Dear Parishioner, Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Peace and Joy to you!
As you will know, I am now back in Portsmouth after an absence of six months. I wish to thank those of you who sent me cards, text messages and emails enquiring how I was and assuring me of your prayers, including novenas, rosaries and even a nightly prayer during my time away. I felt deeply touched by such gestures and also loved and valued. Please know, that I prayed for you all daily at Mass during my absence.
During Mass after my return, your smiles and hugs made me feel so welcome and happy. I always remember with sincere gratitude that, from the first day that I set foot in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Swithun, you gave me a warm welcome. Whenever I approached any of you for help in different ministries you were always supportive and cooperative as together we worked to develop the life of the parish. Thank you.
Having had six enriching months away, I feel rejuvenated spiritually, physically, psychologically and emotionally. I had the time to pray, think and reflect. During the course of my discernment I came to realise, sadly, that it was time for me to step down from my regular ministries and enable others to develop parish life.
All of us are different and I thank God for such diversity! Finally, I ask your pardon for any weaknesses on my part and for your continued prayers. And, of course, I promise to pray for you. I will still be around in the parish but now in a different way and I look forward to the time ahead.
May God bless you, your families and loved ones and grant you His Peace, Love and Joy.
With gratitude, love and prayers, Sr Marie Elise FMDM