Letter to the Parishioners
Every year the Church begins the new calendar year with the liturgical celebration of Mary’s motherhood. In this way Mary becomes, for us, the doorway into the new year… into new life, new hope, new beginning. There is a song whose opening line goes: “Walk with Mary and you will never stray.” If we want to spend the year right and keep it going along that track for the rest of the year, then Jesus’ example of starting out his human journey with Mary is also the best way for us. And the first lesson that Mary teaches us is to stop momentarily, remain silent and reflect on what is going on inside and outside of us. Luke notes that, while the shepherds and the other visitors were gathering around baby Jesus, “Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart.”
We need to discover the true purpose of life and the response that is asked of us.
We realize that our lives—life itself—are filled with routine, repetitive, monotonous, ordinary activities. But no time is simply ordinary in the sense of lacking profound importance: every day is a day of salvation, a day of living into Christ’s life. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: “We cannot do great things; we can only do ordinary things with great love.” Thérèse of Lisieux, the saint of the “little way,” developed a spirituality of ordinariness in which one offers each moment very simply to God. Her famous title, “the Little Flower,” derives from her self-image as only one among millions of ordinary, little flowers on the hillside, each giving its all in joy and praise to God. In all things, small or great, we live our baptismal consecration for mission—and God is praised.
So we ought to look at this new year with much gratitude and hope, and realise that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119) and that we are asked to respond to it by walking together in the light. Furthermore we, too, must mirror Jesus who is the light of the World. In his light, we, too, have become lights: “You are the light of the world… Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt:14,16)
The initial step of the English language parish goes back to as early as 1958 where the foundations were laid by far-sighted members of the American community for what has become today the centre for worship in English in Milan. Over the years , the English-speaking community has grown and changed and now includes parishioners from diverse countries, especially the Philippines.