Ash Wednesday

Services & Distribution of Ashes

10 February 2016
9am (with school)
7:30pm
Key Times
Mass times:
Sat: 6:00pm (Vigil)
Sun: 8:00am, 10:00am, 5:00pm
Mon: 9:00am
Tue: 7:30pm (followed by Adoration, Divine Mercy & Benediction)

Wed, Thu & Fri: 9:00am (followed by Adoration on First Friday)


Rosary:

20mins before all weekday masses

Reconciliation:
Tue 7:00pm,  Sat 5:15pm

 

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Saturday
Feb062016

Parish Newsletter, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C, 7th February 2016

Disciples hear the call and respond without hesitation

Some commentators feel that Luke may have borrowed this story from John’s account of the disciples going fishing at the end of that gospel. It has been noted that Simon calls Jesus “Lord,” a post-resurrection title and refers to his sinfulness, which makes more sense after his triple denial during the Passion. It also looks forward to Peter’s leadership which is confirmed in the same chapter of John.

Jesus then reassures Simon and his companions: “Do not be afraid.” They are words they will hear again; because he is calling them to be his partners in the work of building his Kingdom. The huge catch of fish made by the boat in which Jesus and Peter were is a sign of a much greater catch of people to be made by the new community led by the Spirit of Jesus and under the leadership of Peter.

Unlike the other gospels, Luke has a period of teaching and miracles precede the call of the disciples. This makes their unhesitating response less surprising and more plausible. They heard the message, they accepted the call and “with that they brought their boats to land, left everything, and become his followers.” In Mark and Matthew they left their nets and boats. In Luke’s gospel especially, the following of Jesus is understood as absolute – one must leave everything and throw in one’s lot totally with Jesus wherever that will lead. Those boats and nets were the security on which the lives of Peter, his companions and their families depended. But they left them and everything else. This is faith, this is trust. Without it, the mission cannot succeed.

From a reflection on the Sacred Space website

 <click here for Parish Newsletter 7th February 2016>

Saturday
Jan302016

Parish Newsletter, 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C, 31st January 2016

People get hot under the collar after Jesus pours cold water on their hopes

There is something strange about today’s Gospel. It begins with Jesus’ townspeople admiring Him. They are all amazed at the eloquence of a home-grown preacher. Then a sudden twist: the same admirers turn into an angry mob. Why? This is why: Jesus throws cold water on their hope that He will do in His own town what His townspeople hear Him doing elsewhere. “Surely,” Jesus says, “you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself’ and ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’” Then, Jesus delivers a series of more punches. “Amen, I say to you,” He says, “no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”

If read without a correct understanding of the person of Jesus, one may say that Jesus is to be blamed for being literally kicked out of the synagogue and almost killed. A misguided reader of this episode in Luke’s gospel may misjudge the situation as Jesus unwittingly provoking His townspeople unto fury. A cynic may likewise question the compassion of God that we, followers of Jesus, claim to be Jesus Himself.

Too often, many people misunderstand “compassion” as doing always what is pleasant to other people. Because of this misunderstanding, the same people waste their life by spending it in trying to please everyone always. They are the same people whom we often find incapable of making firm decisions. They call diplomacy what is pure but disguised compromise. They name “compromise” what Jesus may call “cowardice.”

But sometimes, compassion may be very painful. When a person, for example, needs to know the truth, he must be told it even if it hurts. And, truly, it often hurts. I read a wise statement that read, “The truth will set you free. But it will hurt you first.” When a surgeon’s knife cuts through a body part of a patient, we do not say that the surgeon has no compassion toward his patient. Rather, we consider to be lacking in compassion a doctor who refuses to operate on his patient for the absurd reason that he does not want his patient to go through the pain of a much-needed surgery.

No matter how others may misunderstand Jesus’ words and actions in the Gospel today, no one can rightly say that Jesus does not love His own people. The love of Jesus is both tender and tough. And that is the kind of compassion that God has for each of us.

From a reflection on the Gospel by Fr Bobby Titco, on his blog, Crumbs

 <click here for Parish Newsletter 31st January 2016>

Saturday
Jan232016

Parish Newsletter, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - C, 24th January 2016

Be prepared to articulate what God wants you to do

To walk in God’s ways, says Rabbi Joseph Telushkin in article 208 of his Biblical Literacy, means to ask oneself before performing a deed: “Is this what God would want me to do? Is this the Godly way to act?”

The questions that a true Christian asks or must ask are not much different. The true Christian believes, of course, that Jesus is the way to finding God and God’s will. For he sees the Father, the one who sees Jesus, the image of the invisible God, the Son who is both the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (Jn. 14:9; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3).

So the question, then, for the true Christian becomes, “What would Christ do if he were in my place?” Thus did St Vincent de Paul ask himself and recommend too that others likewise ask themselves, holding up Jesus Christ as “the true model and the great invisible picture on whom we should model all our actions” (cf. Sister Juana Eli-zondo, Vincentian Charism and Spirit).

St Vincent de Paul also urged people to “depend greatly on the guidance of the Son of God.”

“Whenever there is a question of doing a good work, say to the Son of God, ‘O Lord, if you were in my place, what would you have done? How would you instruct the people? How would you console this person with illness of body or mind?’”

The presumption, of course, is that one who reflects in this manner and tries to follow the teaching of Christ and not that of the worldly-wise is likewise ready and willing to listen very attentively to God’s word.

From a reflection on the Gospel on the FamVin website

 <click here for Parish Newsletter 24th January 2016>

Saturday
Jan162016

Parish Newsletter, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - C, 17th January 2016

Turning water into wine nourishes the faith of the reader

In today’s liturgy - as we begin the cycle of the Sundays of the Year - the Gospel reading from John tells the story of the “first sign” worked by Jesus, in the presence of his disciples, in Cana in Galilee. With it we round off the celebration of the Lord’s Epiphany, or “manifestation”. The meditative tradition of the community that gave us this gospel has gathered together several “signs” – miracles or works of Jesus – in which they have found a rich symbolism that nourishes their faith in the Eternal Son who came forth from the Father. As it concludes, this gospel called a “book of signs,” puts together the signs so that the reader “may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” and believing this “have life through him.” In this “first” sign, it is solemnly announced, Jesus “revealed his glory, and his disciples be-lieved in him.” We are given notice that we should find here far more than the moving story of a wedding celebration that was saved from disaster by a miracle worked by Jesus.

The abundant wine reminds us of the “new wine” spoken of by Jesus: the new order of things that he was inaugurating through his Paschal Mystery. In contrast, the water jars of the Jews – representing those who refuse to believe in Christ – are empty. The quantity of wine produced (120 gallons – far more than required for the occasion!) underlines the abundant generosity of what is to be hoped for. When she makes her request on behalf of God’s simple people, Mary – the “woman” who personifies the Church, the new Bride - is reminded that the generous realisation of the hopes of Israel depends entirely upon the will of the Father. In response, she shows herself a model disciple, with words that are meant for all of us: “Do whatever he tells you.”

From a homily on the Gospel by Fr John Thornhill sm

 <click here for Parish Newsletter 17th January 2016>

Saturday
Jan092016

Parish Newsletter, THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD - C, 8th January 2016

A reflection the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

Why was Jesus baptised? He was sinless; the bath of repentance could not make Him holy. In Matthew's Gospel account of this moment in the life of Christ, the former tax collector records the brief exchange where Jesus tells His cousin John; "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness." The humanity of the God Man, perfect as it was, still had to be subjected to baptism in accordance with the Father's plan, so that Christ, the "firstborn of many brethren" could establish the pattern that His brothers were later to follow. At His baptism, it was not Jesus who was cleansed, but the waters themselves which were purified by their encounter with the spotless Lamb of God. Now water, a mere physical substance, confers Spirit, grace, light and love — the very Life of God Himself — to the souls of those baptised.

At the close of the Christmas season at the dawn of the third millennium, we are reminded of the power of this great sacrament which immerses us in the life, death and resurrection of the One who was baptized so many centuries ago. The guilt of original sin is washed away. An indelible sacramental character conforms us to Christ. The Holy Spirit is given as a gift, and abides continually in the soul … and God the Father leads us to embrace our eternal destiny with Him, by the grace conferred upon us by Jesus Christ, whose own baptism we celebrate today.

By Fr John Riley (parochial vicar at St John the Evangelist Parish in Warrenton and professor of sacred Scripture at Christendom College in Front Royal)

 <click here for Parish Newsletter 8th January 2016>

Saturday
Jan022016

Parish Newsletter, The Epiphany of the Lord - C, 3rd January 2016

What can we learn from the Wise Men?

First, the Wise Men began their journey because of their beliefs. It was a common belief that when a world leader like a king was born that a special stellar phenomenon would appear in the sky. The Magi saw something that convinced them that they had seen the long-awaited sign. Historians tell us that the Jews, the Romans, and the Persians were all watching the skies about that time, looking for signs of the birth of an extraordinary king. A few years before, around 11 BC, Halley's Comet had been seen. There were other stellar phenomena, including a bright star, Sirius, which appeared brightly in the daytime instead of at night. The Wise Men saw the star and began their journey.

Second, the Wise Men were willing to follow what they had seen into unknown territory. Their journey took them outside their country and their comfort zone. The Wise Men risked the consequences of disobeying Herod, who was known to behave as a madman when provoked and returned to their country by another way. The Christian journey is often an off-road excursion.

Third, the Wise Men were committed to the journey - wherever the star might lead. The Wise Men set out to find a newborn King by following a star and ended up in finding a baby born to young, relatively poor parents! Not exactly what they expected and not exactly what befit their dignity as priests.

In this coming year, may we look to heaven for guidance and comfort and may we accept God's blessings in whatever forms we find them, just as the Wise Men accepted that their long, expensive journey led them to a baby born to young, inexperienced parents who lived on the poor side of town.

Finally, the Wise Men brought gifts. They did the thing that people in the East or in Africa or in India would do when visiting royalty. They brought gifts. Gold was the kind of gift that you brought to a king. Frankincense was the kind of gift that you would bring to a priest. Myrrh was given to someone who was about to die.

On This Twelfth Day, or Three Kings Day, otherwise known as Epiphany, think of the gift that you will offer to God in the coming year. The gift of time? The gift of your talents? Your service in the community? Your witness and testimony? The gift of undying love and devotion?

Their greatest gift comes to us in the form of a realization. The Wise Men were the first Gentiles to recognize that Jesus belongs to everyone. Good news is for everyone, not just a select few.

www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/epiphany-reflections

 <click here for Parish Newsletter 3rd January 2016>

Saturday
Dec262015

Parish Newsletter, The Holy Family - C, 27th December 2015

Fear drives out love but love can also drive out fear

Once again the Church reminds us of the importance of the family by celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family on the very first Sunday after Christmas.

If Jesus is to be born today he must be born in the hearts of people. He must be born especially in the hearts of the members of families if family life, and society in general, are to be better. The presence of Christ is the presence of love. Fear drives out love, just as love drives out fear. Unfortunately, all too often there is violence in families. Husbands are cruel to wives, wives sometimes are cruel to husbands. Parents are cruel to children, children sometimes are cruel to parents. Insecurity, another word for fear, is often at the root of this cruelty. The father may feel his authority is being challenged or threatened, so he asserts it by being authoritarian, the only way he knows. Other members react cruelly in defence. One violence leads to another kind of violence.

Very often we do not have listening in a family because there is fear. There may be fear of appearing weak, of losing face or authority, or of being refused or punished. This fear leads one to want to control by threat or violence so that the other person then becomes afraid. If, on the other hand, there is honest listening there will be a realisation that there is a fearful human being at the other side. It is very hard, but necessary, for parents to admit their own fears and weakness to themselves and sometimes to their children. When the other's fearfulness and human condition is heard sympathetically fear is driven out and love can come in.

From a reflection on the Gospel by Fr Gerry Pierse, CSsR

 <click here for Parish Newsletter 27th December 2015>