Christmas Message 2022: Welcome Home

Mary was able to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love (…) As a true mother, she walks at our side, she shares our struggles and she constantly surrounds us with God’s love.
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

Dear Members, Visitors and Friends of St. Patrick parish,

Every year the Christmas story leads us to a manger where we find the newborn Jesus surrounded by pure love, compassion and care, despite the poverty he is embracing. Mary provided for Him an experience of God’s love going beyond the limited material resources she had. As Pope Francis writes, she “turned a stable into a home”.

This miraculous ability to transform the meager environment of a cattle shed into a place of domesticity, security and love is a sign to our parish community of the possibilities for ministry we have: the challenges we face in the core of Hamilton won’t stop us in providing a welcoming home for as many as we can.

We’ve longed for two long years to be able to safely gather in-person, to pray together and support and form community with each other. Welcome home!

This year we’ve made some major upgrades to our worship space so you can feel truly at home. The lighting of the church has been redesigned so you can clearly see the beauty of this historical building, but as well to see each other, the community for which this building exists. The sound system has been upgraded also, and a significant number of speakers, in quality and quantity, have been added. You can finally hear the Word of God as it is being proclaimed! Enjoy it, and feel the love of light and sound in your home!

“We’ve longed for two long years to be able to safely gather in-person, to pray together and support and form community with each other. Welcome home!”

Through your generous support and volunteer hours you have shared the importance of the continuous ministry of our DeMazenod Door Outreach. Our DeMazenod Farm grew – in abundance – produce for the kitchen; but as well, it grew in the fraternity and friendship of those who spent hours planting, weeding and harvesting. A number of schools experienced horticulture classes in the fields. This ministry has become another cornerstone to our home experience.

We hope you have had a chance to visit our “HumanKind: Gifts That Matter” Store, where all the profit goes back to our outreach ministry. You literally feed the hungry, by shopping in this store!

Just a couple of weeks ago, we blessed a house, “Mary’s Ark” to provide a supportive home for women coming from emergency shelters. This house will be a safe house for women; it will enable the residents the opportunity to build lives without violence or fear. Our wrap-around supports will offer the assistance they need to transition into a new beginning. Welcome Home!

All these new initiatives are meant to make a difference in peoples’ lives, to make them feel at home, here in our neighbourhood. These new ministries stretch us all to move beyond the walls of our building and remind us of each person’s value and dignity. Welcome home!

Our Values Statement says, “We value Catholic education. Therefore, we commit to good and faithful cooperation with the Catholic Schools of our parish.” We are excited to see the new St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School being near completion! It will be so inspiring to hear the joyful noise of the schoolyard again. The De Mazenod Door will move into the new school, which will have a modern, upgraded, commercial kitchen and larger space. We can’t wait to welcome students, teachers and staff next door! Welcome home!

May this season of Christmas, and as we enter into the New Year, fill your hearts with a sense of hope and belonging! May Christ being born anew unite us as one family, as brothers and sisters, where no one is estranged, lonely or forgotten! May the welcoming spirit of the Nativity be our guiding light in the mission and ministry of this faith community! Welcome home!

“Where there is no love, put love and you will draw out love.” Give the gift of love that is the cherishing gaze, and you will see each other anew. St. John of the Cross

Merry Christmas everyone!

On behalf of the Pastoral Staff of St. Patrick Parish
Your leaders in service,
Fr. Tony O’Dell, OMI
Fr. Jarek Pachocki, OMI

Leave a Reply