THE PARISH OF BAULKHAM HILLS
Email St Michael's at email@example.com
Phone: +61 2 9639 0598
Email Our Lady of Lourdes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +61 2 9639 8385
COVID UPDATE – FRIDAY JULY 30 2021
A COVID SAFE PARISH
As announced on Wednesday, we continue to be in lockdown till at least 28 August. So both Church buildings will remain closed for public worship. You are invited to attend Mass via our YOUTUBE link as noted below.
This COVID Virus, especially the Delta strain, is still very active with devastating consequences for our land. Not only have we seen a spike in numbers, but also sadly 11 people – all unvaccinated, including 38 year old Adriana Midori Takara – have died in this time; and we keep them all in our hearts and prayers.
So please, please observe the health orders and stay at home as much as possible. If you don’t feel well get tested, and please get the jab – either Astra Zeneca or Pfizer – and help us get out of this. Trust the Doctor and not the Commentator. But please discuss this with your medical practitioner.
As it looks like we’re going to be in lockdown for at least another month, I’d like to try two things for our parishioners this week.
· A ZOOM morning tea gathering this Monday at 10.30am – an opportunity to meet, say hi over a cup of tea or coffee and see how we’re all going.
· A ZOOM Night Prayer Session this Tuesday evening at 7.30pm – an opportunity to pray together the Prayer of the Church, including the Rosary.
If you would like to “attend” either or both please email me email@example.com and I will send a link. Please also let me know if you do not have ZOOM and I’ll advise how to load it to your computer or IPAD.
Please stay safe.
Mass will be live streamed on Saturday evening at 6pm from Our Lady of Lourdes, and available for viewing afterwards via the link. Thank you to Jim and Brian for your help with this every week.
The link for Saturday evening’s 6pm Mass for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time is https://youtu.be/T9Shw0ijPi4
· Owing to the lockdown, we have postponed the St Michael’s Confirmation program until further notice. New Mass times will be arranged when we come out of lockdown.
· The OLOL Reconciliation Program has begun and will be done on-line. 55 children have registered and please keep them in your prayers.
· Registration for St Michael’s First Communion program, currently scheduled for late October, commences this week. Please see details in the bulletin for the registration link.
We hope to start another ZOOM ALPHA program next month. Details to come.
FAN THE FLAME: TOWARDS THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY ONE OCTOBER 2021
‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; whoever believes in me will never thirst.’ (John 6:24-35)
The ethical and missionary implications of the Eucharist for the Church’s communion of faith will always be incomplete while the poor go hungry, for “we cannot properly receive the Bread of Life without sharing bread for life with those in want”.
(Pedro Arrupe, “Address prior to Eucharistic Congress 1976”, The Portal to Jesuit Studies, ttps://jesuitportal.bc.edu/research/documents/1976_arrupeeucharist/.)
A fuller reflection on aspects of the Plenary Assembly for your consideration and prayer follows these notices.
POPE FRANCIS ON THE SACRAMENTS
In 2014 Pope Francis gave his catechesis on the Sacraments, and we resume this week after last week’s Message on the Occasion of the World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly. Please see below.
In your mercy please pray for those who have died recently – including Judy Gibbs, Rachael Holmes Walker, Michael Clinnick, Barbara Bailey, and our COVID casualties in NSW and throughout the world, and those whose anniversaries occur around this time – Lucy Magri, Michael Hitti, Youssef Alam, Alfredo Genova,
Ruth Tuffy, Rex Anderson, Philomena Prendergast, Nonie Rowan, Maurice Brown, Audrey Marescia, Daphne and Ron Flood.
A reminder that if you would like to be part of a parish email list for updates plus copies of the bulletin, and are not currently receiving any emails from the parish, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – please also indicate if you are regularly a worshipper at Our Lady of Lourdes or St Michael’s.
In these difficult times, if you need pastoral support or hear of anyone in need of assistance from a priest, the Parish Office or Vinnies, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Even though our Churches are closed, I would like to thank those who have made contributions to our parish and priests at this time. I again include these details for your information.
For EFT to the First Collection - supporting the priests
BSB 067 950
Account No 000004265
Account Name Diocesan Clergy
Reference 6001 your name
For EFT to the second (envelope and loose) Collection – for support of the Parish,
BSB 067 950
Account No 000000214
Account Name St Michael’s Baulkham Hills
Reference Your Name (if you wish)
If you wish to pay by credit card, please use this link https://www.bpoint.com.au/pay/stmichaelsparishbaulkhamhills
PLENARY ASSEMBLY REFLECTION for 18th Sunday –
The Instrumentum Laboris is the working document for the Plenary assembly. Sections of this will assist in reflecting on the theme for this Sunday.
‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.’ John 6:24-35
138. Recognising that fewer people today participate in the sacramental life of the Church than in previous times, the question of how best to provide formation on the sacraments arises. Such formation will need to focus on both deepening people’s faith and increasing their knowledge. A dimension of this formation must be the ethical and missionary implications of the Eucharist for the Church’s communion of faith will always be incomplete while the poor go hungry, for “we cannot properly receive the Bread of Life without sharing bread for life with those in want”.41
186. The growing awareness of our ecological responsibility is one of the clearest signs of the times and has become a constitutive dimension of the Church’s preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. As the Australian Bishops have stated:
The Church hears the cries of the poor and the groans of the earth. It seeks to stand in solidarity with the poor and the marginalised, and to exercise good stewardship of the fragile ecosystems that support life on earth. Every day more Christians are becoming aware of their responsibilities as people of faith towards God’s Creation.42
Prayerful and Eucharistic
The Risen Christ gives us a mission to “go out into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). A prayerful and Eucharistic Church community is one that is equipped for mission — undertaking hands-on commitments among the human family. Our celebration of the Eucharist will always be incomplete while the poor go hungry, for “we cannot properly receive the Bread of Life without sharing bread for life with those in want” (Pedro Arrupe, 1976). The challenge will always be there to connect our prayer with action for justice, hearing “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si’, 49). (p.12)
41 Pedro Arrupe, “Address prior to Eucharistic Congress 1976”, The Portal to Jesuit Studies,
42 Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, “A New Earth: The Environmental Challenge. Social Justice Statement 2002”, https://socialjustice.catholic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Social-Justice- Statement-2002.pdf, 10.
Universal Prayer Petition
As we reflect on the future of the Church in Australia and immerse ourselves in the Plenary Council, let us follow the example of Mary, remembering her trust that the Spirit of God would be with her.
(Pause for silent prayer)
Lord, hear us.
POPE’S CATECHESIS ON THE SACRAMENTS – THE EUCHARIST 2 (given 12 February 2014)
Catechesis of the Holy Father
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
In the last Catechesis I emphasized how the Eucharist introduces us into real communion with Jesus and his mystery. Now let us ask ourselves several questions that spring from the relationship between the Eucharist that we celebrate and our life, as a Church and as individual Christians. How do we experience the Eucharist? When we go to Sunday Mass, how to we live it? Is it only a moment of celebration, an established tradition, an opportunity to find oneself or to feel justified, or is it something more?
There are very specific signals for understanding how we are living this, how we experience the Eucharist; signals that tell us if we are living the Eucharist in a good way or not very well. The first indicator is our way of looking at or considering others. In the Eucharist, Christ is always renewing his gift of self, which he made on the Cross. His whole life is an act of total sharing of self out of love; thus, he loved to be with his disciples and with the people whom he had a chance to know. This meant for him sharing in their aspirations, their problems, what stirred their soul and their life. Now we, when participating in Holy Mass, we find ourselves with all sorts of men and women: young people, the elderly, children; poor and well-off; locals and strangers alike; people with their families and people who are alone.... But the Eucharist which I celebrate, does it lead me to truly feel they are all like brothers and sisters? Does it increase my capacity to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and cry with those who are crying? Does it urge me to go out to the poor, the sick, the marginalized? Does it help me to recognize in theirs the face of Jesus? We all go to Mass because we love Jesus and we want to share, through the Eucharist, in his passion and his resurrection. But do we love, as Jesus wishes, those brothers and sisters who are the most needy? For example, in Rome these days we have seen much social discomfort either due to the rain, which has caused so much damage to entire districts, or because of the lack of work, a consequence of the global economic crisis. I wonder, and each one of us should wonder: I who go to Mass, how do I live this? Do I try to help, to approach and pray for those in difficulty? Or am I a little indifferent? Or perhaps do I just want to talk: did you see how this or that one is dressed? Sometimes this happens after Mass and it should not! We must concern ourselves with our brothers and sisters who need us because of an illness, a problem. Today, it would do us such good to think of these brothers and sisters of ours who are beset by these problems here in Rome: problems that stem from the grave situation caused by the rain and social instability and unemployment. Let us ask Jesus, whom we receive in the Eucharist, to help us to help them.
A second indication, a very important one, is the grace of feeling forgiven and ready to forgive. At times someone may ask: “Why must one go to Church, given that those who regularly participate in Holy Mass are still sinners like the others?”. We have heard it many times! In reality, the one celebrating the Eucharist doesn’t do so because he believes he is or wants to appear better than others, but precisely because he acknowledges that he is always in need of being accepted and reborn by the mercy of God, made flesh in Jesus Christ. If any one of us does not feel in need of the mercy of God, does not see himself as a sinner, it is better for him not to go to Mass! We go to Mass because we are sinners and we want to receive God’s pardon, to participate in the redemption of Jesus, in his forgiveness. The “Confession” which we make at the beginning is not “pro forma”, it is a real act of repentance! I am a sinner and I confess it, this is how the Mass begins! We should never forget that the Last Supper of Jesus took place “on the night he was betrayed” (1 Cor 11:23). In the bread and in the wine which we offer and around which we gather, the gift of Christ’s body and blood is renewed every time for the remission of our sins. We must go to Mass humbly, like sinners and the Lord reconciles us.
A last valuable indication comes to us from the relationship between the Eucharistic Celebration and the life of our Christian communities. We must always bear in mind that the Eucharist is not something we make; it not our own commemoration of what Jesus said and did. No. It is precisely an act of Christ! It is Christ who acts there, who is on the altar. It is a gift of Christ, who makes himself present and gathers us around him, to nourish us with his Word and with his life. This means that the mission and the very identity of the Church flows from there, from the Eucharist, and there always takes its shape. A celebration may be flawless on the exterior, very beautiful, but if it does not lead us to encounter Jesus Christ, it is unlikely to bear any kind of nourishment to our heart and our life. Through the Eucharist, however, Christ wishes to enter into our life and permeate it with his grace, so that in every Christian community there may be coherence between liturgy and life.
The heart fills with trust and hope by pondering on Jesus’ words recounted in the Gospel: “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:54). Let us live the Eucharist with the spirit of faith, of prayer, of forgiveness, of repentance, of communal joy, of concern for the needy and for the needs of so many brothers and sisters, in the certainty that the Lord will fulfil what he has promised us: eternal life. So be it!