THE PARISH OF BAULKHAM HILLS

Click here to go to St Michael's church site.

Email St Michael's at admin@parishofbaulkhamhills.org.au

Phone: +61 2 9639 0598

 

Click here to go to Our Lady Of Lourdes church site.

Email Our Lady of Lourdes at olol@parishofbaulkhamhills.org.au

                                 Phone: +61 2 9639 8385

 

 

       

 

 

COVID UPDATE – FRIDAY OCTOBER 22

A COVID SAFE PARISH

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

As we have now opened up under the 4 sq mtr rule, our Liturgy schedule has resumed, as of last Monday.

 

St Michael’s       Mass     Mon – Fri            9.15am

                                             Sat morning       9.00am

                                             Sat Vigil               5.30pm

                                             Sun                       8.00am, 10.00am, and 6pm

 

OLOL                    Mass     Wed-Fri               9.30am

                                             Sat Vigil               6.00pm (livestreamed)

                                             Sun                       9.30am

 

Reconciliation @ St Michael’s Sat morning 9.30am – 10.30am & 4.45pm - 5.15pm

 

Reconciliation @ OLOL will resume on Saturday 6 November at 5pm - 5.30pm

 

Rosters will resume this weekend, but if you wish to be removed from the roster for whatever reason, please advise Betty at bettyc@parishofbaulkhamhills.org.au

 

The following conditions remain in place:

·        There is no requirement from the Government to check the vaccination status of people attending our churches.

·        Attendance is limited to a maximum of 170 at St Michael’s and 120 at Our Lady of Lourdes until 30 November as the 2 sq mtr rule comes into play on 1 December (at this stage).

·        COVID Safe practices apply:

o   You will need to register your attendance using the QR Code on your mobile (Preferable) , or writing in your name and details if no mobile phone

o   Masks for indoor venues remain compulsory until 1 December

o   Avoid handling and passing of objects, for example the collection plate and Mass books

o   Communion of the Precious Blood will be for the celebrant only.

o   The faithful can be invited to share the Greeting of Peace through a bow of their heads.

o   All ministers of Holy Communion are to use hand sanitisers before the distribution of Holy Communion commences. Those who wish to receive Communion on the tongue should be asked receive Communion at the end and the priest should endeavour to sanitise his hands after each of these communicants.

o   Allow for ventilation in the Church by opening doors and windows where possible.

 

As always, you are invited to attend Mass via our YOUTUBE link as noted below. We will continue to live stream this Mass even when we re-open.

 

BISHOP VINCENT – PASTORAL LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE DIOCESE ON RETURNING TO CHURCH

Bishop Vincent has written a pastoral letter to our Diocese on the return to Church. The letter follows these notices.

 

MOVEMENTS

As you know by now, Bishop Vincent has appointed Father Chinonye to the Parish of Mary Queen of the Family, Blacktown, beginning on 1 January 2022.

 

The Bishop has also appointed Fr Jessie Balorio, currently at St Nicholas of Myra, Penrith, to the Parish of Baulkham Hills. Fr Jessie will commence on 1 November, so we are graced that for November and December there will be three priests plus a deacon, ministering in the Parish.

 

PLENARY COUNCIL

The First assembly of the Plenary Council finished a few weeks ago, and I forgot to include the Concluding Statement of that Plenary, which I had intended to attach to these notices. But the Bishop’s letter takes precedence, so the Concluding Statement will be included in next week’s bulletin. It is also available via this link.

 

The recess will now involve a series of reflections and consultations over the next nine months  before we all gather in Sydney on the first week of July next year to consider the various suggestions and  motions, which will ultimately be considered by the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference and then submitted to the Holy see for approval.

 

NOVEMBER MASSES FOR THE DECEASED

Please see the note within the bulletin. Envelopes will be available in the Churches.

 

PARISH GATHERINGS

With the return to a normal liturgy schedule, this week marks the end of our ZOOM gatherings. They have been an opportunity to gather, to share and to pray, but as we open up, the clergy find themselves involved in various activities.

 

The Monday and Wednesday gatherings have now stopped, and the Tuesday and Thursday Rosary and Night Prayer session will conclude after this Thursday.

 

Thank you to all those who have participated in these “Lockdown” activities.

 

·     Tuesday 7.30pm – ZOOM Rosary and Night Prayer

·     Thursday 7.30pm – ZOOM Rosary and Night Prayer

 

These is the link for the Rosary and Night Prayer for this week.

 

LIVESTREAMING

Mass will continue to be live streamed on Saturday evening at 6pm from Our Lady of Lourdes, and available for viewing afterwards via the link. We are also using FACEBOOK links via the Parish of Baulkham Hills FACEBOOK page. Thank you to Jim and Brian for your help with this every week.

 

The link for Saturday evening’s Mass for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time is https://youtu.be/m6kBZePNjrU

 

As always it is livestreamed at 6pm AEDT (summer) time, and then available on YouTube. Also it is now available via Parish of Baulkham Hills Facebook page, although there were some hiccups last week. Apologies.

 

Please note that it is our intention to continue live-streaming the Saturday Mass for the foreseeable future, even when Churches re-open.

 

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMS

Please pray for the children who will be receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation over the next six weeks.

 

ALPHA

Please pray for those who are involved in the Thursday ALPHA program of formation and reflection.

 

ST PAUL, HIS LIFE AND TEACHING

This week we continue Pope Benedict’s’ catechesis on the life of St Paul and his teaching, which was given in 2008. This week’s focus is on Paul’s Ecclesiological Dimension.

 

PRAYERS PLEASE

In your mercy please pray for those who have died recently – including Bryan Chester, Dan Kennedy, Thomas Worrell and our COVID casualties in NSW and throughout the world, and those whose anniversaries occur around this time – James Rowan, Edwarde Muller, Clarence Muller, Emerita Parra, Eric Blank, Aileen Sinclair, May Reidy, Lily D’Cunha, Patrick Canty.

 

MAILING LIST

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 wimh@parishofbaulkhamhills.org.au – 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.

 

Fr Wim

 

SUPPORT DONATIONS

Even though our Churches are closed, I would like to thank those who have made contributions to our parish and priests at this time. To assist proper recording for the second collection, please include your envelope number if you have one.

 

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                       Envelope Number or Your Name

 

If you wish to pay by credit card, please use this link https://www.bpoint.com.au/pay/stmichaelsparishbaulkhamhills

________________________________________________________________________

 

Pastoral letter to the People of Parramatta on the return to worship

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

 

Praised be to our God who as St Paul says is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him (Romans 8:28).

 

Next, I want to say a big thank you to all the families and parish communities in our Diocese of Parramatta!

 

During the long months of necessary lockdown, you have all risen to the challenge of sustaining one another through times of great isolation, loneliness, and grief in an impressive variety of ways, spiritual, emotional and practical. Thank you for bearing all these things with patience and for promoting the common good so responsibly.

 

I especially thank all who have worked tirelessly, in hospitals, aged care homes and across the nursing and medical profession for giving of yourselves so generously.

 

I thank all who have worked valiantly in our schools, facing unforeseen demands, and meeting them with characteristic professionalism, a sense of duty and dedication.

 

So many laity, consecrated persons, deacons, and priests have given so generously of their time and energy to keep open our churches here in the Diocese of Parramatta, as havens of peace and prayer.

 

In this pandemic crisis so many have creatively developed diverse new patterns of outreach

- of prayer, catechesis, study, and spiritual solidarity; all who have made participation in the Mass possible through the internet. A special thanks to our Diocesan team who have provided us with The Well (thewell.org.au) which has nourished so many in these trying times, including those from far and wide.

 

Perhaps, some may be concerned that when things finally return to ‘normal,’ many Catholics will have grown accustomed to staying home and either watching Mass online or not participating at all.

 

But as we all know deep down, ‘virtual’ worship can never really replace the in-person celebration of Mass. Livestreamed liturgies should remain available for the sick and the elderly. But, even then, parishes should try to reach out to them in a personal way so that they remain connected to the community.

And how can we fail to thank all those in the outreach agencies of our Diocese who serve the Body of Christ in the poor, the refugees, the lonely and all on the ‘peripheries’? They have contributed magnificently to the immense effort of providing food for those most in need. The generosity shown in the distribution of so very many meals and other acts of solidarity has given eloquent expression to the mercy, love and compassion which are at the very heart of the Gospel.

 

What will be the pace of our emerging from this pandemic remains as yet unclear. However, one challenge is certain.

 

Sometimes in times of stress like these, our work, shopping, sport, and entertainment media can capture our hearts. Let’s all now take special care to recover a sense of sacred time as we emerge from this pandemic.

 

May we all, as the People of God in the Diocese of Parramatta, recommit ourselves to awaken in people a grateful love for the gift of the Eucharist as well as the Lord’s Day.

 

When we go to Communion, we receive Christ in the most intimate way possible during our life allowing him to become one with us so that we actually become what we receive, the Body of Christ.

 

May we again devote ourselves to the grace and beauty of the Eucharist. Our Risen Lord is so close to us in the Eucharistic mystery.

 

Strengthened by His Body and Blood, our Saviour Jesus of Nazareth, constantly sends us out on mission, to live the Gospel afresh.

 

In Christ,


Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv Bishop of Parramatta

 

Given at Parramatta on 22 October 2021 - The Feast of St John Paul II, Pope

 

 

ST PAUL, HIS LIFE AND HIS TEACHING (Pope Benedict – given in 2008, the year of St Paul))

(8) Paul's Ecclesiological Dimension.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In last Wednesday’s catechesis, I spoke of Paul's relationship with the pre-Paschal Jesus in his earthly life. The question was: "What did Paul know about Jesus' life, his words, his Passion?".

Today I would like to speak about St Paul's teaching on the Church. We must start by noting that this word "Chiesa" in Italian as in French "Église" and in Spanish "Iglesia" comes from the Greek "ekklesia". It comes from the Old Testament and means the assembly of the People of Israel, convoked by God. It particularly means the exemplary assembly at the foot of Mount Sinai. This word now means the new community of believers in Christ who feel that they are God's assembly, the new convocation of all the peoples by God and before him.

The term ekklesia comes for the first time from the pen of Paul, the first author of a Christian text. It makes its first appearance in the incipit of his First Letter to the Thessalonians, where Paul textually addresses "the Church of the Thessalonians" (cf. also "the Church of the Laodiceans" in Col 4: 16). In other Letters he speaks of the Church of God which is at Corinth (1 Cor 1: 2; 2 Cor 1: 1) and of the Churches of Galatia (Gal 1: 2, etc.) particular Churches therefore but he also says he persecuted "the Church of God": not a specific local community, but "the Church of God". Thus we see that this word, "Church", has a multi-dimensional meaning: it indicates a part of God's assembly in a specific place (a city, a country, a house) but it also means the Church as a whole. And thus we see that "the Church of God" is not only a collection of various local Churches but that these various local Churches in turn make up one Church of God. All together they are "the Church of God" which precedes the individual local Churches and is expressed or brought into being in them.

It is important to observe that the word "Church" almost always appears with the additional qualification "of God": she is not a human association, born from ideas or common interests, but a convocation of God. He has convoked her, thus, in all her manifestations she is one. The oneness of God creates the oneness of the Church in all the places in which she is found. Later, in the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul richly elaborated the concept of the Church's oneness, in continuity with the concept of the People of God, Israel, considered by the prophets as "God's bride" called to live in a spousal relationship with him. Paul presents the one Church of God as "Christ's bride" in love, one body and one spirit with Christ himself. It is well known that as a young man Paul was a fierce adversary of the new movement constituted by the Church of Christ. He was opposed to this new movement because he saw it as a threat to fidelity to the tradition of the People of God, inspired by faith in the one God. This fidelity was expressed above all in circumcision, in the observance of the rules of religious purity, abstention from certain foods and respect for the Sabbath.

The Israelites had paid for this fidelity with the blood of martyrs in the period of the Maccabees, when the Hellenistic regime wanted to force all peoples to conform to the one Hellenistic culture. Many Israelites spilled their blood to defend the proper vocation of Israel. The martyrs paid with their lives for the identity of their people who expressed themselves through these elements. After his encounter with the Risen Christ, Paul understood that Christians were not traitors; on the contrary, in the new situation the God of Israel, through Christ, had extended his call to all the peoples, becoming the God of all peoples. In this way fidelity to the one God was achieved. Distinctive signs constituted by special rules and observances were no longer necessary since all were called, in their variety, to belong to the one People of God in the "Church of God" in Christ.

One thing was immediately clear to Paul in his new situation: the fundamental, foundational value of Christ and of the "word" that he was proclaiming. Paul knew not only that one does not become Christian by coercion but also that in the internal configuration of the new community the institutional element was inevitably linked to the living "word", to the proclamation of the living Christ through whom God opens himself to all peoples and unites them in one People of God. It is symptomatic that in the Acts of the Apostles Luke twice uses, also with regard to Paul, the phrase "to speak the word" (cf. Acts 4: 29, 31; 8: 25; 11: 19; 13: 46; 14: 25; 16: 6, 32) evidently with the intention of giving the maximum emphasis to the crucial importance of the "word" of proclamation. In practice this word is constituted by the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ in which the Scriptures found fulfilment.

The Paschal Mystery, which brought the Apostle to the turning point in his life on the road to Damascus, obviously lies at the heart of his preaching (1 Cor 2: 2; 15: 14). This Mystery, proclaimed in the Word, is brought about in the Sacraments of Baptism and of the Eucharist and then becomes reality in Christian love. Paul's only goal in his work of evangelization is to establish the community of believers in Christ. This idea is inherent in the actual etymology of the term ekklesia, which Paul, and with him all Christendom, preferred to the term "synagogue": not only because the former is originally more "secular" (deriving from the Greek practice of the political assembly which was not exactly religious), but also because it directly involves the more theological idea of a call ab extra, and is not, therefore, a mere gathering; believers are called by God, who gathers them in a community, his Church.

Along these lines we can also understand the original concept of the Church exclusively Pauline as the "Body of Christ". In this regard it is necessary to bear in mind the two dimensions of this concept. One is sociological in character, according to which the body is made up of its elements and would not exist without them. This interpretation appears in the Letter to the Romans and in the First Letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul uses an image that already existed in Roman sociology: he says that a people is like a body with its different parts, each of which has its own function but all together, even its smallest and seemingly most insignificant parts are necessary if this body is to be able to live and carry out its functions. The Apostle appropriately observes that in the Church there are many vocations: prophets, apostles, teachers, simple people, all are called to practise charity every day, all are necessary in order to build the living unity of this spiritual organism. The other interpretation refers to the actual Body of Christ. Paul holds that the Church is not only an organism but really becomes the Body of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, where we all receive his Body and really become his Body. Thus is brought about the spousal mystery that all become one body and one spirit in Christ. So it is that the reality goes far beyond any sociological image, expressing its real, profound essence, that is, the oneness of all the baptized in Christ, considered by the Apostle "one" in Christ, conformed to the Sacrament of his Body.

In saying this, Paul shows that he knows well and makes us all understand that the Church is not his and is not ours: the Church is the Body of Christ, it is a "Church of God", "God's field, God's building... God's temple" (1 Cor 3: 9, 16). This latter designation is particularly interesting because it attributes to a fabric of interpersonal relations a term that commonly served to mean a physical place, considered sacred. The relationship between church and temple therefore comes to assume two complementary dimensions: on the one hand the characteristic of separateness and purity that the sacred building deserved is applied to the ecclesial community, but on the other, the concept of a material space is also overcome, to transfer this quality to the reality of a living community of faith. If previously temples had been considered places of God's presence, it was now known and seen that God does not dwell in buildings made of stone but that the place of God's presence in the world is the living community of believers.

The description "People of God" would deserve a separate commentary. In Paul it is applied mainly to the People of the Old Testament and then to the Gentiles who were "the non-people" but also became People of God thanks to their insertion in Christ through the word and sacrament.
And finally, one last nuance. In his Letter to Timothy Paul describes the Church as the "household of God" (1 Tm 3: 15); and this is a truly original definition because it refers to the Church as a community structure in which warm, family-type interpersonal relations are lived. The Apostle helps us to understand ever more deeply the mystery of the Church in her different dimensions as an assembly of God in the world. This is the greatness of the Church and the greatness of our call; we are a temple of God in the world, a place in which God truly dwells, and at the same time we are a community, a family of God who is love. As a family and home of God, we must practise God's love in the world and thus, with the power that comes from faith, be a place and a sign of his presence. Let us pray the Lord to grant us to be increasingly his Church, his Body, the place where his love is present in this world of ours and in our history.