A Message from National Director Mr Bernard Toutounji
Dear friends in Christ,
It’s been only two months since our last Mirror mailing but so much has gone on in the Church and in the world. I feel that more than ever, the mission of Aid to the Church in Need, to uphold the faith when it is so often sidelined and persecuted, is more vital than ever. Of course our prayers have gone out to our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka, who on Easter morning were subject to bomb blasts in their own churches, killing over 250. To think, on the very day we celebrated Christ’s triumph over death, we were forced to so tearfully consider what that triumph really means. We know Christ did not guarantee his followers worldly peace, on the contrary, he warned that many of us will be hated for His sake, but it is still never easy.
We know that what he does offer to each of us, baptised into His death, is an eternal peace that brings hope amidst despair, and peace amidst conflict. As we come out of Easter, and look towards Pentecost, let’s pray that the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be renewed in us. In relation to those terrible bombings, you may have heard that we opened up a national appeal to upport the Catholic people in Sri Lanka. As you would appreciate, it’s not only about rebuilding churches (which we will of course do), but it is about building, and rebuilding, the faith and the trust of our brothers and sisters. If you did want to support our special projects in Sri Lanka simply head to www.aidtochurch.org/srilanka.
May the souls of those who died, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of the Mirror, there are some inspiring stories about the way in which the Church is flourishing in so many parts of the world. Sometimes this work of supporting the suffering Church can feel like something almost sorrowful, and of course there is sorrow, but every time I read the Mirror I see so many reasons to give thanks. The Church is alive in Christ, and it the prayers and offerings of His people that continue to keep the flame of faith glowing.
Speaking of the flame of faith, we are very pleased to present to you our new legacy brochure, which has a focus on what each of us can do to keep that flame alive when the Lord calls us home. For those who have been receiving our mailings for some
time, you will know that each year we include a legacy brochure, because quite simply, we are begging you to consider ACN as a part of your will. All we have, and all that we are able to do for the suffering Church - the priests, the sisters, the catechists - comes from our benefactors, so please read the brochure and discern what might be possible. Be sure to contact us if you’d like the full legacy pack with more detailed information. Lastly, following on from the tragic fire that occurred at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris this past April, we were able to obtain a very limited supply of rosary beads that were made by the Vatican rosary makers some years ago, as a tribute to this great building of faith. I’d encourage you to make a generous offering to the projects of ACN and obtain for yourself one of these beautiful rosaries. As always, thank you for your prayers and your generosity. May the Holy Spirit come upon each of us this Pentecost and enlighten our minds and our hearts.