I have been very grateful for the warm welcome I have received since my return in February to St Peter’s Parish as Parish Priest. It has been wonderful seeing and working again with those I knew from my Curate days, 1988 – 1991, and getting to know many new people. Obviously, I come back to a very different South of Ireland, and in some respects, a very different Church and parish. However, St Peter’s Parish is still strong, and there is no shortage of commitment, good will and effort, for which I am very appreciative. It is comforting when reading the anniversary lists at Mass to be reminded of those I have known from the past, and who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. I feel strengthened by their heavenly intercession.
Sincere thanks to all who have played a key part in our Parish over the past year. Thanks to: our sacristans, Ministers of the Word and the Eucharist, altar societies, those who prepare the altar linen, Mass servers, their parents and coordinators, our choirs and music groups, directors, organists, instrumentalists, and stewards; our Parish Pastoral Council and St Oliver’s Pastoral Area Resource Team Chairs, members, and clergy; our Safeguarding Team; our Finance Committee, church collectors, counters envelope distributors and dues collectors; the principals, boards of management, teachers, and ancillary staff of all our parish schools; the Barbican manager, Committee and team; our Community Employment supervisor and participants; St Peter’s Cemetery Committee and gravediggers; our parish secretary, newsletter editor, rota, website and social media coordinators; our housekeepers; the many apostolic groups in the Parish, including Accord, African, Filipino, Syro-Malabar and all our New-Irish groups, Baptism Team, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Family Mass, Knights of St Columbanus, Lectio Divina, Legion of Mary, Life in the Spirit, Malta Services, Neo-Catechumenal Way, Order of Malta, Our Lady of Fatima, Perpetual Adoration, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, St Anthony’s Novena, St John Paul II Awards, St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society, St Oliver Plunkett Peace and Reconciliation Committee, St Peter’s Charismatic, Our Lady’s, and other prayer groups, St Peter’s Church Shop, and Unbound Ministry/ Freedom in Christ, to mention but some; our Religious – Augustinians, Dominicans, Medical Missionaries of Mary, Presentation Sisters, Contemplative Dominicans, and Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Motherhood; St Mary’s and Holy Family Parishes, including the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal; the civil authorities and elected representatives, local media, the Community Services Centre, hospitals, funeral directors, secular pastoral, humanitarian and charitable groups, and all those many others with whom we happily work; and not least, to all of you, faithful parishioners, who so quietly undertake so many duties and acts of kindness, and for your very generous support of the life of the parish in so many ways, Sunday after Sunday, week after week. May the Lord bless and reward you all.
I thank Mgr Carroll for the wonderful work he did as Parish Priest over the past fourteen years, and wish him well in his new ministry in Togher.
I am very blessed in my clerical colleagues and thank them for their constant support and commitment to the Parish. With Canon Patsy, Fathers Paul, Barry, Linos, Chrisandus, Deacons David and John, Linda, our PPC Chair, and Fiona, our PART Chair, I wish all parishioners and their loved ones, at home and abroad, every peace and joy of the Infant Jesus at Christmas, and every success and blessing in 2020 as hopefully we grow in faith, hope and love to the glory of God and in support of one another, in an atmosphere of peace on our streets and estates and in our world.
Eugene Sweeney, PP, VG