To-day, six of your priests begin a new phase in the life of our parishes as they begin afresh their pastoral priesthood and ministry in new (for them) communities and parishes.
I am most grateful to them, and to you, for so willingly accepting the changes.
Pentecost was a significant moment in the life of the Church, marking its beginning, so I pray that this Pentecost will be a time of new beginnings; not just for the six parishes and priests, but for the whole of the Diocese and the Church, as we cautiously come out of COVID restrictions.
As we make that transition, we have to rebuild our Eucharistic communities, which means the Mass going congregations spoken of by Pope Pius XII in his November 1947 Encyclical Mediator Dei – Mediator between God and Man. That encyclical stressed the importance of the union of sacrifice and altar with communion, which were once again to be seen clearly in the reforms undertaken during and after Vatican II; a union we must be careful not to weaken in practice as we explore how to be renewed Eucharistic communities, post-Covid.
To-day’s feast is very much a celebration of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, but a priesthood we all share by the fact of our Baptism in Jesus Christ Eternal High Priest. Pope Pius XII wrote:
‘… all Christians should possess as far as humanly possible, the same dispositions as those which the divine Redeemer had when he offered himself in sacrifice; that is to say, they should with a humble attitude of mind, offer adoration, honour, praise and thanksgiving to the supreme majesty of God.
Moreover, it means that they must assume to some extent the character of a victim, that they deny themselves as the Gospel commands, that freely and of their own accord they do penance and that each detests and satisfies for his sins. It means, in a word, that we must all undergo with Christ a mystical death on the cross so that we can apply to ourselves the words of St. Paul, "With Christ I am nailed to the cross." (Galatians 2:19)’ (Mediator Dei. N.81)
I ask your prayers for us all, that we may be the priests and pastors the Church in Wales and the World, now in these times.
On a practical note, for those who may not be familiar with the moves, they are:
Father Nicholas Enzama, AJ., moves from Tywyn and Machynlleth Parish to be Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Father Shaji Punnattu, moves from Blaenau Ffestiniog and Gellilydan Parish to Tywyn and Machynlleth Parish.
Father Ian Dalgleish returns to the Diocese to the Parish of Blaenau Ffestiniog and Gellilydan.
Father John Bosco, AJ., moves from Dolgellau and Bala Parish to St. Richard Gwyn Parish (Ruabon, Llangollen & Chirk).
Father Anthony Nnamah, MSP., from S. Richard Gwyn Parish (Ruabon, Llangollen & Chirk) to Rhyl Parish.
Father Charles Ramsay from Rhyl Parish to Dolgellau and Bala Parish
Canon Simon Treloar has gone on loan to English Martyrs Parish, Reading (Portsmouth Diocese) where he is able to be closer to his family.