The Massabielle

The Massabielle
The Weekly Newsletter of St Bernadette’s
Parish Community, Castle Hill, NSW
November 8 & 9, 2014 - DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA - Year A
Issue Number 612
some 50 kilometres from the city and we have
settled there now.
I attended my primary school at Ruku-Ini
(Forest) Primary School, the school named
because of many trees surrounding it. My
secondary school was Mother of Apostle
am pleased to have been appointed
Seminary, Eldoret. That was between the years
Assistant Priest of St Bernadette’s
1973-1986. In the year 1987/1988 I joined St
Catholic Church, Castle Hill, Parramatta
Mary’s Molo Major Seminary where I stayed
Diocese. It is a challenge and a mission I
for one year, commonly known as a spiritual
would take with the enthusiasm and seriousness
year, studying spirituality and introduction to
it deserves. It is a challenge in the sense that,
this is a big task for me, to work in an enormous
My journey to priesthood began there. In the
parish like St Bernadette’s with its immense
years 1988-1990 I was at Apostle of Jesus
multi-cultural richness. A mission in the sense
Major Seminary based in Nairobi for my
that priest-work, our work, is a mission by
philosophical and religious studies.
nature, a mission to establish
Between the years 1990God’s Kingdom and making it
1994 I was at St Thomas
Aquinas Seminary for my
It is my hope and prayer
theological studies. I was based
that, with God’s grace and
in Nairobi. I graduated in 1994
your co-operation, the abovewith the Pontifical Urbaniana
mentioned tasks will be
affiliate university.
achievable and fulfilling. I
I was ordained deacon
pray to God that my ministry
towards the end of that year
will be fruitful and beneficial.
(1994) and the following year,
To begin with, I would like
on 1st July 1995, I was
to say something about myself.
ordained priest - ordained for
I will talk a bit about my
the Catholic diocese of Eldoret.
background and how my
Eldoret is about 340 kilometres
journey has led me to
west of Nairobi, Kenya.
Australia, so that you too will
For almost my entire
know a thing or two about me.
priestly life I have worked in
I believe, with time, I will also
parishes. I was for three and a
know you. I will also say
Fr Michael Gitau Gathuku
half years an assistant priest
something about my family.
and fourteen years as a parish
I was born in Kenya in a family of nine
priest in the Catholic diocese of Eldoret. I have
siblings – five brothers and four sisters. My
also been involved with education in Catholic
parents are Geoffrey Gathuku and Cicilia
schools, Youth Ministry in the diocese and
Wambui, both of whom are alive; thanks be to
pastoral counselling. These are apostolates that
God for that. They are in their early and late
have given me much joy.
seventies respectively. I am the first-born among
Last year I came to Australia for a renewal
my siblings. Our second-last born, who is a boy,
and discernment course at Marymount here at
is also a priest, ordained a month ago.
Castle Hill. I was there for six months. I later
I was born in a small village some 320
worked at St Patrick’s Cathedral for a short
kilometres west of Nairobi, our Capital City in
period before going back to Kenya. I came back
Rift Valley Province. We later relocated to near
on August 19th this year, worked again as an
Eldoret, where I grew up. We stayed there until
assistant priest in the cathedral parish for two
2007 when we again relocated to Naivasha,
months before being appointed to St
Fr Michael Gitau Gathuku has been
appointed an Assistant Priest at St
Bernadette’s, Castle Hill. Here in this
article he tells us a little about himself.
Bernadette’s, Castle Hill.
I would like to thank Archbishop-elect
Anthony Fisher for this appointment and the prior
appointment to St Patrick’s Cathedral. I would
also like to thank his two Vicars-General, Very
Rev Fr Peter Williams and Very Rev Fr Chris de
Souza for their assistance – assistance with many
requirements to be fulfilled to enable me to be
eligible to work in the diocese.
I would like to thank the Dean and Parish
Priest of the Cathedral and other priests of the
Cathedral who made me feel at home, away from
home. The cathedral staff were enormously
helpful although I was there for just a short space
of time. They truly made an impact on me
because of their warmth. The parishioners at the
St Patrick’s Cathedral were good to me. I was
warming up to really know them, but then God
has other plans – preparing my way to St
Since I arrived at St Bernadette’s last Friday
week, I have received another warm welcome by
almost everyone I have met. I would like to single
out Father John Boyle, the Parish Priest and the
Dean of the Hills. In his own words he told me,
when I first came to see him right after my
appointment, “Michael, you are welcome to St
Bernadette’s to work with us, but more so, to be
happy”. I like that. The rest is history. So far I am
happy, if not very happy.
I want to thank Father Eugene for his warm
welcome too. The staff at both the parish and
parish primary school have been fantastic. They
have made me feel that this is where I belong. I
thank them. The few parishioners I have met are
just wonderful. I would not have imagined that so
far, within such a short time, some of them have
invited me to their homes. What a blessing.
On my part, I look forward to meeting you all
and working with you and for you. I look forward
to be a friend with you and a priest for you.
Fr Michael Gitau Gathuku
The Church of St John Lateran in Rome is honoured
because it is the “Mother and Head of all Churches
of the City and of the World”. It is accorded this
honour because it was the first Christian Church built
in Rome under the Emperor Constantine. The land
on which it was built had been the site of the palace
of the Laterani family and came to Constantine
through his wife. It was donated to the Church and
the Basilica was built as early as 311 and was
dedicated by Pope Sylvester in 324. This church
remains the Papal Cathedral and the Palace was the
papal residence for many centuries. The original
building has been destroyed by earthquake and fire
and rebuilt many times.
The Summit
Today’s Readings
First Reading: Ezekiel 47:8-9,12. A
vision of the Temple, God’s house,
where a stream of living water makes all
things grow.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:9-11,16-17. St
Paul likens us to a building, founded on Christ, where
everyone has his or her part to play.
Gospel: John 2:13-22. Jesus drives the traders from
the Temple and speaks of the new ‘holy place’, the
sanctuary of his risen body.
Next Week: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - A
Prov 31:10-13,19-20,30-31; 1 Thess 5:1-6; Matt 25:14-30
Feast Days this Week
Monday 10 November - St Leo the Great
Tuesday 11 November - St Martin of Tours
Wednesday 12 November - St Josaphat
HOLY HOUR this Thursday from 8.00 to 9.00pm
including Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament,
Rosary, prayers, hymns and scripture reading. All
the Parish Office Basement from 8.00 to 9.00pm
including Rosary and a cuppa. All welcome.
ASYLUM SEEKERS often come here with only
what they can carry. If Refugee Status is granted, they
will settle into life in Australia but they need help with
understanding English, accessing public transport,
shopping, and understanding Australian laws, values
and culture. You can make them feel welcome and
assist them in a practical way by becoming a
Volunteer Mentor. Full training and support will be
provided through Marist Youth Care, 36 – 38 First
Avenue (Corner Boys Ave) Blacktown on Tuesday, 18
November from 7pm to 9pm. Contact: Janice Williams
on 9672 9210 or [email protected]
Can you find Kenya?
It is to the right
surrounded by
Tanzania, Burundi,
Rwanda, Uganda,
South Sudan,
Ethiopia and
TUESDAY PRAYER GROUP meets in the Marian
Centre every Tuesday morning at 10.00am. All
welcome. For information phone Pauline Camilleri on
0407 417 039.
Have you considered leaving a gift to the parish in
your will? If you would like further information please
phone 9634 2622 for a confidential discussion.
During the farewell Mass for Archbishop-elect
Anthony Fisher last Wednesday, Fr John Boyle was
conferred with the title of Monsignor with the
following proclamation: His Holiness Pope Francis
has chosen Reverend John Boyle from the Diocese
of Parramatta to be numbered among his chaplains
which office indeed has been appropriately
To celebrate this great achievement with Monsignor
Boyle, we invite you to a special morning tea which
will take place this Sunday (9th November) in the
parish hall after the 10.30am Mass. To help with
catering a plate of finger food would be appreciated
if you are able to assist.
Into LIFE Friday for years 6-8: Bilocation,
levitation, prophecy, miracles. Padre Pio did it all!
Come find out about this amazing man! In the parish
hall 7-8.30pm. Don't forget your $2 donation!
Have ideas for new works and ministries? Please
contact James Hay.
MASSES: Parishioners
are invited to write the names of
deceased relatives and friends on an
envelope which is handed to the priest or
placed on the collection plate or given in
to the parish office.
From there the names are typed up and placed in
the “Book of Life”. Parishioners are welcome to
browse through the Book, placed on a temporary
altar (to the right of the main altar), looking at the
names, and remembering to say a prayer for those
whose names are in the Book. Masses will be offered
for these people who have gone before us during the
month of November.
CHRISTMAS HAMPERS: The Annual Christmas
Hamper Mass will be celebrated on Sunday 7th
December at 6.00pm. Once again we are asking for
your assistance to bring the true spirit of Christmas
into the homes of needy families.
Firstly, we need your donation of hampers, so kindly
take a label and bring your hamper to the church hall
on the weekend of 6/7 December. Please read the
information on the notice board regarding the
assembly of the Hampers. We ask for consistent
sizing both for ease of handling and also to ensure
equitable distribution to the receiving families.
Secondly, we need your support in helping us
manage the logistics of this appeal; in sorting the
hampers and then distributing them to the families on
Tuesday 9th December. A worksheet has been
posted on the noticeboard to indicate the times you
are available or contact Maureen on 9634 6925.
2014-2015: A Reminder to parish families who would
like their child to commence preparation for the
Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, that you
need to contact the parish office to book an
appointment to meet with Fr John Boyle. Enrolments
will be finalised following our ‘Presentation to the
Parish’ at all masses next weekend, 16th November.
Please ensure you have met with Fr John before
then. For more information contact Alice Bradshaw,
Sacramental Co-ordinator, on 9634 2622 (Mon &
Tue) or [email protected]
What: Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
Where: The Marian Centre
When: Wednesday evenings from 7.30 - 9pm.
For Whom: Anyone who is considering what it
means to be a Catholic Christian and may want to
join the Catholic faith community.
Please contact Sr Judy - Parish Office on 9634 2622.
Leading Teens
Closer To Christ
Youth & Young Adults Ministry
Life NIGHT tonight: Mission Possible! Find out our
mission; and its worth working for! Don't forget your
$2 donation!
More information? Please contact James Hay on
0403 933 732, Twitter: @StBernadettesYM,
Instagram: StBernadetteYouth or
[email protected]
Mount St Benedict Centre Chapel, 449D Pennant Hills
Road, Pennant Hills on Sunday 30th November.
3.30pm afternoon tea, 4.30-5.30pm Advent Festival.
Bookings essential: [email protected] or
9484 6208.
Doctors, Allied Health Workers, Carers and all who
care for the sick, at Sacred Heart Parish Westmead
on Saturday 22 November from 10.00am. – 3.00pm
(parish Mass at 9.00am). Suggested donation $10.
BYO Lunch. Tea & coffee provided.
The day will consist of a keynote address,
discussions, prayer times, quiet time, group sharing
and a closing liturgy. Reconciliation available.
The aim is for those in the caring professions to have
a time of prayer and recollection and be renewed in
their professional calling. For enquiries please contact
Michelle 47343150 b/h or [email protected]
meets on Thursday evenings 7.30pm in the Lourdes
Centre (Out of School Hours Care Centre), 31b
Brisbane Road, Castle Hill. (Follow the lighted
pathway). Newcomers very welcome. Contact Lesley
Maker 8677 8845, Mobile 0433 051 969: Email
[email protected]
KENTHURST: St Madeleines Parish is undergoing
research to test the viability of a proposed Catholic
Cemetery to be developed alongside their new church
and are seeking the feedback from Catholic
parishioners in surrounding areas. Please take 5
minutes to complete the survey online and have your
say. If you can please complete the survey as soon as
possible at
(this website differs from that in previous bulletins).
The sale of these products support the works of the
St Vincent de Paul Society.
St Bernadette’s Parish Community
Parish House, 367 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill, NSW 2154
Telephone 9634 2622 Fax 9899 3511 Email: [email protected]
Web page:
Parish Staff
Mass Times for this Week
Monsignor John Boyle, Parish Priest
Fr Eugene Szondi, Assistant Priest
Sun 7.30am, 9.00am, 10.30am &
Fr Michael Gathuku, Assistant Priest
6.00pm Parish LIFE TEEN Youth Mass
Sr Judy McLeod, rsm, Pastoral Associate
Weekdays Mon
Mrs Alice Bradshaw, Sacramental Co-ordinator
Mr James Hay, Youth Minister
6.45am, 9.15am
Mrs Frances Gallagher, Office Manager
6.45am, 9.15am
Mrs Monica Rubic, Parish Secretary (Finance: Mon-Thu)
6.45am, 9.15 am
Mr Darren Edwards, Maintenance
8.00 am
Reconciliation Sat 8.30am - 9.00am, 4.30pm - 5.30pm
Mass on Public Holidays at 8.00am
Baptisms and Marriages: By appointment only. Contact the Parish Office. Please note the Church law: Parents
are obliged to take care that infants are baptised in the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth or even before
it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it. [Can. 867 §1]
St Bernadette’s Parish School: Mrs Leanne Nettleton (Principal) 9634 2898
Acting Parish Council Administrator: Peter Grace 9659 5350
Sacramental Programme 2016 Information Nights - 12th & 13th October, 2015
Please pray for Winifred Connor, Ivan Mikulich, Ken Taylor, Terese Ng, Jean Atkinson and Jonathan
Blacklock who have died recently and for the anniversary of James Griffin.
Prayers for the Sick: Patrick Bowie, John Mulholland, Robert Ison, Elaine Rowe, Sr Bridie O’Connell,
Sandra Watson, Greta Meier, Robert Teoh, Victoria Gatt, Peter Yao, Archer Kemmis, Joe Rego, Sophie Maher,
Dorothy Barbour, Evelin Lockley, Dorothy Edhouse, Jan Heyworth and Avelina Ecarma.
ROSTERS FOR NEXT WEEKEND - 15 & 16 November, 2014
Dominic Parsons
Ray Scully
Cheryl Braisby
Sue McDonald, Iciar Quintana, Marjorie Orioles,
Harry Reyden, Monica & Matthew Fitzalan,
Kathleen & John Abernethy, John Geoghegan
Philip Myers, Reg Sinha
Vince Connelly
Jo Wickens
Joe Menezes
Paul Hennessey, Francesca Menezes, Remy Sie,
Bernard Rogers, Geoff Roney, Catherine Seddon
Melvyn Myers, James Tchang
Karin Abrams
Tim Abrams
Marianne Fidel
Minna Koo, Catherine Chan, John Hogan,
Vesna Rakuljic, Lisa Hurst, Joan Claxton, Gi Zenere,
Mike Reidy, Yvette Braganza
Sylvia Rego
Gemma Saccasan
Peter Saccasan
Mary & Jeyaraj Winslow, Crystal & Bernie Good,
Mark Street, Gaye Crammond, Lydia Flores,
Teresa Somasundram, Tim Long
Stephen MacMahon, Michael Lopez
Terry O’Mara, David Tye
Adult Server
Cassie Holden
Janina Cejka
Mystique Nelis
Patricia Wibisono
Dominic Jones
Erich Gracias Flor
Justin Abeleda
Martin Abeleda
Altar Servers
Josh Becker
Cassie Knezevic
Jacqui Holden
Natalie Jones
Nicholas Holden
Jamison Bonifacio
Kristen Mathias
Lauren Fernandez
Jana Fizely
Joanna Delvecchio
Karen D’Souza, Christine Garcia
Leader, Jana Fizely, Elena Neira
COUNTING (1st Collection)
Lorraine O’Mara
Bert & Helga Hofstaetter
COUNTING (2nd Collection)
Matthew Troy, Michael & Julie Puckeridge
Maureen Gain / Heather Woods / Bernadette Logue /
Nancy Eberhaut / Bernadette Boulos