Parish Weekly Bulletin: 4th Sunday of Advent – 24 December 2017

We remember those who have died recently and those whose anniversaries occur about this time including Ron Resuggan, Billy & Joe Hughes  Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, let your perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.   


We pray for those who are sick including Jack Kelly, David Gudgeon, Angel Tan, Calvin Furnell, Richard Pereira, Val Battams Tom Cervasio, Marie Stephen We pray for all who care for the sick and worry about them. May their works of service be richly blessed.  (Names can only be placed on this list by the sick person or a family member)


BAPTISMS:

 “Receive the light of Christ. Parents and Godparents this light is entrusted to you to keep burning brightly” (Rite of Baptism). The next Baptism Preparation session is January 7th, 2018  at  2.45pm     


CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM BISHOP PAT FOR 2017:

Where is God? At some stage of our life we are bound to ask that question. It might come after a particularly tough time in our life: a close member of the family or a friend suddenly dies, maybe a long-time job is unexpectedly lost. It might come in a joyous manner, such as seeing the unrestrained joy on the faces of our young people at the recent Australian Catholic Youth Festival. 2017 might have given us pause to ask that question when we in Victoria have passed legislation allowing Physician Assisted Suicide; maybe we are still coming to terms with the recently wrapped up Royal Commission. Where is God indeed! Maybe 2017 has been a wonderful year for us as it has witnessed new life come into our family. Where is God? is one of those questions that can sum up both our joys and our sorrows, our hopes and our despairs.

And then comes Christmas. For Christmas reminds us once again how to fully answer that, what at times is a persistent question, “Where is God?” Christmas reminds us that the answer is simple. Where is God? Why right with us of course; God is with us, Emmanuel. God has not forsaken us, for in fact it is God who took the first step in coming to meet us. I often ask why, in the Northern hemisphere, Christmas falls in Winter. Maybe to remind us that it is often at the darkest times that the light can be brightest.

May Christmas be a time of faith and family, and may Jesus Christ, the true light of the world, draw us ever into the mystery of God’s love.

PS Of course those of a certain generation will always know how to answer that old Catechism question: Q: Where is God? A: God is everywhere. Christmas guarantees that.   

Pat O’Regan, Bishop of Sale


CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES IN THE DIOCESE OF SALE:

Parish Christmas Mass times have been uploaded to the Diocesan Website and can be found at: http://www.sale.catholic.org.au/parishes/christmas-masses.html


OUR CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES:

The Masses to celebrate Christmas at St Patrick’s will be on Christmas Eve at 6:00pm, 8:00pm and Midnight; and on Christmas Day at 9:30am.


PLANNING FOR THE 2020 PLENARY COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA:

As the planning for the 2020 Plenary Council of the Church in Australia gets underway, Bishop Pat O’Regan would like to host a meeting with parishioners in each of our 27 parishes over the first half of 2018.   It is envisaged that these meetings will be a way of introducing parishioners to the concept of Plenary 2020; initiating dialogue; explaining the Plenary process and most importantly, listening to the people.

To that end Bishop Pat has put together a schedule of meetings to visit our 27 parishes and will be at St Patrick’s on the 24TH of April. Please mark your diary early!


A NOTE OF THANKS:

Our “new” organ was donated by Susan Bons of Pakenham in memory of her mother, Helen, who died from cancer. Helen was  a pupil of Von Gargan. Many thanks Susan for your generosity to us.


THE MESSIAH IS AMONG YOU:

A Reflection: The monastery was experiencing a crisis: monks were leaving and no new monks were joining. The abbot decided to consult a respected hermit living nearby. The hermit told a secret: one of the monks in the community was actually the Messiah, though he was living in such a way that no one would recognise him. 

The abbot returned to the community and told his brothers. All the monks were amazed but had no idea which of them it could be. All they knew was that one of them could be the Christ. Knowing this led to an amazing change in the monastery. They all began to show more reverence and love for each other, and their community prayer became more sincere and fervent. People noticed; and the monastery began to grow again in numbers as the monks grew in holiness. All of this happened because a man of God pointed to the truth that Christ was indeed living among them.


MEDIA STATEMENT: 

Australian Catholic Bishops and Religious Leaders Respond to the Royal Commission Final Report: The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has today released its final report, which includes a large number of recommendations, many of which will have a significant impact on the way the Catholic Church operates in Australia.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said the release of the final report is the culmination of almost five years of intense examination of the way in which many different institutions, including the Catholic Church, have historically failed children. “This is a shameful past, in which a prevailing culture of secrecy and self-protection led to unnecessary suffering for many victims and their families,” Archbishop Hart said. “Once again I reiterate my unconditional apology for this suffering and a commitment to ensuring justice for those affected.”

Sister Ruth Durick OSU, president of Catholic Religious Australia, said religious orders across Australia are committed to continuing the work of recent years to ensure a future in which the safety and protection of children and vulnerable adults is paramount. “We acknowledge with gratitude the courage of all those survivors who have come forward to the Royal Commission,” Sr Ruth said. “We will be taking very seriously the Royal Commission’s report and have commissioned an initial assessment of its findings by the Truth, Justice and Healing Council. We expect the TJHC assessment to be completed early in 2018.”

Both leaders said the Church will continue to push for the introduction of a national redress scheme for the survivors of child sexual abuse in which the Church will participate. “The success of this scheme lies with the cooperation of the state governments. Without their involvement, national coverage will be impossible,” they said. “It is now time for state governments to act.”                                                                                              


CONNECT WITH THE DIOCESE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Diocese of Sale has a Facebook page. You can ‘like’ the page by visiting Facebook and searching for Catholic Diocese of Sale or by going to www.facebook.com/dioceseofsale  Through the Facebook page you can learn more about what is happening across the Diocese. Help us grow our online community by assisting us to reach 500 ‘likes’ by Christmas!


CHURCH CLEANING THIS WEEK:  M Burhop M Craven

CHILDREN’S LITURGY: Resumes February

ROSARY STATUE:  New Rosters January 


PATRICK’S SCHOOL  HANDYMAN POSITION:

A Handyman/Maintenance Person is required at the school to do both inside and outside work for approximately 2-3 days per week, or as required in 2018. For more details or expression of interest please email Mick@stppakenham.catholic.edu.au