Parish Weekly Bulletin: The Epiphany of the Lord – 7th January 2018

We remember those who have died recently including Con Boon, Clare Vandenberg, and those whose anniversaries occur about this time including Sean Dineen, Thelma Fennell, Angelo Russo, Therese Kenny, Sheila Doland, Sharda Gupta & Patrick Hagan  Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, let your perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. AMEN.


We pray for those who are sick including Jack Kelly, Keith Brooks, David Gudgeon, Angel Tan, Calvin Furnell, Richard Pereira, Val Battams Tom Cervasio, Marie Stephen, and Deonetta Golja.  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 Phoenix Lebon, Mason Pointu, and Amelia Despot 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 today, January 7th, 2018 at 2:45pm.


Click here to view the standard Bulletin (PDF)


BEYOND CHRISTMAS DAY:

How do we live beyond the wonder

of Christmas Day?

​When the song of the angels is stilled,

when the star in the sky is gone,

when the kings and princes are home,

when the shepherds are back at their flock,

the work of Christmas begins:

to find the lost,

to heal the broken,

to feed the hungry,

to release the prisoner,

to rebuild nations,

to bring peace among the people,

to make music in the human heart

….Howard Truman


VISIT FROM SR CHRISTINA:

Next Sunday, 14/1, 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.


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@stpapakenham.catholic.edu.au


YOUTH DAY – FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT:

The St Thomas’ parish, Clyde North, Youth Team invite young people to a day of drama, party, prayer, games, music, food and talks, on Sunday January 20th from 11:00am – 8:30pm. For more information or to register phone 5998 0947 or email parish@stthomas.org.au.


YOUNG PEOPLE, FAITH  AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT – 2018:

Parishioners might recall a survey offered to young Catholics last year to help prepare an Australian response to the forthcoming Synod of the Church, discussing the above topic. Following is a couple of extracts from that response:


THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY IN THE AUSTRALIAN RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE:

The Australian religious landscape has constantly changed over the centuries. Prior to 1788, an Aboriginal spirituality, expressed in myth, ritual and way of life, prevailed. Most of Australia’s religious groups trace their origins to Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe, with Catholics and Protestants being the main religious groups in the early years of European settlement.  Over the years however, large surges in the immigration of people especially from non-English speaking countries, have led to an increase in non-Christian religious groups, and a greater diversity of religious affiliations than in previous times. Added to these changes is a rejection of religion by a large and growing number of Australians. Research findings from the 2009 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes suggest that for almost half of Australians, religion or spirituality is so weak that it is not present at all.  

The demographical profile of the Catholic community in Australia is increasingly multicultural with 23.6 per cent of the Australian Catholic population born overseas. An additional 22 per cent are second generation immigrants. While the Catholic population continues to increase, vocations to religious life (and even marriage) are on the decline. The number of Catholic religious in Australia shows a downward trend. In 2009 there were 8,422 Catholic religious in Australia as compared to 17,029 in 1976. The median age of Catholic religious was 73 as compared to 46 in 2006, confirming a rapidly aging profile. While these figures do not include diocesan clergy, Australia still has a relatively older religious community ministering to a younger Catholic population.  

CATHOLIC PARISHES:

There are currently 1,364 Catholic parishes operating in twenty-eight dioceses based on territorial divisions, five dioceses of Eastern Catholic churches and three other non-geographical dioceses which include the Military Ordinariate for the Armed Services of Australia, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross and the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei.  

Australian parishes and dioceses are very diverse in terms of their location, size and population demographics. The average number of Catholics per parish doubled between 1947 and 2006, 2006, from 1,735 to 3,729. Nevertheless, this population is unevenly spread across the country resulting in some very large parishes and other very small ones. Burleigh Heads in the Archdiocese of Brisbane is the largest parish, with over 32,000 Catholics. In comparison the smallest mainland parish of Jugiong in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn has only 86 Catholics. The percentage of the Catholic population in each parish in comparison to the total population of the area also varies greatly. In parishes such as Bathurst Island and Santa Teresa in the Diocese of Darwin, both of which are Aboriginal communities, Catholics make up 86 to 89 per cent of the population, while a few parishes in the dioceses of Geraldton, Darwin, and Cairns exist in communities that are under 10 per cent Catholic

Recent research has shown that vibrant parishes are those that are inclusive and welcoming, with committed parishioners, active parish groups and a strong sense of belonging and community. Rural parishes face greater challenges due to the declining number of priests and lay leaders for ministry, shrinking Catholic populations and a lack of adequate resources to support Mass and other parish ministries.  Despite this, some rural parishes continue to excel through innovative leadership structures and parish events, dynamic youth activities, strong community engagement and adaptability, planning and vision.

Parishioners might be interested to read more of this report on the Australian Catholic Bishops’ website: www.catholic.org.au