In his first pastoral message for Lent, the new Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Mark O’Toole reflects on the “great resilience of people in the face of adversity and their goodness in supporting one another during a challenging time”.
Several weeks ago, he visited and celebrated Mass in the local parish of Dawlish, an area which has been devastated by the floods. He said that within the community, there wasn’t really a “sense of anxiety or worry”, but rather great solidarity and resilience.
He congratulated the work of the emergency services and spoke of how “times of difficulty in life often bring forth an innate generosity, solidarity and compassion in the human heart.” He likens this to the “tenderness of God” and said that “our compassionate outreach to those in need is with a view not only to doing good works but because we have been so filled with the joy of our friendship with Jesus that we want others to share this too”.
To conclude the Pastoral Letter, the new Bishop invites Catholics in the Diocese of Plymouth this Lent and in the months and years ahead “to draw close to Jesus and to deepen our friendship with Him. It is this which will bring about the pastoral and missionary renewal within our Diocese which Pope Francis has called for.”
You can download Bishop O’Toole’s Pastoral Letter by using the link in the top right-hand corner of this article.
Official website of the Diocese of Plymouth