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Saturday 25 September 2021

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Greetings to you all!

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees: TOWARDS AN EVER WIDER “WE”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, I expressed a concern and a hope that remain uppermost in my thoughts: “Once this health crisis passes, our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self-preservation. God willing, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’, but only ‘us’” (No. 35).

For this reason, I have wished to devote the Message for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees to the theme, Towards An Ever Wider “We”, in order to indicate a clear horizon for our common journey in this world.

The history of this “we”

That horizon is already present in God’s creative plan: “God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Gen 1:27-28). God created us male and female, different yet complementary, in order to form a “we” destined to become ever more numerous in the succession of generations. God created us in his image, in the image of his own triune being, a communion in diversity.

When, in disobedience we turned away from God, he in his mercy wished to offer us a path of reconciliation, not as individuals but as a people, a “we”, meant to embrace the entire human family, without exception: “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them” (Rev 21:3).

Salvation history thus has a “we” in its beginning and a “we” at its end, and at its centre the mystery of Christ, who died and rose so “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). The present time, however, shows that this “we” willed by God is broken and fragmented, wounded and disfigured. This becomes all the more evident in moments of great crisis, as is the case with the current pandemic. Our “we”, both in the wider world and within the Church, is crumbling and cracking due to myopic and aggressive forms of nationalism (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 11) and radical individualism (cf. ibid., 105). And the highest price is being paid by those who most easily become viewed as others: foreigners, migrants, the marginalized, those living on the existential peripheries.

The truth however is that we are all in the same boat and called to work together so that there will be no more walls that separate us, no longer others, but only a single “we”, encompassing all of humanity. Thus I would like to use this World Day to address a twofold appeal, first to the Catholic faithful and then all the men and women of our world, to advance together towards an ever wider “we”.

A Church that is more and more “Catholic”

For the members of the Catholic Church, this appeal entails a commitment to becoming ever more faithful to our being “catholic”, as Saint Paul reminded the community in Ephesus: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:4-5).

Indeed the Church’s catholicity, her universality, must be embraced and expressed in every age, according to the will and grace of the Lord who promised to be with us always, until the end of the age (cf. Mt 28:20). The Holy Spirit enables us to embrace everyone, to build communion in diversity, to unify differences without imposing a depersonalized uniformity. In encountering the diversity of foreigners, migrants and refugees, and in the intercultural dialogue that can emerge from this encounter, we have an opportunity to grow as Church and to enrich one another. All the baptized, wherever they find themselves, are by right members of both their local ecclesial community and the one Church, dwellers in one home and part of one family.

The Catholic faithful are called to work together, each in the midst of his or her own community, to make the Church become ever more inclusive as she carries out the mission entrusted to the Apostles by Jesus Christ: “As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:7-8).

In our day, the Church is called to go out into the streets of every existential periphery in order to heal wounds and to seek out the straying, without prejudice or fear, without proselytising, but ready to widen her tent to embrace everyone. Among those dwelling in those existential peripheries, we find many migrants and refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking, to whom the Lord wants his love to be manifested and his salvation preached. “The current influx of migrants can be seen as a new ‘frontier’ for mission, a privileged opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ and the Gospel message at home, and to bear concrete witness to the Christian faith in a spirit of charity and profound esteem for other religious communities. The encounter with migrants and refugees of other denominations and religions represents a fertile ground for the growth of open and enriching ecumenical and interreligious dialogue” (Address to the National Directors of Pastoral Care for Migrants, 22 September 2017).

An ever more inclusive world

I also make this appeal to journey together towards an ever wider “we” to all men and women, for the sake of renewing the human family, building together a future of justice and peace, and ensuring that no one is left behind.

Our societies will have a “colourful” future, enriched by diversity and by cultural exchanges. Consequently, we must even now learn to live together in harmony and peace. I am always touched by the scene in the Acts of the Apostles when, on the day of the Church’s “baptism” at Pentecost, immediately after the descent of the Holy Spirit, the people of Jerusalem hear the proclamation of salvation: “We… Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power” (2:9-11).

This is the ideal of the new Jerusalem (cf. Is 60; Rev 21:3), where all peoples are united in peace and harmony, celebrating the goodness of God and the wonders of creation. To achieve this ideal, however, we must make every effort to break down the walls that separate us and, in acknowledging our profound interconnection, build bridges that foster a culture of encounter.

Today’s migration movements offer an opportunity for us to overcome our fears and let ourselves be enriched by the diversity of each person’s gifts. Then, if we so desire, we can transform borders into privileged places of encounter, where the miracle of an ever wider “we” can come about.

I invite all men and women in our world to make good use of the gifts that the Lord has entrusted to us to preserve and make his creation even more beautiful. “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back’” (Lk 19:12-13). The Lord will also demand of us an account of our work! In order to ensure the proper care of our common home, we must become a “we” that is ever wider and more co-responsible, in the profound conviction that whatever good is done in our world is done for present and future generations. Ours must be a personal and collective commitment that cares for all our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer, even as we work towards a more sustainable, balanced and inclusive development. A commitment that makes no distinction between natives and foreigners, between residents and guests, since it is a matter of a treasure we hold in common, from whose care and benefits no one should be excluded.

The dream begins

The prophet Joel predicted that the messianic future would be a time of dreams and visions inspired by the Spirit: “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). We are called to dream together, fearlessly, as a single human family, as companions on the same journey, as sons and daughters of the same earth that is our common home, sisters, and brothers all (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 8).

Readings and Hymns

Please click here to download the readings and hymns for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.

Children’s Mass

The Children’s Mass music is different from the other Masses so kindly click here to download the readings and hymns for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.  

Aid to the Church in Need

This weekend, the Basilica of St. Patrick will welcome Sr Kathy Kettle who will be speaking at the end of all Masses regarding the Aid to the Church in Need. It is an International Pontifical Foundation with a mandate to support the suffering and persecuted Catholics and Catholic communities that started in 1947.   It supports over 5,000 projects around the world through spiritual and pastoral charity keeping the faith alive in those places where the Church is oppressed, threatened, or simply cannot support itself. It really depends on the benefactors and sale of religious items around the world. So, kindly be generous in supporting this appeal.

Safeguarding Training for Church Workers

The Parish of St Patrick’s makes a commitment to practices and protocols that create and maintain safe environments for all people. We are ensuring that everyone who works for the church (paid or unpaid) understands and recognises how the National Safeguarding Standards work in keeping children, young people, and adults at risk safe. A face-to-face Training Session will be available for All Church Workers to attend. Everyone who performs a role with the church in a paid or voluntary capacity must attend a 2-hour Church Workers Training session.

St Patrick’s Basilica Parish will host a training session for all the Church Workers on Saturday 30th October at 10am in our Parish centre. Please click here to register

Free Book: You Are God’s Marvellous Creation (Regarding Safeguarding)

Education about how to be safe and setting appropriate boundaries is important for everyone, but especially for our youngest members. This year Andrea Musulin, our Safeguarding Director has written a wonderful rhyming book for young children entitled “You are God’s Marvellous Creation”, which while recounting the story of Genesis, teaches young children about their right to feel safe and to say no, if they feel unsafe and seek the help of trusted adults. Copies of this book are now available from the Parish office and in the foyers of the Church. It is a free copy.

World Day of Migrants and Refugees

On Sunday 26th September, we will celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees Sunday. The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office recently released the kit of resources for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees Sunday. The kit includes the full text of Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a series of reflections and stories from Australian communities celebrating the diversity of the Church and prayer resources. Please find attached a media release drawing upon Pope Francis’ message, introducing the kit and previewing the upcoming celebration. Please click here to download the kit.

St Vincent De Paul Society

Mary Jardine Clarke – a Volunteer Conference Member of the Fremantle & Beaconsfield Conference of St Vincent De Paul will address the Basilica Parish community during all the Masses next weekend about the “good works” of the Vinnies in our Parish and provide details of how you can support the famous Vinnie’s Christmas Hamper Appeal for 2021 among other opportunities to support the St Vincent De Paul Society locally.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a wonderful opportunity for those who seek to embrace the faith of the Catholic Church and also a great avenue for those who wish to deepen their faith in Jesus Christ.

If you know anyone willing to take up this journey, please encourage them to come for the information evening on 20th October at 7pm, in the Parish centre.

For further information please contact the Parish Office, Mon to Fri 9am to 3pm on 9335 2268.

Safeguarding of our children in the Parish

The Archdiocese Safeguarding Project was started in 2016 by Archbishop Timothy Costello with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment for all its members, leaders and especially children and vulnerable adults. The parish of St Patrick’s Basilica is committed to creating a safe parish. To read more please click here.

Mass Intentions

Please click here for the Mass Intentions of the week (from 26th September to 2nd October 2021).

To Book your Mass Intentions please contact the Parish office on 9335 2268 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm).

The Planned Giving Programme 

The planned giving programme is an important part of the Parish as it allows us to maintain all aspects of the Basilica, Presbytery and Parish Administration Centre. To keep the Parish viable, we must maintain a target of 95% and above each week. Last week’s giving was 51%.

Please consider joining the Planned Giving Programme. If you are not already a member, for more information contact the Parish Office.  Thank you!

Important dates for the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Parish in September 2021

  • 25th and 26th September – Aid to the Church in Need appeal. And World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Important dates for the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Parish in October 2021

  • Friday 1st October – Memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. St. Therese the Principal Patroness of all missionaries.
  • Saturday 9th October – John Archbold’s birthday.
  • Sunday 10th October – Parish Morning Tea.
  • Wednesday 13th to Friday 15th October – Triduum Blessing of the Fleet.
  • Sunday 17th October – Blessing of the Fleet Mass and Procession
  • Wednesday 20th October – RCIA information evening.
  • Friday 22nd October – CBC Graduation Mass.
  • Sunday 24th October – SPPS Family Mass.
  • Monday 25th October – Iona Graduation Mass.
  • Friday 29th October – Death of the Servant of God Thomas Benjamin Cooray OMI (1901-1988).
  • Saturday 30th October – Safeguarding Training for Church Workers in the Parish Centre.

Have a wonderful long weekend God bless!

Fr John Sebastian
Rector and Parish Priest