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Father’s Day Message

Father’s Day Message

We give our thanks, Creator God, for the fathers in our lives. Fatherhood does not come with a manual, and reality teaches us that some fathers excel while others find it challenging. We ask for Your blessings for them all and forgiveness where it is needed.

This Father’s Day we remember the many sacrifices fathers make for their children and families, and the ways—both big and small—they lift children to achieve dreams thought beyond reach.
So too, we remember all those who have helped fill the void when fathers pass early or are absent; step fathers and foster fathers, grandfathers and uncles, brothers and cousins, teachers, priests and coaches and the women of our families. For those who are fathers, we ask for wisdom and humility in the face of the task of parenting. Give them the strength to do well by their children and by You. In union with St Joseph, whom you entrusted with Your Son, we ask your generous blessing today and every day. Amen

The Parish Pastoral Council, Frs Jude, Silvio, Mario and Brendan and Dcn Royden wish all our fathers a happy and blessed Father’s Day .

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A happy Saint James Feast Day to all in our parish community, and to all those who journey with us.

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, due to COVID, we cannot gather as a community for this special celebration dedicated to our Patron Saint.

Our Feast Day provides us with an opportunity to look back and give thanks for the vision and loving service of our pioneers and welcome those who have recently joined our parish community. It is also a time for us to pause and give thanks, for the struggles and joys of the past and to look forward in hope to our future.

We remember those who for some time were part of the journey with us and have now either died or now form part of other parishes. We remember those who are struggling under the weight of isolation that these COVID lockdowns are imposing on us.

Our patron St James had to learn the importance of servant leadership; Jesus reminded him that he ought not get caught in the trappings of the earthly understanding of rankings, but that serving others is how we are called to love our neighbours. As missionary disciples may we find strength in the zeal James showed in following Christ, and imitate his courage as we continue to spread the faith in these present times.

Please join us for our Feast Day Mass online, which will be live streamed on Sat 24 July at 6pm.  Link will be on the front page of the Parish website (https://www.stjamesapostlehcn.com.au) to either YouTube or Facebook.

On behalf of Fr Silvio and the Parish Council may I take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing love, care and support.

I wish you all a very happy and blessed feast of St James.

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp
Parish Priest.

 

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Dear Parishioners of St James,

Greetings! Here we are finding ourselves as Victorians in another snap lockdown, the fifth of its kind! Please be reassured of our solidarity with you at this difficult time. On behalf of Frs Silvio, Brendan, Mario, Dcn Royden and the parish council, I write to remind you all of our Parish Feast Day on Sunday 25th July. We celebrate the martyrdom, in the year 44 AD, of St James the Apostle, patron saint of our Parish and of one of our Parish Primary Schools. Usually, on this day, we would gather as one family to celebrate with a special Eucharist around the table of the Lord and our Parish Party. For obvious reasons, for yet a second time, we are unable to come together for this celebration. While we may not be able to come together physically, we will still celebrate a special Eucharist dedicated to our Patron Saint. At this stage we cannot determine what will happen in a week’s time, hopefully we will be able to be present in our newly renovated church home; if this is not possible, we will certainly be able to celebrate, in a limited way, through live-stream on our parish YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/c/StJamestheApostlehcn) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stjamesapostlehcn) pages. We were planning to enjoy some light refreshments, with the traditional cutting of the feast day cake, after the 10:30am Mass, but, for the moment, all this is on hold awaiting further announcements.

During these difficult times there is a piece of good news as, together with St Peter’s Mission parish, we have started an Alpha programme. This is a series of interactive sessions that create a safe and honest space where people can explore life, faith and meaning. A number of parishioners have responded to our invitation and the programme started last Tuesday. This will be another opportunity of renewal and growth in our parish community. Thank you to Fr Silvio and Dcn Royden for participating in this eleven week programme.

Wishing all at St James Primary School and St James parish the blessings of a happy feast day.

Go gently

Fr Jude M Pirotta mssp pp

 

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On the great feast of Pentecost, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli​ has written to all the faithful of Melbourne, inviting the community into a conversation on how we might discern our common mission for the years ahead. He reflects that the way of the Gospel – the path of missionary discipleship – has always been adapted by every generation to fit the local circumstances. And so now, in our time and place, how might we invite people into the fullness of the Gospel of life, and do so with a renewed sense of vibrancy and vitality?

You can find a copy of his letter HERE.

 

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Mother’s Day Message

Dear Lord, today I turn to you to give you thanks for my mother. With your own gift of life, she bore me in her womb and gave me life. She tenderly, patiently cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. She read to me and made me laugh. No one delighted in my successes more; no one could comfort me better in my failures. I am so grateful for how she mothered me and mentored me, and even disciplined me.

Please bless her, Lord, and comfort her. Help her loving heart to continue to love and give of herself to others. Strengthen her when she is down and give her hope when she is discouraged.

 

To all the mothers in our Parish Community we say thanks for the many ways you model the love of Christ in our lives.  We wish you a very peace-filled and special day.

Fr Jude, Fr Silvio, Fr Mario, Fr Brendan,
Dcn Royden and the Parish Council.

 

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Dear Parishioners and non-Parishioners,

On behalf of the Young Paulists of St. James the Apostle Parish, I would like to immensely thank you for your kind support in purchasing the Hot Cross Buns. A total of $2310 was raised.

I trust you will enjoy them with your family and friends and would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very joyous and peaceful Easter season. May the Risen Lord fill our hearts with faith, hope and love.

Again, sincere and heartfelt thanks.

Anthony Muscatello
Young Paulists Leader

 

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Dear Parish Family at St James the Apostle,

If there is one thing that COVID has taught us, it is this: that this great Easter mystery cannot be lived in isolation. It requires the bonds of community to support us and to challenge us. Every Sunday the Church gathers us as the Body of Christ at the Table of God’s Word and celebration of the Eucharist. We gather every Sunday as active participants in the life of our Resurrected Lord. Jesus has conquered death and everything that diminishes the divine life in us and among us. His resurrection from the dead is not simply a fact of history to be retold at Easter. It is a mystery to be lived every day. As Christians, we are just as inspired by the presence of Jesus among us as those who first saw the empty tomb.

Like them, we know that Jesus is not found among the dead. He lives among us in the community gathered to celebrate the Eucharist. He lives in the gospel proclaimed by word and deed. Through the sacraments of the Church, he gathers disciples, heals the sick, reconciles sinners and calls us to service. In our outreach, it is the hand of Jesus that lifts up the poor, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless and visits the confined. In these ways, and many others, we give witness to the mystery of Jesus living among us.

On the 18th of April we look forward with excitement as we gather in community around our Archbishop to bless our newly refurbished church building which will carry us into the future. We look forward to as many as possible to join us in this celebration – within and outside this building! May I take this opportunity to thank Fathers Silvio, Mario, Brendan and Deacon Royden, Geralyn McCarthy, the Parish Staff and Tess Mijares who takes care of the priests. Thank you to our many parishioners, including our young parishioners, who have so generously given of their time and talents to assist us to celebrate our holy week and Easter liturgies prayerfully and enabling us to be immersed in the beauty of these great liturgies. Thank you also to Kevin Lloyd and our Ushers who have enabled us to gather in a COVIDsafe manner.  Thank you to the Parish Council, Altar Servers, Carpenter’s Club, Environment Helpers (both outside and inside the Church), those involved in Music Ministry, Liturgical Ministers, Counters, Music Ministry RCIA Team, Anna Sia and the Cleaning Ministry,  those who donated palm and olive branches, people working behind the scenes and all who have been involved. We say a heartfelt thank you to all; we couldn’t manage without you.

So, dear sisters and brothers in Christ, may Easter 2021 be a time of great peace and joy for you, your families and friends. May we rediscover that despite the unpredictability of life at times, God is always faithful. God is good, good indeed!

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp

 

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Fr Jude’s Message

Dear Parishioners and friends,

Last weekend we gathered at last in our beautifully renovated and expanded Parish Church Building. For many people, not to be able to enter our church building over the last year, has been a serious depravation. Re-entry felt like a joyful homecoming, a long awaited return from exile, with an opportunity to celebrate the presence of the risen Christ in our midst. New challenges and opportunities continue to emerge as a result of the pandemic including new ways of being Church and of worshipping together.

Though we are in the middle of the penitential season of Lent, it is surely a day of thanksgiving to God, gratitude and joy. It is no small thing for a Parish to spend a great deal of money on a renovation and indeed the expansion of its church building, especially at a time when finance is tight and social distancing, because of the pandemic, is still in force. Yet our Parish community had chosen to do so because the church is significant for the people’s hope and faith. St Paul reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. Now God dwells among his people, the Church, the early Christians were so convinced of this that they called the building constructed for worship ‘the house for the Church’ Domus Ecclesiae, or, as we are often reminded, it is the people who are the church and not the building. The building simply houses the Church. It was very pleasing to hear many of our Parishioners affirming the newly refurbished sacred space, with messages of gratitude through emails and text messages.

Once again I express my gratitude to the architects from Smith and Tracey, Raysett the builders, the Parish Council, the Building Committee, St James the Apostle Primary School, Thomas Carr College, and the many volunteers and donors who generously offered their time, energy and financial support to see this project through.

 

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Advent Angels – Thank You

Thank you to all who supported this project in Dec 2020, by buying an Advent Angel, bookmark or keychain and those who donated materials.

Special thanks to Angel Hartanto and Fr Mario who helped set up our online sales and FaceBook pages, Chris Innocenzi and Denise Falzon for their contributions, and to Jannine Warwick who helped with sales during a challenging Advent period.

A total of $3444 has been donated to the Mssp in the Philippines to help support the victims of the devastating typhoons. We appreciate your affirmations and generosity during a very difficult year.

Advent Angels Team

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Local councils and shopping centres have begun ‘dressing up’ their community spaces for Christmas. What a lovely surprise to find the nativity scene displayed amidst the lights and colour of the commercial world. Some nativity scenes are small and insignificant, perhaps found in one shop window but how wonderful to find larger, well-placed displays in shopping centres. Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus are there and often the three well-dressed Kings with their gifts tastefully presented.

But where are the shepherds?

I went checking the Christmas cards available and found that Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the Kings and a star are there in varying combinations but no shepherds.

We sing about shepherds in traditional Christmas Carols. When we coordinate children’s pageants, we have plenty of shepherds. We knew the shepherds well once, but it seems they are disappearing from public display and possibly from our consciousness.

The shepherds were the first to witness the birth of Jesus and in the Gospel of Luke we find them front and centre. It was within the ordinariness of their daily lives that they met Jesus. They were not the important kings or leaders; they were simple ordinary folk doing the hard-daily task of caring. They would have been tired and shabby after days watching the sheep. They knew the landscape and their flock well, but they were drawn to Jesus.

This year, the shepherds remind me of those many ordinary workers who have been working tirelessly day after day, caring and protecting those who come into their care.  During COVID-19, we have been made aware of the many, many ordinary workers who are now heralded as the heroes:

The aged care workers, the cleaners, the lowly paid hospital workers, the security people and nurses, have a new-found dignity in the public eye.

Those who have supported refugees, asylum seekers, prisoners, the homeless, those suffering domestic violence and those in quarantine.

Those seamen stranded on boats throughout the world keeping imports and exports flowing, not able to disembark anywhere.

Teachers, parents and grandparents who took on the task of education of children when schools were closed.

You know all these people and many more who are the ordinary, often low paid workers or volunteers who have been drawn to service and care as were the shepherds.

The Shepherds need to be in the nativity scene this Christmas, if not in our towns and cities, then in our minds and hearts. The good news of the Christmas story is that the Shepherds had the best view and ever since, have announced to the world that God loves the humble and lowly ordinary worker.

On behalf of Fr Silvio, Fr Mario and the Parish Council, thank you and wish you all and your family a very Blessed Christmas.
Fr Jude Pirotta mssp

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St James The Apostle