Dear Friends, peace,
I hope your new year has begun on the right foot. Mine has seen a somewhat gruesome beginning. Last week I was informed of the sudden death – from Coronavirus – of one of our biggest supporters in Africa, Bishop Moses Hamungole in Zambia. In the same few days I lost two relatively young priest friends. Our Schools in Malawi and Zambia were closed once again because of a second lockdown. And here in Mexico, it looks like it will be a long time – if ever – before people come back to church in numbers.
Doom and gloom! And then I remember that ours is the religion where the light is brightest where the darkness is darkest. “When I am weak, then I am strong,” St Paul taught us (2 Cor 12:10). And Calvary didn’t exactly look like a home run; and yet, that was the way the Lord opened heaven and made all things new (Rev 21:5).
As a priest, I am often encouraging people to put on the eyeglasses of faith, to see things remembering that God is in charge and that we don’t have to understand it to know that it is always for the best: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” (Romans 8:28). But it a lesson that we priests also have to learn, and 2020 – 2021 has been a great help in that!
The pandemic has made people more generous: we were able to provide a beautiful Christmas dinner for 80 poor families in Mexico, and there was enough money left over to give cake and gifts to very poor children on the traditional Mexican gift-giving holiday 12 days after Christmas. And our Committee for Priest Welfare is doing an incredible job, coming to the rescue of priests who have practically no income.
None of this would be possible without your support. THANK YOU for your prayers, and thank you for raiding your bank account from time to time! God will repay you for it!
I am praying for you, your family and your many intentions. Hoping you see God’s hand in all your ups and downs,