Parish of St Matthew the Apostle,
Douglas, Isle of Man

Father Tom ponders …… ‘Are we nearly there yet?’

We all have memories of school holidays – which seemed to last forever – and the long journeys to reach our destination. Trying to keep the children entertained while en route has consisted of, ‘How many red cars can you count?’ ‘How many sheep are there in that field?’ and all in response to that chorus, ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ Often this is because of excitement, ‘Why is it taking so long?’ or just plain frustration, ‘I don’t want to count any more cars or sheep!’ Waiting for something to happen is never easy whatever our age.

The interregnum will have lasted eight months by the time I become your Parish Priest. It must have been frustrating and sometimes confusing because nothing seemed to be happening. There was much going on behind the scenes and the jigsaw was being put together. For me the journey began three days short of a year before my Licensing; you will hear more about this in due course. The waiting is almost over for us and we will now begin to prepare for the future.

I would like to thank most sincerely those who came to welcome me back in July. One of my failings is remembering names, but I am very good with faces. While it was a busy three days, I was able to get a feel for the Town not as a tourist, but as someone who was preparing to make his home in a new community and on an Island with a rich culture. If I look as though I am struggling to remember your name – please help me out.

There will be much to do before 23rd October for all of us. However, let us not neglect to be faithful in our prayers and attendance at Mass. Everything we do must be rooted in prayer and grounded in faith as we end our waiting and consider how God wants us to be his witnesses in our parish and town. Aided by the prayers of Our Lady and St Matthew together we can do great things to build up the kingdom of God together.