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What better way to prepare for Advent and Christmas than through prayer!
ADVENT retreat – Saturday 28th November, 2015 9am-4pm – 74 Rosebery Ave, Rosebery
Come and experience how God wants to prepare our hearts for Christmas. There will be guided talks, time for personal reflection and opportunities for spiritual guidance from the missionaries. Cost $50. Please contact Verbum Dei Missionaries (02) 9313 7099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
The women in the first reading and today’s gospel have the same concern. Both relate to a very strong passion for charity. These women wanted to offer the best they had for others. Reflecting on these readings evoked memories of my experience of celebrating Easter in the Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific, in 2001. I was asked by the local Bishop to celebrate Easter for the villagers on an atoll island called Kuria; a fifteen minute flight from Tarawa, the Capital of Kiribati. I arrived about eight in the morning on Palm Sunday and was met by parishioners from the island, who took me to the presbytery. Beside the presbytery there was a “kia-kia”- a small hut for rest and relaxation. Inside the “kia-kia” people had prepared lots of food, which was mainly “European food”. Over the next few days, they kept preparing imported/western food for me since they thought that as a foreigner, I would not be able to eat the local food. Western food for them is something that is highly regarded. One day before mass, I was again offered a European/western styled breakfast. I jokingly said to them in their language: “Akia te ika, akia te tutia”, meaning “if there is no fish (the local staple diet), there won’t be any mass as well”. They were surprised that I had asked for fish. I told them that I was not European, and in fact the island where I come from (in Indonesia) shared many similar foods with them. Nonetheless, I was impressed by the fact that they had tried to provide the best from the little they had and I was really touched by their generosity.
Every year, our parish community at OLR is flooded with so many appeals for those who are in need. At times I feel for parishioners who continually give generously to these appeals. However I know that most parishioners contribute to these appeals out of generosity, without calculating/expectation of something in return. I’ve also noticed that many young couples like to give their Sunday offering to the children to put in the collection box at Mass. This is a wonderful way of teaching children to give with a generous and joyful heart, since they always smile to parents and siblings after putting their family offering into the collection box.
With gratefulness for the many generous people around us, let us also pray for the world, that it may be a generous world. The state of our world today can be described as a “fleeing world”, where so many unfortunate people flee from their countries and from their homes. While we can give something to help them, we can also welcome them into our own countries and communities. The book of Leviticus reminds us that: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself….” (Lev 19:34), or in Jesus’ words: “When I was a stranger, you invited me in…” (Matt 25:35).
The changing face of the church is a challenge for all Catholic parishes and for parish priests in particular. The policy of the MSC is to assist parish priests to reflect on their life and ministry in response to their calling in the service of Christ. At the same time his life and ministry is in the context of your parish. The review responds to the call today for the Church and its ministers and lay faithful to be accountable for their gift of baptism and the challenges Christians face in today’s world.
The Review has four parts:
1 The Priest’s Reflection Document. Fr Alo will provide to the reviewers his reflection and thoughts on his life and ministry in the parish.
2 Up to fifteen parishioners representing a cross-section of the parish have been asked to complete a questionnaire for their comments and reflections. Their names were suggested by Fr Alo. The questionnaire considers four key aspects of priestly life and ministry today, namely, the human, spiritual, theological and pastoral areas encountered from day to day.
3 All parishioners are offered the opportunity to comment on their experience of Fr Alo’s presence and ministry in the parish. On behalf of the MSC, this review is being conducted by Fr Doug Smith msc and Mrs Judith Lynch who will be available to be approached after Masses on the weekend of 14th and 15th November, or be otherwise contacted by email email@example.com or Judith.firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 An audit of the parish in terms of its resources and procedures will also be carried out by the reviewers. This will be an important document for both the MSC and the archdiocese in terms of their responsibilities for the future of the parish.
After the interview notes, questionnaire responses and Fr Alo’s reflection document have been gathered by the reviewers, they will discuss with Fr Alo the positives that have emerged, as well as any relevant issues and concerns that have been raised. In consultation with Fr Alo the reviewers will develop a report to be sent to me as MSC Provincial. They will also prepare an audit report and a copy of this will go to the parish council.
Fr John Mulrooney MSC Provincial
This weekend is the CWF appeal which continues to play an important role in providing social, pastoral, advocacy and training programs through its 6 agencies. The CWF is your Catholic charity and we encourage you to give it your generous support. Couples, families, refugees, migrants, our future priests, Catholic public school children, the deaf and hearing impaired are just some of the people you are helping by supporting the CWF. There is so much which can be done with your donations, so please give generously.
Training Session for Readers Saturday November 28th 2-5pm, Rosary Room.
Br Phillip Elwin will be conducting a training session for all those involved in reading at our Parish masses.
We hope all of our readers will attend as good readings are essential to enrich our liturgies.
For further info and RSVP, please call Cathy Shiner 0419 970 754.