This weekend is my last in the parish before I take up my new appointment at Ipswich. As many of you know I was appointed to the parishes of St John Vianney, Manly and St Mary MacKillop, Birkdale in November 2017 as a Deacon. I was then reappointed in June 2018 as a priest until the end of the year. Since my time here I’ve been particularly blessed to be in the company of generous and faithful people. During my initial formation at Holy Spirit Seminary, Banyo I was often offered the advice that my first appointment will be instrumental in laying the foundations of my ministry and my ongoing formation. This was indeed good advice and exactly what I have experienced during my time in these neighbouring parishes. The last 13 months here have been filled with many firsts; my first baptism, my first funeral and hearing my first confession. In these graced moments your hospitality, prayer and friendship have helped shape my ministry for which I’m very grateful.
St Therese of Lisieux describes prayer as a “surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned towards heaven”. This quote captures quite well how I feel about my time here. My prayer for these parishes is one of gratitude, it’s a surge of the heart in thanksgiving to God for all the blessings that have come my way in your midst.
Fr Thomas Zaranski