Please note that the MSC Missions Office will be closed over the Christmas period,
from 4.00pm on December 23rd to 9.00am on January 4th.
With warm wishes to our mission friends everywhere for a happy, healthy, and safe Christmas season.
Christmas greetings to you and your loved ones! While we have all endured another year of uncertainty, it is a great blessing to be able to look to the festive season and the coming year with hopeful hearts.
This will be a particularly special Christmas for me, as it will be the last that I celebrate as Director of the MSC Missions Office. As such, this is the last time that I will have the opportunity to send you my Christmas wishes as Director, ahead of Fr John Fitzgerald MSC taking over the role in the new year. The ending of one year and the beginning of the next strikes me as an especially fitting time for change, and it is with fondest regards that I thank you for your friendship throughout the years. It has been a gift beyond measure, and I’m sure that you will welcome Fr John with the same generosity and kindness that I have been so privileged to receive in my time as Director.
Over the past two years, our ongoing mission projects have come under tremendous strain as a result of the challenges introduced by the pandemic, and our missionaries are working tirelessly to combat the effects of COVID-19 in areas where even basic resources like clean water are sorely lacking, while also maintaining ongoing ministry in the provision of education, healthcare, and community support in vulnerable and disadvantaged regions. With each year that passes, we are trying to do more with less, and the past two years have proved particularly challenging, in ways that none of us could have imagined. Thanks to you, our dear mission friends, we can continue to face those challenges head-on; your support provides a real and vital lifeline to countless families who would otherwise be without hope. Together, we are a powerful and wonderful force, a force that can continue to combat the fear, sorrow, and anxiety that plagues our world in current times.
Christmas can be a difficult time for many, and that has, of course, been exacerbated by the pandemic in its second year. Whether you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by the warmth of family this festive season, or whether you may be struggling with your own personal challenges, please know that you are in my prayers this Christmas, and in the prayers of our MSCs everywhere.
As we approach a new year and a new chapter for the MSC Missions Office, my prayers are with you and those you hold dear. May the light of the Lord’s love shine in your heart and in your home this Christmas season, and guide your path throughout the new year and always. May you be blessed with the spirit of Advent, and may God grant you and your loved ones a peaceful, prayerful Christmas and a safe, happy, and healthy New Year.
Wishing you and yours a happy and holy Christmas,
Fr Michael O’Connell MSC