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Saturday 25 March 2023

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Greetings to you all!

The gospel readings of the previous two Sundays focussed on water (Jn 4) and light (Jn 9). Today our focus is on life (Jn 11).  The elements of water, light and life, simply point us to Christ, who is the source of all.

When everything goes well in life there is no problem in expressing our belief in God, but when things are different to what we expect then there come crises in one’s faith journey. The raising of Lazarus from death brings out clearly how Jesus invited both Martha and Mary to believe in Him as the source of their lives.

Today’s Gospel reminds us that we all need friends, even Jesus needed one. In the village of Bethany Jesus had three very special friends namely Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus. Their house always remained open to him.

When we go deeper into this story of raising Lazarus from death, we can clearly see how Martha, Mary and Lazarus appreciated their friendship with Jesus and vice versa.  Their request to come and pay a visit to his ill brother Lazarus tells us clearly how close they were to Jesus.

When Lazarus got sick, they sent an urgent message to him saying, “Lord the man you love is ill.” Their hope was that he would drop everything and come and cure him. But surprisingly Jesus did not drop everything and rush to the bedside of his dying friend. Instead, he stayed on where he was for two whole days. We don’t know why. His delay in coming must have been heartbroken for the sisters. Right in front of their eyes their brother’s life was ebbing away and the one they believed could do something about it wasn’t there.

The Gospel shows us how Martha and Mary were deeply saddened by the death of their beloved brother. Of the two, Mary seems to have been the worst affected. She wouldn’t even leave the house. While they had sympathetic people around them, the one they most wanted to be with them was not there, that is Jesus their friend.

I am sure all of us would have gone through the experience of Martha and Mary, when something bad happened in our lives, especially to the one whom we loved most, we feel that God has abandoned us.

So, what can we do? We must imitate Martha. The story presents her as a model of faith. In her hour of grief, she ran to the Lord and poured out her sorrow to him. And when Jesus challenged her to believe, she made a wonderful profession of faith: “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world.”

When we suffer it seems as though God is absent. But when we pray, we come to realize that God is not absent, but is present in our suffering. Amen.

Fr. John Sebastian OMI
Rector & Parish Priest

The Weekend eBulletin

Click here to download the ebulletins for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A.

Stations of the Cross continue every Friday until Good Friday. English Stations after the midday Mass and Stations in Italian at 7pm.

Holy Week and Easter Mass Timetable

Copies of the Holy Week and Easter Mass timetables in English and Italian are available in the side foyers of the Church this weekend. Pick up a copy.

Holy Water Bottles

Thank you to everyone who assisted with the filling of the Holy Water bottles, they are already now for blessing at Easter Vigil.

Lenten Retreat

The last session for the Lenten Retreat will be held on Monday 27th March at 6pm to 7pm in the Parish Centre. 

Farewell for Frs John Sebastian & Angelo Wijewickrama

Parishioners and Friends are invited to the Farewell Mass and Light Lunch for Frs John Sebastian and Angelo Wijewickrama on Sunday 2 April. We will commence with a concelebrated Mass at 11am followed by light lunch in the parish centre. All welcome to attend but please RSVP before Tuesday 28 March for catering purposes. Phone 9335 2268 or email There will be NO Parish Morning Tea on Sunday 2nd April after the 8am Mass due to the Farewell Celebrations for Frs John Sebastian and Angelo at 11am.

2nd Rite of Reconciliation

To prepare ourselves for Holy Week and the Easter Liturgies the Parish will have the Second Rite of Reconciliation on WEDNESDAY 5TH APRIL AT 7PM. All Welcome.

Easter Offerings 

Usually twice a year you are invited, as a community, to make a special effort to financially support the Priests of the Basilica. As the special season of Easter is fast approaching, you are encouraged to support the Priests during this special season of Easter. The envelopes are in the pews, so kindly use them and support your priests generously.

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 55%.  

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: 066 107

A/c No:  0080 0216

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 Costello 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.


Sunday 2 April: Frs Sebastian & Angelo Farewell

Wednesday 5 April: 2nd Rite of Reconciliation

Thursday 6 April: Holy Thursday

Friday 7 April: Good Friday

Saturday 8 April: Holy Saturday

Sunday 9 April: Easter Sunday