Vol 30 No 13 Palm Sunday 29 March 2015 Dear Parishioners and Visitors, St Mark’s account of Jesus’ Passion is telling us that there are two ways of understanding what is going on. The first is more obvious: his enemies are bringing about Jesus’ arrest, trial and execution. Even his friends betray, deny and desert him. The second way looks more deeply at the same events through the eyes of faith. And it sees God the Father at work carrying out his plan for the re-creation of us and our universe. Precisely through and in the life, suffering, death and resurrection of his Son, the Father is striking the decisive death blow to the reign of evil in our world and establishing the kingdom of God’s love in its place. Such is the power of God to bring good out of evil. That, I think, is what we are meant to be thinking about today. It is by reflecting on this power of God to bring good out of evil that we can learn to accept the hardships in our own lives and see God working in and through them to achieve the fulfilment of his plan – our sharing in the saving work of his Son, and therefore becoming fit for the company of God, his angels and saints in heaven. One final but important thought: Mark makes clear in his gospel that God can and does bring good not only out of “natural” evils, but even out of sin, as in today’s gospel. Do you remember Jesus’ words about the woman who poured ointment over his feet: “Her sins’ her many sins, must have been forgiven because she has loved so much.” Under the influence of God’s grace, even sin can lead to greater love. Fr Tom PARISH HAPPENINGS LOOKING AHEAD Monday 30 March - 7pm Italian Prayer Group – Church - 7.30 Parish Finance Meeting Tuesday 31 March - 9.30am Playgroup – Hospitality Area - 7pm Lenten Prayer Group - Library - 7pm Legion of Mary – AQ Rm - 7.30pm Parish Reconciliation Wednesday 1 April - 10am Craft Morning for Fete – Aquinas Room Thursday 2 April - 9.30am Playgroup – Hospitality Area Friday 10 April - 7.30pm 500 Card Group – Aquinas Room Please see timetable below for Easter Services Let us remember in prayer all those who are sick: Maureen Rynne, Christopher Moy, and Rex Bowen. Let us remember in prayer, Marie Johnston, Peter Neyland, Dorothy Ingledew, Helen Willis, Reba Aspinall and all whose anniversaries occur at this time. We pray for loved ones who have died recently: Daphne Hobson, Monika Oud “To err is human, to forgive is divine” I don’t know where I first heard that, but I have never forgotten it. Forgiving is God’s business, and he loves doing it. Nothing is clearer than that in the four gospels. We too can forgive each other because we have learnt it from God. Parish Ministries (my last piece in this series) In the ideal parish everyone knows that they have a role to play as a parishioner for the benefit of others. Discipleship means serving others, and we are a community of disciples. At Our Lady of Graces we have a vast number of ministry groups. And we probably all know that many parishioners have a ministry outside the structures of the parish, and these are necessary as well. It is good to regularly ask ourselves what benefits should our parish be bringing to the wider community we are part of. In our case the St Vincent de Paul Society comes immediately to mind, but there are many other ways of being of service to our community. Service, in fact, needs to be integrated into the mainstream life of our parish, rooted in prayer, and flowing from the Eucharist as a response to what we have received. There is nothing wrong with recognising and celebrating our achievements in service to others. In doing so we are honouring God who has chosen to continue his work of helping people through us. All we can do is to empty the gifts we have been given into the lives of others. Fr Tom And that brings us to 7.30pm next Tuesday, the 31st of March, when our parish will be celebrating the Second Rite of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will be celebrating being forgiven. Please join us. It won’t take too long. Easter Timetable Parish Reconciliation Tuesday 31 March 7.30pm Parish Second Rite Individual Reconciliation: Wednesday (1 April): 9.30am Good Friday (3 April): 11am & 4pm Holy Saturday (4 April): 11am & 3pm Easter Ceremonies: Holy Thursday: (2 April) Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7pm [Followed by Adoration of Blessed Sacrament until 10pm] Good Friday: (3 April) Stations of the Cross 10am Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 3.00pm Italian Stations of the Cross 7pm Holy Saturday: (4 April) Easter Vigil Mass: 7pm Italian Vigil Mass: 9.30pm Easter Sunday: (5 April) Mass: 7am, 9am, 5.30pm Mass in Italian at 10.30am Every Good Friday a collection is taken up in every Catholic Church around the world to support the people and places of the Holy Land. Christians of the Holy Land rely heavily on the help that comes to them during this special moment of the year. Please take an envelope home and return on Good Friday or put in any of the Sunday Collections. Parish Masses 2 April – 6 April Parishioners please remember that there are no morning Masses on Holy Thursday 2 April, Good Friday 3 April and Holy Saturday 4th April. The Easter Vigil is at 7pm instead of our regular 6pm Vigil Easter Monday 6 April there will be only one morning Mass at 8am. I am sure we have all experienced the wonderful feeling of knowing that we are once more on good terms with someone important to us, because they have made it clear, in some way or other, that they have forgiven us. Because that is surely true of all of us, it makes sense to come together sometimes, with people who are close to us, and celebrate the event of our being forgiven. It is something we all have in common. A Prayer (I found this prayer in the English Catholic Tablet last week and thought it was worth passing on – Fr Tom) O God, give me today a strong and vivid sense that you are by my side. In a crowd or by myself, in business and leisure, in my sitting down and my rising, may I always be aware of your presence beside me. By your grace, O God, I will go nowhere today where you cannot come, nor seek anyone’s presence that would rob me of yours. By your grace I will let no thought enter my heart that might hinder my closeness with you, nor let any word come from my mouth that is not meant for your ear… O Lord, the desired of all nations, in the knowledge of your love and power there is salvation for all the peoples of the earth. Quickly bring the day when our earthly society shall become the kingdom of Christ. John Baillie Project Compassion – 6th Sunday of Lent Unpredictable global weather patterns are having a devastating effect on Indonesian farmers who rely on the land (and weather) for their livelihoods. Until recently, the weather in Vinsen’s small farming village in West Timor has been quite stable. However, in the last few years changing weather patterns have made harvests unpredictable and unprofitable. To combat these changes, Vinsen enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture Program (supported by Caritas Australia) along with a group of farmers from his village. Together they’ve learnt to terrace land, harness water and grow sustainable food for life – regardless of the changing weather. Please donate to Project Compassion 2015 and help farmers in remote West Timor grow sustainable crops for life. 500 Card Group will now be held on Friday 10 April at 7.30pm in the Aquinas room instead of Friday 3 April as this is Good Friday. All are welcome to join us. 500th Birthday of Teresa of Avila "This month we remember the fifth centenary of the birth in Avila of St. Teresa of Jesus. Her spiritual force will encourage you, dear young people, to witness joyfully faith in your life ". Pope Francis March 28 will mark 500 years since the birth of Saint Teresa of Avila. The Pope will celebrate it by starting a global prayer for peace. Congratulations to the Dominican Laity on the organising and running of a very successful reflection morning last Saturday where over 50 people attend. St Martin’s Fete 31 May 2015 – Parish Stall A small group of parishioners are meeting each Wednesday morning at 10am in the Aquinas Room to make items for the stall, please come along and join us. For more information please call Eloma on 3343 7462. COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS Catholic Leader this week: * Mass with battered Port Vila community part of Caritas worker’s bitter-sweet experience in Vanuatu after cyclone * Young Catholics among huge crowd at first in a series of Scripture talks by Archbishop Coleridge * Nepalese visitor tells the story of his journey from child labourer to Caritas leader * David Brennan on Church’s opposition to the death penalty Catholic Leader, available every weekend from the church entrance, costs just $2 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s Calling on past students of St Martin’s School, (grandparents, parents, parishioners and friends) ANYONE who can help us celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our school. Do you have photos (class groups, communion, sports etc.) from your time at school that you could scan and email to [email protected]? Please include full name (maiden name), decade in which you attended school, teacher’s names etc. you might recall. We would like to display these at the Sunday Funday, 31st May this year so we can all take a walk down memory lane. If you have any items (craft work, certificates, newsletters, etc.) you would be willing to display please contact me. Please include arrangements for your collection of these items after the event. Kathy Bloxsom World Youth Day 2016 Information Nights If you’re interested in going to World Youth Day 2016 in Poland, please come along to one of our information night on Tuesday 14th April – 7 pm at Francis Rush Centre, Cathedral Place. For more information please contact us [email protected] Marriage Encounter Weekend 15 – 17 May For married couples at Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre, Ormiston (QLD). Contact: Maria or David Murphy [email protected] or phone 3342 1456. DEANERY TRIVIA NIGHT – Keep this night free Saturday 161h May 2015 at St Thomas’ Parish Hall, Stephen Street, Camp Hill. 7pm for 7.15pm start. $10 per person with tables of 10 people max. Theme – Touring the World. Cash Bar. BYO Nibbles for your table. Raffles, Lucky Door & Best Dressed Prizes. Bookings and payment to be made at our parish office by 8th May.
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