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Message from Deacon Mark

As I wander around the lanes for my daily ‘hours exercise’ I notice that the sheep have been busy not to mention the shepherds. Shepherding is a serious business. The care and protection shown towards their sheep often involves putting their life, comfort and safety before their own. A good shepherd then is not some sort of pious sentimental figure but a man or woman of courage, ability and strength. God calls us all to be shepherds of each other. For some men though, they are called to share with Christ this special form of service in the priesthood. For them it means being a disciple (a follower & learner) and an Apostle (one who is sent). It means being a servant of the word and a shepherd of the people. Like all aspects of service, it is of love and will invariably involve great sacrifice. Christs call to these shepherds has nothing to do with power or control but everything to do with love and care. Caring is risky, love is risky and both involve getting close to their sheep as Christ the Good Shepherd gets close to each one of us. The
demands we make on our priests are great. It has never been a harder time to be a priest and at a time we need them more than ever. No priest is ordained for himself, status or gain but for others. We must thank God for the way in which they show us the silent coming of God within the simple ordinary moments of daily life. So as the sheep begin to fill our fields once again, we remind ourselves that we need Good Shepherds in all walks of life, in our schools, homes and hospitals. For today though let us remember our priests and the sacrifice they have made for us. Let us pray for
them by name and ask that more good men will hear Gods call to the adventure of becoming shepherds to the flock of Christ. DEACON MARK

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