St Paul’s Letters

St Pauls Letters in perspective.

 

Fr Bert gave a talk at our recent Knights of the Southern Cross meeting taking St Paul as his theme as it’s the year of St Paul. He gave us a “timeline” through the life of St Paul using the letters of St Paul himself rather than the more spectacular accounts written by St Luke. Having established what St Paul was doing, where he was doing it, and why he was doing it, Fr Bert then tied the letters of St Paul to the different circumstances and events at that time when the letters were written.
I’m quite certain that the understanding of the letters of St Paul was enhanced for all who were present.

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VOCATION VIEW

VOCATION VIEW

This is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The world needs worthy leaders, Good Shepherds of the 21St century, caring unselfishly for the needs of God’s people. Please, pray for Vocations.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Workers
The Workers

REQUIRED URGENTLY:
1. Volunteers to go on a roster to set up for 6.00pm Mass.
2. Volunteers to vacuum both our churches
Contact the Parish Office—9744 1060.

EVERGREENS—REMINDER

EVERGREENS—REMINDER
Members attending Morning Melodies on Tue 16 June—payment of $16.00 due by 13 May. Money in envelope with name and leave at Parish Office.
Anyone who hasn’t booked and would like to come contact Frances Arians—9744 1999.

SUNBURY MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER

Sunbury Marriage Encounter will meet at the home of John & Sheila Stafford, 4 Eadie St. Sunbury on SAT 9 MAY at 4.00pm.
Further information ring 9740 9966.

PRAYER AFTERNOON

 Prayer Afternoon at Mary MacKillop Centre, 362 Albert St. East Melbourne on TUESDAY 5 MAY from 1.30-3.30pm. All welcome.

PROGRESS REPORT ON WORKS AT OUR CHURCHES

We are still awaiting steel surrounds at the adult font so that the marble grates can be fitted and the carpet properly laid. The plasma screens are now operational and were used successfully by St. Anne’s School at a prayer service last Friday for the feast of St Joseph the Worker. The audio has been re-tuned. Lighting is also being examined.
At O.L.M.C. Church, slight alterations to the design of the ramp, making it simpler, were approved last week.

INFORMATION & REGISTRATION MEETING FOR PARENTS ONLY

INFORMATION & REGISTRATION MEETING FOR PARENTS ONLY

Information and registration meeting for parents of children –just the parents– who will be celebrating their first Communion in August this year at the Parish Centre this coming Tuesday 28 April at 730pm. If you have not yet received an invitation letter and enrolment form in the mail please call the Parish Office on Monday or Tuesday (9744 1060) and leave your name and address and your child’s name so that we can have the necessary information ready for you when you come—you are very welcome. i you have received a letter iust come along—you do not need to ring.

OPEN DAY AT MARY MACKILLOP HERITAGE CENTRE

OPEN DAY AT MARY MACKILLOP HERITAGE CENTRE

 Saturday 2 May 1 0.OOam—4.OOpm, 362 Albert St. East Melbourne. Visit the Mary MacKillop Museum, chapel, temporary gallery and gift shop, then enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the refreshments area. Entry by donation and off the street parking available via Providence Lane. Enquiries—9926 9300.

OUR NEW INFANT FONT

OUR NEW INFANT FONT

Our new infant font is now operational and is being used this Sunday. Our font allows us to celebrate Baptism in the way the Church teaches, that immersion (not submersion) is the primary way for Baptism. At the Easter Vigil, we had the powerful experience of adult baptisms. Immersion is a powerful and symbolic action of dying and rising, like going down into the death of the Lord and rising into new life (cf.Romans 6:4). Many parishes around the world are installing fonts in their churches. At Ephesus in the Church of Mary, built in 7th century, there is an immersion font.

This font is from St John's in Ephesus built at the same time as St Mary's
This font is from St John's in Ephesus built at the same time as St Mary's

During Lent, our theme was Baptised into the Body of Christ’. Each time we enter our church we can bless ourselves with the Baptismal water which is constantly flowing as living water, a symbol of abundant and never-ending grace of God to us. As Jesus said to the woman at the well: Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life’ (John 4:14).
Our font is made of marble from Carrara Italy, the same marble used by the great Michelangelo to sculpture his Pieta and David in 1499.
Fr Kevin

Results of the Renewal Evaluation Gatherings

Evaluation – Sunbury 

In two meetings open to all parishioners, about 25 people took advantage of the opportunity to evaluate and give suggestions for future planning. 

The process followed three broad questions: 

1. where are we on our journey of renewal, 2. where do we want to be in a specified time, and 3. how can we get there. 

1. Where are we on our journey 

Achievements and efforts: 

1. Worship spaces 

Opportunity provided (three sessions) for formation about changes in worship space. This was very beneficial for those who took advantage of the opportunity; brief moments of formation also given during our Sunday liturgies; both worship spaces have been renovated and made more inclusive and accessible; more friendliness at Mass — we learnt from our experience in the hall and we like the togetherness; sense of pride in what we have achieved 

2. World Youth Day  

Cross and Icon in Sunbury; a great parish event, well-attended and well organized; the ecumenical character of the event was also well done and well received. 

3. Thanksgiving Campaign (Planned Giving) was successfully carried out and with a successful result even though times are difficult. 

4. Neighbourhoods 

24 NH’s were set up; some have Coordinating Teams, others just a Coordinator, and most have a network of Parish Posties. We have come a long way but still have a long way to go. Some NH’s are functioning better than others; it is a struggle to get some of them established. The efforts of NH teams were commended. 

5. Parish Posties and Evangelizing Letter : There has not been a lot of feedback but what there is has been positive, e.g. feel recognised as a parishioner though I don’t come to Mass; a great initiative; given confidence to contact Parish Priest for a visit; it is hard to know the results of the Evangelizing Letter but the parish is right to make the effort to involve all in the mission of evangelizing. 

6. Sacramental Programmes: The children are made known to the parish and parishioners are asked to pray for them and support them; they give energy to our parish; baptismal preparation programme expresses the fact that baptism incorporates us into the Body of Christ; the preparation of some children and culmination of the RCIA at the Easter Vigil was a powerful experience; 

7. Parish Team, Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Coordinating Team: recognition of the valuable work of the parish team; good move to amalgamate the Council and the Coordinating Team 

8. Christmas Appeal: good change in this appeal; targeted for a more generous and practical response, expressing a recognition of the dignity of people by giving them the opportunity to use the donation in a way best suited to their needs. 

9. Social Justice: incorporation of care for the environment in their portfolio 

10. Knights of the Southern Cross: more awareness of their work though they are small in number. 

11. Sunday Bulletin: very good content and very informative 

General remarks 

We are pleased with our parish and we see that we are moving forward. There is a sense of openness, no closed doors, with the opportunity to participate and dialogue. Small social groups starting up; community spirit is good and still growing; there are a lot of ordinary things going on all the time (e.g. visits to the sick) that we forget about; we tend to see just what is lacking. 

Lacks: 

No children’s liturgy at present; Mass numbers dwindling; people holding back on making a commitment; need to improve our roster system; not enough consciousness of the fact that we are all called to evangelize; some NH’s not functioning too well; after a good start things seem to have died back; services for youth are lacking; lack of communication 

2. Where do we want to be this time next year 

Note: the morning group preferred to look at a three-year time span 

In general 

Increased participation and commitment; change involvement from just school to parish; church be inclusive of all irrespective of financial considerations, e.g. high school fees; involve newcomers with their gifts; find ways to use the talented and willing people; ten new people involved; are we cliquey: we hang around after Mass but talk to the same people; personally invite people to participate; invite people to consider changing their role 

1. Liturgy: annual change-over of lectors; improve the way the readers and special ministers are organized; reinstate Children’s Liturgy; extra activities in the liturgy: should not be too many on the same weekend; 

2. Communication: have a parish magazine; parish letter at Easter and Christmas; more use of parish website; display NH map; names and faces of PCT/Parish Council; name tag and their NH of those at the welcoming desk; 

3. NH’s: explore possibilities for development; need for feedback; change the mindset and create awareness that we all belong to a NH and that many things should be organized at NH level; NH make contact with families after baptisms, other sacraments, in times of sorrow and special need, etc. 

3. How to get there 

In general 

Affirming and empowering people to take on parish work, build up confidence in doing things; personally invite people; things take time; we should not be discouraged; 

Find out where people are; do a census in every NH; 

Stress the importance of meetings such as these as a way of learning about the people and hopes in the parish; 

Welcoming area: make it effective; use of parish directory; NH information; photos of key events; photos/names of members of PCT; 

Parish Centre: to be more available to parish groups at minimal cost (finance committee) 

Rosters: need to act on them; people have volunteered their services and have not yet been called on; increase participation so more are doing less; 

Communication: rather than a parish magazine, make better and increased use of Website; parish letter also at Easter and Christmas; 

Youth and Children: Youth Mass (perhaps 5.30 Sunday); encourage youth participation; reintroduce Children’s Liturgy; School choir occasionally at Mass; 

Music Groups get together to see how to enrich our liturgies; 

Cuppa after Mass 

Out of all of the above, we feel that the following are the priorities for the coming year. Other aspects can be addressed if we can find the time and the people to carry out the necessary actions. 

Census by NH’s (October) 

Pastoral Workers/Ministry Weekend (time to be decided) This would include an introductory weekend (at the Masses), preparation of a description of each ministry, and enrolment form 

Parish Assembly: on the morning of Saturday 27 February 2010; facilitator: Jill 

Development of the PCT/Parish Council amalgamated body: Composition: Parish team; NH 

coordinators, perhaps because of numbers, one coordinator represents 3 NH’s; nominate or elect 3 

other members at the time of the Parish Assembly (not single issue people) 

Gatherings of all Pastoral Workers: for their own enrichment (prayer, formation), to discuss their area of responsibility and organize their service in line with the parish planning; (gatherings could have a different emphasis: one, more geared to organizing their service; one more geared to prayer/formation; one more geared to reporting/accountability to the whole gathering 

Rosters; Children’s Liturgy??? 

NH’s: their continued development: PCT members taking responsibility for different NH’s; encourage NH teams in their efforts to keep the “parish posties” network operating so that the common evangelization thrust can continue; decentralising of sacramental programme has already begun; others to be organized, e.g. visits to sick, RCIA sponsors, acknowledging newly baptised and other special times, e.g. a card . This means finding persons in each NH to carry out these small occasional services, and Lyn to supply the necessary information. 

This year’s Evangelizing Letter to focus on the theme of Acceptance/Understanding 

Volunteers Needed

 

 

The Workers
The Workers

Volunteers Needed

1. Could you help with opening and setting-up on Saturday evenings for 6.00pm Mass? It would be great to get a roster going so as it is not left to one person.

2. Volunteers needed to vacuum our churches. Some of the parishioners have been on the rosters for a long time and would welcome a well-deserved break. One hour of your time approx. every two months is all that it takes.

3. Welcoming Volunteers are sought to be at our ‘Welcome Desk’ in the Gathering Space at St Anne’s Church. Volunteers shall be on a roster, being present 15 minutes before and after Mass. Thank you to those parishioners who have volunteered.

Please contact the Parish Office—9744 1060 for any enquiries re the above three items.