The evening celebration began fittingly in the parish church with a mass reflecting the needs of the poor and the mission of the church to work for peace and justice.
Following the service, a party was held in the parish hall, including the cutting of a celebration cake – all fair trade of course. There was also an impressive exhibition of the work carried out over the past 25 years.
In his address, Fr Mark Floody invited the gathering to reflect on the challenges facing Barack Obama as the new president of the USA.
Noting that the expectations of the new President are enormous and that many fear he will be unable to live up to the challenges, Fr Mark reflected that we quite naturally expect a lot from our leaders.
However, he also noted that it would be wrong and foolish to expect them to do all the work for us.
“If we think that we can do nothing, we make a real mistake,” he said. “We have a responsibility to promote justice and peace in our world and to believe that our influence can be far reaching.”
Drawing on examples of the work that the parish Justice and Peace group had done over the years he showed how the group had changed lives through their energy, generosity and Christian love.
“In supporting Justice and Peace,” he said, “we help people in more ways than we can possibly imagine, and in doing so we reach out to God made man.
“For, as Matthew records, ‘In so far as you did this to the least of my brothers, you did it to me’.”
Posted by CAFOD Northampton