Thank you for your support

21st December 2018 - by Stephen Awre

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Fr. Peter Hughes, Columban Director in Britain, expresses his thanks to all our Columban friends and supporters and especially those who have responded to our Christmas Letter and Appeal.

Dear Columban friends

Thank you for your response to my Christmas Letter. As our centenary year draws to a close and we begin a new chapter in the history of our Society, we are greatly encouraged by your generous support, your prayers and your companionship.

Columban missionaries feel and appreciate deeply the ‘warmth’ we receive by your gift of friendship to us. This is not the warmth of a crackling log fire on a cold winter’s day (this would be appreciated in the cold, winter months of Britain, but less so by Columbans in warmer climes!).

The warmth we enjoy is generated by the heart and we do not hesitate to pass it on to those ‘out in the cold’ on the margins of our communities; as we draw closer to their lives, we feel the warmth that they have to give and open our hearts to receive it gladly. Gifts abound when we answer God’s call to mission and their exchange is a daily occurrence. We are blessed to receive and give all year round. 

In contrast to this is the often negative culture surrounding Christmas presents that may be as likely to bring misery as well as joy and to distract us from the truly Good News of Jesus’ birth.

There is an ever-widening circle of people, far beyond the family, to whom we feel a sense of duty or even an obligation to exchange presents. This can create enormous time and financial pressures and cause us to overspend on presents that may hardly, if ever be used. Sadly, the financial value of the gift can be interpreted as the measure of how much we value the person.

The Christmas story could not be further from this reality. God showed how much he values us, how much he loves us, by giving freely to us His Son; a love that burns in our hearts to this day and which yearns to be shared in our daily encounters with family, friends and the stranger. This present costs us nothing to give or receive and lasts for life, not just for Christmas. 

With renewed thanks for your support and assurance of prayers for you and your loved ones.

We wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and every blessing for 2019!

Yours gratefully,
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Fr. Peter Hughes
Columban Director in Britain