• A Nativity Scene similar to what will be in the Church of the Holy Spirit in the days before Christmas!
If there is one person on our islands who understands Christmas better than most, it is FatherJim Browne.
Father Jim, as he is affectionately known, is an island icon.
He has been the backbone of the Catholic Church on the Bay Islands, and Macleay in particular, since 1996, when he purchase a home here.
With Christmas almost upon us, when family nostalgia is at its highest, it is even more significant for Father Jim Browne.
In 2015, the loveable island priest will celebrate 50 years since his ordination, which occurred in 1965 in Brisbane.
For his entire priestly life, Father Jim has worked and toiled in the Brisbane diocese at a number of parishes.
Fortunately for our islands, he has spent the largest chunk of his priestly life in our island community.
He has touched nearly everyone he has met with his unique 'priestliness'.
Father Jim is the epitome of the vision most people like to have of the traditional, holy and hard working Catholic priest.
His Mass sermons are unique.
If you want to experience a truly Holy Christmas this year, you could go no further than to attend the Church of the Holy Spirit on Macleay Island and hear Father Jim Browne speak.
His beautiful speaking and singing voice is a delight, and his message is personal, thoughtful and direct.
We asked Father Jim to give us a few words on what Christmas means to him.
He gave us the following:
"We who live on the Bay Islands are conscious of the beauty that surrounds us. We know that throughout the world there are many so broken by war, want, persecution or disease, that no earthly beauty brings them relief.
"Yet, in the midst of the beauty that surrounds us here on the islands, we are aware of the brokeness within us; a brokeness that cannot be fixed despite our best efforts.
"There is a Healer whom we must invite into our lives if we are to embark on the journey to becoming truly human.
"On Christmas Day we commemorate the coming of that Healer, that Saviour, into our world. Christmas will come to us individually when we invite that Saviour into our hearts and begin to live the way He has show us to live.
"In early Christian times, those who followed Him were simply seen as following 'the Way'. He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"
If you would like to experience a beautiful Christmas this year, Father Jim will be celebrating several Christmas services on the islands. On Christmas Eve at the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, Scotts Road, on Macleay Island carols will be sung from 6.30pm with mass at 7pm. On Christmas Day on Russell Island mass will be celebrated at 7am. On Macleay Island on Christmas Day mass will be celebrated on Christmas morning at 8.25am