When I wrote last year’s Christmas message, we were still in a time of drought, waiting for rain. Since then, thank God, the rains have come and we rejoice in the growth that we see around us. Full recovery from the losses that our farmers and communities suffered will take longer and we must continue to look out for one another, but we are on our way.
Now, we are in a time of pandemic, waiting for a stubborn virus to go away. In Australia and here in our own Diocese, we have not been as badly hit as other regions and other countries. But we have all been affected here, some of us greatly. Again, it has evoked a good spirit of caring for one another, which we hope will continue.
Christmas celebrations this year will not be quite the same, particularly in our churches, where restrictions still apply. It will be a demanding time, especially for our priests, who will be offering extra Masses to ensure that as many people as possible can celebrate the birth of the Christ child worthily. It is a good time to give thanks for our priests, who have quietly and steadfastly shown their pastoral hearts throughout this difficult year.
May the knowledge that the Son of God has entered our troubled world, to conduct us to the new creation, fill your hearts and minds with the faith, hope and love he wants to share with you here and now.
Bishop of Bathurst