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You’ve God Mail… 28.09.15

AN Inishowen-born priest is writing to all 2,500 families in his parish appealing for them to return to mass.
Culdaff-born cleric Fr Paddy O'Kane has drawn up leaflets, including mass and confession times, as part of a 'Big Invite' campaign to encourage lapsed Catholics back to the fold in Ballymagroarty, Derry.
He said that 80 per cent of his parishioners only come to church to mark events such as weddings, baptisms, funerals and the big Christian celebrations of Easter and Christmas.
But he said his Holy Family parish "missed them" and wanted them back.
In a recent homily, Fr O'Kane, who is aged in his 60s, likened his city parish to ripples in a pond.
At the centre were the priests, nuns and parish staff expanding outwards with church volunteers, Catholic charities and the 20 per cent who are regular mass-goers.
"The last ripple is by far the largest of all. It is made up of more than 80% of the people here at Holy Family whom we only see at weddings, baptisms, funerals, Christmas or Easter, people from your own streets and families.
"The 'Big Invite’ comes from our awareness that we miss them, that we yearn for their return and now invite them back to the practice of the faith," said Fr O'Kane.
Fr Paddy O'Kane.
He has asked 36 people to bring the ‘The Big Invite’ to all the homes in the parish and has asked the parish Rosary Group to pray for a favourable outcome from each individual family.
"Some may reject it at the door, others bin it right away, others still may go through it and mark as read. Hopefully it will move the hearts of some to accept," he added.
"If only one person does so it will still have been worthwhile."
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