Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of the Rosary Church,
We are delighted to invite you to see and purchase handmade religious articles made by the Sisters of St. Elisabeth Convent (Belarus). The exposition will take place after the Masses on Monday, December 24th.
The Sisterhood of Saint Elisabeth was founded in 1996. For more than 15 years our sisters have been rendering spiritual, social and financial support to the sick and the suffering at the National Psychiatric Clinic, the boarding home for children with special needs and mentally challenged adults, a TB clinic.
In recent years a rehabilitation center for the homeless, drug and alcohol addicts, ex-prisoners was established 20 miles away from the Convent. About 200 residents live here today. Many lost and struggling people get a chance to tackle their problems and start a new life with God. A rehabilitation facility for females was established in 2012. Women released from jail, the homeless and mentally challenged women stay there. Today there are 11 women and one toddler at this farmstead.
To help these people workshops were established on the grounds of the Convent. Many of these sick people have a possibility to express themselves in art for God working together with the nuns and sisters and making beautiful articles (hand painted icons, crosses, crucifixes, woodcarvings, embroidered and ceramic gifts, vestments).
All these goods are made with love and prayer and bring blessing to home. You will support many people in need by purchasing items of devotions for yourselves and your beloved ones.
With deep gratitude and love in Christ,
Sisters of St Elisabeth
Christmas edition then we enter the summer series until February.
Next week on The Journey, the Gospel reflection is from the Dioceses of Wollongong Advent reflection booklet, Sr Hilda shares her Wisdom from the Abbey with her Christmas reflection, Bruce Downes the Catholic Guy reminds us to be still before God, and The Pirolas encourage us to Make A Change For The Better. It is with great pleasure and gratitude that we say thank you for your support with Journey Catholic Radio for another year. God Bless, and Merry Christmas from all of us here at the Diocese of Wollongong . Go to WWW.jcr.org.au or www.itunes.jcr.org.au where you can listen anytime and subscribe to weekly shows by email.
Across Australia, Catholics are gathering to pray, talk and listen to one another about our experiences of faith and the Church. Many parishes within the Archdiocese have commenced their journey towards the Plenary Council 2020, sharing and reflecting on the future of the Catholic church in Australia. Please continue to pray for the community of the Sydney Archdiocese that we will respond well to the call of the Holy Spirit, by engaging in the preparatory phase of the Plenary with open and humble hearts, listening to what the Spirit is saying to each one of us as we share our experiences of faith towards the preparation of the agenda of the Plenary Council. The Plenary Council Prayer: http://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/pray/ Want to know more or on how to become involved, please contact 9390 5147 or email email@example.com .
(2nd Sunday of Advent)
When I was in primary school, I played with my friends after school at the beach if there was no order from my parents to go to the farm. We had lots of fun with the kind of traditional way of surfing. However sometimes we ended up fighting. My dad told me that he allowed me to fight but never allowed me to cry after fighting. He said one day: “You should not fight with your friends. However, if there’s a time when you can’t avoid the fight, go for it but don’t cry, no tears at all. It’s your choice so don’t cry for help. Crying is the sign of a loser. I don’t want you to show that you are the loser”. The words of my father influenced my life for about thirty years. I was not able to cry for many years. I recall the last time I cried after that warning, was when I was nine. Then I cried again for the first time after that when I was thirty-seven. Am I a loser when I cry? Of course, I am not.
The words of my father remind me of people in our contemporary world marked by the thunder of competitions. Everyone would like to be number one. No one wants to become the loser. Becoming the loser creates shame and is a sign of incapability. I was touched by the words of Alexander Zverev. He is the youngest top ten in the world rank today. In the last ATP final after defeated world number one Novak Djokovic, he said: “Thank you Novak for letting me win today. I know that you are the best player in the world today, and you can win any title you want. However today, you let me win”. I watched the match and I don’t think that Alexander was given the winning. He played really well to win the title, and yet he humbly admired the world number one by saying that he allowed him to win.
John the Baptist was a humble man that played an important role in preparing for the coming of the Messiah. When he appeared to the public, he was so popular which made people think that he was the messiah. When they asked who he was, He did not refuse to confess, but openly declared, “I am not the Christ.” (John 1:20), He could have easily told people that he is the Christ, the messiah, since he was so popular. Some other time he said: “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). Is he a loser? Indeed, he is not.
This weekend and next weekend, we are continuously reflecting on the role of John the Baptist. He is the one that was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah: “Voice that cries in wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Luke 3:4). Many people think that when you are humble and let other people be the first, you are the loser. The life of John the Baptist has shown us that humility is not equal to being a loser.