Three important notices this week!
An Interesting Gospel
In the Gospel this weekend, we hear the poignant story of the rich man and Lazarus. It most certainly is a poignant story – evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret – because we too, perhaps even unknowingly, have the capacity to act as the rich man in our own lives. To remedy this, the Bible encourages us to “stay awake, for you do not know the hour nor the day” (Mt 25:13). Indeed, the beauty of the God’s Word is that it contains stories through which God speaks to us, inviting us into a constant renewal of life as we die to our former selves and take up the new life of Baptism. In this sense, I would like to name something that we all struggle with – myself included – something which can place us in the shoes of the rich man: the fallacy that coming to Mass secures our ticket to heaven. Unfortunately, this thinking is sometimes part of our church culture if/when the practice of our faith does not include cultivating both a sense of community within, and outside, of our worshiping community.
This week, Youth Minister Felicity Jones, also shares her weekly reflection on this week’s Gospel reading.
Community Life Ministry – Dreaming Video
This weekend, in the third video of our Dreaming Series, we’ll listen to Eric Robinson, Associate Director of the Inclusion Team at Evangelisation Brisbane, share his dream about what a vibrant, inclusive Community Life ministry could look like in parishes. This will hopefully be one of the best-responded-to videos in our series, but it takes your effort to share your dream about what this ministry could look like in our parish. I myself have a dream that our Community Life ministry will cultivate a desire for all people to belong within the faith community by facilitating experiences of connection and participation. This ministry celebrates the gift of Jesus’ presence whenever two or more are gathered. What is your dream for this important ministry area?
During the week, it was encouraging to read the different responses to our Faith & Formation ministry (the second of seven videos of our different ministry areas in our Dreaming Series leading up to the Parish Summit and strategic planning on 5 November). The hopes and dreams that people have for this ministry in our parish, some of which include, growing in knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures and teachings of our Church; and that all parishioners, of all ages and interests, learn to know their Catholic faith and catechism teachings, is promising.
Again, I look forward to reading the responses from our third ministry area this weekend: Community Life Ministry. Please find 2 minutes of your time to share your hopes and dreams about Community Life here.
It’s time – Jubilee Mass is upon us!
Next weekend, we’ll celebrate our Parish Golden Jubilee Mass at the OLR Primary School covered area on Alfred St, Shelly Beach, just around the corner from the church. This event will be a good indicator of where we are at in our journey of becoming one parish with many communities. Honestly, thinking about how to encourage unity in a large and diverse parish like ours keeps me up some nights but I’m confident that most parishioners will gather to celebrate together.
Just a reminder that there are two options for gathering before the Jubilee Mass starts.
Option 1: people gather outside OLR church at 8.15am for bagpipes, followed by the 8.30am blessing of the newly renovated Parish Centre and half-completed covered outdoor area by Archbishop Mark Coleridge. If you are able, you can then follow Rosary Procession from OLR church, down the back street and across the grass oval to the covered area. If mobility is a challenge, you could gather for the bagpipes and blessing, then make your own way through the school, following the footpath, down to the covered area.
Option 2: Those with more significant mobility challenges will park on the street (28 Alfred St), and be seated in the covered area by 9.15am. This group will wait for the Rosary Procession to join as we pray the fifth decade all together before the Acknowledgement of Country and start of Mass at 9.30am.
We are many communities, but it’s the unity of our 50-year-old parish which we mark next weekend on 2 October. I look forward to celebrating this important occasion in the life of our parish with as many people as possible.
Wishing you peace & blessings,
Fr Josh Whitehead