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Today, Catholic educational institutions are faced with the challenge of undertaking their mission within a pluralistic society whilst still genuinely reflecting Catholic faith and values. To what extent should the content of curriculum, policies and staff formation be influenced by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition? Please join us as Moral Philosopher Prof Sandra Lynch from the University of Notre Dame delivers her lecture “Mission Impossible? Education & Formation in a Pluralistic Society” at 6:30pm, Thursday 23 May 2019 in the Chapter Hall of St Mary’s Cathedral. Refreshments will be provided. Scholarship at the Cathedral is an initiative of the Sydney Archdiocese in partnership with The Institute for Ethics and Society of The University of Notre Dame Australia. Please register your attendance at: https://www.satcathedral.org/.
Next week on the Journey, our Gospel is John 13:31-35 and we are reminded to “love one another” Mother Hilda from the Abbey encourages us to “Trust”, Fr Dave Callaghan reminds us to “Become What we Behold”, and Peter Gilmore, in his Living the Gospel God spot, reminds us that there are “Greater Things than I”. Our music as always is uplifting, vibrant and truly inspiring. Go to www.jcr.org.au or www.itunes.jcr.org.au where you can listen anytime and subscribe to weekly shows by email.
This forum will be held on May 25th, 10am to 3.30pm at ACU Campus, 25a Barker Road Strathfield with Dr Anna Rowlands. 1st Session: “Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt & Gillian Rose – Prophets for our Crisis-Ridden 21st Century” followed by Q & A. BYO Lunch 12pm – 1.30pm. 2nd Session: “The Other – A Realistic Understanding of Catholic Social Teaching” followed by Q & A. Entry $25 per head through Catalyst for Renewal, PO Box 265, Swansea 2281. Message Bank: 02 9990 7003. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website www.catalystforrenewal.orgp.au. Dr Anna Rowlands is a renowned Theologian visiting Australia for the first time.
The Shawshank Redemption was the hit film of 1994. In it we follow the incarceration and escape plans of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Robbins is condemned to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Freeman says he is the ‘only guilty man in Shawshank Prison’. Based on Stephen King’s novella, this uplifting film is a surprise package from a writer whose fame comes from the horror genre.
The longer we watch the film, the more we realise that Stephen King has modelled his story on the Gospel of John. It is, in many respects a more modern parable about John’s portrait of Jesus. Tim Robbins’ character, Andy, like Jesus, is an innocent man, treated harshly by the authorities of his day. He has to endure the condemnation and cruelty of the leading religious zealots who are keepers of law and order, while he inspires others to think of a world free of subjection and oppression where they can be free to live the life of which they dream. Like John’s Jesus, Andy has big dreams and often talks in riddles, but he leaves clues for others to follow him in their quest for freedom.
In the last part of the film, after Andy has successfully escaped and the governor of the prison has been exposed for the hypocrite he is, Freeman is paroled after serving 35 years hard labour. He decides to go where Andy has gone and, just as Andy promised when they were together in prison, he finds that Andy has prepared the way for him to follow. The moving climax of the film comes as Robbins and Freeman meet on a beach, embrace each other and share food and drink to celebrate the new life both of them have discovered. Stephen King understands John’s portrait of Jesus very well. For all of Jesus’ assuredness and composure throughout the Gospel, the sense of care and intimacy in the encounters with his friends is deeply moving.
In the Easter Gospel to which we have just listened, Jesus returns to where his friends have fled from Jerusalem. In a parable about the growing numbers of the early Church, the Eucharist and the suffering they are enduring, John reaffirms that Jesus is intimately present in their following of him and their suffering for the Kingdom. The only sense John can make of Jesus’ death, the martyrdom of the apostles or the persecution of the early church is to see them all as acts of love. ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’
Those of us who have been caught up in the net of God’s love are heirs to the same promises of Jesus’ fidelity. Christ is intimately present to us in every act of loving sacrifice we undertake for him. He continues to send us out to tell people of the place that has been prepared for them at the banquet of life and he gives us strength to gird our loins for the times when life takes us to places we would rather not go.
In this Eucharist let’s be grateful for this Easter season when we celebrate again that we have been set free from the prison of our fears and shown the way to live a life of sacrificial love and undeserved redemption.
© Richard Leonard SJ
Once again, for the 3rd year in a row, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Kensington is hosting one of the biggest fund raising events for the NSW Cancer Council.
Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is happening on the 26th May, Sunday at 10:30am in our church foyer. As we have done in the past 2 years, we wish to get people bringing in treats, sweets, nibbles, etc on the day for everyone to share. Our Parish community had been very generous and this is an activity that has raised more than funds. It has built on our community spirit, goodwill and connected us closer to each other.
This year, let us unite and bring our generosity to good use – and all while having fun!
Spread the word – people don’t have to just come from this Parish, visitors are most welcome.
The Charitable Works Fund (CWF) Pastoral Appeal will run this weekend and we need your help. The work of CWF’s benefiting agencies represents our Christian values of mercy, social justice and compassion (visit www.cwf.org.au to find our more), giving your gift the power to change lives for the better. Your parish will have special envelopes for your use or alternatively, visit the CWF website to donate securely by credit card (please remember to include your nominated parish as this helps them too). To find out more, phone 1800 753 959 or email email@example.com Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
For the first time, The Archdiocese invited political parties to provide responses to a series of questions about their stance on some of the most critical issues at stake at next weekend’s election. These issues include religious freedom, education and care for the vulnerable. Their responses form the basis of the Federal Election Guide available in the church foyer.