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We need your help!
WIN A $50 WESTFIELD GIFT VOUCHER!
The Building and Maintenance Committee invites all children in Year 6 and below to help name the KidsChurch room, which is in the process of being renovated. The renovation will give the room a total facelift, including a new kitchen area, new storage, carpet, furniture, air conditioning and blinds. It will provide an area for all of our OLR parishioners (young and not-so-young) to have meetings and undertake other activities in a comfortable (and stylish!) setting.
We are looking for suggestions for a name for the room and need your help! What do you think it should be called? You could name it after your favourite Saint, or pick a catchy name like “Kids for Christ” or anything else creative that you can think of. You can participate as an individual or as part of a group.
All you need to do is email your entry to email@example.com by
17 April 2015. Your entry should include the following details:
- Your name (if you are participating as part of a group, list the name of all the group members)
- Adult’s contact details (please provide an email address and phone number and name of the adult with whom we will make contact if you are the winner of the competition)
- Your suggested name for the new kids’ church room
- Your reasons for why you have chosen the name
The competition will be judged by Fr Alo and members of the Building and Maintenance Committee and the winner will be announced when we reopen the KidsChurch room following the renovations.
The winner will take home a $50 Westfield gift voucher – if you are participating as part of a group, be sure you share it fairly with your fellow group members!
In 1963 Pope Paul VI designated the fourth Sunday of Easter (next Sunday) as world day of prayer for vocations, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. I would like to reflect on my own vocation as a religious priest in the light of today’s Gospel. Today we hear of the experience of two of Jesus’ disciples on the way to Emmaus, a story that was first shared with other disciples when they gathered again in Jerusalem. This is a story of knowing Jesus as well as a vocation story. There are three events in this famous journey to Emmaus that could lead one to know Jesus and his/her own vocation: ‘breaking the bread’, ‘being comforted’ and ‘understanding scripture’.
Breaking the Bread (Luke 24:35). It is an action of Jesus that easily draws his disciples’ awareness of his presence. Breaking the bread is a sharing of life. We would be happy when someone is sharing his/her things and even his life for us. How happier we are when we are able to share our lives for others. I remember when I was appointed to the West Papua. I was not happy – I mistakenly thought that working with uneducated people wasn’t for me, for I am more intelligent than the others. However, in helping those who had little, and who lived in very remote places that could only be reached by foot (sometimes taking more than four hours), I came to appreciate and be grateful for the happiness I gained in sharing my life to serve others.
Being Comforted (Luke 24: 41).The two disciples were joyful in recognizing Jesus. It happened to the rest of the disciples as well in today’s gospel. They believed for joy. I came to join the MSC with hope that I would be a happy religious man for being loved by my confreres. And I experienced that love through my community. But later on I realized that the larger community, like parishioners, in some ways gives me comfort. In the last few weeks I was a bit distressed. Many people noticed it and in their own ways gave me comfort. I had a very in depth sharing with one of the parishioners the other day. At the end of our sharing he said: “it’s good to see you smile again”. God comforts me through my own people whom I minister.
Understanding Scripture (Luke 24:45-47). The Lord’s presence can be identified through understanding of Scripture. The religious experience of people in the past recorded in the Scriptures is like a mirror that we can use to reflect on our own life. Scripture messages are inspiring our daily life but also give us direction and awareness of God’s saving presence. I remember when I was in minor seminary. At the end of the sixth year I had to discern whether I proceed to the major seminary or live my vocation. I was thinking about finding a job that would support my parents, especially in sending my younger siblings to high school. I then was asked by one of the MSC priests to do a discernment retreat. During the retreat I happened to read the passage of the scripture: “and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life” (Matt 19:29). And it was true. Without any financial support from me, my parents would be able to send my siblings to the school. I have been able to live my vocation, a life of service and sharing, comfort and understanding God’s love. Jesus has walked with me, as much as he has walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Please pray for many more vocations.
We are delighted to welcome Snezana Tanevska to the parish team as the new Youth Ministry Coordinator.
Snezana is a Lay Consecrated Missionary with the Verbum Dei Missionaries based in Rosebery. Originally from Wollongong, she has been a part of the community for 10 years and has been a Lay Consecrated Missionary for 5 years. Snezana has a passion for working with youth and in 2012 established a Youth program at Rosebery parish which involved initiating a youth mass and youth groups for different age groups as well as facilitating many other youth activities.
She will be present at each of the Masses over this weekend to meet people and hear your hopes for our young people.
(John 20: 19-31)
As a religious I took my vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. They are three evangelical counsels required to follow Jesus radically. In order to be fruitful in living these vows, we have to have a great understanding of them as well as renewal of commitment from time to time.
Concerning the vow of obedience, I recall an experience of being asked by my superior to move from parish ministry to become a Director of Pastoral Centre. I was bit hesitant to move from parish ministry since I was happy with the work and people in the parish. I said to my superior, I would prefer to stay on for several years before transferring to the new place. He said to me: “think about it but, don’t say yes because you want to please me. It won’t do any good for you”. After a week, I called him and said: “I think I have no ability to be in charge of the pastoral centre and I don’t think that it will be good for the archdiocese who owns the centre. However I think I will do so because God may have a different plan for me”. I was then officially appointed as the Director of Pastoral Centre. Surprisingly, I very much enjoyed my four years as the Director. Since that time I have thought that sometimes “the blind obedience” is both a blessing and wisdom. I then learnt to walk by faith (trusting in God’s plan) and not by sight (cultivating my abilities).
Thomas, the apostle, was a man of logic and evidence. He said: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe” (John 19:25). It is good to be like Thomas to know things with our senses. However we are also spiritual people who do not just rely on physical evidence. We are people with spiritual senses that could sense beyond the physical things. It was also the experience of Mary the mother of God. Her “yes” to the invitation of God was not based on physical evidence but based on her “trust” in God. Therefore she had courage to “jump” to the darkness. She walks by faith and not by sight.
It happened to Thomas as well. He started from physical evidences to spiritual surrender. His spiritual journey didn’t stop in physical things. It goes beyond that. He finally came to submit himself to the Lord: “My Lord and my God” (John 19:28). How is your spiritual journey in finding God?
Speaking on Wednesday during the weekly General Audience, the Pope reflected at length on the celebration of the Sacred Triduum which begins on Holy Thursday, and during which we commemorate Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.
Linda Bordoni Reports:
We begin the Triduum – he continued – by celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, as we recall Christ’s offering of his body and blood to the Father, which he gave to the Apostles as food for their nourishment, with the command that they perpetually celebrate these mysteries in his memory. He said we also recall the Lord washing the Apostles’ feet, through which he showed that the “purpose of his life and passion was to serve God and neighbour, a service which we are called to imitate by loving one another as he loved us”. This purpose – Pope Francis explained – is expressed also during our Baptism, when the Lord’s grace cleansed us from sin and we “put on the new self” in the image of Christ (Col 3, 10). And it happens each time we partake in the Eucharist and enter into Communion with Christ to obey his commandment to love Him as he loved us. If we take Communion without being sincerely ready to wash each other’s feet – Francis said – we do not acknowledge the Lord’s Body: “Jesus’ service is to give of himself, totally”.
On Good Friday – the Pope continued – we will meditate on the mystery of Christ’s death and we will adore the Cross. During the last instants of his life, “before handing over the spirit” – he said – Jesus said “it is finished” (John 19, 30), meaning – the Pope explained – that Salvation has taken place; “that with his sacrifice Jesus has transformed the greatest injustice into the greatest love.” By his sacrifice – Francis said – sin has been overcome through love, an immense love which we are called to live and transmit. Throughout the centuries – he continued – many men and women have borne witness to this perfect, uncontaminated love, with their very existence.
On Holy Saturday – he continued – we will contemplate Jesus’ lying in the tomb, and with Mary, the Church will keep alive the flame of faith, hoping against every hope in Christ’s resurrection.
Then, at the Easter Vigil, when the Alleluia resounds again, we will celebrate the Risen Christ, the centre and fulfilment of the universe and history. And pointing out that “at times the darkness of the night seems to penetrate into our souls; and that at times we think ‘there is nothing left to do’ and our heart seems to have lost the strength to love…”, Pope Francis said that it is in that very darkness that “Christ lights up the fire of God’s love: a flash of light breaks the darkness and announces a new beginning”. It is in that darkness – he said – that Christ wins and lights the flame of love. And urging the faithful to open their hearts to a “present which is full of future”, the Pope said “our life does not end before a tomb stone, our life continues with the hope of Christ who arose from the tomb”. In these days – Pope Francis continued – may we not only observe the Lord’s Passion, but truly enter into its mystery, making our own the sentiments of Christ. In this way, our Easter will indeed be blessed.
Palm Sunday Reflection
This Sunday we commemorate ‘Palm Sunday’. Palm Sunday is not simply a time to recall Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion, but a time to reflect on its significance and meaning for us today. St Augustine, the great fifth century Church father, comments on the significance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem:
“The master of humility is Christ who humbled himself and became obedient even to death, even the death of the cross. Thus he does not lose his divinity when he teaches us humility… What great thing was it to the king of the ages to become the king of humanity? For Christ was not the king of Israel so that he might exact a tax or equip an army with weaponry and visibly vanquish an enemy. He was the king of Israel in that he rules minds, in that he gives counsel for eternity, in that he leads into the kingdom of heaven for those who believe, hope, and love. It is a condescension, not an advancement for one who is the Son of God, equal to the Father, the Word through whom all things were made, to become king of Israel. It is an indication of pity, not an increase in power.” (Tractates on John 51.3-4).
Humility is the key point of our Palm Sunday celebration. We celebrate Jesus Christ who entered Jerusalem with humility by riding on a donkey. Jesus was not born into a social status that would have given him power over the people of his time. His power came from within him and was embodied in his relationship with people – people in the synagogues, the streets, the market place, and especially those on the margins of their society. This attracted many people to Jesus and we hear of them coming to cheer him on.
Today in our own society and within our own families, we can recognise people of great humility. They may not have a prestigious position or an authority status but their rapport with others comes from the simplicity and humility with which they embrace life. One such person that came to mind for me was an MSC confrere who was not considered to be as academically gifted as others. He entered religious life because he felt he was called by God. I was asked by my (then) superior to accompany him for two years before he was to make perpetual vows as religious brother with the MSC’s. Since he was not good at teaching catechism and religion in school, or doing sacramental preparation, I was not too impressed with him. In my mind, every religious brother should be able to teach basic things about religion and in that way, they are able to minister and help their brother priests in ministry.
One day I asked him: “Brother, what was your motivation for entering religious life and what are some of the qualities you can offer the community, as well as the Church?” He said: “Father, I felt that I was called to religious life. And you know that I am not good academically. The thing that I can offer is looking after the house and the garden. Isn’t that a kind of support to our mission?” I was both moved and impressed by this simple answer. A few years later, while attending a Provincial Plenary Council meeting to talk about personnel and appointments, amazingly every MSC district superior that knew this Brother wanted him to be in their community because of who he was and how he carried out his ministry. In the final analysis, humility, simplicity and service of others is what triumphs and this was true for this MSC Brother of mine!
Monday 30 March
Reconciliation – After 9am Mass and 7pm
Holy Thursday 2 April
Mass of the Last Supper – 7pm (Indonesian 9pm)
Good Friday 3 April
Stations of the Cross 10am, Reconciliation 11am, Liturgy of the Passion 3pm (Indonesian 5:00pm)
Holy Saturday 4 April
Easter Vigil (baptism of catechumens) 7pm (Indonesian 9:30pm)
Easter Sunday 5 April
9:30am Family Mass (+KidsChurch), (Indonesian 3.30pm)
NO EVENING MASS