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As we step over the threshold into a New Year, we look back with gratitude at the realities that have shaped us during 2023 and look forward to all that this New Year holds for us.

Thresholds are places of encounter where we are challenged to widen the tents of our hearts and be ready to receive the gifts that are there to be embraced. They call us to see with new perspectives, ready to move along unknown paths with courage and trust. As the New Year begins, we pray that peace, justice and compassion will guide world leaders in their decision-making. These values call us to care for one another and for our common home Earth.

Each year, Pope Francis writes a message for New Year. In his 57th World Day of Peace message for 2024, Pope Francis addresses the issue of Artificial Intelligence and Peace. He writes: “All forms of artificial intelligence should be used to alleviate human suffering, promote integral development and help end wars and conflicts, not increase inequality and injustice in the world.”

He concludes:

I hope that the foregoing reflection will encourage efforts to ensure that progress in developing forms of artificial intelligence will ultimately serve the cause of human fraternity and peace. It is not the responsibility of a few but of the entire human family. For peace is the fruit of relationships that recognise and welcome others in their inalienable dignity, and of cooperation and commitment in seeking the integral development of all individuals and peoples.Pope Francis, 57th World Day of Peace message

In 2024, let us walk with hope as we endeavour to create a more peaceful world. Let us look for opportunities to show kindness to others, especially those who are suffering. Let us be attentive to moments of grace hidden in the ordinariness of life.

May our hearts remain open to seeing the opportunities where love and life abound. May you be aware of all the places your feet will carry you, bringing with you inner peace, hope and love to all whom you meet along the way. Remembering in the words of Mary MacKillop: “There where you are, you will find God”. (1871)

Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj
Congregational Leader