Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Just a quick up date from the last post. 


Thank you to all who have prayed during these last few days. 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


You will remember that I attended a wedding of two of my friends in Poland in 2011.  I am sad to report that the younger brother of the bride, Marcin Kopiec has gone missing.  He was last seen in The Hague on 30th October 2012.  

Here is Marcin at his sister's wedding

Please pray for his safe return and for his family at this time.  Please circulate this news on your blogs, facebook pages, parish newsletters etc.  Many thanks.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


The Month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls when we pray for our relatives, friends and benefactors who have died.  The names of those who have died are placed near the altar and Mass is offered for them throughought the month of November. 

In addition to the prayers and Masses we hold an annual Memorial Service organised by one of our local funeral directors, Bernadette Gibson.  At the service the names of those who have died in the last year are read out and there is an opportinity to come forward and light a candle in their memory. 

Pictured here is the altar at the beginning of the service.


On the 10th November we celebrated the last of the weddings booked for 2012.

Please pray for Ashley and Leanne who were married at St Marie's We wish them every happiness in their married life. 

Please remember all the couples who have married this year that the Lord with strengthen them in their love for each other. 

Friday, 26 October 2012



12:15pm Mass in St Marie's Church

7:30pm Missa Cantata
Sung Latin Mass in the Extra Ordinary Form
at St Marie's Church



Wednesday 31st October
VIGIL MASS 8:00pm in St Joseph's Church

12:15pm Mass in St Marie's Church

2:00pm Mass in St Marie's School

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Many congratulations to the Staff and Pupils of our Primary School - St Joseph and St Bede who have recently been award the International Schools Award.  I know that theese things don't happen over night and a lot of hard work has gone into achieving this.  WELL DONE!!!

Friday, 5 October 2012


This song has been doing the rounds on the Church music blogs for ages. 

Naff composers are always working
Worship songs in the hymnbook lurking
Waiting there for a fool to request them
Fear that day for we detest them
Tear out the page
Tear out the page

Trite Worship Song
With a chorus that's strangely catchy
Trite Worship Song
Which the men can't sing
Starts really low
Then the chorus goes ultrasonic
Meanings obscure and the words don't rhyme

Sing it once and you'll soon regret it
Sing it once and you'll never forget it
(It's) in your head and you can't stop humming
Eyelids twitching and fingers drumming
Stop up your ears
Stop up your ears

Trite Worship song
With a chorus that's strangely catchy
Trite worship song
For the family Mass
You know the type
So beloved of trendy vicars
Sandles and socks and a folk guitar

Round the altar the priest is prancing
Chances here for liturgical dancing
Arms are waving and hands are clapping
Tuneless strumming and tambourine slapping
Long hair and beards
Long hair and beards

Trite worship song
With a chorus that's strangely catchy
Trite worship song
Which the men can't sing
Starts really low
Then the chorus goes ultrasonic
Don't know the words
But I'll just hum along

Friday, 28 September 2012


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways,
For most of us, when asked our mind,
Admit we still more pleasure find
In hymns of ancient days.

The simple lyrics, for a start,
Of many a modern song
Are far too trite to touch the heart,
Enshrine no poetry, no art,
And go on much too long.

O for a rest from jollity
And syncopated praise!
What happened to tranquillity?
The silence of eternity
Is hard to hear these days.

Send Thy deep hush, subduing all
Those happy claps that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call.
Triumphalism is not all,
For sometimes we feel down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness
Till all our strummings cease.
Take from our souls the strain and stress
Of always having to be blessed.
Give us a bit of peace.

Breathe through the beats of praise guitar
Thy coolness and Thy balm.
Let drum be dumb, bring back the lyre,
Enough of earthquake, wind and fire
Let's hear it for some calm.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


I recently received this letter from Fr. Alosza.  I am grateful to those who have translated it for us.

Dear Reverend Father/My Dear Father Francis,

It's been nearly two weeks since my return to Kazakhstan. One of the first things I wanted to do upon my homecoming was to write a letter to you to express my gratitude for your kindness of heart; for the good I experienced while staying with you in your parish; for your solidarity as a brother priest, expressed through your concern for our mission and our Church in the vast Kazakh Steppe.

Moreover, I would like to ask you to pass on my thanks to all your parishioners who were extremely generous in their support for us. Thank you dear parishioners for your sensitivity to the needs of others. I thank you for your openness to and concern for the Missionary Church, which you so abundantly displayed by your very generous donations.

When I was with you I promised that we would pray for you. Now that I'm back in Kazakhstan, I want to assure you that we remember all our benefactors in our daily prayers. May God, Who is good, bestow His grace and blessings upon you all, and let the truth of Christ's resurrection give you courage to be steadfast in faith, hope and selfless love.

May almighty God bless you and keep you.

Always in my prayers and with gratitude,

Fr. Alosza Miciński MIC

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


The other week I said I fond farewell to Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. You will recall that Canon Meney, under the direction of the Bishop of Shrewsbury was the one to re-open the church of St Peter and St Paul, New Brighton - a task that has taken a lot of heard work and dedication.

Canon Meney has become a dear friend to many priests in the short time that he has been in England but now he leaves us to take up a new appointment in the United States.  The execellent work that he has begun will be continued by his successor Canon Amaury Montjean.   

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


As you know over the last three years (due to an idea put in my head by the Vicar General) we have been replacing the crib figures at St Marie's. The figures come from the Monasteres de Bethlehem Shop in Lourdes.  This outlet sells items made by Benedictine Monks and Nuns throughout the world.  Here in this post is the latest additions to the Crib - the three Wise Men, the ox, donkey  and camel.  I think that now makes the new Crib complete. 

Many of you have made donations towards the cost of the new Crib and your names or the names of those in whose memory they have been donated is placed at the side of the Crib each year.  It is still possible to make a donation to the Crib and have your names or those of your dear ones added to the list.  Please see Fr. Francis for further details. 

Monday, 17 September 2012


Anthony and Laura a few days before the wedding

Please remember in your prayers Anthony and Laura who were married on Saturday at St Marie's. 

Our love and prayers go with them as they begin their married life together.

Mr and Mrs Riley


The laying on of hands
as part of the ceremony of Ordination
On the 7th September I was present at the ordination to the Priesthood of Brother Rupert Allen OPraem by His Eminence Cormac Cardinal Murphy O'Connor.

Brother, now Father Rupert is a member of the Premonstratensian Order or Norbertines.  They were founded on Christmas Day in 1120 by St Norbert

Father Rupert after celebrating his First Mass


Upon my return from holiday I had the pleasure of officiating at the wedding of Luke and Katie. 

The picture shows them just after they had signed the marriage registers.  Please keep them in your prayers as they set out on the road of married life.


The Shrine of St Thomas Aquinas in Tolouse
After the pilgrimage closed together with my traveeling companion, Br David I had the opportunity of a few very enjoyable days on holiday in France. 

From Lourdes we travelled to the university city of Tolouse and prayed at the relics of St Thomas Aquinas. 
The Reliquary of the Cure d'Ars
From there we went to the coast and the lovely walled town of Aigues Morte (and yes you've guessed it steak bleu was on the menu!!).

From here we travelled to the International Seminary of John Paul II in Ars - the place made famous by its saintly Parish Preist - St John Marie Vianney.  I prayed hard there that I might have just a little of his great seal for souls and love of God.

The Oratory Church at Nancy

From Ars we visited the Shrine of St Francis de Sales at Annency and from there we went to stay for our final night n France at the Oratory of St Philp in Nancy.  Many thanks to the Oratorian community for their warm welcome and gracious hospitality.


By tradiotn the party on the last night of the pilgrimage is a 'fancy dress' party.  Many of the pilgrims enter into the spirit of this.  This year the Heywood and Middleton Group came as Noah's Ark.  In the picture we see two of the tigers.

At other points during the pilgrimage there was the opportunity of face painting. 


The end of the pilgrimage is always a time of thanks.  The duty of thanking everyone who had helped prepare for the pilgrimage and work so hard whilst in Lourdes fell to our new director, Fr. Michael Jones.

At the end of our final Mass the Bishop presented medals to the helpers of the pilgrimage who have served for a number of years.  It is great to see all the efforts of our young people rewarded and brings back many happy memories of my own years of service to the pilgrimage.

Through the Lourdes pilgrimage some of our young people begin to discern the possibility of a vocation to the priethood..  Please keep all our young people in your prayers and especially those discerning a vocation to the priesthood. It was on my third pilgrimage to Lourdes that Tom Arkless, the then Chief Brancardier asked me if I thought I had a vocation.  The rest, as they say is history. 
(Not sure if the photo would attract any vocations today - you never know God works in mysterious ways!!!


This year I was able to walk in the procession as a Chaplain of the Basilica, having received the award at the end of last years pilgrimage. 

Rumour has it that there will be a cape added to the choir dress next year.


The Blessed Sacrament Procession takes places every afternoon at 5:00pm in Lourdes.  The Blessed Sacrament is brought from the Chapel of the Crypt to Rosary Square for a period of Adoration and Reflection.  Once this is over the Blessed Sacrament is carried into the underground basilica of St Pius X for Benediction.

Once again we were priviledged to lead this procession.  The photos show the Bishop carrying the Blessed Sacrament accompanied by the priests and people of the diocese. 

Thursday, 23 August 2012


As many of you will be aware in Lourdes there are two processions each day in Lourdes. The Blessed Sacrament Procession in the afternoon and the Torchligh Procession in the Evening. In this post we see some of our many young people at the Procession and helping to carry the statue of Our Lady.
The Processions are a wonderful way of bringing all the people who are in Lourdes at that time together to journey together as people professing one faith.  The Marian Procession in the evening begins with everyone singing the Creed and then meditating on the mysteries of the rosary as they walk in procession behind the statue of Our Lady and raising their candles to Her honour at the Ave, ave, ave Maria.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


 Following Mass (and Lunch) those who wished were led on a walking tour of Lourdes by three seasoned Lourdes pilgrims: Canon Tony McBride, Father Paul Daly and Father Francis Wadsworth.

The first port of call was the Parish Church, dedicated to the Sacred Heart.  This is the church that now houses the font in which Bernadette was baptised.  Outside the church is a statue ot Fr. Peyremale the PP of Lourdes at the time oif the Apparitions.

From the Parish Church we made our way to the Cachot.  At the time of Bernadette it was used at the local prison.  It was from here that Bernadette made here way to the grotto of Massabielle to collect firewood and whatever else she could find to help the family when she received the first apparition of 'the Beautiful Lady.'


Once all the pilgrims had assembled in Lourdes having travelled there in coaches, cars, planes and trains we gathered with our Bishop and priests for the Opening Mass of pilgrimage celebrated in the Chapel of St Bernadette opposite the Grotto.

The theme of this year's pilgriamge was 'With Bernadette, praying the Rosary' and in his introduction and catechesis before Mass, the new pilgrimage director, Fr Michael Jones, reminded pilgrims of the words of Pope Paul VI: “without contemplation the rosary is a body without a soul”. He encouraged pilgrims to use their time in Lourdes during the week to reflect upon the life of Christ through the eyes of her who knew him best – Our Blessed Mother, Mary.


 Monday was a fairly quiet day as we waitied for the rest of the pilgrims from the various departure points in the diocese to arrive in Lourdes. 

This gave to chance for the more seasoned pilgrims to point out places of interest associated with St Bernadette and Lourdes to our first timers.

In the afternoon we we privileged to join Bishop Mark Davies who was celebrating the closing Mass of his pilgrimage in the church of St Bernadette opposite the Grotto.  He was more than happy to wlecome pilgrims from his old diocese.

By way of an aside I was kept up to date with one of my fellow pilgrim's itinerary.  Regukar updates via facebook and text messages let me know of the grastronomical journey of the PP of Heywood as he made his journey to Lourdes.


Having been on the road most of the day it was a welcome sight to see signs for Lourdes appearing on the road signs.  As evening began to fall we could both feel the excitment rise as we got nearer and nearer to the shrine of Our Lady. 

Every year going to Lourdes is special.  This trip was marking the beginning of my 26th visit to Lourdes, but once again that feeling of 'going home' began to rise - an the thoughts of meeting up with friends who had also arrived early for our diocesan pilgrimage.

Having checked into our hotel we headed out to the usual haunt of the Salford Pilgrims - the Miam Miam.  (Its actual name now is the New Orleans - but to thousands of Salford Pilgrms it will always be the Miam Miam).

Travelling takes its toll - and so two tired, but bone fide travellers sat down among friends to enjoy a steak bleu and a bottle of Madaran.  The pilgrimage had begun!!!

Mass at Notre Dame

On the Sunday morning we headed over to Notre Dame.  Firstly we joined the assembled throng of tourists, curious visitors and the faithful for Laudes (Morning Prayer) after which I went off to the sacristy to vest for Mass.

I was asked by the sacristan if I would be able to say part of the Eucharistic Prayer in French.  i said that I could, only to be told by the Bishop that he would say the entire prayer himself.  It was only after Mass that he told us that by long standing tradition that Mass is braodcast on french radio.  I suppose he didn't want some foreigner murdering his way through Mass on public radio.

Not being in your own parish on a Sunday morning means that you don't have to worry about Baptisms, Ukrainian Masses or who going to put things out for the 4:00pm Mass.  This meant we were free to  wonder around and leisurely take a cup of  coffee and a pain au chocolat before heading back to the car and onwards with our journey towards Our Lady's Shrine. 

Our next port of call was to be Bordeaux and the Insitute du Bon Pasteur.  Again we were trusting Providence by not booking in advance.  However this time we did phone to leavea message with the superior to say that we were on our way and that if it was possible to stay then we would be happy to, but if not he was not to worry.

Well it may have been possible to stay, but we will never know.  When we arrived at Bordeaux we discovered lots of road works and yellow signs saying 'deviation' Diversion.  After almost an hour of driving round in the heat and mounting traffic and having seens large parts of Bordeaux we never intended we decided to cut our losses and head straight for Lourdes.


Holy Name, Manchester

On Saturday 28th July together with my travelling companion, Br David from Holy Name Church, Manchester set out towards Folkestone for the first leg of our pilgrimage to Lourdes with the diocese.

Thankfully we had a good journey down and made good time.  This allowed us to take an earlier crossing than planned. We arrived in Calais around 4:30pm and then began the drive to Paris in search of accommodation. 

We arrived in central Paris and then began the task of finding a bed for the night.  (With hindsight it would have been better to book before setting off, but it takes some of the fun and adventure out of it if everything is planned.  We tried several hotels all with the same response 'je suis vraiment desolee mais nous sommes complet.'  - We are very sorry but we are full.  By now time was marching on and I was beginning to think we might have to follow the exampe of our friend, Fr. Paul Daly who had to spend an evening in the car due to all the rooms being full in Douai.

Paris by Night
We decided to head out of central Paris in the hope of finding a place lay our heads.  In driving out of central Paris I took a wrong turning and we ended up in a place that Br David describes as a scene from a war zone.  In spite of appearances we managed to find a low cost accommodation for the night.  After putting our bags in the rooms we headed out for a bite to eat. 
Just down the road we found this lovely restaurant that was thanking still serving food at what was now 10:30pm.  We sat down to a lovely steak bleu and a bottle of local parisian wine.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Father Donatas will leave us on the 13th August to take up his new appointment in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. 

I would like to thank him most sincerely for all that he has contributed to the life of our parish in the short time that he has been with us. 

This coming weekend he will celebrate Mass in Scotland He will then spend some time in Dublin and his native Lithuania before moving to Birmingham.  Please keep Father in your prayers as he prepares for the next stage of his ministry. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


For those interested in learning more about Father Alosza's Mission please visit the following website:

Here you will find further information about life in Kazakhstan and lots more pictures. 

DZIĘKUJĘ BARDZO - Thank you very much

Father Alosza left the above note of thanks with me as I took him to the airport on Monday.  With my limited knowledge of Polish I have attempted a translation:

With heartfelt gratitude and may God reward you for the warmth
and generosity that you have shown us
May the good Lord reward you abundantly
for the efforts of grace, prayer and sacrifice.
With the assurance of my daily prayers for you before the Lord.

Fr. Alosza Micinski MIC

In addition to Father Alosza's thanks I would like to add my own thanks for the marvellous welcome that you gave Father Alosza, my brother at the weekend and for your kindness and generosity to him after his appeal.  I cannot thank you enough for such great kindness.  It is a generosity that I will never forget.  Just as Father Alosza assured us of his prayers in gratitude and thanksgiving for our help I too offer my prayers for all of you for your 'gifts of love' given to Fr. Alosza.  Thank you so much.


Father Alosza
As you know Father Alosza visited us this weekend just gone by.  Here is the text of his address that has kindly been translated for us.

Dear brothers and sisters,

In one of his letters, St Paul writes that he is glad of weaknesses, humiliations, constraints, persecutions and distresses for Christ's sake and concludes that he is strong when he is weak.The modern world and the people in it strive to be independent, to rule, to control and dominate, to have power, status, respect and so forth. The Apostle Paul, however, presents an understanding that is in complete contrast. The logic of the Gospel is different, in that God readily accepts, indeed is with those who are mindful of their sins and insignificance, who understand that God, God alone, is needed in their lives to live, to truly live.

The presbytery windows
Another view of the presbytery
 I’ve come from Kazakhstan to be with you once again, from a missionary land marked with the blood and the pain of so many innocent people. Kazakhstan is a Muslim state, dominated by Islamic culture and the Kazakh language. The country is huge and so the distances separating us from each other are vast. When I talk about Kazakhstan, I try to speak about several aspects, ones that cannot be separated from the history of my parish.

Firstly, the story of people deported, those taken and forced onto trains, into cattle wagons, wagons normally used for moving animals, and transported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Very often along the way they were fed with herrings (which were very salty), but given nothing to drink. Then at the next station the wagons were hosed, and as the water seeped through the rooves and dripped down from the ceilings, people grasped at the droplets, longing to quench the thirst which consumed them. When people died on the moving train, the doors were opened and their bodies flung out as the train continued on its way.
Many a mother had to watch her own child die from fever or hunger, or see her child run after the wagon because it didn’t make it back in time, after leaving to search for food and clothing.

Dear brothers and sisters, I am not telling you all this just to arouse pity or cheap sentiment, nor does this come from books or magazines. This is the reality that surrounds me every day. I’m telling you all this because my parish is made up of such people: the deportees and their descendants.

For these people, the ones transported to Kazakhstan, their final destination was referred to as “the point”. First transported to Tayinsha, a small town along the railway, they were thrown off the trains and, either by truck or by cart, taken out into the steppe. There a stake was driven into the ground, a pole with a number, and from that moment on that number marked home; and all around there was only the steppe, steppe and more steppe. Those fortunate enough to arrive in summer or autumn still had time to do something. For those who came in late autumn or winter had much less of a chance. People dug holes in the ground and over them built pit-houses from cob, which is clay mixed with straw. One of the deportees recalls waking up in one of these houses in winter with his hair frozen to the wall. In Kazakhstan this winter, it was 45 degrees below, and a few weeks ago it was 50°C in the shade. This heat usually lasts for a few months. These are huge extremes, huge variations.

What I’m going to tell you about now will be fiction for many, something about which they don’t want to hear, and can't believe happened in the not too distant past. Many have not even heard about it. For me it is a stark reality for two reasons in particular: firstly, I in fact come from such a family of deportees and secondly, it is among such people, those I’ve already talked about, that I work.

One can ask oneself the question: what is the purpose of all this? Why such suffering? Why all this pain? Why so may tears shed by mothers and fathers? Why so many broken hearts and families torn apart? What sense can be made of all this suffering in life? Often we will not have an answer, for there is no possible answer that makes sense of all this. For me, what is important and remains a testimony to the truth, is that God stayed faithful to these people. For me they are witnesses to His fidelity and also demonstrate that nothing and no one is able to break the human spirit, which is strong and rises above that which is temporal, ephemeral.

Secondly, priests were also deported. One such priest was Fr. Wadysław Bukowiński. I always tell people about him because for me he is an example of God's concern for His people. Altogether, he spent about 15 years in prison. His first sentence was for possessing a copy of the Holy Bible. Just for that, he spent 5 years in prison!

Sometimes I ask myself how many people there are, who call themselves Catholics, Christians who have the bible on a shelf and only take it down a few times a year, or is used as a stand for a pot plant or to prop up the leg of the kitchen table.

We all yearn for love, respect, for someone who will keep telling us that they need us, that they love us, that they won't leave us. Instead we look for it in people, in technology, grasping at everything that we can find. Yet we don't turn to the source, to the Holy Bible, where God speaks to each and every one of us saying: be not afraid, I love you. Be not afraid, I am near. Be not afraid, I want to be your guide. At the same time, this same God requires us to change how we behave, make changes in our lives so that we put Him above all else.

Fr. Bukowiński spent about 5 years in prison just for having a bible. On release, he often worked during the day as an ambulance or taxi driver, but at night he went from house to house preaching the Gospel, hearing confession, presiding at weddings, celebrating Holy Mass. I could say so much more about such things, but there is not the time.
Fr. Bukowiński took three days to die, alone and abandoned. He had the opportunity to return to Poland, the opportunity to go back to his homeland, but he didn't do that. He gave up his Polish passport, and took a Soviet one. For he knew that would allow him to reach more people, to move more freely among them, reaching the most remote. To this day we don't know where he had his home. Most probably he didn't have one but he would go from house to house preaching the Gospel and meeting people.

In his journal he once wrote that when he was moving from one town to another, and was travelling by carriage, his luggage fell off. As he bent down to pick it up, at that moment "I saw and understood" - and these are his words that speak now - "that my presence is needed among these people, that God wants me to be here, that my place is with them." He goes on to write that if he had the chance to choose anew, there is nothing in this world for which he would exchange this way of life. He would choose the same because these people needed him.

My dear people, this is the reality that in which the Church in Kazakhstan was born. These people made it through trying times and passed on their faith to others. Our parish consists of the mother church and four filial chapels. These chapels in reality constitute little parishes, in each one we have to travel to the sick, to married couples, educate the children and the youth, celebrate Mass every Sunday and so on. For us it is the great distances and conditions that make things particularly difficult. Distances that are significant: in December alone I travelled over 5,000 km, hearing confession, preaching the Gospel, leading retreats. Sometimes to go to confession myself I have to travel 140 km to a neighbouring priest. Often we arrange things so that he sets off from his end and I from mine. We meet half way and in the middle of the Steppe we hear each other's confessions. The roads are very poor. Up to now I've had five accidents, three of which were very serious, and it was a miracle that I survived or wasn't crippled.

The reality of the conditions in which we live are also not easy. We live in a very small house built for a single family. There are two of us. The house is breaking apart at the corners, that is, the corners are coming away from the core structure. My room is so tiny that I haven't even got the space to put up a shelf for books. I've got something that likens to a desk, and also a chair and a bed.

In our parish we work together with some religious sisters. They live over the road from us. The conditions they have are even worse. The roof leaks. They have no toilet in the house. Just imagine what it must be like to have to use a privy (a toilet in a small hut outside) when it's 40 degrees below! Not too far from our home (about 30 km) there is an open pit mine of uranium and this is the cause of many deaths from cancer.

When I stand here before you, it is to bear witness to the faith of these people and the faith of the missionary Church. There is only one Church. There is no 'our' church and 'your' church'. There isn't a different church in London, and another in Washington and yet another in Manchester. Every Sunday we profess that we believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. The Church by her own nature is missionary , open to different peoples, cultures and nations. Standing here I ask you for your prayers for missionaries. For those who work in distant lands and in difficult circumstances. In order that they don't lack strength hope, courage, and perseverance. I also ask once again for your financial support.

We, as priests in Kazakhstan, cannot go to schools to teach, to universities or hospitals to work, because a new law has been passed that strictly prohibits this. Moreover, to celebrate Mass in my own parish or hear confession I have to ask the authorities for permission. And if I have the necessary consent, I can't go and work in another parish, because for that there can be criminal sanctions, a fine or even imprisonment. That is the reality of the Church here. We support ourselves mostly by donations from people with kind hearts and from trips like this. Therefore I ask you for financial support for our mission and the work that we do. Our needs are great. For example, for the winter we must buy a wagon load of coal. Altogether that comes to around £5,000.

We cannot undertake missionary work which is specifically directed at children. We cannot open soup kitchens for the poor. What we need is to persevere in these difficult circumstances because the state forbids many things. As for my part, what I can assure you of and promise are our prayers for our benefactors, for those who help us, for those who support us financially, and pray for us.

To end, my dear brothers and sisters, I would like to wish you above all, that as Catholics you are proud to be Christians, that you have your own church and priests, and that you have easy access to all things spiritual. That you can be nourished by the Holy Bible. That you are not required to submit it for review, censorship, or scrutiny.

Be proud that you are Christians and do not be afraid to bear witnesses to your faith amongst those with whom you live and work. Be not afraid to pray and read the Holy Bible, therein is life. Nor be afraid to devote your life to God because He wants to be the priority in your life and He is faithful.

Sometimes He does not ease our suffering but He does help us to bear it, often through the help of others, through having a strong faith, through greater hope, and great love and that with all my heart is what I wish, for all of you. In closing I would like to express my most heartfelt gratitude for every donation made today after Mass in aid of our mission. Thank you.

The roads - of poor quality and made much worse by the severe winters -45 degrees.

Another view of the road

The snow starts to fall - winter is on its way

The Presbytery

The presbytery - as you can see in need of serious attention

Father refers to the structure of the presbytery where he lives