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Being Shepherds Today
Fr Alo and I have just come back from the bi-annual live-in clergy conference of Archdiocese of Sydney. The conference focused much on ongoing formation for clergy – bishops, priests and deacons – who are called essentially to be shepherds to the people they serve. The conference was like a bit of time away from ministry and pastoral commitments to review, refresh and revive our pastoral zeal and life.
However, in all due respect to my own call to be a pastor and shepherd to the parish community, I believe that the call to be shepherd today needs to be shared among us all. We are all called to be shepherds in different ways, in different circumstances and circles of community.
When we were baptised, we are given the right to share in Christ’s servant leadership (to replace the notion of the kingship), and this is the call to be shepherds as God is our ultimate shepherd.
But let me first define who a shepherd is. A shepherd, simply put, is a caregiver, a leader and a servant. I chose these three words with clear purposes. A shepherd is obviously a person who gives care to their sheep. Shepherds are leaders because they are the ones who lead the sheep to find good, green pastures and water. A shepherd is a servant because shepherding is culturally not a highly respected job but a job of a slave or a lowly servant back in the time of Jesus, and probably today as well.
Pope Francis consistently calls the church’s leaders to be shepherds who are close to the sheep to the point of having their smell. I wonder how many of us, as pastors, would take it seriously. But I do know that there are many good shepherds out there smelling like the sheep they are caring. They are parents who are shepherding their children with unconditional and compassionate love. They are friends who are caring for each other with tender understanding and consoling presence. They are strangers who are taking compassion on those who are suffering for fleeing their home countries, for being stolen of their lands, cultures and lifestyles, for financial, physical and mental disadvantages, for being isolated and cut-off from the faith community, the list can go on.
In today’s complex and complicated context of our society, I trust that the Good News of Jesus calls us to be wise, but deeply compassionate and healing shepherds to those under our care.
Let me imitate what the Pope has many times urged, I do believe, with his whole heart. “I ask you: Be shepherds.”
Br Khoi msc
Every 4th Sunday of the month at 9.30am Mass, we will have children reading at the Mass. We are inviting children (confident reader from primary school Year 2 and above) to join us for New Reader’s Training on Sunday, 29th July after 9.30am mass with Brother Khoi Nguyen MSC. Please fill up the form at the back of the foyer if your child/children would like to participate. Contact Lena on 0416 679 888 for more info.
Join us on Saturday 4th August at 3pm in the Rosary Room for the Rosary followed by afternoon tea. Children welcome.
We all recognise that MSC have something special. One of the outcomes expressed very strongly by those present at the 2017 gathering of people from MSC parishes was the desire to learn more about that which makes MSC unique i.e. what is called the charism of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
In order to help provide that assistance the MSC Lay and Professed Council together with the MSC Parishes Committee has developed a survey. The results from the survey will aid the development of resources and programs to help people learn more about our unique charism. The survey is completely anonymous. We would like to conclude the survey as soon as possible.
The survey can be completed online at this link – just paste the link into your search engine and good luck!! https://acu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aeIYZpDpPEmJxsN
In anticipation of your assistance and with every blessing! Thanks!
Gerard McCormick (Chair MSC Parishes Committee)
Fred Stubenrauch (Chair MSC Lay and Professed Council)
Our organisation, The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) is a Catholic religious congregation serving the church in Australia and overseas. We are seeking a Senior Bookkeeper with sufficient experience in accounting including: recording of purchases, issuance of invoices, bank reconciliation, setting up/maintaining of payroll, ledgers, schedules and provide high level assistance and administrative support to the Provincial Business Manager. Competence in MYOB and MS Excel, essential.
To be considered for this role, ideally you will have a solid accounting skills, you will display maturity and initiative, be self-motivated with attention to details and have at least three (3) years -experience as Bookkeeper in a senior role.
Job Type: Part time, 2-3 days a week
Workplace: Coogee, NSW
Application ends: 10 August 2018
To apply for the position or obtain a full Job Description, send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Rene Balboa at (02) 9665 8999 press 3 for queries.
Lady looking for a room in a house or flat. Further details contact Elizabeth 9344 7974.