Message from Fr. Pat and Michael
On behalf of Fr. Pat and I, we would like to wish you, our parishioners, present, past, those living in Belgium and further afield a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.
Needless to say, that the past year 2020 was a difficult year for many. With the beginning of 2021, we set our eyes and hearts on a new beginning and please God with the introduction of vaccines to battle the COVID-19 virus, a new way of life.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our parishioners for your generous and unselfish support for the running and upkeep of the parish of St. Anthony's. The pandemic has caused many hardships to you all with the separation from meeting up with loved ones and friends, even the loss of a loved one due to the virus. Difficult and hard times indeed. Financial difficulties have had effects on families and individuals, even to the point of losing your jobs and trying to make ends meet. Even with all these heart wrenching difficulties, I am amazed with the generosity of each of you to the upkeep of your church and parish. Your kind support financially through standing orders is the backbone to the upkeep of the parish, which I cannot emphasise and thank you enough.
The running of your parish is a community collaboration with the different parish groups involved. Fr. Pat and I could not run the parish without the support and challenge of the individual groups, especially the Parish Council and Parish Finance Committee. The members of both groups are dedicated and have the running of the parish dear to their hearts. They continue to be dedicated to their different meetings which we hold in the parish church or, because of the social distance through Zoom meetings. We could not run the parish without their giving of their time and constructive input.
As we are still in the situation where public masses cannot be celebrated with more than 15 people, we continue to have our Sunday masses live streamed, but, this doesn't mean that the activities of the parish have been cancelled. It is with great delight that our First Communion and Confirmation classes are up and running,
albeit within the restrictions that we have to follow. I would like to acknowledge and thank the teachers who run the classes: Sue, Karen and Alice (First Communion) and Sara (Confirmation) for their dedication and time.
The celebrations of baptisms, funerals and marriages continue even with the restrictions that are imposed on us. Marriage preparations continue as well. The different groups that use the parish are also still active and keeping within the social distance policy. Your parish is still very much alive and active.
As the year begins, I felt that it was only right and proper to share with you that your parish, and it is your parish, of St. Anthony's is still vibrant.
Hopefully it will not be too long before we can welcome you all back to our Sunday masses and our cup of coffee/tea afterwards.
Just before I conclude, I want to thank all of you who took the time to participate in the Parish survey concerning the attendance to our Sunday masses. There was a great response to the survey and I would like to assure you that it hasn't been forgotten. Work is going on behind the scenes to try and be prepared for when the restrictions to the limited attendance to our church has been lifted.
May the Blessings of God be with you all and let us pray for one another.