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 JUNE 18 2021

A COVID SAFE PARISH

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

As of Friday midday, there were no major restrictions regarding the COVID outbreak in the Eastern Suburbs, apart from compulsory masks on public transport and  optional wearing of masks indoors as of Friday midday.

 

Please continue to check in using the SERVICE NSW APP as you enter the Church. If unable to do so, you can still write your name and contact details on the sheets.

 

Please remember to sanitise and use wipes. This applies to all weekday and weekend Masses and services.

 

LIVESTREAMING

The following link is the link for Saturday evening’s 6pm Mass from Our Lady of Lourdes for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time -https://youtu.be/WYUzqQqemHc

 

ST VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY’S WINTER APPEAL – this weekend 19-20 JUNE

This weekend there is an appeal to help rescue a child from homelessness this winter. The appeal is organised by St Vincent de Paul Society. All contributions are tax deductible.

 

MASS TIMES (still subject to the 2 sq metre rule)

 

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

 

Remember:

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 check in at the Church either using the APP or Writing your name.

 

THE PARISH RENEWAL WORKING GROUP – Planning the Community Forum

The next meeting of the group will be on Thursday 1 July at 7.30pm to 9.00pm in the Board Room at St Michael’s Parish Office, and would start to plan the Community Forum, and determine a process for encouraging members of the communities to attend.

 

Please pray for our two communities during this time of renewal.

 

CONFIRMATION PROGRAM

Please continue to pray for the 126 children currently preparing to receive the Sacrament at St Michael’s late July.

 

FAN THE FLAME: TOWARDS THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY ONE OCTOBER 2021

‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ Mark 4:35-41

 

As people of faith, we believe that, through the gift of his Church, the Lord has equipped us, and continues to equip us, to recognise the needs of our time and set ourselves to doing

 something about them. (Instrumentum Laboris #193)

 

www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/fantheflame/

 

POPE FRANCIS CATECHESIS ON THE THEME: “THE PASCHAL PRAYER OF JESUS FOR US”

Pope Francis’s catechesis on Prayer at his audience on Wednesday focussed on the theme: “The Paschal Prayer Of Jesus For Us.” This concludes the catechesis on prayer by Pope Francis.

 

YEAR OF ST JOSEPH

With his Apostolic Letter “Patris Corde” (With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis declared that 2021 was the year of St Joseph, marking the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal. We are currently serialising the Apostolic letter, which outlines the importance of St Joseph in the life of Jesus and in the life of the Church.

 

This week’s fourth instalment reflects on Joseph as a ”creatively courageous father” and a “working father”.  This instalment follows Pope Francis’ teaching on Prayer.

 

CLERGY SUPPORT  FOUNDATION DONATIONS

It is not too late to make a tax-deductible donation to the Clergy Support Foundation of the Diocese of Parramatta, which supports retired priests in the Diocese. Please make donations via credit card at https://parracatholic.org/csf or transfer directly to BSB 067950 Account No 00001691 Name CSF No 1 with name as reference and send email to csf@parracatholic.org with your details for receipt to be sent. Thank you.

 

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.

 

PRAYERS PLEASE

In your mercy please pray for those who have died recently – Giuseppe Carbonaro, Francis Victor and those whose anniversaries occur around this time – Emmanuel Sammut and David Leahy.

 

Fr Wim

 

SUPPORT DONATIONS

The 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. For your information 30 cents in every dollar donated via these machines goes to support the clergy (first collection) while balance supports the Church (second collection).

 

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

 

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POPE’S CATECHESIS FOCUSING ON THE THEME: “THE PASCHAL PRAYER OF JESUS FOR US”

In his address in Italian, the Pope concluded his cycle of catechesis on prayer, focusing on the theme: “The Paschal prayer of Jesus for us” (Bible reading: Mk 14, 32-36).

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” 

Catechesis of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We have recalled several times in this series of catechesis that prayer is one of the most evident features of the life of Jesus: Jesus prayed, and He prayed a lot. In the course of His mission, Jesus immersed Himself in it, because the dialogue with the father was the incandescent core of all His existence.

The Gospels testify how Jesus' prayer became even more intense and dense at the hour of his passion and death. These culminating events of His life constitute the central core of Christian preaching: those last hours lived by Jesus in Jerusalem are the heart of the Gospel not only because the Evangelists reserve proportionally greater space to this narrative, but also because the event of His death and resurrection - like a flash of lightning - sheds light on the rest of Jesus' life. He was not a philanthropist who took care of human suffering and illness: He was and is much more. In Him there is not only goodness: there is something more, there is salvation, and not an episodic salvation - the type that might save me from an illness or a moment of despair - but total salvation, messianic salvation, that gives hope in the definitive victory of life over death.

In the days of His last Passover, we therefore find Jesus fully immersed in prayer.

He prays dramatically in the garden of Gethsemane, as we heard, assailed by mortal anguish. And yet Jesus, precisely in that moment, addresses God as “Abba”, father (cf. Mk 14: 36). This word, in Aramaic, which was Jesus’ language, expresses intimacy, it expresses trust. Just as He feels the darkness gather around Him, Jesus breaks through it with that little word: Abba, father.

Jesus also prays on the cross, obscurely shrouded in the silence of God. And yet once again the word “Father” emerges from His lips. It is the most ardent prayer, because on the cross Jesus is the absolute intercessor: He prays for others, He prays for everyone, even for those who have condemned Him, even though no-one apart from a poor delinquent takes His side. Everyone was against Him or indifferent, only that criminal recognised the power. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23: 34). In the midst of the drama, in the excruciating pain of soul and body, Jesus prays with the words of the psalms; with the poor of the world, especially those forgotten by all, He pronounces the tragic words of Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 2). He felt abandonment, and He prayed. The cross is the fulfilment of the gift of the Father, who offers love, that is, our salvation is fulfilled. And also, once, He calls Him “My God”, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”: that is, everything, everything is prayer, in the three hours of the Cross.

Jesus therefore prays in the decisive hours of His passion and death. And with the resurrection, the Father will the prayer. The prayer of Jesus is intense, the prayer of Jesus is unique, and is also becomes the model for our prayer. Jesus prayed for everyone: He even prayed for me, for each one of you. Every one of you can say: “Jesus, on the cross, prayed for me”. He prayed. Jesus can say to every one of us: “I prayed for you at the Last Supper, and on the wood of the Cross”. Even in the most painful of our sufferings, we are never alone. The prayer of Jesus is with us. “And now, Father, here, we who are listening to this, does Jesus pray for us?” Yes, He continues to pray so that His word may help us keep going forward. But pray, and remember that He prays for us.

And this seems to me the most beautiful thing to remember. This is the final catechesis of this cycle on prayer: remember the grace that we do not only pray, but that, so to speak, we have been “prayed for”, we have already been received in Jesus’ dialogue with the Father, in communion with the Holy Spirit. Jesus prays for me: each one of us can take this to heart. We must not forget. Even in the worst moments. We are already welcomed into Jesus’ dialogue with the Father in the communion of the Holy Spirit. We were willed by Christ Jesus, and even in the hour of His passion, death and resurrection, everything was offered for us. And so, with prayer and with life, there remains only to have courage and hope, and with this courage and hope, to to feel the prayer of Jesus strongly and to keep on going: so that our life may be one of giving glory to God in the knowledge that He prays for me to the Father, that Jesus prays for me.

 

APOSTOLIC LETTER “PATRIS CORDE” OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROCLAMATION OF SAINT JOSEPH AS PATRON OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

Part 4

5. A creatively courageous father

If the first stage of all true interior healing is to accept our personal history and embrace even the things in life that we did not choose, we must now add another important element: creative courage. This emerges especially in the way we deal with difficulties. In the face of difficulty, we can either give up and walk away, or somehow engage with it. At times, difficulties bring out resources we did not even think we had.

As we read the infancy narratives, we may often wonder why God did not act in a more direct and clear way. Yet God acts through events and people.  Joseph was the man chosen by God to guide the beginnings of the history of redemption. He was the true “miracle” by which God saves the child and his mother. God acted by trusting in Joseph’s creative courage. Arriving in Bethlehem and finding no lodging where Mary could give birth, Joseph took a stable and, as best he could, turned it into a welcoming home for the Son of God come into the world (cf. Lk 2:6-7). Faced with imminent danger from Herod, who wanted to kill the child, Joseph was warned once again in a dream to protect the child, and rose in the middle of the night to prepare the flight into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-14).

A superficial reading of these stories can often give the impression that the world is at the mercy of the strong and mighty, but the “good news” of the Gospel consists in showing that, for all the arrogance and violence of worldly powers, God always finds a way to carry out his saving plan. So too, our lives may at times seem to be at the mercy of the powerful, but the Gospel shows us what counts. God always finds a way to save us, provided we show the same creative courage as the carpenter of Nazareth, who was able to turn a problem into a possibility by trusting always in divine providence.

If at times God seems not to help us, surely this does not mean that we have been abandoned, but instead are being trusted to plan, to be creative, and to find solutions ourselves.

That kind of creative courage was shown by the friends of the paralytic, who lowered him from the roof in order to bring him to Jesus (cf. Lk 5:17-26). Difficulties did not stand in the way of those friends’ boldness and persistence. They were convinced that Jesus could heal the man, and “finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you’” (vv. 19-20). Jesus recognized the creative faith with which they sought to bring their sick friend to him.

The Gospel does not tell us how long Mary, Joseph and the child remained in Egypt. Yet they certainly needed to eat, to find a home and employment. It does not take much imagination to fill in those details. The Holy Family had to face concrete problems like every other family, like so many of our migrant brothers and sisters who, today too, risk their lives to escape misfortune and hunger. In this regard, I consider Saint Joseph the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty.

At the end of every account in which Joseph plays a role, the Gospel tells us that he gets up, takes the child and his mother, and does what God commanded him (cf. Mt 1:24; 2:14.21). Indeed, Jesus and Mary his Mother are the most precious treasure of our faith.[21]

In the divine plan of salvation, the Son is inseparable from his Mother, from Mary, who “advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son until she stood at the cross”.[22]

We should always consider whether we ourselves are protecting Jesus and Mary, for they are also mysteriously entrusted to our own responsibility, care and safekeeping. The Son of the Almighty came into our world in a state of great vulnerability. He needed to be defended, protected, cared for and raised by Joseph. God trusted Joseph, as did Mary, who found in him someone who would not only save her life, but would always provide for her and her child. In this sense, Saint Joseph could not be other than the Guardian of the Church, for the Church is the continuation of the Body of Christ in history, even as Mary’s motherhood is reflected in the motherhood of the Church.[23] In his continued protection of the Church, Joseph continues to protect the child and his mother, and we too, by our love for the Church, continue to love the child and his mother.

That child would go on to say: “As you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).  Consequently, every poor, needy, suffering or dying person, every stranger, every prisoner, every infirm person is “the child” whom Joseph continues to protect. For this reason, Saint Joseph is invoked as protector of the unfortunate, the needy, exiles, the afflicted, the poor and the dying.  Consequently, the Church cannot fail to show a special love for the least of our brothers and sisters, for Jesus showed a particular concern for them and personally identified with them. From Saint Joseph, we must learn that same care and responsibility. We must learn to love the child and his mother, to love the sacraments and charity, to love the Church and the poor. Each of these realities is always the child and his mother.

6. A working father

An aspect of Saint Joseph that has been emphasized from the time of the first social Encyclical, Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, is his relation to work. Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labour.

In our own day, when employment has once more become a burning social issue, and unemployment at times reaches record levels even in nations that for decades have enjoyed a certain degree of prosperity, there is a renewed need to appreciate the importance of dignified work, of which Saint Joseph is an exemplary patron.

Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation, an opportunity to hasten the coming of the Kingdom, to develop our talents and abilities, and to put them at the service of society and fraternal communion. It becomes an opportunity for the fulfilment not only of oneself, but also of that primary cell of society which is the family. A family without work is particularly vulnerable to difficulties, tensions, estrangement and even break-up. How can we speak of human dignity without working to ensure that everyone is able to earn a decent living?

Working persons, whatever their job may be, are cooperating with God himself, and in some way become creators of the world around us. The crisis of our time, which is economic, social, cultural and spiritual, can serve as a summons for all of us to rediscover the value, the importance and necessity of work for bringing about a new “normal” from which no one is excluded. Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work. The loss of employment that affects so many of our brothers and sisters, and has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, should serve as a summons to review our priorities. Let us implore Saint Joseph the Worker to help us find ways to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!

FOOTNOTES

[21] Cf. S. RITUUM CONGREGATIO, Quemadmodum Deus (8 December 1870): ASS 6 (1870-1871), 193; BLESSED PIUS IX, Apostolic Letter Inclytum Patriarcham (7 July 1871): l.c., 324-327.

[22] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 58.

[23] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 963-970.