Peace Light from Bethlehem coming to Dungannon!
This year our local scout group will bring to our parish the "Peace Light" from Bethlehem.
Now in its 29th year, the Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company - ORF (Linz) - and was part of a large charitable relief mission - Light into Darkness, for children in need in Austria and abroad. Since 1986 there has been a great deal of co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe, such that the light is passed on to 30 European Countries and for the past few years, on to North America, Mexico and Canada .
Each year, a young scout from Upper Austria kindles a flame from the "Eternal Flame" from the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The light is then flown to Austria from where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who take it back, with a message of Peace, to their own countries for use at ecumenical services throughout the Continent. Scouts and Guides can then take the light on to other churches, hospitals, old people homes, prisons, and places of public, cultural and political importance - to anybody that appreciates the significance of the "gift". In past years the light has been presented to Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Mikhail Gorbatshow, the former King Hussain of Jordan, EU President Romano Prodi and other member of the European parliament in Strazbourg, the UN Troops in Kosovo and continues to be taken to Ground Zero, New York.
All parishioners are welcome to take a candle with them to this special Mass in Dungannon on Sunday 20 December at 12:30pm and take the Peace Light home with them. It might be an idea to use this candle during your Christmas dinner and offer a prayer of peace for the world!
May the kindly spirit of Christmas spread its radiance far and wide,
So all the world may feel the glow, of this Holy Christmastide.
So may this light of peace today that has travelled many miles,
Bring joy and hope to many, and fill each face with smiles.
So may every heart and home continue through the year,
To feel the warmth and wonder of this season of good cheer.
And may it bring us closer to God and to each other,
With every stranger known as friend, whether Sister or a Brother