27 September 2020

Dear friends,

I believe hospitality is one of our key values as a parish. Fr James Mallon says “Someone once said that the Church is the only organization that exists mainly for the sake of those who do not belong. This is the difference between a church and a club. Clubs exist for the sake of their members.” Hospitality means being friendly not only with our friends and all the people who look, think and talk like us, but also to the stranger, the parents looking for belonging, the elderly person rediscovering their faith, the person who is curious, the stranger. I am hoping that the Early Learning Centre may be a vehicle to some of these people. Pope Francis challenges us to smile and be gracious to others when showing hospitality “I go to the feast, but I don’t go beyond the antechamber, because I want to be only with the three or four people that I am familiar with… You can’t do this in the Church! You either participate fully or you remain outside. You can’t pick and choose; the Church is for everyone, beginning with those I’ve already mentioned, the most marginalized. It is everyone’s Church!” (Nov 13, 2013). When I think about hospitality it is always about making the other feel comfortable, safe, and at ease. I am interested in their story. So, let each one of us commit ourselves in some way to promoting and living the value of hospitality.

God bless,

Fr Paul Smithers