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Sessions 1.30-3.00pm in the Crypt St Patrick’s Church City – 27 Sept, 4 Oct, 25 Oct. 1 Nov. All Welcome, No Charge, No Booking. Enq: M Kamper 9958 5963.
The Open Day, the Feast of St Vincent de Paul, one of our Patron Saints is on Sunday, 27 September at Chester Hill. A relic of St Vincent de Paul will be on display for those who attend to pray for their personal intentions and those of the Universal Church. All are welcome to join in prayer, meet some of the seminarians and partake in lunch or afternoon tea. For any enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or our office on email@example.com or on
9726 8114. RSVP: Monday, 21 September 2015.
Wed 7th October 2015. 7.30 – 9pm at the PADDINGTON RSL CLUB 220-232 Oxford St, Paddington, opposite the Town Hall. Topic: “Happiness” Speakers: Julie McCrossin, broadcaster with the ABC for 20 years and now a freelance journalist, facilitator, trainer and speaker; & John MacNally internationally acclaimed Irish Tenor. Donation entry. More info: Marea 0414 873 910.
Mass and Blessing of the Sick will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Earlwood, on Sunday the 11 October (behind Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Earlwood), entrance via St. James Avenue, Earlwood, commencing with recitation of the Rosary at 2:30pm followed by Mass and the Blessing of the Sick at 3:00pm. Some parking for disabled people is available in the school grounds and general parking in the nearby council car park.
In 2008, I visited Ho Chi Minh City to give a retreat to our Vietnamese MSC students. Each day of the retreat they came one by one to see me for spiritual direction. Spiritual direction is meant to help one reflect on their experience of God and this certainly requires some form of relationship, since faith is based on an experience of relationship. Needless to say, the experiences of each student varied. During these sessions, I began to notice that one of the students, a bright young man, would always quote other people’s views of God which he had read about in some book or other. He was struggling to identify and name his own experience of God. In the same retreat was another student from rural Ho Chi Minh. He spoke about God in his life and how he saw God’s hand in his own experience of dealing with the communist government. His experience of God was quite profound.
Jesus’ question: “Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29) was an invitation to the disciples to examine their relationship with him. Before he addressed this question to his disciples, he first asked them what others were saying about him. Many of his disciples came up with straight answers they had gotten from the people they encountered. However when the same question was addressed to them, Peter was the only disciple brave enough to give an answer: “You are the Christ”. Some scholars say that even though the disciples physically lived with Jesus, there was no guarantee that they knew him (as well as we would assume).
I suppose that if today, that same question was addressed to us individually, we may not only have different answers but some, if not most, would like the disciples, find it difficult to answer. In my early years of formation as an MSC, I remember my novice master saying, “We may call ourselves the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart but do we know the Sacred Heart.” His question was meant to shift our focus, from that of becoming a vowed-religious, to the one who calls us into religious life. The same thing could be said of the Church. We may love the (institutional) Church or going to Church, but can we see or sense God present and active in our own life every day. Pope Francis urges us to have a faith and not just religion. He said: “I do not want a church concerned with being at the center and then ends up by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.” Years ago, I became good friends with a few Muslims, while working in a predominantly Muslims area. We got on well in our mission among those marginalized and the poor. One day, a Muslim lady said to me: “Father, I think we have the same faith even though we come from different religion.” I fully agreed with her!