Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Greetings to you all!
First Sunday of Lent Year B
During the first week of Lent, we always meditate on the Temptations of Jesus. Why does the church want us to focus on the Temptations of Jesus? The Church does it with a purpose so that we too may enter into our own personal desert within ourselves, that we may probe deeply into our hearts to find out what need to be transformed and thus can come closer to God and his Son Jesus.
‘Repent and believe in the gospel’ (Mark 1:15). This is the essence, the marrow of Christ’s teaching. So, Lent is a great opportunity given to us all, to pay great attention to this invitation of Christ in our lives.
Moses before receiving the Old Law on Mount Sinai fasted for forty days (Ex 34:28); Elijah, the first of the great prophets, sent to Israel, fasted for forty days on his journey to Mount Horeb (1Kgs.19:5). So, Christ also, the lawgiver of the New Covenant, the Prophet of God’s mercy and love spent forty days in the wilderness before beginning his mission of redemption.
Unlike the evangelists Matthew and Luke, the evangelist Mark does not give us a specific mention about the various ‘temptations’ of Jesus. But Mark’s very brief account clearly implies that Satan lost in the struggle. Satan was made aware that Jesus was the Messiah who would eventually conquer him and destroy all the elements of evil from the face of the earth.
So, these forty days of our Lenten observance are very important in our efforts to come closer to God. It is a time of testing and also a great means of deepening our lives and finding out where I stand in my relationship with God, my family, friends and the wider community to which I belong. Do I remain faithful to Christ’s teaching amidst all the temptations and struggles I face in my life? As we live out our baptismal commitment in this ever-changing world, we need to be vigilant and equipped with Spiritual strengths in order to defeat the various forms of temptations we will face in the world.
No one escapes temptations in life. St. Francis de Sales points out that temptation is quite simply a fact of life that we will have to face. He also further says that great saints were often tempted violently, and sometimes had to fight certain temptations their whole lives.
The evangelist Mark gives us a practical tip to avoid temptations. “Stay awake and pray not to be put to the test”. (Mark 14:38). Jesus was able to overcome his temptations by constantly being in touch with the His Father through prayer in the wilderness. During this Lenten season, let us try to spend more time in prayer to overcome temptations. When you are united with Jesus, you will surely feel the difference in your lives. Amen.
Readings and Hymns
Please click here to download the readings and hymns for the First Sunday in Lent Year B.
Pastoral letters from Archbishop Costelloe SDB
Please click here to read Archbishop’s Lenten Pastoral Letter for 2021.
Stations of the Cross in Lent
During the Lenten season it is a great tradition in the life of the Church to make the Stations of the Cross, and thus unite ourselves with Christ by meditating on His Passion, Death and Resurrection.
So, in our Basilica, on every Friday during Lent we will make the stations of the Cross at 12.30pm. Please join us and make every effort to make this Lent a joyful preparation to celebrate the joy of Easter.
Lenten Preparation Programme
We begin our First Lenten reflections on 22nd February at 7pm in the Parish Centre. This programme has been well attended and enjoyed for some years now and we invite you to join us this year too.
If you wish to join this reflection group, please contact the Parish Office on 9335 2268, Mon to Fri (9am to 3pm). All are welcome.
Lenten Retreat at the Basilica of St. Patrick
During our Lenten journey ‘Retreat’ helps us to deepen our relationship with God. On 27th March, our Parish will hold a half a day retreat. If you wish to join us please contact the Parish Office on 9335 2268, Mon to Fri (9am to 3pm). More information will follow in the next week Newsletter. All are welcome.
Planned Giving envelopes for 2021
Your new planned giving envelopes for 2021 are available in the front foyer of the Church this weekend. Please collect your envelopes.
Project Compassion for 2021
A Special Collection for Project Compassion will be taken up at all Masses during the weekend of 6th and 7th of March 2021.
Donation boxes and weekly offering envelopes for Project Compassion are also available in the front foyer of the Church this weekend. Please donate generously to bring a great change in the lives of those who are in need.
Parish Religious Education Programme (PREP)
This year the Fremantle Catholic Parish of St Patrick’s Basilica will offer the Parish Religious Education Programme (PREP) for all Catholic children who attend non-Catholic Schools.
This programme incorporates Religious Education along with Sacramental Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. Classes will commence in February and will continue throughout the whole year. The Sacramental Parent Information evening will be held on 16 February at 6.30pm in the Parish Centre.
World Day of Prayer – “Build on a Strong Foundation” – Vanuatu
There are only two more weeks left to celebrate “World Day of Prayer”. This year The Basilica of St Patrick will host this Ecumenical Prayer Service on Friday 5th March 2021 at 10am.All are welcome to join us in prayer and afterwards enjoy a cup of tea in the Parish Centre. If you are attending and would like to bring a plate, please let the Parish office know of your intentions.
We would also like to know if any parishioners have artefacts or extra information about Vanuatu that would be greatly appreciated.
Year of St. Joseph
During this Year of St. Joseph, the Basilica of St. Patrick will recite the Litany of St. Joseph at the end of the Rosary (Monday to Saturday) followed by benediction and Mass.
Rev. Fr. Ian Mackintosh OMI
On Friday Morning 19th February, Fr. Christian Fini, the Australian Provincial communicated to us the sudden passing of Rev. Fr. Ian Mackintosh OMI. He was a very faithful and committed Oblate who lived his priesthood with great joy and happiness.
Please keep all the Oblates and all the faithful people with whom he served cheerfully throughout this Province, able to accept this sudden loss.
Please click here to read a short Biography of Fr. Ian prepared by Fr. Christian Fini OMI. We wait for the funeral details to come through. May he rest in peace.
Wishing you a happy weekend.
God bless you all!
Fr. John Sebastian OMI
Rector and Parish Priest