Bishop: let us face challenges with hope in God’s grace

Bishop Alan Williams sm has written a pastoral letter to be read at parishes this weekend, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

In it he says Mary is the unique witness to the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and an astonishing icon of the grace of God. “Full of grace, she models for us a life of perfect faith and discipleship,” he says.

Next year he plans to go on pilgrimage to four Marian shrines. “All Christian pilgrimage finds its roots at Bethlehem,” he says.

In the midst of the many challenges we face regarding the world’s climate crisis, the unjust war in the Ukraine, the enduring inequalities confronted by the poor and refugees and increasing anxieties about the cost of living, says Bishop Alan, we need to believe and proclaim the enduring truth of the Gospel: ‘God so loved the world that he sent his only Son’ (John 10.10).

As we look forward to a New Year, he draws encouragement from the words of Pope Saint John Paul II: ‘Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.  From this wonder there can come …enthusiasm… People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us.’

Read the full letter here: Pastoral letter for the Solemnity of Mary The Holy Mother of God 2022