From time to time, until we have a Parish Magazine, I intend to produce a periodic news letter to keep parishioners up to date with any news and developments. There does seem to be quite a lot going on at present and I cant think of any other way of sharing it all with you.
I have been here since the 15th of September; and I took it as a good sign that that day was a feast of our Lady. My first impression of the parish was of the warmth of welcome and the friendliness of the parishioners. I am not surprised at this because it is a trait of Preston people. Nonetheless, the sense of loss which you must have felt at the departure of a much loved Parish Priest must be still quite raw. I was in my previous appointment for twelve years and found it a wrench to move away, how much more acute must that feeling have been for all of you and, of course, for Fr. Lakeland.
So this is a new chapter in my life; it is nearly 30 years since I moved away from Preston. As I said on my first Sunday here, in those days Preston was but a town, now it is a city; then it has just a Polytechnic and now it boasts a University; then it had a second rate football team, and now ..well, we live in hope!
My aim here is to build on what has gone before. Not only have there been two outstanding pastors in the shape of Fr. Callan and Fr. Lakeland but there have been so many committed parishioners who have worked so hard to take the parish forward to where it is now. Our task as a parish community is to engage with the 21st century and all the challenges and hopes that it brings. We have to be like the householder in the Gospel who brought out things both old and new. To me that means we retain what is of everlasting value and we embrace the new things that will help us in our mission as the Church in the 21st century.
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