CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM ESKER REDEMPTORISTS

St. Patrick’s Redemptorist Monastery Esker

Christmas 2021

Dear Friends of Esker,

At Christmas we commemorate the birth of Jesus and celebrate the presence of God in our midst – ‘The Word was made flesh and dwells among us.’ The presence of the Lord brings joy and hope to our lives.

Due to the pandemic, 2021 has been, in many ways, a difficult year. We are mindful in our prayers of those who have died and extend our condolences to those who have been bereaved. We pray also that those who are infected by the virus be quickly restored to health.

A significant development since last Christmas has been that all adults have had an opportunity to be vaccinated and many of us older ones have also received the third (booster) vaccine. For that we can only be grateful. It is only right to express appreciation of the work done by medical teams and support staffs, and also the work done by so many others who are dedicated to helping and protecting those around them.

Two members of Esker community died during the year: Fr. Michael Heagney in January and Fr. Dermie O’Connor in August. May they both rest in peace. The community is grateful for the condolences offered at the time of our confreres’ deaths.

I am grateful to all who frequented Esker during the year, even though services were curtailed for some of the time. I am grateful also the for the cooperation and compliance in observing the basic guidelines – sanitizing one’s hands, using a face covering and keeping social distance. These practices continue to be very important for the welfare of all.

A word of thanks is due to all who helped Esker, in so many different ways, during the year: those who helped at the liturgies – readers, eucharistic ministers, cantors, organists, ushers; the members of the covid-19 committee and those who offered their financial support.

As we look forward to 2022 our thoughts are undoubtedly influenced by the pandemic. The number of newly infected people continues at a high level and this is a source of anxiety. The responsibility of each of us is to do everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus, by following the guidelines and encouraging others to do the same. This is practical charity.

However, it is necessary to stress that there are many other important dimensions to our lives, for example – family, school, work, neighbourhood and church. These too are to be cared for and nurtured.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2022.

Nollaig shona díbh go léir and ath-bhliain faoi mhaise

Brendan Callanan C.Ss.R.

Rector

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