Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Greetings to you all!
Every newborn child is a wonder, a mystery, and a gift of God. No matter whether the family is rich or poor, whether the child is the firstborn or the latest in the long line, all who gather round the newborn child are moved with joy, smiles on their faces, some may cry out of joy, laugh, bring a gift, and wish happiness and peace for the little one. For us the Child Jesus is a sign of love, hope and faith in the future.
Yes, the birth of the Child Jesus is a powerful reminder of God’s continuous love for His people, whom he created in his own image and likeness. The love of God can never run out, which we witness in the history of our salvation. The letter to the Hebrew says, “God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is.”
Though there were difficulties in life, the assurance of God’s love through His Son Jesus enabled everyone to carry out their daily tasks. Every year when we come to celebrate the Birth of Child Jesus does not mean that we lived our life (from the previous Christmas to the present Christmas) without any issues. No, we lived our lives, because we experienced his love, and compassion through so many people in our lives.
Mother Teresa once visited a person who lived in a basement room. It was in a terrible state of neglect. There was no light in the room. And he merely opened the blinds. While talking to him she started to clean and tidy the room. At first, he protested: “leave it alone.” But she went ahead anyway. As she cleaned under a pile of rubbish, she found an oil lamp covered with dust. She cleaned it and she said to him: you have got a beautiful lamp here. How come you never light it?’ ‘Why should I light it?’ he replied. ‘No one ever comes to see me.’ Will you promise to light it if one of my sisters comes to see you?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘If I hear a human voice, I will light the lamp.’ Mother Teresa’s nuns began to visit him regularly.
Things gradually improved for him. Every time the sisters came to visit him, he had the lamp lighted. Then one day he said to them, ‘Sisters, I will be able to manage on my own from now on. But do me a favour. Tell that first sister who came to see me that the light she lit in my life is still burning.’ The real Christmas celebration will be: “Am I able to share the love of Christ with others?” Let us share our life, love and bring light in the life of others, and in the world.
Wishing you all a joyous Christmas. God bless! Amen
Fr. John Sebastian OMI
Rector & Parish Priest
The Christmas Day eBulletin
Click here to download the eBulletin for the Nativity of the Lord Year A.
Usually twice a year you are invited, as a community, to make a special effort to financially support the Priests of the Basilica. Envelopes are available in your planned giving boxes or in the pews of the Church. Your generosity is very much appreciated along with your prayers, encouragement, and blessings.
National Oblate Youth Encounter
It’s been a long time coming, but we are very excited to announce that the National Oblate Youth Encounter will be back in January 2023!
The National Oblate Youth Encounter is an event that brings together young people from around Australia who wish to share their Catholic faith in tandem with the Charism of St Eugene de Mazenod. It will be a great chance to grow in faith and reflect, as well as sharing plenty of fun with other young people. NOYE provides a balance of prayer, workshops, open-forums, liturgy, and community time.
The theme for this year’s camp will be “Created in the Image and Likeness of God…” We invite young people (year 12 – 30 years old) to come and explore this theme whilst sharing the charism of the Oblates.
WHEN: Thurs 5th – Sun 8th January 2023
WHERE: Mazenod College, Victoria
Registration is now open via our website: https://bit.ly/NOYE2023
For more info contact Emma Rice email@example.com 0422705230
World Youth Day 2023
From 20th July to 10th August 2023 Oblate Youth Australia will be travelling to Lisbon, Portugal for the World Youth Day Pilgrimage. We are planning to join with Bishop Mark Edwards and the Wagga Diocese on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Lisbon for WYD before finishing our trip in Aix-En-Provence – the birthplace of our founder St Eugene de Mazenod.
The indicative cost for WYD has been quoted at $9930 and this includes airfares, accommodation, registration for WYD, tours and most meals. Please note that this is only an indicative quote.
We are now taking expressions of interest for the pilgrimage, and you can find more information & a detailed itinerary by visiting: https://bit.ly/OYAWYD23
If you have questions or need more info please contact: Emma Rice firstname.lastname@example.org 0422705230
Parish Office Opening Hours Christmas & New Year
Monday 26 December to Monday 2 January 2023: CLOSED
We wish all our Parishioners and their families a very Joyous and Holy Christmas and Safe & Healthy New Year!
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. To read more please click here.
Saturday 24 December: Christmas Eve
Sunday 25 December: Christmas Day
Sunday 1 January: New Year’s Day