CENTENARY JUBILEE MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

Dear Parishioners,

It is with great joy and pride that we celebrate, on the 29th June 2014 – the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul – the 100th Anniversary of the blessing and opening of the original little Church of St. Paul in Somerset West. I am convinced that ALL the Priests, the Deacons and the Laity who have served God here at this Church over these past one hundred years and who have preceded us through the door of death into Eternity, are rejoicing and celebrating with us in the ‘Communion of the Saints”!

So much has happened over these hundred years and there has been so much growth and development – far beyond what those early ‘pioneers’ could have thought of or even imagined! But – they did have VISION and, by the Grace of God and the mysterious workings of Divine Providence, we are enjoying the fruits of their labours! For this we are eternally grateful and give heart-felt THANKS to God.

In a very special way, I want to pay tribute to the first Parish Priest of St. Paul’s – the late Monsignor Jack Swan – for the secure foundations he laid that enabled those who have succeeded him in the Pastoral Care of the Somerset West Parish, to move forward with confidence and to bring the Parish to where it is today.

This ‘JUBILEE BROCHURE’ is dedicated to ALL who have worshipped, served and worked tirelessly for the good of this Parish and ALL her people. We have three Communities constituting this Parish of Somerset West – St. Paul’s, Somerset West; St. Stephen’s, Macassar; the Catholics of Sir Lowry’s Pass – and we ALL make up the Faith Family of St. Paul’s.
We are also grateful to the larger Somerset West Community and the Civil Authorities, who are not Catholics, but who have shown us great good-will, support and generosity in many different ways in the past. Know that you are also in our thoughts and our prayers as we give thanks to God and celebrate this Jubilee.

It is with great trust in God and with confidence in the prayers and intercessions on our behalf by our Patron Saints – St. Paul the Apostle and St. Stephen the Martyr – we embark on our journey into the future. The tasks and the challenges that lie ahead are indeed great, especially if we take to heart the call for a ‘New Evangelisation’ addressed to us as Catholic Christians by Pope Francis and the Bishops in union with him. But, if we are feeling uncertain, let us call to mind these words from St. Luke’s Gospel: “Jesus said to Peter ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch’” and later on Jesus again said to Simon Peter “‘Do not be afraid!’” Yes, like Peter we too must not be afraid because the Lord is always with us.

Father John Bartmann. (PARISH PRIEST)

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