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 5 MARCH 2021
A COVID SAFE PARISH
LATE NEWS: FR MICK OÇALLAGHAN, former Parish Priest of Baulkham Hills and Emu Plains, died this afternoon (Friday 5 March) at 4.30pm. May he rest in peace. Funeral details will be advised.
With no formal update this week, a reminder of Mass Times currently in place in the parish:
Mass times for St Michael’s – up to 320 people allowed
· Saturday, 5.30pm
· Sunday, 8am 10am and 6pm
· Monday to Friday, 9.15am
· Saturday 9am
Mass times at Our Lady of Lourdes – up to 220 people allowed
· Saturday, 6pm – live streamed on YOUTUBE
· Sunday, 9.30am
· Wednesday to Friday 9.30am
Please remember to register for all Masses.
· The two sq metre rule is now in operation.
· Masks are no longer compulsory, but highly recommended.
· Funerals and Weddings arr still capped at 300.
· Singing is not permitted, although a small group of singers are allowed.
Registration is essential for all Masses. If you do not register you may have to wait for the next Mass.
This week’s live stream Mass link for the Third Sunday of Lent (Year B) on Saturday 6th March 2021 at 6pm is https://youtu.be/VCWAxeoqFJc
This will, as always, be available for viewing any time after 7pm on Saturday.
1. The dispensation from attending Sunday Mass still holds in the Diocese of Parramatta, i.e. you do not have to attend Mass on Sundays.
2. Please do not come to Church if you are feeling unwell.
3. Always use hand sanitiser
4. Always register
If you are wanting to attend Mass you are still asked to register for the Mass you are attending, especially if you have not been attending Mass in the last few weeks.
St Michael’s 9639 0598
Our Lady of Lourdes 9639 8385
If there is no answer please leave your name, phone number, email, date and time of Mass you are requesting. If there is a problem, we will get back to you.
POPE FRANCIS TEACHING ON PRAYER AN THE TRINITY
Pope Francis resumed his teaching on Prayer, this time focusing on its relationship with the Trinity. The message is reproduced below.
SACRAMENT OF PENANCE—St Michael’s only
The Sacrament of Penance will normally be celebrated at St Michael’s on Saturday Morning from 9.30am to 10.30am. Afternoon confessions at St Michael’s from 4.45pm to 5.15pm have resumed.
GROWING IN FAITH – OUR RENEWAL FOR MISSION
We would like to engage in a renewal of our mission and growing in faith, and the Pastoral Planning Office has suggested some steps which will support the strengthening of engagement and shared vision of the two communities present in Baulkham Hills Parish.
It recognises that both communities offer vibrant expressions of church, and that there are already existing efforts to foster collaboration between the communities.
Over the next year we want to:
· Celebrate existing strengths of the communities in the service of God’s mission
· Engage the communities in the development of a shared vision and shared dreams to grow and live our faith in Jesus Christ
· Commence a Parish Pastoral Council to be both symbol and vessel to steward this shared vision and shared dreams going forward
We ask for your prayers as we continue to explore ways of strengthening our community in our service of God’s mission.
DIOCESAN INTERFAITH COMMISSION
Bishop Vincent has asked for expressions of interest regarding membership for the Diocesan Interfaith Commission. His letter follows Pope Francis’ teaching on prayer.
In your mercy please pray for those who have died recently – Felix Yu, Lourdes Godino, Bishop Bede Heather and those whose anniversaries occur around this time – Kathleen Cope and Amintus Corea.
Please keep Fr Mick in your prayers.
Please continue to pray for our world.
The new Tap’n’Give machines are now active in both Churches. The monies collected through this system are for the Parish and the Priests and not for the Diocese. Thank you for those who are using this system. It appears to be very highly successful.
If however you have found that your donation appears to have gone elsewhere when you check your statement, please advise the Office immediately.
Thanks to 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
During his address in Italian, the Pope continued his cycle of catechesis on prayer, focusing on the theme “Praying and the Trinity” (Bible reading: Rm 8:14-15, 26-27).
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Catechesis of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In our journey of catechesis on prayer, today and next week we will see how, thanks to Jesus Christ, prayer opens us up to the Trinity –to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - to the immense sea of God who is Love. It is Jesus who opened up Heaven to us and projected us into a relationship with God. It was he who did this: he opened up to us this relationship with the Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is what the Apostle John affirms at the conclusion of the prologue of his Gospel: “No one has ever seen God: the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made Him known” (Jn 1:18). Jesus revealed the identity to us, this identity of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. We really did not know how to pray: what words, what feelings and what language were appropriate for God. In that request the disciples addressed to the Master, which we have often recalled in the course of these catecheses, there is all of humanity’s fumbling, repeated attempts, often unsuccessful, to address the Creator: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1).
Not all prayers are equal, and not all are convenient: the Bible itself attests to the negative outcome of many prayers, which are rejected. Perhaps God at times is not content with our prayers and we are not even aware of this. God looks at the hands of those who pray: to make them pure it is not necessary to wash them; if anything, one must refrain from evil acts. Saint Francis prayed: “no man is worthy of naming you” (Canticle of the Sun).
But perhaps the most moving acknowledgment of the poverty of our prayer came from the lips of the Roman centurion who one day begged Jesus to heal his sick servant (cf. Mt 8:5-13). He felt totally inadequate: he was not a Jew, he was an officer in the detested occupying army. But his concern for his servant emboldens him, and he says: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed” (v. 8). It is the phrase we also repeat in every Eucharistic liturgy. To dialogue with God is a grace: we are not worthy of it, we have no rights to claim, we “limp” with every word and every thought... But Jesus is the door that opens us to this dialogue with God.
Why should humanity be loved by God? There are no obvious reasons, there is no proportion… So much so that most mythologies do not contemplate the possibility of a god who cares about human affairs; on the contrary, they are considered bothersome and boring, entirely negligible. Remember God’s phrase to his people, repeated in Deuteronomy: “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us?” This closeness of God is the revelation! Some philosophers say that God can only think of himself. If anything, it is we humans who try to convince the deity and be pleasing to his eyes. Hence the duty of “religion”, with the procession of sacrifices and devotions to be offered again and again to ingratiate ourselves with a mute God, an indifferent God. There is no dialogue. It was only Jesus, it was only the revelation of God to Moses before Jesus, when God presented himself; it was only the Bible that opened us up to dialogue with God. Remember: “What great nation is there that has a god so near to it as ours?”. This is God’s closeness, that opens us up to dialogue with him.
A God who loves humanity: we would never have had the courage to believe in him, had we not known Jesus. The knowledge of Jesus made us understand this, it let this be revealed to us. It is the scandal – it is a scandal! - that we find inscribed in the parable of the merciful father, or in that of the shepherd who goes in search of the lost sheep (cf. Lk 15). We would not have been able to conceive or even comprehend such stories if we had not met Jesus. What kind of God is prepared to die for people? Which one? What kind of God loves always and patiently, without demanding to be loved in return? What God accepts the tremendous lack of gratitude of a son who asks for his inheritance in advance and leaves home, squandering everything? (cf. Lk 15:12-13).
It is Jesus who reveals God’s heart. Thus Jesus tells us through his life the extent to which God is a Father. Tam Pater nemo: No one is Father like he is. The paternity that is closeness, compassion and tenderness. Do not forget these three words, that are God’s style: closeness, compassion and tenderness. It is his way of expressing his paternity towards us. It is difficult for us to imagine from afar the love with which the Holy Trinity is filled, and the depth of the reciprocal benevolence that exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Eastern icons offer us a glimpse of this mystery that is the origin and joy of the whole universe.
Above all, it was beyond us to believe that this divine love would expand, landing on our human shore: we are the recipients of a love that has no equal on earth. The Catechism explains: “The sacred humanity of Jesus is therefore the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father” (no. 2664). And this is the grace of our faith. We really could not have hoped for a higher vocation: the humanity of Jesus – God who came close to us in Jesus - made available to us the very life of the Trinity, and threw wide open this door of the mystery of the love of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
DIOCESAN INTERFAITH COMMISSION
My dear People of God,
In Western Sydney, which is where the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta is situated, we are blessed with many faith-based communities as diverse as our nation itself. There are those have been here for generations, as well as those who have only just arrived from war-torn countries like Iraq and Syria. We stand united as citizens of Australia and as brothers and sisters of the human family. We stand in celebration of our common humanity and dedication to peace and justice for all.
At my Installation, I pledged to continue the legacy of my predecessors in building stronger relationship with non-Christian people. I believe we must foster pathways across the political and religious divide to create an inclusive and harmonious society.
We are the epitome of multicultural, multi-faith and ethnically diverse Australia. It is for this reason that we are privileged to host the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations. It has played a vital role in building bridges in our community, bridges of understanding, inclusion and solidarity instead walls of prejudice, division and exclusion.
It is my hope that the Diocese will continue and expand the works of the Centre as a permanent feature of our mission. To this end, I would like to establish the Diocesan Inter-faith Commission and appeal to you all, clergy, religious and parishioners to consider joining its membership. This Commission will work to advance the vision of Pope Francis in forging a new fraternity in our fractured world. I do hope that you can join me in this bridge building exercise.
Please contact and register your interest at email@example.com or your local parish.
With the men and women of goodwill, let us build a better Australia and a better world. May our endeavour to build true peace and unity be brought to fulfilment in accordance with God’s vision of the fullness of life for all humanity.
Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta
3 March 2021