The year of mercy has ended and the holy doors of mercy have been closed. This year we welcomed many people who entered through our doors. These also became doors of mercy, as people received and shared love, compassion and mercy here.

Although the holy doors have been closed, the space of mercy is still present and continues to draw us in. Perhaps more than ever our world has need of mercy and compassion. It brings a bit of light in the darkness and hope in situations of despair.

This connects with the theme we have chosen for 2017 ‘seeds of hope’. With this theme we want to offer reflective support to the ways in which we move forward together in times of change. In the gospel we read that the seed has to die in order to bear fruit. The lessons of mother nature may give orientation and nourish our hope.

As we approach the end of this year I take the opportunity to thank you for your prayers and generosity and I hope you will continue to support us in 2017. It will be a special year for Minsteracres with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the retreat house. Undoubtedly you will hear more about this during the coming months.

I finish by wishing you a joyful Christmas and blessed new year and do so on behalf of all at Minsteracres!