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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.
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