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.

One Simple Way to Meditate

 

World Community for Christian Meditation
World Community for Christian Meditation

Find a quiet place. Sit down with your back upright. Sit still. Gently close your eyes and begin to recite your prayer-word, or mantra, silently, interiorly and lovingly throughout the time of your meditation: “Ma-ra-na-tha.” Say it as four equally-stressed syllables. It is an Aramaic word (which is the language that Jesus spoke) and it means “Come, Lord.” It is found in the Scriptures and is one of the earliest prayers in the Christian tradition. Do not think about the meaning of the word. Just give your attention to the sound of it throughout the time of your meditation, from the beginning to the end. Whenever distractions arise, simply return to your mantra. Meditate for 30 minutes each morning and each evening, every day of your life. Father John Main always said: “Just say your word.” Meditation is a way of pure prayer marked by silence, stillness, and simplicity.

From http://www.christianmeditationaustralia.org/

The World’s Largest Humanitarian Organisation

The World’s Largest Humanitarian Organisation
-bringing hope to millions!-

In Australia, through 1,700 schools, more than 80 hospitals, more than 30,000 aged care beds and at home services, St Vincent de Paul, Centacare (now CatholicCare in some dioceses) and the myriad of outreach provided by religious orders, parishes and dioceses, the work of the Catholic Church is perhaps 50 times that of the Red Cross in Australia and around 40% of all the charitable work of non-profit organisations nationally.

Internationally, the Catholic Church is the largest or close to largest provider of humanitarian services in the Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America. It is a major provider in Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, even though the Catholic population is relatively small. Hundreds of millions of people rely on the Catholic Church every day for a wide range of services including primary, secondary and tertiary education, basic health services, clinics and hospitals, orphanages, welfare support, pastoral care and family support, job creation, advocacy against injustice and so much more. Continue reading “The World’s Largest Humanitarian Organisation”

WYD 2008 has gone, what next?

World Youth Day has gone and some of us feel empty. What has the Spirit called us to do? What about those of us who didn’t go to Sydney but sat glued to the television set throughout it all? Doing nothing isn’t an option. We don’t want it to be just how it was. We want to change things. We want to make a better world.
As Archbishop Oscar Romero said, “Aspire not to have more, but to be more
Start by looking at the Caritas BeMore website http://www.bemore.org.au and get everyone signed up for the Be More newsletter.

Form a big group, a small group, several groups. Small groups could come from bigger groups just to focus on one aspect of action.

Remember
We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water the seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

– Archbishop Oscar Romero (martyred on March 24th 1980)

Welcome to our new Catholic Friends

Welcome to our new Catholic Friends

 Lisa Zailanee, Emma Davidson, Angus McLaughlan, Dion and Kyle Owens, Lilly Rubery, and Jacob Ryan.
I thank the members of the Catechumenate team who have accompanied Emma and Lisa over the past eight months and Richard Hallett for accompanying the younger new Catholics.
I read the number of new Catholics in England is well up this Easter.

Fr Kevin

Eastertide Parish Retreat

Eastertide Parish Retreat

This will be held on Sunday 26 April in the Parish Centre from 11.30am to 2.30pm, with a lunch break. Please bring some lunch to share.
The main presenter will be Jill Gibbs who has recently finished twelve years in Rome as Deputy Director of the Community for a Better World (a group approved by various popes since 1952).
The theme will be ‘Living out the message of Easter’. 

Parish Renewal evaluation and future planning

Prior to the retreat, there will be an evaluation and future planning session for all on Tuesday 21 April at 10.00am and this session will be repeated at 7.30pm.

Our Parish Target

 

Our Parish Target

 

As resolved by the parishioners following the Parish Renewal Program

 

By the end of 2009 all the people of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Sunbury, through their experiences and through structures of communication and participation, are aware of the value of every person.

 

Explanation of the terms used in the target.

 

all the people: all the Catholics and their families, the parish priest and the religious, those who live within the boundaries and those who live outside the boundaries who choose to make this their parish, different generations, those aspiring to become Catholics, non-Catholic students, staff, and their families who identify with the Catholic schools in the Parish, and all those who choose to associate with us.


through their experiences: not just through words but through what actually happens, e.g. neighbourhood gatherings, personal contact, greeting and smiling, making oneself known to, showing an interest in, remembering other people’s names, being friendly towards, expressing care for, offering practical assistance to, working together in some common action.


structures of communication: ways of decentralising the parish such as area teams, the parish Good News letter, visitation to families, mailings, internet, email, parish web site.


and participation: pastoral care, assemblies, and open parish gatherings,are aware of, have a sense of, get used to the idea of, are awakened to, have an initial realisation of, are conscious of.


the value of every person: respect for the dignity of a person, the worth of each, the uniqueness of each. Continue reading “Our Parish Target”

God’s Call to Community

 

God’s Call to Community

In the readings of Sunday 7th Sept 08 we looked at God’s call to community. In Ezekiel, God commissions the prophet to serve as a spiritual sentinel for Israel, responsible for calling the people to repentance. In his letter to the Romans, Paul concludes that all of God’s commandments are fulfilled when we attend to the well-being of our neighbour. 
And in the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to persist in their pursuit of reconciliation. 
Our attention is turned to two of the basic ingredients of love: the willingness to communicate, and acceptance of others. Love does not just happen; it is not simply a nice feeling; it isn’t always easy; it is a process that needs plenty of work and attention. Arguments happen. Anger flares. Continue reading “God’s Call to Community”

CAMPAIGN FOR THE DIGNITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT

CAMPAIGN FOR THE DIGNITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT

We are endeavouring to promote the gospel values in our society as urged by Pope Benedict XV1 in March 2008. We are printing another special letter for every Catholic family in our parish which will be delivered by our ‘parish posties’. We have now coordinating teams in 28 of our 30 parish neighbourhoods of about a hundred Catholic families each. These teams are coordinating the distribution by the parish posties.

 
“..International action to preserve the environment and to protect various forms of life on earth must not only guarantee a rational use of technology and science, but must also rediscover the authentic image of creation.”

  ……………………..Pope Benedict XVI

PRAYERS FOR THE FAMILY

Every First Friday at 7.00pm in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church…..Rosary, Hymns and Divine Mercy Chaplet with quiet time for Adoration; every Saturday at 9.00am—Rosary, Hymns and Divine Mercy chaplet with quiet time for Adoration.

All welcome especially children.