Come Away Days – review
The Come Away team had their annual review last week. As a result of feedback received from participants, there was enthusiasm for the five days that were help. It was agreed to keep the content relevant and related mainly to significant liturgical seasons or ‘events’. The team will be a little smaller, so it was suggested the content be streamlined without excessive handouts, although some of these could be made available via email after the day as happened this year.
Come Away Days – review
I meant to include this video link below (Advent dialogue) in yesterday’s newsletter, so here is that link and some additional material.
A little over a week ago, our Vietnamese student Tri interviewed Erick and religion teacher Shane Taylor from Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg on the topic ‘Where do you find Hope and Peace in the midst of Suffering’. Apart from rich insights and sharing from Shane and Erick, Tri’s expertise as interviewer and film editor, is clearly on display. You can paste the link into Google search.
Cracked Pots – a parable A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.Read More
Last Monday night Fr Tom gave a comprehensive report accounting for what the Province has done in response to the 2019 Provincial Chapter and looking ahead to the Chapter in July 2023. Our Chapter back in 2019 followed the 2018 Congregational General Chapter held in Rome. Chris Monaghan was invited to give the opening address at tat General Chapter and on Monday night Tom quoted a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, that Chris used in the address.
One ship sails East, and another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails And not the gales,
that tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea are the waves of time, As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
that determines the goal,
and not the calm or the strife.
This Sunday we begin a new liturgical year (Year A). The weekly gospel reading will be from Matthew. Advent is a season of joy, during which we are called to prepare our hearts as if for the arrival of Jesus into our lives for the first time.
The advent wreath helps us to focus on ‘staying awake’ through the deepening of four virtues over the four weeks of Advent – hope, peace, joy and love. In the first week we focus on HOPE. What we hope for is not what we wish for. We might wish for the weather to be good or for COVID infections to cease. Hope is different. It is an expectation built on trust. This is why people can still hope when all hope appears to be gone. St Paul wrote from his experience, “suffering creates perseverance, perseverance creates character and character creates hope”. (Romans 5:3-5)Read More
Chris Mithen – 90
Fr Chris is residing at Nazareth House, Camberwell. He will celebrate his 90th birthday on Saturday November 19th. We are having a morning Tea in the dining room at Holy Cross on Tuesday November 22nd at 10.30am-12.00pm. You are most welcome to call in and have a cuppa and celebrate with Chris.
When I was a novice, Chris was the Novice Director and during a conference and conversation in his office, he challenged me to find out his birthday. I told him I already knew. Next he asked, what about the date of my ordination? It was unlikely I would know the answer, but I told him June 30th, 1956. The tables were turned as I invited him to work out how I knew because I did not know when I entered his office. I had noticed a pen on his desk which had engraved on it italic script: 30-06-1956. In the end, I had to tell him about the pen. It was very rare to get one up on such a canny character.Read More
I wrote this brief article for the spring newsletter of the PFGM. I was sitting on a train a few days ago and it was interesting to try to distinguish those passengers who were related to one another, from those who were strangers. For most, there were long periods of time when it was impossible to tell the difference. So many had the eyes fixed on their phones and their ears plugged to block out local noise.
For such an advanced species, is this really how we communicate today? Locked in to people or events far away, and blind to those around us!
It seems COVID-19 has assisted this backward step because not only are people gathering less, visiting less and hosting less, they are also connecting less with family and friends. Even a phone call to see how aged or unwell friends are managing, has become too much effort for some. Despite warning that this era might be called ‘the age of loneliness’ and COVID-19 has made this worse, we Christians might need to look at our responsibility to CONNECT.Read More
During Mass this Sunday Nov 6th we will remember and pray for deceased family members and friends. A Power Point presentation after communion will include photos. For that Mass you are welcome to write names of people to pray for on a piece of paper and place them on the altar before Mass.
Our prayer highlights the communion of humankind, living and deceased as we seek full union with God, just as our ancestors did, and we remain hopeful that others will in time, continue such a hope and pray for us. Ancient peoples have always believed in the connectedness and sacredness of all life forms, and that our family includes ancestors and descendants. This family includes all those we have known and loved – those who loved us into life and those who passed on their faith to us. They include the Holy Cross family.Read More
‘The Tablet’ has reported on the clerical situation in Ireland, which is mirrored here in Australia and in our own Province. New figures in Ireland show that a quarter of all priests currently serving in the Irish Church are expected to retire over the next 15 years. 547 priests of the 2,100 working priests in the Irish Church are aged between 61 and 75 and nearly 300 (15%) of working priests are aged 75 or over. They serve in 1,355 parishes and 2,652 churches or mass centres.
Across all 26 Irish dioceses, fewer than 2.5 per cent of working priests are younger than 40 and there are only 47 seminarians (representing an average maximum of 8 potential ordinations per year)
PROVINCE HISTORY: 9. REVIEWED STRATEGIC PLANNING (Part 1)
As outlined in Chapter Eight, the Province embarked on a ten-year Strategic Plan in 1997. Expert assistance was acquired and various surveys were undertaken. Some aspects of the Plan began immediately, while other elements were planned to take up to five years to begin and not reach their full implementation for up to ten years’. An attempt was made to describe the nature and purpose of each community and the number of professed men who might be living there when the plan was realized by 2006. These numbers for each community or ministry were proposed in light of the projected numerical strength of the Province.
The vision of the plan called us to see ourselves first as the one Province Community and not just separate local communities. The appointment of men to a local community was to be in light of each person's willingness to actively support the life and mission of that community, and support the wider mission of the Province. Underpinning the plan was that community life is the foundation of our mission and that our future would be tied to collaborative ministry with laity and other religious.Read More