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This week on The Journey Fr Ken Cafe takes us through his Gospel Reflection of Mark; we hear from the ever favourite Sr Hilda Scott OSB; Trish McCarthy in her “Milk and Honey” segment gives us some tips on meditation; Bruce Downes talks about “Getting Spiritually Fit” and Byron and Francine Pirola give us tips on “Five Ways to Help a Struggling Marriage.” Add some great music to the mix and we have a great show this week. Go to www.jcr.org.au or www.itunes.jcr.org.au where you can listen anytime and subscribe to weekly shows by email.
An invitation is extended to join the group for morning tea and a chat. For those grieving the death of someone close and those who support them. Prayer, reflection and gentle conversation to be held on Wednesday, 11 November and Wednesday, 9 December 2015. Venue: Polding Centre, Level 8 Room 2, 133 Liverpool Street, Sydney. RSVP: Patricia Thomas Mob 0438 263 036/ 02 9649 6423 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Memorial Cemetery Mass for the deceased interred in the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, Botany will be celebrated in the Crematorium South Chapel on Saturday 14th November 2015 at 11am.
A few weeks ago I happened to have a chat with a nurse about the health system in Australia. I was amazed by the way this country has established the health system. It shows that this country really cares for its citizens and residents. We are lucky and being blessed. We should be happy for that. However there are times people still complain for not being treated or provided as they expect. I have been to many developing countries where their citizens especially the poor “are not allowed to get sick”, simply because they cannot afford to pay for any medicine or health treatment. And there is no such health fund that could help those people. The further question is “can you find happiness among those people?” In some ways we can say that they are unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean that they are not happy with their life. I am impressed with the story of Timothy Ryan, a year 11 student at Marcellin College and OLR parishioner, who recently returned from an immersion to India. Tim writes:
“They were exceptionally welcoming, washing our feet upon arrival and offering us specially prepared delicacies. They performed music and dances for us, which we joined in. Some of the villagers even welcomed us into their small mud hut homes for a cup of tea and a chat. Our final destination was Talit, another country town a few hours drive away. It was there that we spent most of our time with the children at an HIV orphanage, run by Sisters of St Teresa. Despite their situation, the children there were incredibly happy……Overall this trip was a great experience and I met people who are happy and content despite living in circumstances that most of us would find very challenging”. (The rest of the story is on page 3 of this bulletin).
The writer of the “Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations” says:
“The beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution? Poverty of spirit finds ample room and joy in possessing God as the greatest treasure possible. Hunger of the spirit seeks nourishment and strength in God’s word and Spirit. Sorrow and mourning over wasted life and sin leads to joyful freedom from the burden of guilt and spiritual oppression”.
So, happiness is not about being provided or how much or how many things we possess, but it is about being grateful for who we are and what we have now.
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
This is the first time Marcellin College Randwick has gone to India. The idea of the trip was to act as facilitators of Marist Ministry with a number of schools and help teach the students geography. There was a group of 10, consisting of 7 students and 3 teachers, we spent two weeks travelling through West Bengal. The trip began in Kolkata (formally Calcutta), where we visited Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity “Mother House” and travelled to nearby rural towns, including Bolpur where we stayed at St Theresa’s Boarding School. It was there that we met an incredible man, Fr Harshat, who went to great lengths to make sure that our stay was as comfortable as possible. The students at St. Teresa’s ranged from 5-17 yrs old and they had never seen visitors from outside of India. We spent our afternoons playing soccer with them on the pitch across from their school, and the evenings playing games or making paper origami with them. I enjoyed every moment with them, and they felt the same way towards us. While we were in Bolpur, we also visited two Sental villages (the native inhabitants of the region). These villagers rarely have visitors, let alone groups from foreign countries. They were exceptionally welcoming, washing our feet upon arrival and offering us specially prepared delicacies. They performed music and dances for us, which we joined in. Some of the villagers even welcomed us into their small mud hut homes for a cup of tea and a chat. Our final destination was Talit, another country town a few hours drive away. It was there that we spent most of our time with the children at an HIV orphanage, run by Sisters of St Teresa. Despite their situation, the children there were incredibly happy. We also spent time with students at a Marist Boy’s Hostel. Besides teaching we shared many activities with these children, including classroom games and soccer. In the evenings we shared a meal with the Marist Brothers at the hostel. Overall this trip was a great experience and I met people who are happy and content despite living in circumstances that most of us would find very challenging.
Please note, there will be NO Holy Hour in November (5). We are currently reviewing the initiative and will relaunch in December for the Year of Mercy. If you have any suggestions or requests on how to make Reconciliation and healing more accessible, please contact Francine Pirola 0433 451 433.
The next meeting of the Mission & Outreach Group will be held on Wednesday 4 November at 7pm in the Rosary Room. All welcome.