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Saturday 9 December 2023

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today’s Gospel is taken from the beginning of Mark. Unlike Luke and Matthew, Mark does not include any details of Jesus’ birth. Instead, Mark begins with the appearance of John the Baptist in the desert. On this the Second Sunday of Advent, we are invited to reflect upon the role of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus and the salvation that he would bring to us.

Mark’s description of the appearance of John the Baptist highlights John’s continuity with the Jewish prophetic tradition. Mark combines quotations from the Old Testament books of Malachi, Isaiah, and Exodus. Mark’s description of John as an ascetic, living in the desert, clothed in camel hair, and eating locusts and wild honey, is reminiscent of the description of the prophet Elijah found in Second Kings. The people of Judea and Jerusalem flock to him, listening to his message of repentance and forgiveness; they also come to him to be baptized.

Mark’s Gospel is clear, however, that John the Baptist’s role is only to prepare the way for another who will come, one who is greater than John. Many scholars believe that the Gospels reflect the tension that likely existed between followers of John the Baptist and disciples of Jesus. Each of the four Evangelists report on John’s preaching and baptizing, and they each emphasize the importance of Jesus’ baptism by John. The four Gospels also explain that John was sent to preach in preparation for another. In the Gospel of Luke, the question is raised as to whether John the Baptist was himself the Messiah. Just as in today’s Gospel, however, John speaks quite explicitly that the Messiah was to come after him.

In today’s Gospel we hear John the Baptist contrast his baptism of repentance with the baptism that Jesus will inaugurate. John says that he has baptized with water, but that the one who is to come will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John’s baptism was not yet a Christian baptism, but a preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism through which sins are forgiven and the gift of the Holy Spirit is received.

John the Baptist is presented to us as a model during Advent. We, too, are called upon to prepare a way for the Lord. Like John the Baptist, we are messengers in service to one who is greater than we are. Our Baptism commissions us to call others to life as disciples of Jesus. (source Loyola Press)

Please click here to read the latest pastoral letter from The Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB, Archbishop of Perth: Traditionis Custodis.

The Weekend eBulletin

Click here to download the eBulletin for the Second Sunday of Advent, Year B.

Seniors Morning Tea

The last Seniors Morning Tea for 2023 will be held on Monday 18th December at 10am in the Parish Centre.  There will be no morning tea in January 2024.

Mary’s Dream

In preparation for the celebration of Christmas, we encourage you to read Mary’s Dream, available here. The booklet was originally prepared by Fr John Archbold OMI, who we remember in our prayers at this time of year.

Advent Retreat

Advent can be a time of waiting with joyful excitement and intense anticipation, when we are reminded that two thousand years ago Jesus, God’s Son, the Word of God, was born.

You are invited as part of your preparation for Christmas to come together for a series of four one-hour prayerful evenings using some of the meditation practices based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  

John Auer will once again lead us in four Monday sessions commencing on Monday 27th November and thereafter on the 11th and 18th December at 6.00 pm at St. Patrick’s Basilica Fremantle Parish Centre.  Register your details with the Parish Office on 9335 2268 or via email  All welcome to this free event.

Message from the Morning Tea Ministry

The end of year Parish Morning Tea will be celebrated on Sunday 17th December after the 8am Mass in the Presbytery Carport.  All Welcome.

The Morning Tea Ministry will be holding a Christmas Raffle with tickets at all Masses on the weekend 9th/10th December.  Raffle will be drawn on Sunday 17th December Morning Tea.

Please support this raffle by purchasing tickets to win some great prizes.

MAMI Christmas Cards

Give a gift of hope this Christmas by purchasing a MAMI Christmas Card, available from the Parish Office or online at  You can purchase: – Chickens $10, Development $15, Toolboxes $20, Education $25, and Goats $30.  By purchasing one of these Christmas Cards, it supports the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in their Missions.

De Mazenod Family Adore Advent Program

This Advent, we offer you the opportunity to forget about the busyness of our daily lives, and to stop and prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord while trying to find the beauty in all that is around us. Join the online Advent Program Adore which will be held on Thursdays during December leading up to Christmas.  See the link below and the time for WA.  Zoom link:  HTTPS://US02WEB.ZOOM.US/J/83793869667.  WA 5.00 pm.

Christmas Mass Timetable

Christmas Timetable available in the side foyers of the Church this weekend. Please share them around with family and friends, as Christmas is a great time to gather the family and prayer for the Birth of Jesus Christ.

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.

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, visit

Upcoming Events

Monday 11 December

Advent Retreat Continues

Sunday 17 December

Final Parish Morning Tea for 2023

Monday 18 December

Final Seniors Morning Tea for 2023