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
COVID UPDATE – FRIDAY MAY 7 2021
A COVID SAFE PARISH
Yesterday (Thursday 6 May), the NSW Government mandated once again the compulsory wearing of masks in places of worship, and cancelled all singing until 12.01am Monday morning.
Thus masks must be worn at all Masses and liturgies this weekend.
Masks will be available from the Church, so there’s no need to go and buy them.
There are no other changes at this stage.
You MUST now 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.
The following link is the link for Saturday evening’s 6pm Mass from Our Lady of Lourdes for the 6th Sunday of Easter - https://youtu.be/jv7Mpzjp1PE
FORMATION OF PARISH RENEWAL WORKING GROUP
Yesterday (6 May) saw the first meeting of a Parish Renewal Working Group which will steer the process for Parish Renewal and the development of the Parish Pastoral Council. The group will help our two communities in realising the following goals:
· 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
I would appreciate your prayers for this group, and, as unfortunately one person is unable to take her place, if you feel you’d like to be part of it, please contact me. Fr Wim.
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
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.
BISHOP VINCENT’S SUBMISSION ON THE PROPOSED PARENTAL RIGHTS BILL
Bishop Vincent has made public the updated submission to the Legislative Council’s Portfolio Committee No.3 - Education about the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 submitted on behalf of the Diocese of Parramatta. This submission can be found after Pope Francis’ meditation on Contemplative Prayer.
Online Registration for the Confirmation program at St Michael’s take place until May 16. The Registration link is https://forms.gle/daNTSUstnxnE6rnS9
At this stage the programs will be done at home as will be explained in the video.
PLANNED GIVING ENVELOPES AVAILABLE
There are still some envelopes at the back of the Church. Parishioners registered with Planned Giving Program please pick up their new envelopes from the back of the Church. The new envelopes commenced 4th April 2021.
POPE FRANCIS ON CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER
Pope Francis’s teaching on Prayer at his audience on Wednesday reflected on Contemplative Prayer.
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.
In your mercy please pray for those who have died recently – John McCreanor, Christopher Dias and those whose anniversaries occur around this time – Barbara Oakes, Francesco Cardinale, Chris Galea and Frank Grech.
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. It appears to be very highly successful.
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
POPE’S TEACHING ON CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER
In his address in Italian the Pope continued his cycle of catechesis on prayer, focusing on “Contemplative prayer” (Bible reading: Psalm 8.
1O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.
3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
4what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
5Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
6You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
7all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Catechesis of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
We continue the catechesis on prayer and in this catechesis, I would like to reflect on contemplative prayer.
The contemplative dimension of the human being – which is not yet contemplative prayer – is a bit like the “salt” of life: it gives flavour, it seasons our day. We can contemplate by gazing at the sun that rises in the morning, or at the trees that deck themselves out in spring green; we can contemplate by listening to music or to the sounds of the birds, reading a book, gazing at a work of art or at that masterpiece that is the human face… Carlo Maria Martini, when he was sent to be the bishop of Milan, entitled his first Pastoral Letter The contemplative dimension of life: the truth is that those who live in a large city, where everything – we can say – is artificial and where everything is functional, risk losing the capacity to contemplate. To contemplate is not primarily a way of doing, but a way of being. To be contemplative.
And being contemplatives does not depend on the eyes, but on the heart. And here prayer enters into play as an act of faith and love, as the “breath” of our relationship with God. Prayer purifies the heart and, with it, also sharpens our gaze, allowing it to grasp reality from another point of view. The Catechism describes this transformation of the heart that prayer effects, citing a famous testimony of the Holy Curé of Ars who said this: “Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. ‘I look at him and he looks at me’: this is what a certain peasant of Ars used to say to the holy curé while praying before the tabernacle. […] The light of the countenance of Jesus illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of His truth and His compassion for all men” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2715). Everything comes from this: from a heart that feels that it is looked on with love. Then reality is contemplated with different eyes.
“I look at Him and He looks at me!” It is like this: loving contemplation, typical of the most intimate prayer, does not need many words. A gaze is enough. It is enough to be convinced that our life is surrounded by an immense and faithful love that nothing can ever separate us from.
Jesus was a master of this gaze. His life never lacked the time, space, silence, the loving communion that allows one’s existence not to be devastated by the inevitable trials, but to maintain beauty intact. His secret is His relationship with His heavenly Father.
Let’s think, for example, about the Transfiguration. The Gospels place this episode at the critical point of Jesus’s mission when opposition and rejection were mounting all around Him. Even among His disciples, many did not understand Him and left Him; one of the Twelve harboured traitorous thoughts. Jesus began to speak openly of His suffering and death that awaited Him in Jerusalem. It is in this context that Jesus climbs up a high mountain with Peter, James and John. The Gospel of Mark says: “He was transfigured before them, and His garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them” (9:2-3). Right at the moment in which Jesus is not understood – they were going away from Him, they were leaving Him alone because they did not understand – in this moment that He is misunderstood, just when everything seems to become blurred in a whirlwind of misunderstanding, that is where a divine light shines. It is the light of the Father’s love that fills the Son’s heart and transfigures His entire Person.
Some spiritual masters of the past understood contemplation as opposed to action, and exalted those vocations that flee from the world and its problems to dedicate oneself entirely to prayer. In reality, Jesus Christ, in His person and the Gospel, there is no opposition between contemplation and action. No. In the Gospel and in Jesus there is no contradiction. This may have come from the influence of some Neoplatonic philosophy that creates this opposition, but it surely contains a dualism that is not part of the Christian message.
There is only one great call, one great call in the Gospel, and it is that of following Jesus on the way of love. This is the summit and it is the centre of everything. In this sense, charity and contemplation are synonymous, they say the same thing. Saint John of the Cross believed that a small act of pure love is more useful to the Church than all the other works combined. What is born of prayer and not from the presumption of our ego, what is purified by humility, even if it is a hidden and silent act of love, is the greatest miracle that a Christian can perform. And this is the path of contemplative prayer: I look at Him and He looks at me. It is that act of love in silent dialogue with Jesus that does so much good for the Church. Thank you.
Diocese of Parramatta submission into the
Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020
5 May 2021
1. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Parramatta (Diocese of Parramatta) makes this submission to the Legislative Council’s Portfolio Committee No.3 - Education about the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 (Bill).
2. This submission supersedes the submission dated 26 February 2021 (Submission No 32) from Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.
3. This submission by Diocese of Parramatta proposes improvements to that Bill.
4. Diocese of Parramatta, through its education agency, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, runs a system of 80 faith-based schools in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Diocese of Parramatta educates over 43,000 students and employs almost 5,000 staff.
5. Diocese of Parramatta covers 16 State Electorates including: Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Castle Hill, Granville, Hawkesbury, Londonderry, Mount Druitt, Mulgoa, Parramatta, Penrith, Prospect, Riverstone, Seven Hills, and Wollondilly.
6. Diocese of Parramatta is committed to responding to the needs of all students. Diocese of Parramatta collaborates with parents, students, and staff to realise the mission of bringing the person of Jesus Christ into the lives of the young people in its care and their families.
7. Catholic educators are called to accompany students from diverse backgrounds in dialogue with different perspectives.i All students - including those who identify as gender diverse should have the opportunity to reach their God-given potential, to learn with their peers and feel a sense of belonging in their learning environment.
8. Diocese of Parramatta proposes amendments to clarify and improve parts of the Bill. As an education provider schooling one in five students in Western Sydney, Diocese of Parramatta is trusted by local families to make appropriate discernments regarding sensitive matters in student learning.
9. Diocese of Parramatta strongly affirms the Catholic teaching that parents are the primary educators of their children in matters of faith and education.ii
10. Diocese of Parramatta recognises parents as each child’s most influential, primary, and essential educator and actively partners with parents and caregivers, encouraging open communications and supportive learning environments. Diocese of Parramatta works in partnership with parents and carers to provide holistic Catholic education programs for our students.
11. Diocese of Parramatta affirms the prohibition of teaching gender ideology (gender fluidity) in an educational setting. As I explain in my attached Pastoral Letter (attached Appendix 1) I have serious concerns, echoing Pope Francis, about this ideology.
12. Our Catholic position is well outlined in Male and Female He Created Them: Toward a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Educationiii and Amoris Laetitia.iv In his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis says that “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created”.
13. Our major overriding concern is also to affirm that each and every child is loved, supported, comforted, extended emotional and pastoral assistance, and given appropriate accompaniment. That is our essential mission as Catholics called to live the Gospel and reach out compassionately to those experiencing harassment and marginalisation.
14. Diocese of Parramatta also affirms that parents are the primary educators of their children, provided it occurs within a framework of open collaboration with the school. These two elements should work together harmoniously and with transparency.
15. Parents' role in education is vital, necessary and sought after at all times because parents are their children’s first teachers (Canon 793 §1).v In addition, “the family’s right to be recognised as the primary pedagogical environment for the educational formation of children” must be paramount.vi
16. This Bill, in our view, however, should not in any way be used as a means to diminish or reduce the professional capacity and expectations of a teacher and the school community.
17. Certainly, steps must be taken to ensure such legislation respects the rights of children which Australian governments have ratified in international agreements.
18. Diocese of Parramatta therefore encourages respectful and intelligent dialogue with students, with our deeply committed teaching staff, and within a caring Catholic environment about sensitive or challenging topics such as consent, sexuality, and gender. It is important that the school community is able to challenge unhealthy, ill-informed and discriminatory attitudes. Our primary concern is to affirm, like Pope Francis, the absolute dignity and uniqueness of each child of God. This is best fostered where there is an inclusive and healthy atmosphere among all students and staff. vii
19. We are of the view that the Bill should not be used to prohibit a school from supporting children who are already at risk of marginalisation because of gender identity issues.
20. Diocese of Parramatta supports the individual and loving the individual, regardless of their sexual orientation. Catholic teaching requires us to uphold the dignity of each human person and invites us to accompany all people and provide all people with pastoral care. We strongly endorse the leadership of Pope Francis and his pastoral approach which places great emphasis on inclusivity, dialogue and the acceptance of each unique child of God.
21. I am thankful on behalf of the Diocese of Parramatta for this opportunity to present a submission into this important topic that will impact the lives of children for generations.
Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv Bishop of Parramatta
i Congregation for Catholic Education (for Institutes of Study). (2013). Educating to Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools. Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love. Vatican City. 28 October, cls. 61-63 Retrieved on 22 February 2021 from https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20131 028_dialogo-interculturale_en.html
ii The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education. (1982). Lay Catholics In Schools: Witnesses To Faith.Vatican City. 15 October, cl.12. Retrieved on 22 February 2021 from http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19821015_lay-catholics_en.html
vii See attached Appendix 1 Pastoral letter to the pastors, parents and the faithful of the Diocese of Parramatta on the proposed Parental Rights Bill, April 27th, 2021