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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, September 05, 2008
Having been lucky enough to be with one or two young families recently I was struck even more forcefully than before what good caretaking parents do. Of their children that is. It certainly can be difficult. Hopefully it’s exciting and awe-full.

We know not what our children are 'going to be', though it's natural to have great hopes. God knows and also shares such hopes. He is the one who has ordered the cosmos and formed our personalities, and He goes on doing so. He has invited us all, though most especially parents, to cooperate intimately in this grand work. What could be more exciting, worthwhile, or long lasting!

The true greatness to which we are all called is a creative generosity in the image of and by the power of Christ. And we are all involved in fostering and forming such generosity, such love of God, in others, through our prayers, words and example.

The basic vocation of all of us is to foster this dignity, and thus to receive this dignity. What makes our parish community a true communion in Christ that we urge each other on to realize this grand vocation.

I am reminded of some first words of mine at my induction as parish priest here six years ago. I said I was merely a temporary caretaker in a community that has a long, rich, generous tradition going back well before my advent here and will go on, please God, long beyond my moving on. The moving on of Martin Plunkett after 3 years involved in our youth and some of our adult formation has highlighted this.

But my above referred to summer experience has brought out a deeper dimension of being a 'caretaker'. As St Paul (whose 2,000th 'birthday' we celebrate this year) wrote we "are not our own, we belong to Christ." God in Christ has a great work of love for each of us. The somewhat daunting but certainly exciting vocation of the Parish Priest is not to know the specifics of each parishioner’s vocation, but through coordination and discernment to foster it.

Parents are given a particularly beautiful and challenging place in this spiritual caretaking. All of us have a particular role. How will you foster Chrisitan formation over the next months? Watch this space for opportunities. At the end of the day (thank God) it's His work, not ours. (See you next weekend).

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:20 am