The Island of Jersey - 'a community of welcome'
posted on 18 October 2007
As part of a pastoral visit to the Island of Jersey, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has celebrated a Mass for the re-dedication of St Thomas’s Church, which re-opened this year after a refurbishment costing over £500,000.
The Mass, which took place on 16th October 2007, was also attended by Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth, the Lieutenant-Governor, the Bailiff and the Chief Minister of Jersey.
A community of welcome
In his Homily, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor praised the community of welcome of Catholics in Jersey towards recent migrants from Poland and Portugal and the vibrant nature of the parish community of St Thomas’s Church.
“The community here at St. Thomas’s is, I know, a community of welcome where those who come to the island, whatever their background, are welcomed not as strangers but as friends... In the Early Church people were attracted to the Church because they saw that Christians loved one another, because they cared for the poor, because there was an example of people who had within themselves a source of hope, a sense of meaning of life, and of belonging not only to this world but to another world to which they would attain after death.”
He also called on Catholics and fellow-Christians to be bold in their faith
“Don’t ever be discouraged. The task that is presented to us is to persevere in faith and in hope and in love. Mother Teresa used to say, “God hasn’t called me to be successful but to be faithful”. I am also impressed by the ecumenical spirit that exists amongst fellow-Christians in the island and the participation in the political and social life of the Island. These are good times to be a Christian, good times to be a Catholic. This is because we can sing a song on alien soil. We can sing a song in our hearts of ‘Alleluia’ as we walk on our pilgrimage of life.“
World War II
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has a personal link to Jersey. His uncle, Father Donal Murphy-O’Connor was an assistant Priest at St Mary and St Peter’s Church in St Helier throughout the German occupation during World War II.