through the door of our Church will feel welcomed and at home. We invite all to “come as you are”! The ability to see beyond the poverty, to create a place of hospitality, security and love, is an insightful inspiration to our parish community for the possibilities for ministry we have: the challenges of the core of Hamilton don’t stop us from providing a welcoming home for the many.
Every year the Christmas story leads us to a manger where we find the newborn Jesus surrounded by love, compassion and care, despite the poverty he is embracing. May the Lord in his goodness give us an ability to see the face of God in every person we encounter. May the mystery of God being born in our midst engrave upon each heart the assurance of his love and compassionate care.
Did you know that when you give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, when you welcome a stranger, cloth the naked, visit and care for the ill and those in prison… you’ve done it to the Lord, you “kissed the face of God”?
“Love Others as Christ Loves You!”
Merry Christmas to all and a blessed New Year!
Sincerely in Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Your Pastors and Pastoral Team
Fr. Tony O’Dell, OMI
Fr. Jarek Pachocki, OMI