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Saturday 19 August 2023

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Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today we move ahead in our reading of Matthew’s Gospel. Last week we read about Jesus’ walking on the water and the disciples’ confession of faith that Jesus is the Son of God. If we were reading Matthew’s entire Gospel, we would have read about Jesus’ debate with the Pharisees about Jewish purity laws. Jesus argues that it is not what goes into us that makes us unclean; he is referring to the strict Jewish dietary rules. Instead, our words and our actions—what comes out of us—make us unclean because they emerge from a heart that is unclean.

Knowing about Jesus’ debate with the Pharisees helps us to understand today’s Gospel. In fact, the story heightens the surprise and shock we feel as we hear Jesus’ exchange with the Canaanite woman. The woman, who is not Jewish, approaches Jesus, requesting that he heal her demon-possessed daughter. At first Jesus ignores her; he says nothing. The disciples ask Jesus to send her away, and Jesus agrees, remarking that he was sent to minister to the Jews alone.

The woman persists, paying homage to Jesus, and yet Jesus denies her request again. He even insults her, using a Jewish word of derision for Gentiles, “dog.” But the woman cleverly turns Jesus’ insult into an affirmation of faith. Only then does Jesus grant her request and heal her daughter.

Jesus’ unresponsiveness to this woman may strike us as uncharacteristic or shocking. Yet in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’ ministry is directed primarily to the people of Israel. At only a very few points, such as the one found in today’s Gospel, do we find Jesus anticipating the later Christian ministry to the rest of the world. Behind Matthew’s text we can hear this early Christian community’s struggle to understand how God’s selection of Israel is consistent with two events: Israel’s rejection of Jesus and the Gentiles’ acceptance of Jesus. Just as Jesus was surprised by the faith expressed by the Canaanite woman, so too the first Christians were surprised that the Gentiles would receive the salvation God offered through Christ. In today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans, we hear the apostle Paul considering this same concern.

The faith that the Canaanite woman expresses is an affirmation of and confidence in God’s abundant mercy. Yes, salvation comes through Israel, but it overflows for the benefit of all. (Source Loyola Press)

The Weekend eBulletin

Click here to download the eBulletin for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

The Sacrament on First Communion

Saturday 19th August the children from St Patrick’s Primary School and the parish Catechism class will celebrate the Sacrament of First Communion at the 6pm Mass. Please keep these candidates, their families, and teachers in your prayers.

Oblates Retreat – 20 August to 26 August

The Oblates will be on Retreat in Melbourne from Sunday 20th August to Saturday 26th August. Masses on Sunday 20th August will be celebrated by Fr Francis Ughanze and Mons. Michael Keating. Unfortunately, the 8.15am Mass at St Anne’s will be cancelled for that weekend. Masses during the week will be celebrated by Fr Anthony Colbert. The Oblates will be back to celebrate Masses on Sunday 27th August 2023. Let us keep all the Oblates from the Australian Province in our prayers during their Retreat.

Seniors’ Morning Tea

The next Seniors’ Morning Tea will be held on Monday 21st August 2023 at 10am in the Parish Centre. All seniors’ welcome.

Parish Morning Tea

The next parish morning tea will be held on Sunday 3rd September 2023 after the 8am Mass in the presbytery carport.  All Welcome.

Pasta Night Fundraiser (SOLD OUT)

Annual Father’s Day Hot Rod Show

Every year the St Patrick’s Primary School hold their Father’s Day Hot Rod Show. This year it will be held on Sunday 3rd September 2023, from 8am to 3pm. Please plan ahead as there will be excess cars around the Basilica and parking maybe a problem.

Our Lady of Tindari (Black Madonna)

The celebrations for Our Lady of Tindari will commence with Triduum on Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th and Friday 8th September with Rosary at 7pm followed Mass. The Feast Day Mass will be celebrated on Sunday 10th September with 9.30am Italian Mass followed by morning tea in the Parish Centre. All Welcome.

Relics of St John Bosco

The relic statue of St John Bosco, better known as Don Bosco, will be touring Australia as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the arrival of the Salesians on Australian soil. The Salesians came to the shore of Australia on 30th March 1923 in Fremantle, Western Australia.

The Basilica will host the relics of St John Bosco on Monday 18th September 2023. The relics will arrive in the Basilica at 11.45am just in time of the Midday Mass and the relics will remain in the Basilica until 3pm. We invite all parishioners to come and visit the relics while they are in the Basilica. Come and share in this wonderful experience.

Weekday Masses – Readers Required

If you regularly attend weekday Midday Masses on Mondays and Fridays and can assist with reading during the Masses, please see Joan Swindell’s.

Please return your Catholic Mission donation envelopes either via the Parish Office or the collection plate before the end of August. Thank You

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: 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.


Saturday 19th August

First Communion Mass

Sunday 20th August to Saturday 26th August

Oblate Retreat

Monday 21st August

Senior’s Morning Tea

Friday 1st September

Pasta Night