26 September 2020

Saturday 26 September 2020

Dear Parishioners and Friends

I hope that you are all doing well within the given situation of the COVID-19 virus. We, the Western Australians, are able to go out to meet some of our family members or friends, but it is not so with the rest of Australians and the entire world, so let us continue to keep one another in our prayers as we endure this painful pandemic.

Reflection for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The gospel passage for this weekend talks about a father, who approached his two sons to carry out some work in his vineyard and how they both responded to it. The father went to the first son and said, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go.

Commenting on this parable, a famous Scottish minister, William Barclay says that the key to the correct understanding of this parable is that it is not really praising anyone. It is setting before us a picture of two very imperfect sets of people, of whom one set were nonetheless better than the other. Neither son in the story was the kind of son to bring full joy to his father. Both were unsatisfactory; but the one who in the end obeyed was incalculably better than the other.

This parable also further reminds us that there are two very common classes of people in this world. First, there are the people whose promises are much better than their practice. They will promise anything; they make great protestations of piety and fidelity; but their practice lags far behind.

Second, there are those whose practice is far better than their promises. They claim to be tough, hard-headed materialists, but somehow, they are found out doing kindly and generous things, almost in secret.

The really good man or woman is the one in whom professed belief and practice meet and match. Further, this parable teaches us that promises can never take the place of performance, and fine words are never a substitute for fine deeds, says William Barclay.

Change of Mass Times in the Basilica

Please note that from this weekend, the following will be the new mass times in the Basilica of St. Patrick.

Weekday Masses:

    • Angelus and Mass at midday.

Weekend Masses:

    • Saturday Vigil at 6 pm
    • Sunday 8 am
    • Sunday 8.15 am at North Fremantle
    • Sunday 9.30 am (Italian)
    • Sunday 11 am (livestreamed)
    • Sunday 5 pm.

Until Phase 5 has been implemented we will not have Wednesday and Friday 7 pm evening Masses. Thank you sincerely for your co-operation.

Virtually Oblate – Discerning Online

Saturday 26 September 2020, St. Mary’s Seminary Community in Melbourne will host an Online discernment Weekend.

It  will be a short two-hour online experience which will allow for young men to join together with Oblates and the De Mazenod Family in order to share their experiences of discerning and together discuss the challenges, but also maybe the benefits, that isolation can bring to one’s life of discernment.

If you are keen to explore about God’s calling in your lives, please click here to register. It is a great opportunity to pray and discern about one’s life.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a Catholic? Please make sure that they hear about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, a journey of enquiry and faith development for non-Christians and non-Catholics who want to know more about the Catholic faith.

Already Catholic?  If you love your faith and would like to share someone’s faith journey, think about joining the RCIA team, or becoming a sponsor for someone joining the church.

There will be an information evening on 29th October at 7pm, in the Parish Centre. If you know anyone who is keen to become Catholic, please encourage them to come along for this information evening.

For further information please contact the Parish Office, Monday to Friday 9 am to 3 pm on 9335 2268.

National Council of Churches in Australia

This weekend (26/27 of September) is a further special time of National Prayer regarding the pandemic. We all are experiencing a very painful situation and the impact of this pandemic, overseas and here.

We are all aware of the suffering it is causing; the extent of the social and economic dislocation, the difficulty getting the virus under control and the level of many people’s anxiety. What we can offer again now are our prayers together as we did before.

Let us pray this prayer together:

“Gracious God, trusting in your providence and presence, we bring our prayer for an end to this pandemic.

We pray for your strengthening of those offering costly leadership during this crisis.

We pray for all who are ill.

We pray for those anxious about getting ill.

We pray for those full of grief.

We remember those who have died.

We pray for your grace to sustain us as we do what we can in our context.

We ask these things, as you encourage us so to do. “Ask and it will be given you.” (Matthew 7:7).

In resurrection faith, we offer our heartfelt prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.”

Readings and Hymns

Please click here to download the readings and hymns for the 26th Week in Ordinary Time Year A.

Let us continue to support one another through our prayers.

Enjoy this wonderful long weekend.

God bless you all!

Fr. John Sebastian
Rector and Parish Priest

Friday 18 September 2020

To register to receive this newsletter by email, please click here.

Friday 18 September

Dear Parishioners and Friends

I hope and believe that you are doing well and continue your support for one another through your prayers and other means of support.

Reflection for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The parable for this weekend’s liturgy is also known as “the Parable of Workers in the Vineyard” or “the Parable of the Generous Landlord.”  This remarkable and rather astonishing parable is found only in Matthew.  It reminds us that although God owes us nothing, He gives us abundantly and equally.

In this parable Jesus talks about a landowner who hired labourers at five different times during the course of one day to work in his vineyard but paid the same living wage for a full day’s work to all of them. “This is probably one of the most controversial parables ever uttered by Jesus Christ, creating heated debate about the unusual generosity of a benevolent vineyard owner, says, Patricia Datchuck Sánchez.”

This story illustrates the difference between God’s perspective and ours.  Perhaps it disturbs our sense of fairness and justice.  Our sense of justice seems to favour the labourers who worked all day and expected a wage greater than that given to the latecomers.  Perhaps most people would sympathize with the workers who had worked longer and seemingly deserved more.  We can understand their complaint since, for most of us, salaries are linked to the number of hours of work.  A skilled worker gets more than an unskilled worker.  If workers have the same skills, the same hours of work and similar responsibilities, we expect them to get the same wages.

But God doesn’t see matters in the same way that we do.  God thinks of justice in terms of people’s dignity and their right to a decent life. This parable, “the Parable of Workers in the Vineyard”, talks about the love, grace and mercy of God. Pope Francis says: “The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.”  Let us become aware of ourselves and the number of times, we have been forgiven by God and the great generosity of God in our lives too.

Change of Mass Times in the Basilica

Please note that from the weekend of 26/27 September 2020, the following will be the new mass times in the Basilica of St. Patrick.

Weekday Masses:

  • Angelus and Mass at Midday.

Weekend Masses:

  • Saturday Vigil at 6 pm
  • Sunday 8 am
  • Sunday 8.15 am at North Fremantle
  • Sunday 9.30 am (Italian)
  • Sunday 11 am (livestreamed)
  • Sunday 5 pm.

Until Phase 5 has been implemented we will not have Wednesday and Friday 7 pm evening Masses. Thank you sincerely for your co-operation.

Virtually Oblate – Discerning Online

As we are in a very challenging time of our human history, it is good to give some time to think about What is God calling me to do at this time? If you want to further explore about your own discernment, please join ‘Virtually Oblate’.

It  will be a short two-hour online experience which will allow for young men to join together with Oblates and the De Mazenod Family in order to share their experiences of discerning and together discuss the challenges, but also maybe the benefits, that isolation can bring to one’s life of discernment.

This online event will be hosted by the St Mary’s Seminary community on Saturday 26th September from 3-5pm (AEST).

We do ask that each participant register here.

For further information please click here.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a Catholic? Please make sure that they hear about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, a journey of enquiry and faith development for non-Christians and non-Catholics who want to know more about the Catholic faith.

Already Catholic?  If you love your faith and would like to share someone’s faith journey, think about joining the RCIA team, or becoming a sponsor for someone joining the church.

For further information please contact the Parish Office, Mon to Fri 9am to 3pm on 9335 2268.

Readings and Hymns

Please click here to download the readings and hymns for the 25th Week in Ordinary Time Year A.

Let us continue to support one another through our prayers.

Please keep all the Oblate Priests also in your prayers.

Wishing you all a happy weekend.

God bless you all!

Fr. John Sebastian
Rector and Parish Priest

Friday 11 September

To register to receive this newsletter by email, please click here.

Friday 11 September 2020

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

I hope and believe that you are doing well and continue your support for one another through our prayers and other means of support.

Reflection for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The theme of forgiveness and mercy continues in the liturgy of the Word. Peter asks Jesus, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.

In other words, Jesus says there is no limit to mercy and forgiveness and thus places a high standard of discipleship on all of us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 2842 reminds us that true forgiveness entails “a vital participation, coming from the depths of the heart, in the holiness and the mercy and the love of our God”.

This is a true story from South Africa

Mr van der Broek, has just been tried and found implicated in the murders of both the woman’s son and her husband some years before.  Mr van der Broek had come to the woman’s home, taken her son, set the young man’s body on fire while he and his officers had a party nearby.

Several years later, van der Broek and his cohorts had returned to take away her husband as well and set him on fire as well.  For many months she heard nothing of his whereabouts.  Then almost two years after her husband’s disappearance, van der Broek came back to fetch the woman herself.  How vividly she remembers that evening, going to a place beside a river where she was shown her husband, bound and beaten, but still strong in spirit, lying on a pile of wood.  The last words she heard from his lips as the officers poured petrol over his body and set him aflame were, “Father, forgive them…”

Now the woman stands in the courtroom and listens to the confessions offered by Mr van der Broek.  A member of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission turns to her and asks, “So what do you want?  How should justice be done to this man who has so brutally destroyed your family?”

“I want three things,” begins the old woman calmly, but confidently. “I want first to be taken to the place where my husband’s body was burned so that I can gather up the dust and give his remains a decent burial.”

She pauses, and then continues. “My husband and son were my only family, I want secondly, therefore, for Mr van der Broek to become my son.  I would like him to come twice a month to the ghetto and spend a day with me so that I can pour out on him whatever love I still have remaining in me.

“And finally,” she says, “I want a third thing.  This is also the wish of my husband.  And so, I would kindly ask someone to come to my side and lead me across the courtroom so that I can take Mr van der Broek in my arms and embrace him and let him know that he is truly forgiven.”

As the court assistants come to lead the elderly woman across the room, Mr van der Broek, overwhelmed by what he has just heard, faints.  As he does, those in the courtroom, family, friends, and neighbours – all victims of decades of oppression and injustice – begin to sing, softly but assuredly, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

So, my dear brothers and sisters we all have our own stories about how things have happened to us. I just want to finish this reflection with these words: Forgiveness is the way we return what has been taken from us and restore the love and kindness and trust that has been lost. With each act of forgiveness, whether small or great, we move towards wholeness. Forgiveness is nothing less than how we bring peace to ourselves and our world.

Virtually Oblate – Discerning Online

St. Eugene, the founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate often used to tell his brothers, “Leave Nothing Undared.”

This year due to the COVID-19 virus there were many challenges which resulted in creating different ways to Preach the message of Christ to others. As a result, the Oblates in the Australian Province this year will host an online, virtual, discernment experience known as ‘Virtually Oblate’

‘Virtually Oblate’ will be a short two-hour online experience which will allow for young men to join together with Oblates and the De Mazenod Family in order to share their experiences of discerning and together discuss the challenges, but also maybe the benefits, that isolation can bring to one’s life of discernment.

This online event will be hosted by the St Mary’s Seminary community on Saturday 26th September from 3-5pm (AEST).

We do ask that each participant register and this can be done easily here.

Please continue to pray for vocations to the Oblates and share this information with any young men you know who may be interested

For further information please click here.

Our Lady of Tindari

This year we celebrate Our Lady of Tindari (Black Madonna) on Sunday 13

September 2020 and due to the restrictions for the COVID -19 virus, we will celebrate the feast of Our Lady in a very different way.

Unfortunately, there will be no Procession or Benediction this year, however the Italian Community will come together to honour Our Lady Of Tindari with Mass in Italian at 9.30am.

Our Lady of Tindari’s first procession from the Basilica was held on 8 September 1996 and has continued every year since.

Safeguarding Sunday

Saturday 13 September 2020 we also remember and celebrate Safeguarding Sunday

This year’s National Child Protection Week is a little different to previous years due to the COVID 19 virus.  However, it is important that we acknowledge the week.

Our Catholic faith is the lens through which we view the world.  This week is a time to reflect on our moral and Christian responsibilities to protect children from harm and to act when the safety and well-being of a child is at risk.

This year the theme for Child Protection Week is Putting the needs of children first.  

In 2017 the Safeguarding Office produced a storybook this story book will be launched today in St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth and copies will be available in Parishes very soon.

Child Protection Week is a time for us all to reflect on the many ways in which we as individuals can play our part in protecting children both within the Catholic Church and our community – we can all play our part.

For more information please click here.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a Catholic? Please make sure that they hear about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, a journey of enquiry and faith development for non-Christians and non-Catholics who want to know more about the Catholic faith.

Already Catholic?  If you love your faith and would like to share someone’s faith journey, think about joining the RCIA team, or becoming a sponsor for someone joining the church.

For further information please contact the Parish Office, Mon to Fri 9am to 3pm on 9335 2268.

Pontifical Holy Land Collection

This weekend (12th and 13th September 2020) a special collection will be taken up to support the holy places in Holy Land. Your generous support is greatly appreciated towards this great cause.

Readings and Hymns

Please click here to download the readings and hymns for the 24th Week in Ordinary Time Year A.

Let us continue to support one another through our prayers.

Please keep all the Oblate Priests also in your prayers.

Wishing you all a happy weekend.

God bless you all!

 

 

Fr. John Sebastian
Rector and Parish Priest

Basilica Newsletter 11th July

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

I hope you are all travelling well with this present situation of COVID-19. I continue to share with you prayers and hopes for a speedy recovery for the world so that we can return to normal soon.

This week the Liturgy of the Word talks about the richness of God’s Word and its impacts on everyone who trusts in Him.

I want to share with you this story, which gives us an insight into how when we share the good in us and the richness of God’s saving Word with others, the entire life of the others also continues to be nourished.

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours.  How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.  “Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.”

Let us make a strong decision today that we shall always Trust in God’s Word and share it with others, through our words and deeds.

It also challenges us to reflect on how deeply the Word of God has taken root in our lives, how central God is to the very fabric of our day-to-day life as we endure this painful situation.

Keep your faith high and continue to hold on to God, who has the power over everything in the world.

Thank you and God bless!

Fr. John Sebastian OMI