Dear Passionist Family Group members and friends,

It is a worrying time across the planet and there are a multitude of reactions and responses some positive and some very negative.  Those negative ones continue to get the most airplay and of those we have the horror and injustice facing Ukraine. It still astounds how the few who have power can be so arrogant and abusive towards others and be the cause of so much devastation and loss of life. While those in power continue the human tragedy taking the loss of humans and their homes as a necessity to meet their own ends. Its just wrong no matter what way you look at it.

This move on Ukraine has seen 3 million people leave and what a generous and hospitable people Poland has been and others. A complete contrast to the horror of war with its bitterness, selfishness and murderous ways. It is hard to see positives and to have hope but people flee and others take them in and care for them that is hope in action.

“Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; Rather look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things.” St Francis de Sales.

I am sorry to preface this letter with the Ukraine crisis but it is the real deal and my heart goes out of the people and all those supporting. Little people doing great things through what the gospel implores us to, love and serve with ‘compassion’. I am humbled each day by the courage, sacrifice and leadership that has been shown and lived. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayer.

On a lighter note, I had a wonderful time with the Holy Cross community in Melbourne where I had a good catch up with Brian and got some IMovie assistance from Chris Monaghan. Yes, I am still learning but making headway. Got some work done and did some work around the grounds and joined the community in prayer and Eucharist daily. We have some lovely meals and sharing.

It was great to be with such a diverse group  John (China) and Tri (Vietnam) are studying, Erick from (Burundi) – Erick has just finished up as PP of Passionist Parish of Marrickville in Sydney and is helping out at Holy Cross before undertaking a human leadership course which starts in April. Br. Jerome has been unwell but on the road to recovery. He is just amazing and continues to look after the gardens and is quite the expert; Chris Monaghan President and Lecturer at Yarra Theological College – he’s been at the helm for 13 years. He also does the online Eucharist each week as well as looking after bees and the local environment and Brian Traynor (Leader of the Community) who has so many jobs I don’t know how he keeps it all going. His health is a concern currently but hopefully over the next few weeks things will improve.

Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayer. It’s a great team and there is so much on their respective plates to keep the place going. Covid hasn’t helped much but there are so many people supporting. Many will remember Tim Horlock who is going well as is his partner Tina (she’s just recovering from Covid). Kevin and Cathy Winterburn whom I have been friends for 40 plus years. I am now safely back in NZ and starting to reflect and work on a few things from my times in Oz.

Have a good week – God go with you. Paul

Supporting Ukraine in Crisis: This maybe an organisation worthy of support. I listened to a program yesterday and was quite interested in what and how they support people through this innovative and far reaching initiative which has been operating internationally for 20 years. They are currently involved with the people fleeing Ukraine.

    Third Sunday of Lent Year C, 20 March 2022                              

    Scripture reflection: God of compassion and love

Lectionary readings
First reading: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 102(103):1-4, 6-8, 11
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Link to readings – click here

In the scriptures this week, we read of God’s self-revelation and of his relationship with his people. This relationship is one of great love, but also contains an awareness of our fragility. Hence we heard of God’s warnings, his continuous forgiveness and patience, and his offers to us to start again.

The First Reading from Exodus recounts the call of Moses and the revelation of God’s sacred name. St Paul, in the Second Reading, reminds us that, although we are baptised, we too can fall, as the chosen people did, despite being guided by Moses.

Jesus, in the Gospel, calls us to repentance, but reminds us, in the parable of the fig tree, that God is slow to anger and rich in mercy. We can therefore join with the Psalmist in praise and thanksgiving to the God of compassion and love.

Perhaps this week, we can allow our readings to remind us not to be complacent, but to listen to God’s word and never forget his blessings.


Why are bakers so rich? They make so much dough.

I’m really excited for the amateur autopsy club I just joined. Tuesday is open Mike night!

I can’t find my ‘Gone in 60 seconds’ DVD. It was here a minute ago.

What do call a criminal landing an airplane? ConDescending.

Why does Waldo wear a striped shirt? Because he doesn’t want to be spotted.

How do you get a blind person to see? Usually by boat.

How was Rome split in two? With a pair of Ceasars.

What kind of doctor is Dr. Pepper? A fizzici —– An Irish Heart