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Saturday 11 December 2021

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Greetings to you all!

Third Sunday in Advent: Year C

Today the central theme that runs through all the readings of the day is “Rejoice in the Lord” and “be happy”.  A real joy comes not by possessing but by disposing of things. A joy that comes from sharing cannot be measured. A joy that comes from sacrificial love cannot be fathomed. St. Paul invites the community in Philippians to come and experience that joy which comes from Jesus Christ.

St. Paul writes saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always”.  I shall say it again: “rejoice!” He writes these words of encouragement from prison. Though he was tied up with chains and his movements were curtailed, still his spirit and joy couldn’t be curtailed because his joy came from the Lord. So, even in pain and in isolation he is joyful.  So, it does not matter for Paul where he was and the condition in which he lived, but still he is joyful and asks the people to rejoice and be joyful as he lived it in his life.

Pope Francis in his book “The Church of Mercy” says, “Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but of having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst.”

St. Francis of Assisi, who has received acceptance beyond the boundaries of any religion, and land, tried in his daily life to follow this exhortation of St. Paul in his life and followed Christ as closely as possible. He was often ill, hungry, cold, fatigued but he was never known to have been sad. We too are invited to find joy in our lives amidst our daily duty-bound, burdened, full-of-worries, and pressured lives. 

St. Paul further encourages the community that Christ is at hand; so, do not be anxious about anything but remain in prayer and thanksgiving. As we await in faith and hope for Christ’s birth, pray that we will make our hearts pure to receive that joy of Christ in our lives and radiate that love and joy to our brothers and sisters in the world.  I would like to leave you today with these questions for your personal reflections: What does bring you joy? What do you mean by real joy? How will you share your joy with others? Amen.

Readings and Hymns

Please click here to download the readings and hymns for the Third Sunday in Advent Year C.

Family Mass

The Family Mass music is different from the other Masses so kindly click here to download the readings and hymns for the Third Sunday in Advent Year C.

Advent Reflection

Advent is the journey towards an understanding of the mystery of the Christmas miracle. This year the Charism Team from the Australian Province has put together a programme for us to prepare well for the celebration of Christmas.

We began our Advent Reflection on Monday 29th November at 7pm. This programme will run every Monday at 7pm in the Parish Administration Centre leading up to the celebration of Christmas. 

If you want to be part of this Spiritual preparation for Christmas, please contact the parish office on 9335 2268 (Monday to Friday).

Important Celebrations in December

On Sunday 12th December: Memorial Mass for Fr.David Shelton OMI

On Sunday 12th December we will celebrate a special memorial Mass at 11am to celebrate the second anniversary of the death of Fr. David Shelton, who with great love served in the Prison ministry for a very long period of time. He was instrumental in initiating “baking biscuits for the prisoners for Christmas.” May he Rest in Peace.

On Sunday 19th December: Special Parish Christmas Morning Tea

On Sunday 19th December we will hold a special Christmas Morning Tea after the 8am Mass. On this day we will draw the prizes for the raffle tickets. All the proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets will go towards the New Sound System in our Basilica, as it needs an upgrade. There are some amazing raffle prizes, so kindly buy as many tickets as possible and support the upgrade of our Basilica sound system. The tickets will be on sale at every Mass and in the Parish office, leading up to the event.

On this day we also will celebrate the Diamond Ordination anniversary of Fr. Colbert, who has faithfully served the Church and his people. There are many celebrations planned on this day, so kindly place this date in your diary and come along to celebrate this great day with the Basilica community and Fr. Colbert. Please RSVP for catering purposes.

On Wednesday 22nd December: Second Rite of Reconciliation

In order to celebrate the joy of Christmas, spiritual preparation is also essential. On Wednesday 22nd December at 7pm, there will be the Second Rite of Reconciliation in our Basilica. Please make use of this spiritual opportunity to prepare ourselves well and to celebrate the joy of Christmas.

Mary’s Dream

This weekend you will find copies of Mary’s Dream in the side foyers of the Church, please pick up a copy and take the time to read through it and perhaps action some of the items mentioned. Please click here to download the PDF of Mary’s Dream.

Christmas Offerings

Usually twice a year you are invited, as a community, to make a special effort to financially support the Priests of the Basilica. Envelopes are available in your planned giving boxes or in the pews of the Church.  Your generosity is very much appreciated along with your prayers, encouragement, and blessings.

Friday 31st December: New Year’s Eve Mass at 6pm

On Friday 31st December 2021, we will say goodbye to 2021 and will welcome the New Year 2022. It is always a wonderful spiritual experience to say thanks to God for all that we were able to achieve as individuals and Family and to welcome the New Year 2022. The New Year’s Eve Mass will be celebrated at 6pm in our Basilica.

MAMI Christmas Gift Cards

Christmas gift Cards are available from the Parish Office, Mon to Fri 9am to 3pm.  Give someone a Gift of Hope this Christmas. MAMI Christmas Gift Cards:  a gift that keeps on giving for the entire year and beyond.  Chickens $10; Development $15; Toolbox $20; Goat $35. Thanks for your generous support of the Missionary Works of the Oblates.

Expressions of Interest Prison Biscuit Baking

The Parish has been approached by the Prison Co-ordinator of Melaleuca Prison to provide home baked biscuits for the prisoners at Christmas Time. In previous years this was an initiative by Fr David Shelton OMI, however since Fr Shelton’s passing and COVID we have not provided this service. If you would like to participate in this important ministry in the true spirit of Christmas in 2021 please leave your details with the Parish Office and we can then send you the baking information sheet and delivery date for the biscuits to the Parish Office.

Safeguarding of our children in the Parish

The Archdiocese Safeguarding Project was started in 2016 by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe 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 12th December to 18th December 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 59%.

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

God bless,

Fr John Sebastian
Rector and Parish Priest