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Saturday 25 June 2022

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Greetings to you all!

Communion in the Hand in the Early Church

While some have claimed that receiving Holy Communion in the hands is irreverent and unhistorical and call it a modern day practise that has crept into the Church since the II Vatican Council, the historical evidence however show us quite clearly that this is not the case. The Vatican Council in fact has restored this ancient and beautiful practise.

Early Christians received communion in the hand at least up until the eighth century. The manner of reception is often described as cupped hands or hands in the form of a cross, and there is remarkable consistency in this detail. Evidence appears consistently across time and geographical regions. The following are excerpts from documents readily available.

“Approaching, therefore, come not with your wrists extended or your fingers open, but make your left hand a throne for your right, which is on the eve of receiving the King. And having hollowed your palm, receive the body of Christ, saying after it amen… Then after you have with carefulness hallow your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it…”

Cyril of Jerusalem (Jerusalem; c. 313-386)*: Mystagogical Catechesis 5.21.

“To receive the Sacrament, which is given, a person stretches out his right hand, and under it he places the left hand. In this he shows a great fear (reverence) …on account of the bread of the King, which is also borne by it. When the priest gives it he says: ‘The body of Christ.’ He teaches you by this word not to look at that which is visible, but to picture in your mind the nature of this oblation, which, by the coming of the Holy Spirit, is the body of Christ. You should thus draw near with great awe and love, according to the greatness of that which is given …and with love, because of (its) grace. This is the reason why you say after him: ‘Amen.’”

Theodore of Mopsuestia (Syria; c. 350-428): Catechetical Homilies 6.

“Add to this the fact that I am referring to a man who lived with you … to whom you used to give the kiss of peace while celebrating the sacraments, in whose hands you used to place the Eucharist, to whom you in turn extended your hands when he was giving it to you.”

Augustine (North Africa; c. 354-430): Answer to the letters of Petillian 2.23.53.

“The canon is prohibiting the practice of receiving communion with a vessel rather than one’s hands.”

Council of Constantinople (Syria; 692).

“Wherefore, if anyone wishes to be a participator of the immaculate Body … and to offer himself for the communion, let him draw near, arranging his hands in the form of a cross, and so let him receive the communion of grace. But such as, instead of their hands, make vessels of gold …by these (hands) receive the immaculate communion, we by no means allow to come, as preferring inanimate and inferior matter to the image of God.”

Canon 101.

In this passage, Bede is recounting the death scene of a certain brother …

“‘…  said he, ‘bring me the Eucharist.’ Having received it into his hand, he asked, whether they were all in charity with him, and had no complaint against him, nor any quarrel or grudge.”

Venerable Bede (England; c. 672-735): Ecclesiastical History of England 4.24.

“Let us draw near to it with an ardent desire, and with our hands held in the form of the cross let us receive the body of the Crucified One: and let us apply our eyes and lips and brows and partake of the divine coal.”

John Damascene (Syria; c. 675-749): On the Orthodox Faith 4.13.

Further questions and clarifications

When receiving Holy Communion, it is important to remember that this divine gift exceeds all human longing and strengthens us to fulfil our mission to become witnesses of his love for the world.

Fr Leo Mifsud OMI

The weekend’s eBulletin

Click here to download the eBulletin for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C.

Basilica Guardians

We are looking to have the Church open more to the public after weekday Masses commencing in July 2022. We would like to keep the Church open until 3pm each weekday and would require two or three volunteers for each day.

If you were part of the Basilica Guardian team prior to COVID and would like to return to the team, please contact the parish office so that we can recommence the roster. If you are a new volunteer and would like to join the team, then please contact the parish office, and leave your details and availability.

De Mazenod Family Gathering

The aim of these gatherings is to provide an opportunity to connect parishes, schools and ministries in each state and to make the De Mazenod Family and the Charism of St Eugene known. Through various prayer, reflection and discussion sessions throughout the day we will break open this year’s theme: Pilgrims of Hope in Communion.

The De Mazenod Family Gathering for Western Australia will be held on Saturday 30th July and will be hosted at St Patrick’s Basilica, Fremantle. It will begin at 11:30 am and conclude with Mass at 6pm. Lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day.

For more information you can visit our website OMI Australia or email us at  Registrations are now open

Parish Morning Tea

The next parish morning tea will be held on Sunday 3 July after the 8am Mass. All welcome to attend.

Catholic Missions Appeal

The parish will have the annual appeal for Catholic Missions on the weekend of the 9th and 10th July, 2022. More information to come.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land this November 25th to December 9, 2022

Have you always wanted to see the Promised Land? Join Mgr. Michael Keating on his Holy Land Pilgrimage, November 24th to December 9th to Jordan and Israel.

Information evening about the Pilgrimage on Wednesday 13 July 6pm to 8pm at St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Centre, parking available at Cathedral. 

Please text 0433 771 979 or email or call 6118 7313 to register your interest.

Prayer for Peace and Justice in Ukraine

God of peace and justice,
who change the hardened heart and break the power of violence,
we entrust the people of Ukraine to you.

Protect them in this time of peril;
let them know not death but life, not slavery but freedom.

You are Father of all;
we are brothers and sisters.

Give us the strength to live that truth in love,
choosing peace not war.

Through Christ our Lord.

Planned Giving

The Planned Giving Programme is an important part of the Parish and assists 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 giving was 59%.

Please consider joining the Planned Giving Programme. For more information contact the Parish Office.  Thank you!

EFT First Collection Details

BSB: 086 006

A/c No: 56187 5405

Reference: 1st Collection and your name

First Collection supports the Priests.

EFT Second Collection Details

BSB: 086 006

A/c No:  48797 3085

Reference: 2nd Collection and your name

Second Collection supports the Parish.

Regarding Masks

Masks are not mandatory; however, masks are encouraged where physical distancing is not possible if you have cold & flu symptoms, or you wish to safeguard yourself from the COVID-19 virus.

Safeguarding of our children in the Parish

The Archdiocesan Safeguarding Project was started in 2016 by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB 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.

Upcoming Events

Sunday 26th June: IONA First Holy Communion Mass at 2.30pm

Wednesday 29th June: Oblates’ First Arrived in Australia 1894

Sunday 3 July: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday

Saturday 9th/Sunday 10th July: Catholic Missions Appeal in the Parish

Saturday 30 July: De Mazenod Family Gathering

God bless!

Fr Leo Mifsud OMI
Acting Parish Priest