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Week beginning: Sunday, 16th of December 2018

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From the Heart of Your Loving Shepherd

Human And Spiritual Dimensions Of Dialogue

God's constant desire to relate to Human Beings and with the Cosmos, inline with the most beautiful act of creation of this world culminated in the most unique and historical intervention of the incarnational dialogue of Jesus Christ. In the words of John: "God so loved the world that He gave HIS only to the world,“ I think and feel that this is the core and the most foundational principle of Human art of dialoguing with each other and the intra dialogical process of every human person with the Divine.

It's quite important as well to note here that Our AUSTRALIAN CHURCH's Plenary council 2020, has 'Developing a habit of Dialogue," as one of it's sub theme!

God's continuous and consistent communication with Humanity is beautifully woven together both in the old testament and the New testament. It's deeply revealing and a tremendous eye opener for me to realise that in the THEISTIC DIALOGUE of God with me there is the most important dimension of FREEDOM, which cannot be spelt out clearly in other forms of Faith in the world religions. The constant invitation of God in the OT, "I will be your God and You shall be my people," is one of gentle invitation to dialogue and never one of the least forms of coercion or oppression. The DIALOGICAL PROCESS of the Divine with me is a deep desire and underpinning yearning in me than God's need and necessity. I run into such a conclusion form the most enlightening words of St. Augustine from one of his greatest Spiritual Classic of all times. CONFESSIONS OF St. AUGUSTINE: "Our hearts are restlessness until they rest in you." The constant urge to communicate and to be in touch with the world and people around me springs from the 'restlessness,' of the state of my Being. The GOD OF DIALOGUE of the OT again gives me a hue to get out of this 'restlessness,' through HIS reassuring presence of friendship, companion-ship and dialogue: "You are precious to me.." (...). " You are mine and I will never leave you orphan."

To Be Continued......

With God's Blessings and prayerful wishes,

Fr. Joseph Amal SDB

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Plenary Council 2020

What is a Plenary Council?

A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches in a country. A Plenary Council, or synod, can discuss and legislate on a wide range of issues, including matters of faith, morals and discipline. The last time a plenary council was held in Australia was in 1937 and prior to that in 1885, 1895 and 1905.

Why are we having a Plenary Council in Australia

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has identified that, ‘The circumstances of the Church in Australia in our time, including the patterns of change that are evident within the community of the Church, the issues confronting the Church in modern multicultural and secular Australia, the increase in entrusting responsibility for and leadership of the Church’s mission to laity, and even the changing face of the Episcopate, prompt the Church to review, analyse, and discern the signs of the times, to listen anew to the Spirit, and to chart its course into the future.’ Accordingly, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has decided to celebrate a Plenary Council for the Church in Australia in 2020.

When will the Plenary Council take place?

Preparation for the Plenary Council will take place over a period of three years. The Plenary Council will be celebrated in 2020 across two sessions, in October 2020 and May 2021.

The national time line is as follows:

  • 2018: A “Year of Listening” (local listening and dialogue sessions and data compilation)
  • June 2018 - Ash Wednesday 2019: Listening and Dialogue Phase
  • 2019: A “Year of Discerning” (summary reports from 2019 written up as agenda for 2020)
  • 2020: A “Year of Proposing” (two Plenary Council sessions Oct 2020 and May 2021 at which proposals will be voting on proposed legislation).

Who can be part of the Plenary Council process?

All Catholics are invited to be part of the process that leads to the two Plenary Council sessions.

Who will attend the Plenary Council sessions?

All bishops must attend and it is thought that there will also be a presence of lay people, priests and religious.

What is happening now?

All Catholics are invited to participate in local ‘listening and dialogue’ sessions.

What are the listening and dialogue sessions?

The Plenary Council Facilitation Team has prepared a Listening and Dialogue guide to facilitate the process. At the end of the listening and dialogue process, participants are invited to upload their feedback to the Plenary Council 2020 question: ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?’

Who can participate in the listening and dialogue sessions?

Every community in every parish, Catholic primary and secondary schools, Catholic agencies, religious institutes and ecclesial movements are invited to participate. In addition, where possible we are encouraged to reach out to as many people in the Catholic community as possible to enable all to offer a response to the Plenary question: 'What is God asking of us in Australia at this time?'

For more information:

Stewardship Corner

“John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming....he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit... ’”

Luke 3:16

The Catholic Catechism states that “Jesus’ immersion in the water is a sign for all human beings of the need to die to themselves to do God’s will.”.

In other words, as baptized Catholics there is only one gift that we need to give to Jesus – the gift of ourselves.

Once we surrender ourselves to God, we will know in our hearts what God calls us to do.

Urgent Call for Volunteers
Netty Horton, recently appointed CEO of CatholicCare, has used the opportunity of an interview with Archdiocesan Director of Media and Communications Shane Healy to put out an urgent call for volunteers from the Melbourne community to work with refugee families relocating from The Eltham Project.

For full article:

For more stories:

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Piety Stall

Come and check out the new piety stall, which is located in the former Sacristy.
Any profit made on items in this stall will support the work of the St. Vincent De Paul Society.

Big thank you to those who very generously donate to the St Vincent De Paul Society (Vinnies) through the poor box. Through your donations we are able to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves and have asked for our assistance in our Wantirna area. You can also leave donations of non-perishable food items in the basket provided in the Church foyer.

Either way, you are making a huge difference in the lives of many people.

Do you have some spare time, and feel you could be called on to help those experiencing difficulty? Then maybe joining Vinnies could be for you. We meet twice monthly and visit those needing assistance in pairs or on a demand basis. Don’t just think about it, take the next step, ask some questions!

Christina Williams,
Conference President

Priests' Retirement Foundation Fund

Some 40 years ago with the introduction of the new canon law, Archbishop Knox introduced the practice of priests retiring at the age of 75.

In 1990 Archbishop Little established the Priests Retirement Foundation with the motto “caring for those who cared”. 85 Melbourne priests are currently retired. They have ministered in most Melbourne Parishes.

The PRF meets the needs of these retired priests who have served us well.

Envelopes are available from the table.

Donate Online

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.”

Serra International - Prayer for Vocations

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.

For information about Serra or Vocations:

View / Download Prayer Card (296kB)

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,
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

View / Download full flyer

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.


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:

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.

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.

Making A Home For Everyone
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2018–19 is titled
It confronts the growing challenge of homelessness and housing insecurity in Australia.

Copies of the statement, prayer cards and Ten Steps are available from the table on the church foyer, or

Download Social Justice Statement 2018-19

Calming The Storm

When a storm blew up on the sea of Galilee, Jesus 'disciples feared that their boat would be swamped by the waves. But Jesus, who was with them, calmed the sea.

At times we can feel that we ae being swamped by various troubles. But Jesus is with us to protect us. Like the apostle Paul we are overwhelmed, not by storms and troubles, but by the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus. Living our faith means developing a personal relationship with Jesus. So, just like any friendship with another person, there is give and take, each side listening to the other and helping each other out.

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.

No Parking in the Driveway for Mass
Please do not park in the driveway or in front of the office for Weekday/Sunday Masses.  

Please leave this space for those who, due to their health, need to park close to the door.

You may park in the Church parking lot in front of the school, behind the Church when school is not in session or on the street.   Thank you for your consideration.

Official Process for Eileen O’Connor’s Sainthood Begins
The official process which could lead to Australia’s next saint has started after the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, began the formal process for the beatification of Eileen O’Connor.

‘I am very pleased to announce this next step in the cause of Eileen O’Connor,’ said Archbishop Fisher. ‘Eileen was a young woman who received the love of God, multiplied it in her heart, and passed it on to others. It is my hope that the heroic and saintly example of Eileen O’Connor will inspire everyone to live faithful lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.’ Born in Richmond, Victoria on 19 February 1892, Eileen Rosaline O’Connor was the eldest of the four children of Irish-born Charles and Annie O’Connor. She suffered a crippling break in her spine at age three and lived her short life in constant nerve pain from what was later diagnosed as tuberculous osteomyelitis.

Despite her poor health and immense suffering, O’Connor co-founded the religious order of Our Lady’s Nurses of the Poor with local priest Father Edward McGrath MSC in April 1913. More commonly known as the Brown Nurses because of their distinctive brown cloaks and bonnets, the order’s work continues to this day. make phone calls arranging the order’s works. At just 115cm tall, the nurses lovingly referred to Eileen as ‘Little Mother.’ Eileen died on 10 January 1921 – a month short of her 29th birthday.

1n 1936, 15 years after her death, Eileen’s coffin was moved from Randwick Cemetery to the chapel at Our Lady’s Home in Coogee, where the order currently resides. At the time, her body was found to be incorrupt. It has not been verified since. The 11 religious sisters currently serving as Our Lady’s Nurses of the Poor have said they are ‘delighted’ by the news. Former congregational leader and Eileen O’Connor Centenary Project Leader, Sister Margaret Mary Birgan oln said that the congregation had been praying for the news ever since Eileen’s death in 1921, and remarked that many already considered her to be a ‘saint-in-waiting.’

‘We welcome this joyful news with great gratitude to God,’ she said.

Holy Land Tour
Have you ever longed to visit the Holy Land but have never done so?
Well... if we can get enough interest, then maybe we can organize a tour from this Parish.

We are looking at the second half of next year,2019, for around 15 days duration.

I know it is a long time away, but we need to get an indication of whether this type of trip is something that we can do as a Parish. And if so, to get the process started.

Fr. Joseph has agreed to be the Spiritual Advisor for the trip which means we would be expecting a real spiritual conversion experience for all participants.

If you are interest, kindly register your interest by emailing the Parish Office: or call on 9801 8411. An indication of interest is by no means binding.

Chris Williams

Year for Youth and Vocations

In Australia we have just begun the ‘Year for Youth and Vocational Discernment’, called by the Bishops of Australia. There will be a huge gathering of youth in Sydney in early December for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival. This coming year will be the tenth anniversary of World Youth Day in Sydney. Let us pray for our young people in our families and our parish. Can we all say one ‘Hail Mary’ for them now to help them in their discernment of their call from the Lord?

Surfing the Net these holidays? Check out the following:

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.

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)

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:‘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.
Morning Tea After Mass
Just a reminder that on every first Sunday of the month there is tea after the 10:00am Mass.

Come and join us for a cuppa!

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,


For full version:

The Family Care Sisters
facility at Croydon offers wholistic care to all women (aged 20-70 yrs) who are in need of a peaceful environment, 'time out', support and nurturing. Our residential program operates each week, Monday-Friday (Feb.-mid-Dec). A daily group session is held on topics such as 'relaxation', 'well-being' 'self-awareness' 'boundaries', etc.

For further information or to book in:
contact us on 9723-6797

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, 31 August 2014

Dear brothers and sisters, Good Morning!

In the Sunday itinerary with the Gospel of Matthew, we arrive today at the crucial point in which Jesus, after confirming that Peter and the other eleven had believed in Him as the Messiah and Son of God, "began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly…,and be killed and on the third day be raised." (16,21).

It is a critical moment in which Jesus and the disciples' way of thinking emerges. Even Peter feels compelled to reproach the Master, because he cannot attribute such a shameful end for the Messiah.

Jesus, in turn, severely reproaches Peter, He puts him "back in line" because he does not think "as God does, but as human beings do." (v.23) and without realizing that he his playing the role of Satan, the tempter.

The Apostle Paul, in this Sunday's liturgy also insists upon this point when writing to the Christians of Rome, saying: "Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God" (Rm. 12,2)

In fact, we Christians live in the world fully inserted in the social and cultural reality of our time, and rightly so. But this carries the risk that we become "worldly",the risk that "the salt loses its flavor", as Jesus would say (cfr. Mt. 5,13), that is, that the Christian is "watered down", losing the charge of newness that comes from the Lord and the Holy Spirit. Instead, they should be the opposite: when the strength of the Gospel remains alive in Christians, they can transform "mankind's criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life" (Paul VI, Apost.Exhort. Evangelii nuntiandi, 19).

It is sad to find watered down Christians, who are like watered wine. You can't tell whether they are Christian or worldly. Like watered wine, where you can't tell whether it is wine or water. This is sad. It is sad to find Christians that are no longer the salt of the Earth. And we know that when salt loses its flavor, it is no longer useful. Their salt has lost its flavor because they are committed to the spirit of this world. That is, they have become worldly.

Therefore, it is necessary to renew oneself continuously, to draw this sap from the Gospel. And how can one do this in practice? First and foremost, by reading and meditating the Gospel every day, so the word of Jesus may always be present in our life. Remember, it would help you to carry a Gospel with you, a small book of Gospels, in your pocket or in your purse, and read a small passage during the day. But always the Gospel because it is carrying the Word of Jesus and being able to read it.

Also, participating in Sunday Mass, where we find the Lord in the community, listening to His Word and receiving the Eucharist which unites us to Him and one another. And then, days of retreat and spiritual exercises are very important for spiritual renewal.

Gospel, Eucharist, Prayer. Do not forget: Gospel, Eucharist and Prayer. Thanks to these gifts from the Lord, we can conform not to the world, but to Christ, and to follow Him on His path, the path of "losing one's own life" in order to find it (v.25). "Losing it" in the sense of donating it, offering it for love and in love - and this involves the sacrifice, even to the cross - to receive it again purified, freed from selfishness and from the debt of death, full of eternity.

The Virgin Mary always precedes us on this path; let us be guided and accompanied by Her.

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.

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