After the first decade of the twenty first century, which has included the extremely traumatic global financial crisis, it's not so hard to see how the demands and pressures of this world can have such a dramatic impact upon just about every life. Nationally, unemployment, reduced working benefits and climbing interest rates can all apply near unbearable financial pressures upon family life.
Demanding and high pressure jobs can also leave so little personal energy among people who are required to spend protracted amounts of time in the workplace. And, of course, the responsibilities of raising children and attending to their continual needs leave many younger parents with a continual feeling of exhaustion.
Is it really all that much of a mystery why religious practice falls so quickly into decline in so many modern-day families?
Over time, however, many people come to realize that an absence from Sunday Mass - possibly over the long term or perhaps even in the short term - has left them with a space in their lives that has not, and cannot be filled by any of the values and activities of this secular and materialistic old world.
The great fourth-fifth century theologian, St Augustine, said: "You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you".
So if you would like to return to the practice of the faith and particularly Sunday Mass after some kind of absence, we as a parish would like to say to you "welcome home". Why not ring one of the priests for a conversation!
People have often felt a new vitality of life after coming back home to the faith, being nourished once more with the Word of God and the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion.
The feeling of being constantly overwhelmed in this confusing world is soon replaced by an interior peace which allows a proper ordering of our hearts and minds towards God, and towards the people in our own lives who need and deserve our love and attention.
St Augustine also said: "God loves each one of us, as if there was only one of us to love".
That love from God is in many ways extended and expressed through his church - indeed, through our very own parish.
So where to from here: Ring one of the priests who will be happy to talk with you. Perhaps come to the Sacrament of Penance on Saturday mornings and, if not too busy, talk to the confessor. The option is also available to simply come to Mass. You're in the best position to know, and we're happy to welcome you home.