THE PARISH OF BAULKHAM HILLS
Email St Michael's at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +61 2 9639 0598
Email Our Lady of Lourdes at email@example.com
Phone: +61 2 9639 8385
PARISH NOTES - FRIDAY DECEMBER 2
A COVID SAFE PARISH
Congratulations to those children who received the sacrament of Confirmation last Sunday. As we approach Christmas, which this year is on a Sunday, it is appropriate to advertise the Mass times.
Sat 24 Dec Christmas Eve 5.30pm St Michael’s Family Mass
6.00pm Our Lady of Lourdes Family Mass
8.00pm St Michael’s
8.00pm Our Lady of Lourdes – livestream
Sun 25 Dec Christmas Day Midnight St Michael’s
8.00am St Michael’s
9.30am Our Lady of Lourdes
10.00am St Michael’s
11.30am Our Lady of Lourdes (Korean language)
There is no evening Mass on Sunday 25 December.
We are awaiting details of the Maronite liturgy times for the Christmas period.
MOVEMENT AT THE STATION
Bishop Vincent has appointed Fr Andrew as Assistant Priest to Mary Queen of the Apostles Parish, Blacktown, and Fr Chadi Ibrahim SDB, currently at Blacktown, as Assistant Priest to the Parish of Baulkham Hills. Both appointments are effective from 16 January 2023.
RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults It is a process of Christian faith formation offered to those who seek to become Catholic.
The initiation of new members is a gradual process allowing enquirers time to grow in faith and become full participants of the Catholic community. This program commences on Sunday, January 8. See full details in the Bulletin.
THE PARISH SURVEY – Further comments needed
We would appreciate comments and further suggestions from parish members about the issues raised below.
Of interest are suggestions about what should be the times and days for morning and/or evening Mass in the parish, should we go that way. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
· a need to develop the Parish’s social side, with opportunities for meeting people;
· to improve parish communications, as it appeared that people were not aware of what was already happening;
· need to focus on providing opportunities for youth and children to be more involved in church life, but at their level;
· focusing on family activity
· reviewing weekday mass times at both communities to enable wider participation of parishioners – e.g. an early morning mass, evening Mass.
· Developing prayer groups, formation groups
There will be an opportunity in early 2023 for those who are still affected by the division of Baulkham Hills South Parish in 2014 to share their stories and concerns.
We will be launching a new website for the Parish in the next few weeks. Watch for it….
The Mass link for this Saturday for Second Sunday of Advent – Year A (Sat 6pm) and available on YOUTUBE after that is https://youtu.be/K0IDrEcpPws. Please copy the link into browser if it does not immediately work.
Mass is 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.
ORDINATIONS TO THE DIACONATE- NEXT SATURDAY
You are reminded of the ordination to the permanent diaconate of David Dowling, and four other men from our Diocese which will take place at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, next Saturday, December 10 at 10.30am.
We congratulate those men, their wives and families on this important step in their journey.
SACRAMENTAL PROGRAM FOR 2023
The Parish sacramental program for 2023 is in the process of being finalised, and details are included in this week’s full bulletin. The preparation program for the three sacraments – Confirmation, Reconciliation and Eucharist - will run at the same time for both communities.
POPE FRANCIS ON DISCERNMENT
Pope Francis continued his cycle of catechesis on Discernment, this week focusing on the theme “Authentic consolation”
Details of my proposed pilgrimage to Israel and Rome next year are now available for download via this link or by via the QR code. Our pilgrimage will be following in the footsteps of St Peter.
If you are intending to join me, it would be appreciated if you could please contact Olive Tree Travel as soon as possible to indicate your interest.
Paper copies with booking forms are available in the Foyers of both Churches. Please feel free to forward these link to your friends or family.
BISHOP’S CHRISTMAS APPEAL FOR CATHOLIC CARE
For those who wish to contribute to the Bishop’s Christmas appeal for Catholic Care’s Assistance with Care and Housing service, which is this year’s focus, envelopes are still available this weekend or online at https://yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/appeal where you can also find further details.
FOR THE DECEASED
Please remember those for whom prayers have been requested, especially for:
Recently deceased: Salud Ayap, Joan Radic, Brigitte Sariss, Joe Cassar
Anniversary: Inspector Bryson Anderson, Francisco Lara, Odette Shalili, Kautu Muller
We really appreciate your continued support. To assist with the 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
POPE FRANCIS ON DISCERNMENT
In his address in Italian, the Pope resumed his cycle of catechesis on Discernment, focusing on the theme “Authentic consolation”.
And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. ( Phil 1:9-11).
Catechesis of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
As we continue our reflection on discernment, and in particular on the spiritual experience called “consolation”, which we spoke about the other Wednesday, we ask: how can we recognize true consolation? It is a very important question for a good discernment, so as not to be deceived in the search for our true good.
We can find some criteria in a passage from the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. “We ought to note well the course of the thoughts”, says Saint Ignatius, “and if the beginning, middle and end is all good, inclined to all good, it is a sign of the good Angel; but if in the course of the thoughts which he brings it ends in something bad, of a distracting tendency, or less good than what the soul had previously proposed to do, or if it weakens it or disturbs the soul, taking away its peace, [taking away the] tranquillity and quiet, which it had before, it is a clear sign that it proceeds from the evil spirit, enemy of our profit and eternal salvation” (no. 333). Because it is true: there is true consolation, but there are also consolations that are not true. And therefore, we need to understand well the process of consolation: how does it come and where does it lead me? If it leads me to something wrong, that is not good, the consolation is not true, it is “fake”, let’s say.
And these are valuable indications, that merit a brief comment. What does it mean that the beginning is inclined to good, as Saint Ignatius says of good consolation? For example, I have the thought of praying, and I note that it accompanies affection towards the Lord and neighbour, it invites gestures of generosity, of charity: it is a good beginning. It can instead happen that such a thought emerges to avoid a job or task that has been entrusted to me: every time I have to wash the dishes or clean the house, I have a strong urge to pray! This happens, in convents. But prayer is not an escape from one’s tasks; on the contrary, it us an aid in realizing the good we are required to do, here and now. This regards the beginning.
Then there is the middle: Saint Ignatius said that the beginning, the middle and the end had to be good. The beginning is this: I want to pray so as not to wash the dishes: go, wash the dishes, and then go to pray. Then there is the middle: that is to say what comes afterwards, what follows that thought Remaining with the previous example, if I begin to pray and, like the pharisee in the parable (cf. Lk 18:9-14), I tend to be self-satisfied and to disdain others, perhaps with a resentful and sour spirit, then these are signs that the evil spirit has used that thought as a key to enter into my heart and to transmit his feelings to me. If I go to pray, and it comes to mind to do so like the famous Pharisee – “Thank you Lord, because I pray, I am not like other people who do not seek you, who do not pray” – that prayer ends badly there. That consolation of praying is to feel like a peacock in front of God. And this is the wrong way.
And then there is the end: the beginning, the middle and the end. The end is an aspect we have already encountered, namely: where does a thought take me? For example, where does the thought of prayer take me? For instance, it can happen that I work hard for a good and worthy task, but this pushes me to stop praying, because I am busy with many things; I find I am increasingly aggressive and angry, I feel that everything depends on me, to the point of losing confidence in God. Here, evidently, there is the action of the evil spirit. I start praying, but then in prayer I feel omnipotent, that everything must be in my hands because I am the only one who knows how to get things done: evidently there is no good spirit there. It is necessary to examine well the path of our sentiments, of consolation, at the moment in which we want to do something; at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.
The style of the enemy – when we speak about the enemy, we speak about the devil, because the devil exists, he is there! – his style, we know – is to present himself in a devious, masked way: he starts from what is most dear to us and then, little by little, reels us in: evil enters secretly, without the person being aware of it. And with time, gentleness becomes hardness: that thought reveals itself for what it truly is.
Hence the importance of this patient but indispensable examination of the origin and the truth of our thoughts; it is an invitation to learn from experiences, from what happens to us, so as not to continue to repeat the same errors. The more we know ourselves, the more we sense where the evil spirit enters, his “password”, the entrance to our heart, which are the points to which we are most sensitive, so as to pay attention to them in the future. Each one of us has their more sensitive spots, the weak spots in their personality: and the evil spirit enters there, and leads us down the wrong path, or takes us away from the true, right path. I go and pray but he leads me away from my prayer.
The examples could be multiplied at will, reflecting on our days. This is why a daily examination of conscience is so important: before ending the day, stop a moment. What happened? Not in the newspapers, not in life: what happened in my heart? Was my heart attentive? Did it grow? Did it go through everything unaware? What happened in my heart? And this examination is important, it is the valuable effort of rereading experience from a particular point of view. Noticing what happens is important, it is a sign that God's grace is working in us, helping us to grow in freedom and awareness. We are not alone: the Holy Spirit is with us. Let us see how things went.
Genuine consolation is a sort of confirmation that we are doing what God wants of us, that we are walking on his paths, that is, on the paths of life, joy, and peace. Discernment, in fact, is not simply about what is good or the greatest possible good, but about what is good for me here and now: this is what I am called to grow on, setting limits to other proposals, attractive but unreal, so as not to be deceived in the search for the true good.
Brothers and sisters, it is necessary to understand, to go ahead in understanding what happens in my heart. And this is why an examination of conscience is necessary, to see what happened today. “Today I got angry, I didn’t do that…”: But why? Going beyond the “why” to look for the root of these mistakes. “But, today I was happy but I was bored because I had to help those people, but at the end I felt filled by that help” – and there is the Holy Spirit. Learning to read what happened during the day in the book of our heart. Do it: it will take just two minutes, but it will do you good, I assure you.