Editorial by Erica Pegorer, Executive Director
Welcome to 2018! Judging by the length of this first newsletter and the many happy photos capturing the beginning events for each ministry, there is compelling evidence that we are well under way and that the year has been embraced! Best wishes too to all those who have started new within the Kildare Ministries family. The New Year can bring new hope, new aspiration and new life with its promise of something better or different. We too at Kildare Ministries shared the excitement that reunions bring after some time apart and there was much chatter and joy as the year began.
We are also already in Lent and once again Pope Francis has provided a framework for our reflection and awakening this year.
Each of us is called to peer into our hearts to see if we are falling prey to the lies of false prophets. We must learn to look closely, beneath the surface, and to recognise what leaves a good and lasting mark on our hearts…
Education has become too selective and elitist. It seems that only those people or persons who are a certain level or have a certain capacity have the right to an education. This is shameful. It is a reality which takes us in a direction of human selectivity. Instead of bridging the gap between people, it widens it. It creates barriers between rich and poor. The greatest failure for an education is to educate within the walls of the selective culture, the walls of a culture of security and the walls of a social class. We cannot go on like this...
Love can also grow cold in our own communities: selfishness and spiritual sloth, sterile pessimism, the temptation of self-absorption, constant warring among ourselves, and the worldly mentality that makes us concerned only for appearances, and this lessens our missionary zeal…
Above all, I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgivings fasting and prayer. If at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God!” (Pope Francis: Lent 2018 )
Many have described Pope Francis as inspirational because he is responding positively, enthusiastically and prophetically to the signs of the times and the cries of the people, leading us to deep conversion. He challenges the selective elite culture, clericalism, domination and self-reference and instead shows us a better way. He promotes inclusion, service, humility, listening and dialogue and sees this as a path to peace. These are not insignificant but radical and transforming. He does not make false promises for an easy journey through life but constantly challenges us to do as Jesus did, allowing the new dawn of hope to arise. This is our Lenten prayer. Let us become a small Church again, like the gentle breeze that Elijah experienced and recognised it to be the subtle and silent presence of God (Bishop Long).
There have been some administrative changes to the Kildare Ministries Office which were communicated to your leaders some weeks ago. Since then, Kate Kelsey notified us of her resignation and we are currently in the process of finding a suitable replacement. Kate was one of the pioneering KM crew and she will be missed.
We look forward to our work together this year, especially the conference. It promised to be another defining moment in our story.