Christmas Message from Bishop Fleming

My friends,

At the end of this calendar year, as we approach the great celebration of the birth of the Saviour, I am happy to extend a word of thanks to all of you.

2018 has been a busy year in the diocese of Killala. The Listening Process which was held and the Diocesan Assembly which took place on July 1st have given all of us an opportunity to listen to the needs of one another and to plan for the future of the Church in this diocese. 2019, therefore, will be given over entirely to harvesting the decisions made at the Assembly and to preparing for their implementation in the Pastoral Plan which we hope to launch in 2020. Working together, in a spirit of listening and cooperation, we can build a solid future for the Church in this diocese and bring much needed hope to our world.

Work on the restoration of the Cathedral continues, with the installation of the new wiring, lighting and sound systems due to be finished early in the New Year. Plans for the next phase of the restoration will then begin; focusing on the floor, the heating system, the windows and finally the painting of the interior. By summertime, we hope to have an outline of the cost of this phase, so that a co-ordinated fundraising campaign to complete the work can begin.

Living close to the Shrine of Our Lady at Knock we were blessed this year by the visit of Pope Francis. Our diocesan and parish preparation for the World Meeting of Families brought great energy and joy to many in this diocese; for this I am truly grateful.

Needless to say, many families have had their share of sadness during 2018. For them the joy of this Christmas will be tinged with sorrow. I take this opportunity to assure them of the support of our prayers.

It is a great joy for me, at this time of the year, to have the opportunity, therefore, to thank you for your support, to wish you all every blessing in this holy season and every happiness in the New Year.