A woman said to me on Wednesday, “The hardest thing about a seven day lockdown is the first fourteen days”.
Given we in Melbourne are extending our sixth lockdown for a second time, I thought it might be interesting to reflect a little this week on ‘locks’. As we know, a lock is a device that prevents something from being opened. Most locks require a key, combination code or a password to be opened.
In Melbourne we’ve got used to living in lockdown over the past twenty months.
A lockdown is a security measure either to keep people where they are or to keep others out. In prisons, a lockdown means prisoners are confined to their cells.
Some people are locked in for their safety. It is common in aged care facilities for dementia patients to be locked in. Sometimes children are locked in a classroom for their safety.
Of course Eddie Maguire introduced the term ‘lock it in’ with regard to having made a choice, now it is saved and cannot be changed
Mary of the Cross MacKillop
This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Mary Mackillop, Australia’s first official saint. It is good to recall something of her life and to note the part Julian Tenison Woods played in her life and mission.
Mary ‘s parents emigrated from Scotland and she was born in Melbourne, in January 1842. She was the eldest of eight children. One brother became a Jesuit priest and another a Good Samaritan sister. She was well educated but her father was often out of work. At age sixteen Mary began work as a clerk and helped support her family. Two years later she moved to Penola in South Australia, to become the governess to her Aunty’s children. She educated the children in her care and others who lived in poverty including aboriginal children.
Supporting children through Covid 19
This reflection was provided by Sr Brigid CP
It must be challenging being a parent, a grandparent, a teacher or a carer during this season. A few thoughts may help in relation to children.
What do you think children worry most about at this time? What does this season we are experiencing look like for children? It is important to remember that children are all different in how they experience and deal with emotions and like adults they will have many feelings and questions. Some children will mirror how their parents are dealing with issues.
1st World Day for Grandparents and Elderly: July 25th
A message from Pope Francis (abridged)
Dear Grandfathers and Grandmothers, Dear Elderly Friends, “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20): this is the promise the Lord made to his disciples before he ascended into heaven. They are the words that he repeats to you today, dear grandfathers and grandmothers, dear elderly friends. “I am with you always” are also the words that I, as Bishop of Rome and an elderly person like yourselves, would like to address to you on this first World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly.
Newly-appointed Passionist Family Group Movement National Coordinator Paul Traynor plans to reinvigorate and grow the almost-40-year-old organisation by reaching out to younger families, and inviting those from other cultures to join their family across Aotearoa.
“We cannot do what we do, and have done in the last 30 odd years, if it were not for the generosity of people like Rob and Lynn Hill, John and Mary Ellen (Leen) and Paul and Linda (Darbyshire),” Mr Traynor said. “Rob and Lynn became the first Directors of the Movement, and they maintained that role for 26 years, which is just extraordinary, and did a fantastic job,” he added. The Leens and the Darbyshires led the Movement in the last five years.
Many would have watched Luke’s Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday at ‘The Fort’ in Brisbane which coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Passionist Youth Team of which Luke was a member. The outdoor venue is used on Christmas Eve and overlooks the Brisbane river and across to Mount Coot-tha. Luke gave a wonderful homily highlighting the way a local Christian community can shape lives, as happened for him at the informal, welcoming and committed ‘Fort’ community. Festivities were restrained because of COVID, but we had an enjoyable sunny afternoon.
This week I am writing from Brisbane, where we are in lockdown until 6pm on Friday, and maybe beyond that. For the past sixteen months Ray Sanchez and Paul Mercieca have not seen another Passionist in Brisbane. At the present time, Chris Monaghan, Kevin Hennessy, Justin Durai-Raj and myself are all here in lockdown. Our visit has been very welcome for Ray and Paul and we are enjoying it too. For them it has gone from famine to feast for a few days. Chris expected to stay just one night and be back in Melbourne on Wednesday. I had planned to be here for a Mass with Luke on Wednesday and returning to Melbourne today. Kevin and Justin had planned to return on Monday after the Passionist Youth Team weekend, so that might still happen for them.
Most religions make a very clear distinction – running right though the cosmos – between the holy and the plain, between the sacred and the profane, and between religion and mundane, the ordinary. The religious has a character of permanence and solemnity, the world about us is tatty even if it is where we work and live. It is akin to the way we treat clothes: there is ordinary everyday working clothes that might be smart and practical, and then there are our special clothes – our glad rags, "best suit", or formal wear (which you hope you can still fit into) - that we get out for special occasions.
In preparing a session for the PFGM New Zealand national weekend, it occurred to use some of the learning about starling (and other bird) murmurations. The name comes from the sound made by the flapping wings of a large flock. How do hundreds or thousands of starlings manage to fly in such an amazingly coordinated way?
Any conversation about COVID-19 and ‘Lockdowns in Victoria’ is likely to bring out different opinions. This is pretty much true about any subject today – such as to vaccinate or not.
Any one of us can think or argue that how we see things, is the correct or only way for them to be seen. Of course, when we do look at a situation from a different point of view or see it how someone else does, we recognise that most often there is more than one point of view.