Clergy Support Foundation Appeal: Gratitude and reflections from a retired priest18 May, 2021
COVID didn’t end last September like they told us. Despite this, I start this letter with a sense of hope and anticipation for a new freedom that we will achieve over the coming months as we see COVID vaccines roll out. I think the tough times we went through last year left me with gratitude that we live, not with human hope, but with Divine hope.
My experience of COVID as a retired priest, like many of our other retired priests, meant a lot more time at home. Though, I could still keep doing those things that I had always done. I could still go out riding my bike, because you could exercise. I could still go to the shops for food if I needed to. I could still go to my computer and write my reflections. One of the biggest things for us was that we missed presiding at Mass.
In all of this I note that we are very blessed in that the authorities have done a great job in our part of the world over the past year. It has renewed my appreciation for St Paul’s exhortation to, ‘live by faith’. Rather than be frightened by the uncertainty that now seems to be a new normal, what can happen or may never happen. I am called to live by faith, to trust. It is this notion of trust that we need now more than ever. Whether trusting others, i.e. the medical professionals and scientists. But ultimately it is the call to trust God. I find the old alcoholics anonymous prayer helps me exercise trust in these uncertain times, ‘help me to change the things I can and accept the things I can’t”. When we’ve done all, we can do, with God’s help, we learn to accept rather than fear the present or the future.
Though there is some level of uncertainty that we still live with now we are able to get back into the communities we love. To again say Mass in our local church, to visit with people, and to do the good work of the Church where we are needed and able.
Friends, You are part of our Catholic family, and I’d like to thank you, on behalf of all our retired priests for your generous care. It is your support that means our retired priests continue to live their vocational calling. My prayer for you is that you will experience this sense of hope and freedom as vaccinations role out and we don’t have to worry anymore about getting COVID. Furthermore, that you will experience that deeper hope from our Lord who promises a better future that is going to be better than anything we can or might experience in this life.
Thank you, on behalf of all the retired priests, for your continued support in ensuring we enjoy a dignified retirement and have access to medical care when needed. If you are in a position to help at this time, I ask that you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible donation to continue looking after them in their golden years.
You can give by going to the Diocesan website https://rok.catholic.net.au/donate; or, call (07) 4887 3090; or Scan this QR Code:
May the Holy Spirit guide us,
Fr Terry Loth
On Behalf of the Clergy Support Foundation
PS. If this reflection crosses paths with a recent donation, thank you sincerely. We truly appreciate your generous support.