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Week beginning: Sunday, 9th of August 2020

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From the Heart of Your Loving Shepherd

SILENCE IN SPIRITUALITY AND SPIRITUALISING SILENCE

Spiritual life is totally unimaginable without Silence. I am not saying anything new here! We observe it in the life of so many mystics, saints and spiritual giants of both men and women in the history of Church. Not all of them have become very famous to inspire every one of us in the Spirituality of Silence! For example, though a great saint like DON BOSCO, was deeply a man of God who was constantly in Union with God through active contemplative life. But, with humility, I would like to confess with all the knowledge and personal experience of Salesian life of Don Bosco for nearly a four decades, which was certainly one of the greatest gifts in my life, I still cannot claim that Don Bosco inspires me very much in the art of Silence, like that of St. Francis of Assisi!

I most humbly would like to share that God's wonderful gift of the opportunity to do my Studies in the Salesian University of ROME, gave me so many spiritual awakenings and enrichments through the illustrious professors and more through the Holy priests whom I had the fortune of meeting. Among the many, I still hold very specially in my heart, my Spiritual Director, Don Giusuppe GROPPO, SDB, who introduced me to THOMAS MERTON! Since then I have always been finding in the writings of THOMAS MERTON, a ton load of Spiritual delicacies to savour every day! Hence I am taking the courage to share with you and to invite you a well, if you wish to take the JOURNEY IN SILENCE WITH THOMAS MERTON and with me as well, please?!!

THOMAS MERTON'S SPIRITUALITY OF SILENCE

I thought it would be fitting to get to know the life in a breezy manner of Thomas Merton before we commence the enjoyment of devouring the great spiritual treats of his writings on SILENCE AND SPIRITUALITY'

" Thomas Merton who later came to be known as Father Louis was an American priest, Catholic thinker and a Trappist monk, who rose to prominence as a leading writer on Catholicism. He was born in France in 1915 but his family left for the United States in the same year and settled down in New York. Merton was not only a great Catholic thinker and writer but also a social activist of great repute and was known to be a keen researcher on comparative religion. The priesthood was ordained on Merton in 1949 and from then on, he was known as Father Louis. However, it was as a writer of spiritual books that he became most famous and produced a rich body of work that included over 70 books. His most famous work is ‘The Seven Storey Mountain” that was published in 1948 and was included among the 100 best books of non-fiction by ‘National Review’. The book was so influential that it inspired many American citizens especially teenagers to head for monasteries in search of spiritual upliftment."

SOME OF THE QUOTATIONS OF THOMAS MERTON ON SPIRITUALITY OF SILENCE

I am listing below some of the quotations, which inspired me to begin with to inspire the SEEKING OF SILENCE. I cannot pretend to add anything to these great jewels of writings on Silence, hence I entering into silence!

  • In Silence, God ceases to be an object and becomes an experience
  • In a world of noise, confusion and conflict it is necessary that there be places of silence, inner discipline and peace. In such places, love can blossom.
  • The world of men has forgotten the joys of silence, the peace of solitude, which is necessary, to some extent, for the fullness of human living. Man cannot be happy for long unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of his own soul. If a man is exiled constantly from his own home, locked out of his spiritual solitude, he ceases to be a true person.
  • There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious unity and integrity is wisdom, the mother of us all, "natura naturans." There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being.
  • For language to have meaning, there must be intervals of silence somewhere, to divide word from word and utterance from the utterance. He who retires into silence does not necessarily hate language. Perhaps it is love and respect for language which imposes silence upon him. For the mercy of God is not heard in words unless it is heard, both before and after the words are spoken, in silence
  • But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.
  • When I am liberated by silence, when I am no longer involved in the measurement of life, but in the living of it, I can discover a form of prayer in which there is effectively no distraction. My whole life becomes a prayer. My whole silence is full of prayer. The world of silence in which I am immersed contributes to my prayer.
  • The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness. But it does not matter much because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there."

(To be continued....)

Seeking in the company of each one of you,

Fr. Joseph AMAL SDB., Parish Priest

Take Fresh Courage
For the ten year anniversary of Mary’s canonisation, please give generously this Feast Day to continue her legacy. In the spirit of Mary MacKillop, we invite you to “Take fresh courage.”

Mary MacKillop Today supports thousands of people in Timor-Leste, Peru. Papua New Guinea, Fiji and here is Australia, bringing hope to communities for generations to come. Please pray for Mary MacKillop Today especially during the challenging time we all face, so that we can continue to transform lives through our vital works carrying on the legacy of Saint Mary MacKillop.

TO DONATE: Call 02 8912 2777 or visit
www.marymackilloptoday.org.au/donate/

You can also make your donations through our Church Account, BSB: 083 347 ACC: 63746 2683. Please add Mary MacKillop as reference.
Thank you.

Feast Day - 8 August 2020

WALK WITH HIM AND TRUST:
ALEX CHOW PREPARES FOR ORDINATION TO THE DIACONATE

This Saturday, on the Feast of St Mary MacKillop, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli will ordain seminarian Alexander Chow as a deacon for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. In the lead up to his ordination, and as part of National Vocations Awareness Week, Melbourne Catholic caught up with Alex to learn about his journey so far.

WATCH: Alex's ordination Mass will be live streamed from St Patrick's Cathedral this Saturday at 10am.

All are welcome to join online: www.youtube.com/archmelb.

Full Article

Light in the midst of darkness:
A video message from
Archbishop Peter
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has recorded a message for the faithful, encouraging us to continue to pray for and support one another during this difficult time. Despite the challenges of returning to stage 3 restrictions, Archbishop Comensoli says he's been encouraged by 'light in the midst of darkness' – such as the work done by the Flemington Kensington Parish to support locals affected by the hard lockdown of apartment towers.

Watch Video Message

During lockdown, draw strength from Jesus:
Archbishop encourages Melbourne Catholics

How might we be “revealers of Jesus” during this time of pandemic? In his latest video message, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli encourages the community to draw strength from Jesus, whose vulnerability on the cross revealed to the world the depths of His love. Let us take our fragility and bring it to the foot of the Cross, offering it up to Jesus and seeing in Him a way to live through these challenging times.

Watch Video Message

St. Luke's 40th Anniversary Mugs
Vinnies Winter Appeal

Every week our volunteer team here at St Luke’s are able to make an extraordinary differences to people in need, in our local community. We are inspired by the joy of the Gospels and our Catholic social teachings to things that give the power to change lives.

As we enter this winter in the shadow of the coronavirus, your commitment to helping those experiencing disadvantages, poverty, loneliness and homelessness is still very much needed and appreciated.

Our appeal is for Sunday 21st June 2020. You can also donate through the month of June .

There are currently limited Church Masses due to COVID-19. Therefore Vinnies have not produced parish envelopes for the same reason. As such, all parishioners wanting to donate, can put the donation in an envelope with your name and email address in it. It can be dropped off at the church if you are booked to participate one of the Sunday Masses or hand it to the Parish Office. During office hours (Monday - Friday, 9:30am – 3:30pm).

You can also donate directly by: phoning 13 18 12 or Online at vinnies.org.au

On behalf of our St Vincent de Paul team at St Luke’s, we wish to send our heartfelt thank you to the generous people who during the shadow of coronavirus kindly donated funds for us to continue to feed, heal, shelter and nurture and inspire our community in need.

Donate to Vinnies Winter Appeal

Honor Tanner
President, St Vincent de Paul Wantirna Conference

Need For Volunteers
We are in urgent need of volunteers to:
  1. visit and bring Holy Communion to the sick and elderly in the nursing homes.
  2. clean the Parish Centre on a fortnightly basis.
  3. set up the Altar and arrange flowers.

Please see father or let the parish office know if you are able to help.

Thank you.

We Care – Responding to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act

From the earliest times, Christ’s followers have set themselves apart by their care of the vulnerable (Acts 4:34). On 19 June 2019, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (VAD) comes into effect. It legalises euthanasia and assisted suicide. Despite what the law may say, our Christian tradition affirms that every life, including those of the sick and suffering, is sacred. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are never part of end of life care.

Pope Francis has encouraged ordinary Catholics everywhere to resist euthanasia and to protect the old, the young and the vulnerable from being cast aside in a “throw-away culture.” We are called to follow Christ by accompanying people with compassion, sharing hope not fear.

The Bishops of the Catholic dioceses of Melbourne, Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst, echoing Pope Francis, have published a pastoral letter including practical guidance on ways we can be conscientious objectors to euthanasia. Copies of the letter are available online: www.cam.org.au/euthanasia or

Pastoral Letter - Voluntary Assisted Dying

We Care

Please read and share it.

We Can Love Because We Were Loved First - Pope Francis
Pope Francis noted that we are also indebted to God because none of us is able to love without the grace of God. The Pope described this as the mysterium lunae, the “mystery of the moon,” which does not shine with its own light, but can only reflect the light of the sun. If we love, the Pope said, it is because we were loved first. If we forgive, it is because we have been forgiven.

“None of us loves God as He has loved us,” the Pope said. “It is enough to place yourself before a crucifix to grasp the disparity: He has loved us, and He always loves us first.” Pope Francis concluded by inviting us all to pray, “Lord, even the most holy among us do not cease to be debtors to you. O Father, have mercy on us!”

https://catholicoutlook.org/pope-at-audience-we-are-all-sinners-who-need-forgiveness/

Melbourne Catholic App Now Available
The new Melbourne Catholic app is now available for download in your app store.

The app is your one stop shop for all things Melbourne Catholic, featuring Melbourne Catholic trending news, a search function for Mass times, Archbishop's Homilies, Daily Readings, Prayers and Weekly Reflections as well as local events and news about Plenary Council 2020.

Stewardship Corner

"Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy?"

Isaiah 55:2

Of all the ways we are asked to be generous, giving our money can be the most challenging. God understands this.

Remember though that we are called to be generous with all our gifts, including our money.

We are called to give from our "first fruits" and not from what is "leftover".

Pope Francis: Jesus Journeys With Us Even In Bad Times
Pope Francis has told pilgrims that God walks with us always, “even in the most painful moments” of our lives as he did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Pope Francis continued his series of reflections on Christian hope at his Wednesday General Audience shortly after his meeting with US president Donald Trump. The Pope spoke about the disciples’ meeting with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus, in Luke’s Gospel, as “a journey of hope”.

He told pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square that Christians today are a bit like those two disciples: so often we find ourselves “a step away from happiness” but then experience sadness and disappointment.

The Pope said Jesus’ accompaniment of the two disciples shows a “therapy of hope” which “gradually opens us to trust in God’s promises”. Hope, the Pope said, is “never a small price” to pay and always involves defeats and sufferings. However, walking with the disciples in a discreet way, he said, Jesus is able to rekindle their hope.

Pope Francis explained that it was only when the disciples witnessed Jesus breaking the bread that he is revealed to them as the Risen Lord, who is present in their midst. This, the Pope said, “shows us the importance of the Eucharist in which, like the bread, Jesus ‘breaks our lives’ and offers them to others”.

Noting how the disciples return to Jerusalem after their encounter with the Risen Lord to proclaim the good news, the Pope said that “we too are sent forth to encounter others, to hear their joys and sorrows, and to offer them words of life and hope, based on God’s unfailing love.”

“All of us,” the pope said, have had difficult and dark times, when there is “just a wall in front” of us. But “Jesus is always beside us to give us hope, warm our hearts and say, "Go forward, I'm with you. Go forward.”

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/05/24/pope_francis_jesus_journeys_with_us_even_in_bad_times/1314538

Happy Families Pray Together

"The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on."

- John Paul II, Apostolic Letter on the Rosary of the Virgin Mary

View Rosary Prayer Card
Individual Confession vs. "General Absolution"
The Church hasn't banned the Third Rite which, by the way, consists in the general absolution of a large number of people at once without individual confession.

The rite was first introduced during World War I to allow priests to absolve a large number of soldiers before they went into battle when it would have been impossible to hear all the confessions individually. At the time of the World War II the conditions were extended to other circumstances of imminent danger of death, and finally in 1972 they came to include situations such as those in mission territories where, if the priest did not absolve a large number of people at once, they would have to go for a long time without the grace of the sacraments through no fault of their own.

The norms on what has come to be called "general absolution" were incorporated into the 1983 Code of Canon Law in Canons 961-963 and into the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 1483-1484 (cf. J. Flader, Question Time 1, Connor Court 2012, q. 80).

Up until some 15 years ago the Third Rite was used in many parishes in Australia. Significant numbers of people took advantage of it, partly because they were helped by the readings from Scripture, prayers and often a homily, and because many others were attending as well, emphasising the communal, ecclesial aspect of the sacrament. And since there was no need to confess their sins individually to the priest, they found it much easier than going to individual confession.

Why did it suddenly stop? Perhaps the more apposite question would be why it began in the first place. It is clear that the conditions required for its use simply do not exist in Australia, particularly the condition that if the priest did not absolve a large number of penitents collectively they would have to go for a long period of time without the grace of the sacraments through no fault of their own. While the number of priests has diminished somewhat, we are still well served with priests and parishes so that the sacrament of Reconciliation is readily available all over this country.

By the late 1990s the use of general absolution was fairly widespread, especially in some dioceses. During their five-yearly ad limina visit to Rome in 1998, the Australian bishops discussed this matter, along with others, with Pope [St.] John Paul and Vatican officials. At the end of their visit a long Statement of Conclusions was signed by representatives of the Australian bishops and of the Roman Curia. Among other matters, it encouraged the use of individual confession and, with respect to general absolution, said: "Unfortunately, communal celeb­rations have not infrequently occasioned an illegitimate use of general absolution. This illegitimate use, like other abuses in the administration of the sacrament of Penance, is to be eliminated. The bishops will exercise renewed vigilance on these matters for the future, aware that departures from the authentic tradition do great wrong to the Church and to individual Catholics" (n. 45).

Naturally, while general absolution is not to be used in this country, it still remains an option in countries where the conditions for its use exist.

Those who do take regular advantage of individual confession know how much good it does them. Apart from receiving forgiveness of their sins, they have an opportunity to do a thorough examination of conscience, to tell their sins personally to God through the priest and to receive helpful spiritual direction and encouragement. With the abundant grace the sacrament gives them, they begin their spiritual struggle anew each time, with their soul free from sin and filled with hope.

Pope [St.] John Paul II, in an address to priests at the beginning of Lent in 1981, said that "confession periodically renewed, the so-called confession 'of devotion', has always accompanied the ascent to holiness in the Church." And on 13 March, 1999, he told priests hearing confessions in the patriarchal basilicas of Rome: "It should not be forgotten that the so-called confession of devotion was the school which formed the great saints."

Would that more people made frequent use of this sacrament. Their growth in holiness through it would be a great blessing for themselves, for their families, for the Church and for the whole of society.

Fr John Flader
The Catholic Weekly, www.catholicweekly.com.au
12 May, 2013
Consecration of The House To The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Please speak to Fr. Joseph or the parish office to organize day and time.

Fr Joseph would like to congratulate everyone who had their house consecrated recently.

Consecration Of The Family

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Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary,

I consecrate my entire self to the Most Holy Love of Your Two Hearts. I wish to make reparation for all the sins of the world, including my own. I offer these things for the love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

I will keep my mind on beauty and turn my thoughts from evil things. I will hold my temper and bear the mistakes of others with love and a forgiving heart. I will admit when I am wrong and ask others to forgive me. I will not show off, but remain humble. I will offer up all my sufferings, sicknesses and hurts and seek God’s Will, not my own. I will show appreciation for the kindness and blessings that I receive, and thank God for all things. I will do everything in my life for love of God and I will love others as God has loved me.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the intercession of the Im-maculate Heart of Mary, receive the offering and consecration I now make of myself to You. Keep me faithful until death and bring me one day to the happy home in heaven. I desire to live forever with God the Father and the Most Holy Spirit and You my Lord Jesus, together with Your Most Immaculate Mother.

Amen.

Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
please protect us.

Pope Francis Urges Young people To 'Download A Good Heart' and Pay Less Attention to Technology
Pope Francis has wrapped up his Polish visit with a huge outdoor Mass where he told young people to look beyond the instant gratification afforded by technology and instead try to change the world.

Hundreds of thousands of young people, many of whom camped out for the night, waved national flags and cheered as Pope Francis arrived to say the mass in a large field on the outskirts of Krakow at the end of his five-day trip to Poland where he presided at the Catholic Church's World Youth Day festivities.

He urged the young people to "download the best link of all, that of a heart which sees and transmits goodness without growing weary".

He said their response to the challenges of life cannot be "texting a few words", that prayer should be given pride of place over their internet "chats", and that God's memory was not a "hard disk" filled with files on everyone, but more of a compassionate heart that wants to help them "erase" evil.

Pope Francis encouraged them to continue "to be dreamers [who] believe in a new humanity, one that rejects hatred between peoples, one that refuses to see borders as barriers".

He announced the next World Youth Day would take place in Panama in 2019.

For full story: www.abc.net.au/news

Pope Tells Teens:
Happiness 'Is Not An App'
Happiness is not an app you can download on your mobile phone, Pope Francis told thousands of teenagers on Sunday at a mass to mark a weekend dedicated to youth.

"Freedom is not always about doing what you want. In fact it is the gift of being able to choose the right way," he said in a homily punctuated by regular bursts of applause from the crowd on a packed St Peter's Square.

"Your happiness has no price. It cannot be bought and sold: it is not an application you download on a mobile phone. Even the latest version cannot help you to grow and become free in love."

An estimated 70,000 teenagers were in Rome for a weekend of events to celebrate Francis's Jubilee year dedicated to the theme of mercy.

In a surprise move on Saturday, the 79-year-old pontiff heard confessions from 16 of them and a video message from him was broadcast at a rock and rap concert in the Stadio Olimpico.

One of the teenagers chosen to confess to the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics said she had been trembling as she approached the chair on which the pope was sitting in St Peter's Square.

"But as soon as I sat down I had the feeling of being next to a normal person rather than the pope. Francis is really one of us," Anna Taibi, 15, told La Repubblica newspaper.

The Sicilian teenager said she had been touched by Francis's tenderness as he listened to her confession.

"I expected him to give me a penance ... instead he absolved me and let me go."

The importance of mobile phones to contemporary teenagers was also reflected in Francis's message to the concert.

Clutching an iPhone, he told his audience that living without Jesus was like not having any signal. "Always be sure to go where there is a network: family, parish, school," he said.

www.businessinsider.com/afp-pope-tells-teens-happiness-not-an-app-2016-4?IR=T

In Loving Memory

Some of you may have heard the sad news that JOAN HARRADENCE passed away on Sunday 2 August 2020 in Ballarat.

Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions we will be unable to have parishioners attending the funeral, but we ask that you keep her in your prayers.

Friendship Group

Sadly we have lost one of our original members JOAN HARRADENCE who died in Ballarat last Sunday night. She has been very involved in our Parish over many years and will be dearly missed. She moved to Ballarat when she became ill to live with her daughter and our love and Condolences are with daughter Jarna and her sister Cheryl and brother as they mourn their lovely mother.

I am also hoping that all of our Friendship Group are staying well in isolation and that hopefully by St Luke’s day in October we can all meet up again to celebrate our 40th Anniversary Mass.

We are very thankful to Fr. JOSEPH for our daily Masses on YouTube and do hope you all watching them as Father prays especially for all of his elderly parishioners. The Sunday Mass is special as there is music and singing.

Pat Norman

Catholic Care Sunday Appeal

You can also make your donations through our Church Account, BSB: 083 347 ACC: 63746 2683. Please add CatholicCare as reference. Thank you.

CELEBRATION OF FAITH AND LIFE:
St. Luke's 40th Year
REFLECTION SERIES
Celebration of FAITH

Faith is the most important basic foundation of every Christian community. It's Faith that brings us together as a BELIEVING community and a CELEBRATING community of Christ's memorial Spiritual 'MEAL' called the EUCHARIST. I do hope that you did read my previous week's conclusion of the SERIES OF REFLECTIONS on one of the dimensions of FAITH enabling us to FACE OUR FEARS, LONELINESS, ANXIETY and GUILT, which I acronymed as FLAG. We introduce our REFLECTIONS on the theme of FAITH. I would like to remind ourselves once again to commence this new series of our Reflection defining FAITH again. Hope you don't get tired of reading once again!?!

The Catholic Dictionary defines the term, FAITH thus: " The acceptance of the word of another, trusting that one knows what the other is saying and is honest in telling the truth. The basic motive of all faith is the authority (or right to be believed) of someone who is speaking. This authority is an adequate knowledge of what he or she is talking about, and integrity in not wanting to deceive. It is called divine faith when the one believed is God, and human faith when the persons believed are human beings." The etymological root of the word FAITH which is from the Latin FIDES means belief; habit of faith; the object of faith."

The letters of St. Paul has a wealth of wisdom and immensity of concepts of Faith which no other biblical letters possess in the New Testament. Hence I would like to begin with the Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews, Particularly Chapter 11 and 12., from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition.

The Meaning of Faith: 11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old received divine approval. 3 By faith, we understand that the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.

ASSURANCES OF FAITH AND DAILY LIFE

Let us consider the first three verses. St. Paul who was a great genius rightly says that 'Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.' There are three concepts intermingled with each other here! Therefore, I wish to raise the following questions to carry forward our serious searches of the minefields of theological attributes of Faith as described by St. Paul:

1) What gives us the assurances of life and day-to-day living? We are all well aware that we are passing through the most challenging time in the recent history of Humanity, with the Global crises of COVID-19, which has affected the normal life of not just one nation but the entire Globe, with the exception of two or three countries. If this treacherous plight and pathetic stage we are confronted with today in spite of all the medical advancements, where is the assurance of our health and well being? Who and what guarantees all of our tomorrows of HEALTH and WELL BEING? Certainly, the Human Sciences and Medical Sciences, have improved the quality of our lives, when we look back a century in the sands of time. But the assurance of the future seems to be gloomy if we analyse the 'cruelties' that COVID-19 has been creating in our Psyche and the mind!

(To be continued....)

Searching for the Divine in the company of each one of you,

Fr Joseph Amal PP

Home in hard places: St Ignatius Loyola
(By Andrew Hamilton)
In the future, 2020 will be remembered by many different names. In Australia, one of them could well be the Year of Hard Times and Places. We think of the country alight, of the people caught by Coronavirus, and of the hardship suffered as a result of the isolation that followed it. 2020 will certainly not be called the year of trivial pursuits.

St Ignatius spent much of his life drawing people beyond trivial pursuits and became at home in hard places. He had to convalesce after being wounded in battle. He begged his way around Spain, slept rough, had constant run-ins with authorities suspicious of his faith and morals, went back to school in his late 20s, begged his way to visit the Holy Land but was ordered home, and faced every obstacle in placing himself and his friends at the disposal of the Pope. For much of his life, too, he suffered the acute pain of kidney stones.

If resilience is a quality highly to be prized—as is widely proclaimed in this year of coronavirus—Ignatius had it in spades. It came from his conviction that God loved him and was calling him into service, and that the map of the future would be written in the successes, the failures, the lights and the unnoticed shadows of his life. In a world marked by bitter conflicts, by people wanting unconditional commitment to narrow causes, by war and plague and troubled conscience, he listened to people and led them to focus on what really matters. As Pope Francis would say, he did not live in officers’ quarters but in the field hospital.

Coincidentally, St Ignatius’ feast (31 July) falls one day before the World Day of Friendship. Had Ignatius seen into the future he would have appreciated the coincidence, and over the dinner table would surely have reminded his Jesuit community of its significance. Friendship lay at the heart of his discovery of God and of the founding of the Jesuits. For him, friendship with Jesus flowed naturally from gratitude to God for his goodness in making, forgiving and calling him. In his life and his Spiritual Exercises, intimacy with Jesus and Mary through an imagination captured by them had a central part. He shared this friendship with his young fellow students at university in Paris, and it grounded their deep friendship with one another. It led them to have high desires to serve God in a shared commitment, initially in Palestine, and when that was impracticable, in service of the Pope.

When with his companions Ignatius decided to ask the Pope to allow them to formalise their commitment to Christ and one another in his service, they hoped that all those who joined them would be what they were, friends in the Lord.

In the time of Coronavirus, too, resilience and friendship are great gifts. They are also in great need. They are in the DNA also of Jesuit Social Services, which inherits the tradition of Ignatius. They are gifts that we hope we offer to offer to those for whom we work, and to show in our relationship with one another.

Message From St. Luke's Leadership Team

Dear Parishioners of St. Luke’s Parish,

We all thought this Covid-19 virus was under control, however it seems it’s far from over.

Since I commenced this letter, lots has changed: we thought we would be able to open our Masses up to 50 people, and that has not happened, we thought we would be still staying at 20 people, and now that has ended as well, latest instructions “no attendees can be present.”

We are wanting to touch base with you all to reassure you that Parish life is progressing, as normal as it can be for these very unusual times. Those in the older bracket will all be receiving a phone call soon, to say hello, ask how you are, bring you up to date with what’s happening in the Parish, and bring you Holy Communion if you would like. It is extremely hard to stay connected when we need to be very mindful of social distance and isolation. Words we probably did not use before.

You will all be aware now, that we are now not allowed to have public Masses. Fr. Joseph is doing his absolute best to celebrate live streamed Mass daily, so that you who have the facility can participate in daily Mass if you wish too. Weekday live stream will continue to be at 9.00 am and Sunday at 10.00 am. Along with Fr. we have two very dedicated helpers, Jerome and Shehan who are making this possible for you on the technical side of things. We are grateful for their generosity of time and effort, for all these months. Mass numbers will be reviewed again in six weeks, by the Archdioceses of Melbourne under instructions from the Victorian Government.

Should you be feeling isolated, and do not have too many friends to call, one of the Pastoral Team members would be happy to call you and have a chat. It is hard to belong, at a distance.

We had thought 2020 would be a special year for us at St. Luke’s, special it is, but not in the way we thought. As the weeks go past, I look at the things we had planned, but have not been able to do. We may need to extend our 40th Year celebrations to next year, let us see what happens. For now, we are making all efforts to stay well, stay isolated, wash hands.

However, we can connect through prayer: we need to pray for Fr. Joseph, that the Holy Spirit, continue to fill him with great energy, good health, and general wellbeing. We can pray for each other, we all have different stresses currently, different things that worry us, we are all one Parish Family, and in that way, we can support each other.

We also need to be mindful, now, with no Parishioners in the Masses, the running costs, the utilities bills, the insurance bills, and general maintenance work that needs to be done, cost money, and monetary support of Fr. Joseph, all need to be met. Heating costs this time of year, are big: This is hard when some of our income has become so limited. If you have not collected your envelopes from the Parish Office, please do, if you cannot collect them, we can drop them in your letter box.

Please show your care and support for the Parish Financially, I know now is not the time to ask for “digging deep”, but if you haven’t contributed for a while, this could also be done through internet banking into the parish accounts.

If you would like to give a ‘one off‘ donation, we would also be incredibly grateful. Other high cost items now, are the sanitiser, we need to use after our Masses. This cleaning is mandatory, and if it is not doing correctly, we are not caring for our community as best as we can, and we are trying to protect us all from any source of virus.

You the Parishioners are by far the most valuable of Parish assets because you belong.

Should you need some care on the Spiritual side, please call, and speak to Fr. Joseph, he will be more than happy to see you and to fulfil your spiritual needs .

Keep warm, stay well, stay isolated, but remember the phone is a great source of outreach.

Christina Williams
St. Luke’s Leadership Team

Serra International

Serra International - Prayer for Vocations

"Heavenly Father, help us respond to and live out our mission in the Church. Help all your people to know their vocation in life, and assist them to prepare for it.

For your greater glory, and for the service of your people, call many to be Priests and Religious. Give those whom you call the grace to respond generously and to persevere faithfully. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Amen."

For information about Serra or Vocations:

www.scanzspac.org

View / Download Prayer Card (296kB)

Altar Servers
Presently the parish has few altar servers.

Their service and prayerful presence enhances the liturgical celebration.

Fr. Joseph is calling for more children to take up this ministry.

What It Means To Be An Altar Server (Video)

Pope Invites The Deaf To Help Others ‘Hear’ The Voice Of God

Inclusion and quality of life

Pope Francis met with members of the Federation in the Vatican on Thursday and expanded that mission, saying the Federation is now dedicated to ‘tackling the culture of waste, and encouraging greater inclusion in all environments’. This work is necessary, he said, in order ‘to ensure a better quality of life for the deaf person and the overcoming of this disability by valuing all dimensions, including the spiritual one’.

Fragility and encounter

While his words were simultaneously translated into sign language, Pope Francis said: ‘Deaf people inevitably experience a condition of fragility’. Like so many other people with disabilities, they also often experience forms of prejudice, even in Christian communities. ‘This is not right’, insisted Pope Francis. The deaf teach us that only by accepting our limitations and fragilities can we help build ‘the culture of encounter’, as opposed to widespread indifference, he said.

‘Hearing’ the voice of God

‘God’s presence is not perceived with the ears, but with faith’, said Pope Francis. God’s voice resounds in each person’s heart, ‘and everyone can hear it’. The Pope invited those present to ‘help those who do not ‘hear’ God's voice to be more attentive to it’.

https://melbournecatholic.org.au/News/pope-invites-the-deaf-to-help-others-hear-the-voice-PARISH

Take Mary Home

As we noticed that our lady statue (Take Mary Home) has been on the bench every couple of weeks in a month. With great thoughts and inputs from various members in the leadership team, considering the weight of the original statue as it is quite heavy to be carried, we would like to make it much easier for our parishioners to take an alternative statue (Our Lady of Fatima) which is much lighter to carry and it also comes in a box where the statue could be handled more safely. We are happy to leave both the statues on the bench behind the divine mercy image. Make yourself comfortable to put your name in the book with your contact details, the tone of the mass which you are planning to take and also which statue as well based on your convenience. I hope and pray that the above arrangement would help the parishioners to take the statue every week so that Our Lady visits every family in our community to intercede for our families and community.

Thanks for your cooperation and understanding.

Rosy Paul

Facing Facts, Coming to Terms With One’s Past Brings Peace, Pope says
People need to make peace with their lives and anything they are running from, rather than lose themselves to escapism and playful distraction, Pope Francis said. There is an ‘industry of distraction’ in full force today, which paints the ideal world as being ‘a big playground where everybody has fun’ and the ideal individual as one who ‘makes money in order to have fun, find satisfaction’ in the many ‘vast and diverse avenues of pleasure,’ he said during his weekly gen-eral audience. Such an attitude leads to ‘dissatisfaction with an existence anesthetized by fun, which isn't rest, but alienation and escaping from reality,’ he added.

Finding peace is a choice, he said. It is not changing one's past, but is becoming reconciled with what has happened, ‘to accept and give value’ to one's life.

https://melbournecatholic.org.au/News/facing-facts-coming-to-terms-with-ones-past-bring-peace-pope-says

They Offered Him Gifts

For some Christians the feast of the Epiphany is the day on which gifts are exchanged.

As we observe the wise men opening their treasures in the Gospel and offering gifts to Jesus, we can ask: what precious gifts can we offer to Jesus today?

We may not have gold, frankincense and myrrh but we have our love, our fidelity, our time. We can give these to Jesus by giving them to those in need.

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions
In his prayer intentions, Pope Francis is calling for greater solidarity with the marginalised, the homeless, the poor and the lonely. The Pope asks the faithful have a spirit of solidarity and encounter towards others, especially those most in need.
We Need Your Help
We would like to hear from tradies, handymen and technicians in our community who would like to be included in our directory.

We may have odd jobs around the Church and would very much appreciate your help.

Please contact the parish office or get in touch with Fr Joseph.

Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, Readers & Counters

Our parish would like to invite parishioners to become Readers and Extraordinary Ministers for our Masses. These roles are a small but significant way to quietly participate in our parish community and your contribution would be greatly appreciated.

If you are able to assist, please contact Daphne Cheah (9720-3956) or the Parish Office (9801-8411).

Thank you to all who contribute their time and talent in this way.

To Love To The End: Who will make your choices?
is a Melbourne Archdiocese initiative to focus on an area of bioethics where we can positively contribute to building up a civilization of life and love.

The theme, "To Love to the End", deals with issues about dying and caring for our loved ones, the meaning and purpose of suffering and our duty as Christians to show love to every human being to the end.

Please collect a copy of the informative brochure and prayer card on this theme from the tables at the church entrances or you can view/download the brochure and card below.

View Respect Life Prayer Card (359 kB)

Overcoming Despair With Hope
Through Respect Life Sunday the church aims to equip Catholics to better love those around us by providing vital information about the dangers of the new abortion drug, RU486.

Pope Francis provided a beautiful example of how we reach out to women facing an unplanned pregnancy recently, when he took the time to listen to a story of a 35 year old Roman woman, then telephoned her to offer a listening ear, hope, encouragement and practical support for when the baby was born.

Read more when you pick up your copy of the green Respect Life brochure in the foyer, or

Pope: We Must Ask the Lord for the Gifts of Love and Joy
Pope Francis has reminded believers that Jesus' love is infinite and true, unlike worldly passions that seek power and vanity. "As the Father loves me, so I also love you" said Pope Francis quoting from the Gospel reading of the day to highlight the fact that the Lord’s love is infinite.

He said the Lord asks us to stay close to Him and to observe His Commandments: “the Ten Commandments of course are the foundation, but we are also called to follow all the things that Jesus has taught us, the commandments of daily life that represent a Christian lifestyle.

There are “passions” that distance us from the true love of Jesus. “There are other loves. The world itself offers many other loves: love of money for example, vanity, boastfulness, pride, love of power which can even lead to unjust actions to achieve more power…” he said.

For full article: For full ull article: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/05/18/pope_‘we_must_ask_the_lord_for_the_gifts_of_love_and_joy/1313086

Pope Francis' Five Finger Prayer
  1. The thumb is the closest finger to you. So start praying for those closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember.
  2. The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show directions to others. Always keep them in your prayers.
  3. The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God's guidance.
  4. The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even though it may surprise you, it is our weakest finger. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick or those plagued by problems. They need your prayers.
  5. And finally we have our smallest finger. The smallest of all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are done praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs but in the proper perspective and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.
Pope Francis' Letter to Young People

Pope's Letter to Young People on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Preparatory Document of the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

My Dear Young People,

I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment." I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart. Today, the Preparatory Document is being presented, a document which I am also entrusting to you as your "compass" on this synodal journey.

I am reminded of the words which God spoke to Abraham: "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you." (Gen 12.1). These words are now also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to "go", to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God's voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.

When God said to Abram, "Go!", what did he want to say? He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world. Abram received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this "new land" for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?

But unfortunately, today, "Go!" also has a different meaning, namely, that of abuse of power, injustice and war. Many among you are subjected to the real threat of violence and forced to flee their native land. Their cry goes up to God, like that of Israel, when the people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh (cf. Ex 2:23).

A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls. St. Benedict urged the abbots to consult, even the young, before any important decision, because "the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best." (Rule of St. Benedict, III, 3).

Such is the case, even in the journey of this Synod. My brother bishops and I want even more to "work with you for your joy'' (2 Cor 1:24). I entrust you to Mary of Nazareth, a young person like yourselves, whom God beheld lovingly, so she might take your hand and guide you to the joy of fully and generously responding to God's call with the words: "Here I am" (cf. Lk 1:38).

With paternal affection,

FRANCIS

For full version:
https://www.catholic.org.au/commissions/pope-francis-letter-to-young-people

Catholic Mission

We are invited to support the world wide missionary network of the Catholic Church (known as the Propagation of the Faith) that reaches out to people in 160 countries supporting initiatives in 1,100 Dioceses including outback Australia..

"I was hungry and you fed me."

"Something beautiful for God" was an expression of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

About Catholic Missions

Catholic Mission is the official mission aid agency of the Catholic Church, continuing the mission of Jesus Christ in the world to share faith, care for people in need, and act for justice and creation.

As the Australian arm of the Pontifical Mission Societies, we raise funds and form people for mission. This enables us to reach out through dedicated missionaries to help oppressed children and communities, and provide vital training for emerging Church leaders. In Australia we provide mission formation training, overseas immersion opportunities and advocate for children, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Catholic Mission internationally operates in 160 countries to support initiatives in 1100 dioceses, including outback Australia. Grassroots needs are identified by local Catholics, so all people have the opportunity for a full, enriched life- spiritually and physically- regardless of race, stigma, religion or gender.

The Church exists to continue Jesus' saving mission on earth. The principal means for supporting the Church's work on a global scale is the Catholic Mission Appeal.

This Appeal is instrumental in establishing and sustaining parish communities and their priests, as well as supporting the catechists who share their faith and lead their local village community. Last year with your help, Catholic Mission in Australia supported the training of 9,203 catechists in their ongoing regular formation and the building, upkeep and maintenance of 79 churches, presbyteries and pastoral centres, and 15 religious convents.

Other funds raised supported the training of 3,572 seminarians in 34 seminaries for priesthood and religious life. Programs of education, health care, shelter, personal development and faith formation helped care for 507,414 children last year.

Rome Report

Address by Pope Francis before praying the Sunday Angelus, 24 August 2014

Dear brothers and sisters,

This Sunday's Gospel (Mt. 16, 13-20) is the famous passage, which is central in St. Matthew's account. Simon, in the name of the Twelve, professes his faith in Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus calls Simon "blessed" for this faith, recognizing in him a special gift from the Father, and he says to him: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church."

Let us pause for a moment on this point, on the fact that Jesus attributes this new name to Simon: "Peter", who in Jesus' language is pronounced "Kefa", a word that means "rock". In the Bible, this name, this word "rock" is referred to God. Jesus attributes it to Simon not for his quality or for his human merits, but for his genuine and firm faith, which comes from above.

Jesus feels a great joy in His heart, because He recognizes in Simon the hand of the Father, the action of the Holy Spirit. He recognizes that God the Father has given to Simon a "trustworthy" faith, in which He, Jesus, can build his Church, that is, His community. That is, all of us, all of us. Jesus has in mind to give life to "His" Church, a people no longer founded on ancestry but rather on faith, namely a relationship with Himself, a relationship of love and of trust. Our relationship with Jesus builds the Church. And so to start his Church, Jesus needs to find in the disciples a solid faith, "trustworthy." It is this that He must verify at this point of His journey. And that is why He asks the question.

The Lord has in mind the image of constructing, the image of the community as an edifice. That is why, when he hears Simon’s sincere profession of faith, he calls him "rock", the intention of building his Church upon this faith is manifested.

Tweet Others As You Wish To Be Tweeted
Tweet others as you would wish to be tweeted is a scripture based guide to social media for the Church.

It takes the command from Luke's Gospel to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and applies it to social media.

Further information: https:www.catholic.org.au/world-communications-day2015/

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