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 NOVEMBER 27: A COVID SAFE PARISH
Welcome to Advent, a time of preparation for Christmas.
The Health Department continues to change its guidelines for gatherings, and so we are holding off deciding on Christmas Mass times till next week.
Effective from next weekend (5-6 December), the Sunday Mass schedule will be as follows:
· At St Michael’s
o Sat evening - 5.30pm
o Sun morning – 8am, 9am, 10am and 11am
o Sun evening – 6pm
o Sat afternoon confession will resume - 4.45pm to 5.15pm
· At Our Lady of Lourdes, we will retain the usual Mass times until further notice – i.e. 6pm on Saturday evening and 9.30am on Sunday morning.
Please pray for some resolution to the Christmas Issue which are affecting our parish of Baulkham Hills.
Please remember to register for all Masses.
BISHOP’S CHRISTMAS APPEAL – THIS WEEKEND
This weekend the Diocese of Parramatta will be holding the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal – supporting the work of CatholicCare and Project Elizabeth.
The Bishop has provided a video which can be found at this YOUTUBE link at: https://youtu.be/d4rOtFM_RTs
Please give generously to the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal: yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/appeal or use the envelopes on the seats, and please drop into the baskets.
POPE FRANCIS ON PRAYER
In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis is focussing on Prayer. This week’s offering is on “The Virgin Mary, prayerful woman”. This catechesis is attached below these notices. Sourced from Vatican News
1. MASS LINK
This week’s live stream Mass link for the First Sunday of Advent on Saturday 28th November at 6pm from OLOL is
Please note readings will be from Year B, the Gospel of Mark.
2 MASS DETAILS - It is safe to come back if you wish……..
Please remember to register for all Masses.
· If you do come without having registered we may ask you to wait till a few moments before Mass begins, by which time we will know if the cap has been reached. If it has, we will ask you to wait for the next mass.
· It might be easier to thus register for the other Mass times –Sun 9am and Sun 11am, 6pm.
Sunday Masses at Our Lady of Lourdes and weekday masses at both places are not affected and there is no change in mass times at this stage.
· The dispensation from attending Sunday Mass still holds in the Diocese of Parramatta, i.e. you do not have to attend Mass on Sundays.
· While we like you to come back to Mass, we’d ask that you do not come to Church if you are feeling unwell.
· Always use hand sanitiser
· 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 email email@example.com
Our Lady of Lourdes 9639 8385 email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
3. SACRAMENT OF PENANCE – St Michael’s only
From next weekend the Sacrament of Penance will be celebrated at St Michael’s on Saturday Morning from 9.30am to 10.30am and Saturday afternoon from 4.45pm to 5.15pm
4. ON THE PARISH FACEBOOK PAGE
If you have Facebook please like Parish of Baulkham Hills, there are a few opportunities to catch up with various groups either via Facebook or ZOOM (no charge).
5. HOME VISITS
We continue to provide an opportunity for home visits with either the clergy or Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, with a Liturgy of the Word with Holy communion (or even Confession). Please don’t hesitate to ask us – we’re really looking forward to this.
If you would like a visit, then please email via email@example.com, ring the parish offices during office hours, or send a message via the Parish Facebook page
6. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org – please also indicate if you are regularly a worshipper at Our Lady of Lourdes or St Michael’s.
7. YOUR PRAYERS
In your mercy please pray for those who have died recently and those whose anniversary occurs around this time – Lucy Magri.
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 Hoekstra
Thank you to those who continue to make contributions to our parish and priests at this time, especially those who are still staying at home. 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 donation
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
POPE FRANCIS: THE VIRGIN MARY – PRAYERFUL WOMAN (audience 18 November 2020)
When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.4The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him. (Luke 2.39-40)
His mother stored up all these things in her heart. (Luke 2.51)
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In our course of catecheses on prayer, today we meet the Virgin Maryas the prayerful woman. Our Lady prayed. When the world still knew nothing of her, when she was a simple girl engaged to a man of the house of David, Mary prayed. We can imagine the young girl of Nazareth wrapped in silence, in continuous dialogue with God who would soon entrust her with a mission. She is already full of grace and immaculate from the moment she was conceived; but she knows nothing yet of her surprising and extraordinary vocation and the stormy sea she will have to cross. One thing is certain: Mary belongs to a great host of the humble of heart whom the official historians never include in their books, but with whom God prepared the coming of his son.
Mary did not autonomously conduct her life: she waited for God to take the reins of her path and guide her where he wanted. She was docile, and with her availability she prepared the grand events in which God takes part in the world. The Catechism recalls her constant and caring presence in the benevolent design of the Father throughout the course of Jesus’ life (cf. CCC, 2617-2618).
Mary was praying when the Archangel Gabriel came to bring his message to her in Nazareth. Her small yet immense “Here I am”, which made all of creation jump for joy in that moment, had been preceded throughout salvation history by many other “Here I ams”, by many trusting obediences, by many who were open to God’s will. There is no better way to pray than to place oneself like Mary in an attitude of openness, with a heart open to God: “Lord, what you want, when you want, and how you want”. That is, a heart open to God’s will. And God always responds. How many believers live their prayer like this! Those who are more humble of heart pray like this: with essential humility, let’s put it that way; with simple humility: “Lord, what you want, when you want, and how you want”. And they pray like this and do not get upset when problems fill their days, but rather they face reality, knowing that in humble love, in love offered in each situation, we become instruments of God’s grace. “Lord, what you want, when you want, and how you want”. A simple prayer, but one in which we place ourselves in the Lord’s hands so that he may guide us. We can all pray like this, almost without words.
Prayer knows how to calm restlessness. But we are restless, we always want things before asking for them, and we want them right away. This restlessness harms us. And prayer knows how to calm restlessness, knows how to transform it into availability. When we are restless, I pray and prayer opens my heart and makes me open to God’s will. In those few moments of the Annunciation, the Virgin Mary knew how to reject fear, even while sensing that her “yes” would bring her tremendously difficult trials. If in prayer we understand that each day given by God is a call, our hearts will then widen and we will accept everything. We will learn how to say: “What you want, Lord. Promise me only that you will be present every step of my way”. This is what’s important: to ask the Lord to be present in every step of our way: that he not leave us alone, that he not abandon us in temptation, that he not abandon us in the bad moments. The end of the Our Father is like this: the grace that Jesus himself taught us to ask of the Lord.
Mary accompanied Jesus’ entire life in prayer, right up to his death and resurrection; and in the end, she continued and she accompanied the first steps of the nascent Church (cf. Acts 1:14). Mary prayed with the disciples who had witnessed the scandal of the cross. She prayed with Peter who had succumbed to fear and cried in remorse. Mary was there, with the disciples, in the midst of the men and women whom her son had called to form his Community. Mary did not act like a priest among them, no! She is Jesus’ Mother who prayed with them, in the community, as a member of the community. She prayed with them and prayed for them. And, once again, her prayer preceded the future that was about to be fulfilled: by the work of the Holy Spirit she became the Mother of God, and by the work of the Holy Spirit she became the Mother of the Church. Praying with the nascent Church, she became the Mother of the Church, accompanying the disciples in the first steps of the Church in prayer, awaiting the Holy Spirit. In silence, always silently. Mary’s prayer was silent. The Gospels recount only one of Mary’s prayers at Cana, when she asked her son for those poor people who were about to make a terrible impression during the banquet. So, let us imagine: having a wedding banquet and ending it up with milk because there is no wine! What a bad impression! And she prayed and asked her son to resolve that problem. In and of itself, Mary’s presence was prayer, and her presence among the disciples in the Upper Room, awaiting the Holy Spirit, was prayer. Thus Mary gave birth to the Church, she is the Mother of the Church. The Catechism explains: “In the faith of his humble handmaid, the Gift of God”, that is, the Holy Spirit, “found the acceptance he had awaited from the beginning of time” (CCC,2617).
In the Virgin Mary, natural feminine intuition is exalted by her most singular union with God in prayer. This is why, reading the Gospel, we note that she seems to disappear at times, only to reappear in crucial moments: Mary was open to God’s voice that guided her heart, that guided her steps where her presence was needed. Her silent presence as mother and as disciple. Mary was present because she was Mother, but she was also present because she was the first disciple, the one who best learned Jesus’ ways. Mary never said: “Come, I will take care of things”. Instead she said: “Do whatever he will tell you”, always pointing her finger at Jesus. This behaviour was typical of the disciples, and she was the first disciple: she prayed as Mother and she prayed as a disciple.
“Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). This is how the evangelist Luke depicts the Mother of the Lord in the infancy Gospel. Everything that happened around her ended up being reflected on in the depths of her heart: the days filled with joy, as well as the darkest moments when she too struggled to understand by which roads Redemption must pass. Everything ended up in her heart so that it might pass through the sieve of prayer and be transfigured by it: whether it be the gifts of the Magi, or the flight into Egypt, until that terrible passion Friday. The Mother kept everything and brought it to her dialogue with God. Someone has compared Mary’s heart to a pearl of incomparable splendour, formed and smoothed by patient acceptance of God’s will through the mysteries of Jesus meditated in prayer. How beautiful it would be if we too could be a bit like our Mother! With a heart open to God’s Word, with a silent heart, with an obedient heart, with a heart that knows how to receive God’s Word and allows it to grow with the seed of good for the Church.