WORDS FROM OUR PARISH PRIEST
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5th Sunday of Easter Year B – 2 May 2021
Dear brothers and sisters,
The context of today’s Gospel is towards the end of the last supper or even on the road from the upper room and the garden of Gethsemane. On the way they might have passed a vineyard when Jesus uses the image of the vine to teach his disciples about unity. He was aware that in a few hours, they would be scattered when he was arrested. Jesus wants to teach them the importance of being united in the face of adversity. Despite their weakness he does not despair, but helps them to realize that if they wanted to be able to be effective disciples, then they needed to be rooted in him.
When we look at the word unity a number of ideas come to mind. We think of togetherness, strength and solidarity with one another. When we talk of strength we can think of a single strand of string but when you put a number of strands together you get a rope which is strong. When it comes to togetherness we think of support of one another and when you think of solidarity you can think of supporting one another. This is what Jesus was hoping for his disciples to strive for in their relationship with each other and what they would long for in their relationship with him.
Disunity would cause them to be weak, with no support. They would be like the branch of the vine that is cut off, which then, is cast away and slowly dies. It is a gradual process. There is still some nourishment in the branch, but with no way of replenishing that nourishment, that food within them slowly gets less and less until all is used up and then death occurs. This was not the wish of Jesus for the disciples.
We are grafted to Jesus, the true vine, by our baptism. At first, we are very fragile in our faith, but as time goes by and we are nourished by the Eucharist that we celebrate each week, we are made stronger and we become more rooted in Christ. It is both the Living Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ that gives us the necessary sustenance that we require to become good disciples of Christ. At times our faith is tested and this is where God prunes us so that we can become better disciples of Christ. The fruit of our faith is more abundant and we show more faith, love, compassion, hope and mercy. These are the fruits that our Lord is speaking about in the Gospel of today.
As a community of people we are invited by Christ to strive to be united with one another and be supportive of each other in our common goal of giving praise and worship of Christ, in the society of today. We might have disagreements or different opinions of certain matters of faith, but the call is still to be rooted in the Lord and make sure that he is the very centre of our faith. Christ needs to be our deepest longing in our lives, that it is he that gives us the grace to be true witnesses of the Lord in today’s society.
4th Sunday of Easter Year B – 25 April 2021
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday. It is a day where we pray in a special way for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life.
When we think of a shepherd, what images come to mind? We think of a caring, concerned, gentle and loving person. He or she is a person who looks after creatures that are vulnerable. In the Gospel, we read about Jesus being the Good Shepherd. In fact, many times Jesus refers to being a shepherd throughout the Gospels. What we read about in today’s Gospel, is that Jesus is that shepherd, concerned and loving to all the people of God. He is a person who not only reaches out to the religious leaders and even more to what we would consider to be the strays of society. People like the tax collectors, the sick, the gentiles. His objective is to encourage all people to come closer to a relationship with God. This, at times, angered the Pharisees and Scribes, but Jesus was resolute in his quest to show the outcasts of society that they were important. This outreach doesn’t end with Jesus ascending back to the Father, in fact, he provides for future generations to be part of God’s kingdom by sending out his disciples with the instruction to go out into their world and baptise people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. They in their turn pass on the same instruction to their disciples. This has happened down through the ages until the present.
The call continues to happen, even today, as we celebrate Vocations Sunday. This is the day where we, as a Church, need to look at the relationship with the Lord and ask ourselves, “What am I doing to promote vocations in my own community?” We might wonder what can I do. One of the most important things we can do is to pray for vocations. Prayer is very vital if we are going to inspire men and women to consider a vocation to the priesthood or to religious life. Another important attitude is to have an open mind when it comes to vocations. If a person speaks to us about the possibility of joining the priesthood or religious life, then we need to encourage that person not and discourage them by saying things like, Why, there is no money in that or if it is a child of mine saying no because I want grandchildren. This would be a very negative attitude. We, as a community, need at this time to admit that we are facing a number of scandals in the Church at the moment, because of the abuse that has happened, and maybe still happening in the Church today and has been covered up. As a Church, apology needs to be made and we need to pray and take active measures to root it out of the Church. The Archdiocese has implemented protocols in which these issues can be addressed and dealt with in a just way. This need not make us despondent, because the Lord is still calling and there are many good men and woman who have a great respect for their neighbour. The problem of vocations is not only the Bishop’s problem or the priest, but in fact, it is a problem for the whole Christian community, because, as we need parishioners to make up the Church community in a certain area, but we also need good priests and religious in order to lead that community as a humble shepherd of service and not as a dominant figure who Lord’s it over others.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, let us pray together as a community and pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
3rd Sunday of Easter Year B – 18 April 2021
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Easter. It is also a special day in the life of the Parish. On Saturday, one of the parishioners of St Ignatius received her First Holy Communion and on Sunday, eight parishioners will receive their First Holy Communion at St Bernard’s. We congratulate them all and pray that they will continue to always have great respect for our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. I am sure that many of us can remember our own First Communion and it is good for us from time to time to reflect on the importance of the Eucharist in our lives today. Do we still have that great zeal and love for the receiving of Communion that we had when we made our First Communion? Communion is more than just receiving the Holy Eucharist; it is a celebration of our communion with one another. It gives us an identity as a communion of one belief and faith. In our communion with one another, we express our common belief that the risen Lord is present to us in his Body and Blood.
When we look at our celebration of the Holy Mass, which is the highest prayer and worship we can give to God our Father, because it is the offering of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Our Lord, we are fed in two ways. Firstly, we are fed with his Holy Word, which is proclaimed to us when we proclaim passages from the scriptures and the gospels, which is then broken open for us in the Homily. In this, the Lord feeds us his teachings that are there to guide us to come close to our Father in Heaven. Jesus gives us the message that we should internalize in order to live a life worthy of being called disciples of Christ and lead us towards eternal life. Secondly, we are fed with the Body and Blood of Christ where our souls are given nourishment and lets Christ be present to us in a special and unique way. Christ becomes, through our reception of his Body and Blood, part of our spiritual life. We share with Christ in his sacrifice of his Body and Blood as the eternal covenant with God, our Father. The receiving of the Eucharist should draw us closer to God and lead us towards the eternal banquet where we will be united to the Lord in his beatific vision.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, this is a time when we have a wonderful opportunity to assess our situation of our relationship with God by reflecting how important is the Holy Mass to me at this time. In this time of pandemic, we have had to maybe sacrifice in keeping away from attending Mass and joining in online. Although this is good, we must realize that this must not lead us to be satisfied with just watching Mass online, but rather lead us to pray for the day when we can again, one day, attend Mass in person and join our fellow parishioners in coming together and expressing our communion with one another as a worshiping community and physically receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord in Holy Communion.
ST BERNARD’S & ST IGNATIUS
Mass is once again open to public, but with restricted numbers. Our parish according to the restrictions and protocols of the government and our Archdiocese is limited to 50 attendees. Please book to avoid disappointment.
Mass at St Ignatius is on Saturday evenings at 5.00pm, Sunday mornings at 10.30am and Wednesday mornings at 9.00am
Mass at St Bernard’s is on Sunday mornings at 9.00am & Sunday evenings at 6.00pm, Tuesday mornings at 9.00am, Thursday evenings at 5.00pm and Friday mornings at 9.00am
MAY 2021 MASS INTENTIONS
Sat 1 Pothier Mortuary List
Sun 2 Pro Populo / Special Intention
Mon 3 No Mass
Tue 4 Mortuary List
Wed 5 Mortuary List
Thu 6 Tony Da Costa Intention /Pro populo
Fri 7 Manuel Araujo Intention/ Deceased members of Walter Family
Sat 8 Mario Bui RIP
Sun 9 Angelet Freese Intention/ Mothers
Mon 10 No Mass
Tue 11 Don Juan Luca Intention
Wed 12 Mortuary List
Thu 13 Mortuary List
Fri 14 Rudi Syfrets Intention
Sat 15 Davis & Paitaki Family Living & Deceased
Sun 16 All Emergencies Services / Pro Populo
Mon 17 No Masss
Tue 18 Edwin Rosslind RIP
Wed 19 Mortuary List
Thu 20 Mortuary List
Fri 21 Special Intention
Sat 22 Mario Bui RIP
Sun 23 George Mandalois Intention
Mon 24 No Mass
Tue 25 Caleb Stellenboom RIP
Wed 26 Mortuary List
Thu 27 Special Intention
Fri 28 Mortuary List
Sat 29 Special Intention
Sun 30 Romolo Ciolli RIP
Mon 31 No Mass
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We remember in our prayers those who have gone before us:
18 March 2020 – Marjorie Van Rensburg
13 June 2020 – Yvonne Beckam
13 November 2020 – Edmund Peter Nasson
12 January 2021 – Christopher Shelmerdine
4 March 2020 – Henry Hugo
5 May 2020 – Stephanie Poezyn
May 2020 – Maurizio Allugrecia
19 June 2020 – Cecil Bradley
20 July 2020 – Paul Dobson
8 August 2020 – Jacqueline Petersen
9 August 2020 – John Kellett
1 December 2020 – Patrick Moore
15 February 2021 – Sandra Nel
18 February 2021 – Theresa Naidoo
2 March 2021 – Eve Griesson
25 March 2021 – Colin Burgess