Parish Weekly Bulletin: Feast of the Holy Family – 31st December 2017

We remember those who have died recently including Con Boon and those whose anniversaries occur about this time including Eric Hanegraaf, Sheila Doland & Sharda Gupta. 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, Clare Vandenberg

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:

This weekend we welcome Slater Dean for Baptism. “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


MANY THANKS:

Many hands certainly do make light work! So a big thankyou to all who made the Christmas celebrations so memorable for us all at St Pat’s: those who cleaned and prepared the church and grounds, technical experts, the florists, the musicians and singers, crib-makers and decorators, lectors, commentators, Eucharistic ministers, offertory people and welcomers, altar servers and collectors, parish staff and many volunteers. Thanks to you all from all in the parish, and every blessing for the new year.


Click here to view the standard Bulletin (PDF)


STATEMENT FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PRIESTS OF AUSTRALIA (N.C.P.): 

The Final Report From The Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse.

The National Council of Priests of Australia applauds the work of the Royal Commission in its endeavours to eliminate the scourge of child sexual abuse which has been a blight on our society, our welfare and our religious institutions. The N.C.P. welcomes the release of the report and the efforts to implement the recommendations made by the Commission. As an organization representing many priests throughout Australia, we are angry and ashamed of the criminal activity engaged in by some of our fellow priests.

As an organization of priests we stand in solidarity with the victims of clergy sexual abuse. We also commit our organization to the task of ensuring that such actions will never be repeated. We support the mission of the Truth, Justice and Healing Commission, under the leadership of Mr. Francis Sullivan, to expose the criminal nature of abusing priests and the negligence of those in leadership and authority.

The Royal Commission has provided the Catholic Church with a template for reform. The N.C.P. will co-operate with the bishops of Australia as they work towards initiating these reforms and bringing healing to those individuals and their families who have suffered the trauma of sexual abuse.    

Fr Jim Clarke Chairman, NCP


DON’T BE LATE FOR MASS: POPE FRANCIS SAYS!

Don’t be late for Mass believing the Introductory Rites do not matter, Pope Francis told visitors and pilgrims at his weekly general audience just before Christmas. The words and gestures that open the celebration help the faithful come together as one and prepare them to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist worthily, he said.

“It is not a good habit to be looking at the clock” and calculating how much of the beginning of Mass would be OK to miss and still fulfil one’s obligation, he said. Get to Mass early – not late, he said, because it is during the introductory rites that “we begin to adore God as a community” and “to prepare the heart for this celebration with the community.”

The Pope continued his series of audience talks on the Mass, reflecting on the introductory rites. “Understanding these holy signs is necessary in order to fully experience the Mass and savour all of its beauty,” he said. The gestures that accompany the Mass “risk going unnoticed,” he said, but they “are very significant because they express from the start that the Mass is an encounter of love with Christ,” who offers his body on the cross, becoming victim and priest.

After the entrance, the celebrant bows and kisses the altar as an expression of veneration because the altar is a symbol of Christ, the Pope said. Everyone gathers around the altar, “not to look at each other. No. But to look at Christ,” who is at the centre of the community – not far away.

With the sign of the cross, the priest and assembly recognise the liturgy is carried out “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” It is a sign of the mystery of the Trinity, of Christ’s loving sacrifice and resurrection, and of each person’s baptism, he said.

Pope Francis again urged parents and grandparents to teach children from a very young age how to make the sign of the cross properly and what it means. He said so often it looks like kids are just gesturing “a picture of something” that is definitely not a cross. “Explain to them that they will have Jesus’s cross as protection,” he added.


URBI ET ORBI”:

Following is the Christmas message and blessing of Pope Francis to the “City and the World”, appealing for peace, and for a world in which children across the globe may be able to hope for a future of justice, security and joy.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!

         In Bethlehem, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.  He was born, not by the will of man, but by the gift of the love of God our Father, who “so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). This event is renewed today in the Church, a pilgrim in time.  For the faith of the Christian people relives in the Christmas liturgy the mystery of the God who comes, who assumes our mortal human flesh, and who becomes lowly and poor in order to save us.  And this moves us deeply, for great is the tenderness of our Father.

The first people to see the humble glory of the Saviour, after Mary and Joseph, were the shepherds of Bethlehem.  They recognized the sign proclaimed to them by the angels and adored the Child.  Those humble and watchful men are an example for believers of every age who, before the mystery of Jesus, are not scandalized by his poverty.  Rather, like Mary, they trust in God’s word and contemplate his glory with simple eyes.  Before the mystery of the Word made flesh, Christians in every place confess with the words of the Evangelist John: “We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).

Today, as the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline, Christmas invites us to focus on the sign of the Child and to recognize him in the faces of little children, especially those for whom, like Jesus, “there is no place in the inn” (Lk 2:7).

We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.  On this festive day, let us ask the Lord for peace for Jerusalem and for all the Holy Land.  Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two States within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders.  May the Lord also sustain the efforts of all those in the international community inspired by good will to help that afflicted land to find, despite grave obstacles the harmony, justice and security that it has long awaited.

We see Jesus in the faces of Syrian children still marked by the war that, in these years, has caused such bloodshed in that country.  May beloved Syria at last recover respect for the dignity of every person through a shared commitment to rebuild the fabric of society, without regard for ethnic and religious membership.  We see Jesus in the children of Iraq, wounded and torn by the conflicts that country has experienced in the last fifteen years, and in the children of Yemen, where there is an ongoing conflict that has been largely forgotten, with serious humanitarian implications for its people, who suffer from hunger and the spread of diseases.

We see Jesus in the children of Africa, especially those who are suffering in South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

We see Jesus in the children worldwide wherever peace and security are threatened by the danger of tensions and new conflicts.  Let us pray that confrontation may be overcome on the Korean peninsula and that mutual trust may increase in the interest of the world as a whole.  To the Baby Jesus we entrust Venezuela that it may resume a serene dialogue among the various elements of society for the benefit of all the beloved Venezuelan people.  

We see Jesus in children who, together with their families, suffer from the violence of the conflict in Ukraine and its grave humanitarian repercussions; we pray that the Lord may soon grant peace to this dear country. We see Jesus in the children of unemployed parents who struggle to offer their children a secure and peaceful future.  And in those whose childhood has been robbed and who, from a very young age, have been forced to work or to be enrolled as soldiers by unscrupulous mercenaries.

We see Jesus in the many children forced to leave their countries to travel alone in inhuman conditions and who become an easy target for human traffickers.  Through their eyes we see the drama of all those forced to emigrate and risk their lives to face exhausting journeys that end at times in tragedy.  I see Jesus again in the children I met during my recent visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh, and it is my hope that the international community will not cease to work to ensure that the dignity of the minority groups present in the region is adequately protected.  Jesus knows well the pain of not being welcomed and how hard it is not to have a place to lay one’s head.  May our hearts not be closed as they were in the homes of Bethlehem.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, the sign of Christmas has also been revealed to us: “a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes” (Lk 2:12).  Like the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, like the shepherds of Bethlehem, may we welcome in the Baby Jesus the love of God made man for us.  And may we commit ourselves, with the help of his grace, to making our world more human and more worthy for the children of today and of the future.

May the birth of Christ the Saviour renew hearts, awaken the desire to build a future of greater fraternity and solidarity, and bring joy and hope to everyone.  Happy Christmas!


VISIT FROM SR CHRISTINA:

On Sunday, January 14th, Sr Christina Scannell RSJ will be visiting us at St Pat’s. Sister is in Australia to celebrate her Golden Jubilee of vows as a Sister of St Joseph, and has the time to come to see us. There will be a ‘cuppa’ in the hall after both the 9:00am Mass and the 10:30am Mass so parishioners will have a chance to say hello to her. If anyone would like to contribute towards a gift for Sister, please see Mary at the parish office beforehand.


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!


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!


PATRICK’S SCHOOL HANDYMAN POSITION:

A handyman/maintenance person is required at the school to do both inside and outside work for approx. 2-3 days per week, or as required in 2018. For more details or expression of interest please email mick@stpapekenhm.catholic.edu.au


CHURCH CLEANING THIS WEEK:

M Sashanami & J –C Pauguy