FebRUARY 2016 - LENT
Lent is not Christmas that has just gone, nor is it Easter that has yet to come. Lent is a special season of its own. It has something profound to offer – peace. From the joy of Christmas let’s find peace in Lent so that we can fully celebrate Easter.
Don’t be grumpy
It’s easy to snap out and be cutting when we are grumpy. It doesn’t take much to neglect family and friends when there are so many demands on our time. When negative things happen we get stuck in the opposite of peace – despair.
Turning despair to peace takes time. Lent gives us that time. Lent is a time of going without the things that distract, giving to others, making space for prayer, finding reconciliation. We don’t find peace on our own. It comes to us with the help of God, with the help of God’s sacrament of reconciliation.
Frs Gregory and Sanele are here for us. When you need them over Lent for confession, they will be there for you.
When you have identified what is not feeling right, what is bothering you and starting to contaminate you, simply tell either Fr Gregory or Fr Sanele that you would like to share what is troubling you and be reconciled.
The best place for you to receive the sacrament of reconciliation may be in one or our churches, our priests’ offices or your own home. Share your troubles, share your sorrow for your sins and be ready for the peace that comes with absolution.
Frs Sanele and Gregory are keen gardeners. Fr Sanele is known for his magnificant roses. Fr Gregory planted Christmas lilies just before he got sick. As he recovered they bloomed in a riot of glorious colour.
Flowers need gentle nurturing, encouragement and good conditions free of contaminates. So do our souls. Fasting, works of charity, prayer and reconciliation are the things that help us to bloom.
Give your life back to Him
By Max Fuhrer
We can boast about what we are giving up for Lent and then every Sunday indulge, as it’s a feast day! We end up kidding ourselves.
Of course a time of fasting and prayer is a good chance to expel a few demons that plague us (Mk 9:29) but we must replace old habits with new ones or we will end up worse than before (Mat 12:43 – 45).
Maybe the secular meaning of Lent is better - Lent: grant to (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it shall be returned.
If we understand that our very life has been given us, “for in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Act 17:28), then we could slowly but surely give our life back to Him.
In regards to our life: Jesus is either Lord of all or not Lord at all.
Why did Jesus have disciples?By Julie Marshall
Ever thought about why Jesus didn’t just do everything Himself?
After all, He could have appeared and disappeared whenever he felt like it. He knew He could do it better than anyone and it would sure save time.
So why did He tell Peter to go “feed my sheep?” the disciples to use the powers - He gave them - to heal and to cast out unclean spirits? Why did He tell the disciples to feed the crowds themselves? Why did He send them out in twos to the lost sheep to preach the Kingdom, to share their peace? And the real biggy – why at 33 years did He die, and leave His chosen job to a real mishmash of human beings?
We think we have the divine authority to do all sorts of things on our own with no interference. In fact as we grow older and “even my tired is tired” we choose to do things ourselves because it saves legs as well as time.
Jesus will take what food we have – like the loaves and fishes – and he will do the rest.
So come on, give it a go, young or old we need you in our new parish to serve in our Ministries; to serve in Ministry of:
To get on a roster talk to Marianne Kraft at the parish office. You can call her on 388 6953 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Journey to Calvary with Mary
Holy Cross old girl Sr Mary Scanlon, after a nursing career that included being part of the team that established the Mary Potter Hospice, has published a book.
Here she shares with us from her new book, Mission of Love. The item she has chosen to share is a reflection on John 19:25 “near the cross of Jesus stood his mother”
One of the hardest things in life is to walk the journey of intense suffering with someone we love dearly. Such suffering engulfs our every part, mind and spirit as well as body, so that it is often referred to clinically as ‘total pain’; a wonderfully descriptive yet heart-wrenching term. Mary walking with Jesus must surely have experienced all the emotions that go with the journey: helplessness, overwhelming grief, the pain of anticipatory loss, and so much more. The journey also highlights our own mortality, and the acute awareness that we ourselves will walk a similar path one day.
Perhaps the one experience that Mary did not have, as we may have, was that of hopelessness. It seems to me that, despite the horror and desperation of Jesus’ agony, Mary knew without a shadow of doubt that his death was not the end but a new and glorious beginning for all humankind. Thinking further about the Passion journey of Jesus and Mary, I slowly recognised one thing: Mary had to share the journey with the ‘world’. No matter how extroverted we are, we all need times to be in solitude during such a journey, and I think Mary never had that privilege. Jesus’ life was crowded with other people – those who hated him, those who loved him, those who depended upon him, those who admired him and those that didn’t, the critical, the tolerant, the sick, the needy, the depressed, the oppressed, the plain old curious. Never really alone.
Surely Mary’s suffering was compounded by this crowd. To return to her intrinsic hopefulness and joy in the midst of all the suffering, we ourselves can only turn to her for direction when our journey is at its hardest.
What is Alpha? In last year’s parish survey people said they wanted a more outward looking church. Critical feedback included interest in greater involvement of younger parishioners, hope and support for future generations’ involvement, greater support to our two colleges and praise for their achievements, youth participation in music groups, encouragement for families to pray together, and a strong focus on evangelization.
Alpha is a starting point for these things.
Alpha is simply an idea, a story and a tool. A proven format to running successful Alpha sessions includes: food, a short video or live talk about parenting and faith, and a space to share thoughts in small groups in open discussion with trained hosts facilitating the conversation.
27 million people have done Alpha in 169 countries and 112 languages. If that many people have done it, it must be time to try it out at Holy Trinity.
Three teams have been coming together to run the Alpha programme. One team for each of our communities.
When the programme is up and running there will be two discussion streams. For parents there will be discussion on mastering the most important job on earth: raising children. At the same time there will be discussion on exploring the depths of the faith dimension.
Alpha has brought faith to many people and helped many others deepen their faith. However, Alpha is not RCIA.
…so what’s RCIA?
By Gary Finlay
One of the Values identified by parishioners for our new Holy Trinity Parish is ‘Missionary’. To be missionary is to spread the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is not something that only happens in far-off lands. It is happening right here, right now and we can all be involved.
We are all used to the baptism of infants and the programmes in each parish for children making their First Reconciliation and Holy Communion. What we may forget is that every year many people throughout the world join the Catholic Church as adults. Since 1972 the Church has provided a process for such people. It is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
This Rite involves a process of four stages and a number of rites. But, more on that next month.
Free to you
By Clare Sullivan
“Where love and loving kindness are together, God is in their midst.” Students of St Catherine’s College would like to offer their services free of charge to assist parishioners of Holy Trinity Parish, College families and the wider community, whatever their need – gardening, lawn-cutting, tidying and general housework, stripping wallpaper, painting fences, Church working-bees, washing windows, delivering a meal to families with a new-born, grocery-shopping or visiting the sick or elderly, etc. Please contact the College office or the Capuchin Friars with any requests or suggestions. We have a very large number of enthusiastic students waiting eagerly to be of assistance.
At the beginning of last year, I initiated a new group at St. Catherine’s College, with the sole aim of helping those in our community in any way we could. Immediately many girls were on board, so many in fact that there were not enough tasks to give everyone! This group of almost 30 girls offered
their time to carry out tasks which would otherwise have proved too difficult or burdensome. Between us we have been grocery shopping, washing windows, spring cleaning, vacuuming cars, gardening and even made sandwiches to help cater for a church event. It has been wonderful meeting people in our community. In many instances it was the elderly who required our assistance and we cherished the opportunity to bridge the age gap. Our SCC girls gave of their time generously and cheerfully, and appreciated the kindness, hospitality and conversation from the people they helped. Often it was ‘word of mouth’ from those who received help, which provided us with more opportunities to help others, and it was always lovely to receive such positive feedback from those whom we had helped! I would like to particularly thank Fr. Ephrem and Fr. Gregory for their wonderful and continuous support throughout last year, and for the prayerful support of the parish. A big thank you also to all of the wonderful parents who transported their daughters to the various places where help was needed. Finally, I thank all those girls who gave up their free time to help others in need, and with such a cheerful spirit! God bless you all.
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