Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As the festive season approaches, I pray that you and your family are in good health and spirits.

The year 2020 has been trying for us all. But amid all the pain and challenges that has swept over the globe, we have much to be grateful for in the quality of life we experience here in New Zealand.

In normal circumstances, the slow down around Christmas is a time of relaxation, allowing us to enjoy all that we have and the things we have accomplished during the year. However, the reality we are facing today has magnified the stress and anxiety for a lot of people. Apart from the pressure of providing presents for children, we are also confronted with the burden of thinking about job security, food to feed the family, and even isolation and loneliness.

In a way COVID-19 is helping us all to appreciate our human vulnerability. That at times we are not in control, and the greatest support to us is the kindness and presence of others.

This is why I am grateful for all of you and the continuous support that you give to the Diocese. In the past two years that I have been Bishop, I have seen the wonderful things that your generosity has achieved in supporting those in need in our community.

This year’s Care Appeal is another opportunity to continue this good work. In this time of greater need, any amount that you give will help the many Catholics working on the frontline bringing kindness at hope to those who are feeling great hardship and despair.
Please join me and give generously.

− Bishop Paul Martin SM, Advent 2020