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Luke 12:49 “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already ablaze with fiery passion for God!”
This was the theme for last weekend’s (07/08 Oct) retreat run by the MGL sisters. 12 of us attended the retreat which was held on the peaceful grounds of St. Pauls in Wantirna, which is where our priests, Fr Jude and John, had their seminary. We spent much time in reflection in the beautiful natural surroundings and sharing our stories. The weekend also involved small group activities facilitated by the MGL sisters. There was time for daily masses, adoration, praise and worship, fellowship and wonderful key note speakers.
Our group really felt the Spirit moving in this space and we were so grateful to have a chance to leave the world behind and journey with each other for one purpose…growing in the Spirit. Sr. Rosie Drum explained Jesus’ intention to set the earth on fire was a metaphor for us to live a life dedicated to God while spreading his message to everyone we meet. By the end of the weekend we knew we were leaving with the ability to be “human candles,” shining the light of God for the whole world to see. May we contribute to the life of the Parish and those we encounter to set the earth on fire with a passion for God!
With all the challenges that life brings with it, we know that Jesus walked this same earth showing us that peace is possible by remaining focused on him. May we do our part to be the light of the world to all those we meet.
We look forward to other opportunities where we as Parishioners can grow in our faith.
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Eden on Earth, a divinely inspired book penned down by one off our parishioners to transform, unite and celebrate life, creation and this world, is available for purchase at the Narthex.
The money collected will go towards partly for the church extension and for children’s education overseas. One of the must-read books for all, especially youth, it provides insight on what life is all about, why we are struggling in this majestic world and how to celebrate life.
This spiritual fiction novel, available on Amazon for $56, is only $30 from the Piety Stall in the Church Narthex.
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The YPs invite young adults (aged 18-35) to gather for our Monthly Faith Sharing Evening on Wed 20 Sept at 7pm. Starting with dinner in the Parish Office Foyer, socialise with other young adults open to exploring what our faith journey holds. RSVP for catering purposes to Russell 0406 867 175 by Mon 18 Sept.
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Last Saturday (Sat 29 Jul) we gathered in the Paulist Centre for our Parish Party in honour of our Patron St James.
It was an encouraging evening as we continued our celebration after three talks from the previous weeks on Vatican II, Engaging as a Parish and Synodality within the Church.
One young adult writes on her experience at the Parish Feast Day Party:
My name is Michelle and I’m new to St James Parish. I’ve been coming to St James regularly since January this year when my family moved to the neighbourhood. I heard about the Young Paulists Ministry during one of the Masses and since then, I’ve been actively participating in events and activities with them.
Recently we celebrated the Feast of St James and I attended the Parish Party. The event was so well organised with a beautiful set up. There were so many people from various cultural backgrounds who came together to help out with the set up and pack up which made this event successful. To start with, there was the Dai Bi Quan Am Lion Dance Group followed by a buffet of food and desserts. There were raffle tickets for sale, then there was a cake cut to celebrate the feast followed by some dancing featuring music that were new, old and from different cultures. Seeing this diversity, the involvement, the volunteering and active participation from the Parish community has made me feel that I’m in the right place.
My faith has increased ever since I’ve joined the Parish and I’m strongly enthusiastic to do more for others looking at the beautiful, vibrant and active community. My connection to St James is largely due to the lived and welcoming spirit I experienced by the faith community at St James.
Thank you to all who participated and made the celebration a success; Maria Saldana, Angel Hartanto, Tita Manalo, Judy Debono, Connie Galea, Fiona Weedon, the Worthy Women Ministry, Judy Porter, Kevin Lloyd, Unity Events, Dai Bi Quan Am Lion Dance Group and Phuong-Tran-Nguyen.
Fr Jude Pirotta mssp
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This weekend marks the conclusion of World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, where many young pilgrims from around the world have gathered.
The motto for World Youth Day (WYD) 2023 is “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39).
Pope Francis has encouraged people to take up the call to share the Good News of God’s love. He also invited the pilgrims to be ‘restless’ for evangelisation. “Now is the God-given time of grace to sail boldly into the sea of evangelisation and mission”.
Fr Noel Bianco mssp reflects on WYD and writes:
During this World Youth Day, we pray that our young people will have a glimpse of the beauty of a life with God. May they be drawn and convinced to choose God above all else which in the end means that they give priority to their own welfare because God is within them and discovering this then they can have a lot of peace, serenity happiness, and pleasure even if they are sick, poor or dying!
Let us pray for them and us so that we learn to keep God first in our lives.
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We were truly blessed to have our Parish host the Faith Formation Mission Series for the Western Region. The three sessions were informative and insightful, providing me with a greater understanding of my faith and the role I have within the church as a lay person.
Our first session helped us to explore the legacy of Vatican II initiated by Pope John XXIII. In our second session, Fr Brendan Reed provided us with various models determining our hopes as a Parish. Our final session reminded us of being a Pilgrim Church—a Church community that walks together—listening and discerning to the needs of the Spirit in our lives. A Church that is inclusive, engaging, empathetic and witnesses to the love of God in our lives. I felt the idea of building bridges, not walls was very significant as we move forward into the future. Whenever the Parish offers opportunities of faith formation, I invite all to take up the invitation.
Thank you to our guest speakers, Geralyn, Fr Jude, Fiona, Maria and Tess and all who participated for making it possible. Thank you to all at St James as we look forward to celebrating our Patron’s Feast together.
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This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It comes two short months after the celebration of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, perhaps to remind us that the great gift Jesus has endowed us with in the Eucharist, is connected to our daily living of the Faith. In the gospel reading from St. John Chapter 6, we find Jesus speaking to his disciples about himself being the living bread that comes down from heaven. Just as the manna in the desert gave nourishment to the people of God as they travelled from slavery to the promised land, the Eucharist is our spiritual nourishment, leading us to eternal life.
Contrary to what some people may think, the Eucharist is not a symbol of Christ’s love. It is much more. It is Christ himself. This is my body… this is my blood, Jesus said to his closest disciples at the Last Supper. Do this in memory of me, he added. Every time we celebrate mass we are making present Jesus’ self-giving, giving thanks to God for the gift that goes beyond humanity’s wildest dreams.
A prayerful attitude and the reception of the body and blood of the Lord empowers us on our spiritual journey, as we give witness to his love through our own love.
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Celebrating the Easter Triduum, I had mixed feelings of sadness, excitement, joy and love. I enjoyed every reading and hymn throughout the Triduum, and was able to experience just a little of what Jesus went through, and that brought sadness to me as I felt his humiliation, suffering and death.
As I stood in front of the Easter fire and witnessed the lighting of the Paschal Candle, entering the church in darkness, then the lights coming on, it was an amazing feeling. I realised without light, we cannot see. I recognised my need for salvation and for the light of God.
Receiving the body and blood of Christ through the Eucharist, Christ entered my life and I felt complete – finally!
For me it was more than Jesus rising from the dead. God has invited me to mission – as a follower of Christ and into my Catholic Church.
And I accepted.
RCIA Candidate 2023.
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Over last few years because of all that has been happening in the institutional church, faith and church has been challenged within me and I stopped going.
Then I found St James Church, and coming to St James Easter services has given me a renewed sense of community, faith and hope. For me it started at the Good Friday Service. Seeing the cross pass over the heads of the community brought me to tears, to touch, to raise my hand and reach up, and be part of others doing the same, gave a true sense of community and the power of God’s love and forgiveness. I thank St James community for giving my faith new life, and saying to me to stay on the journey.
Kind Regards, Julie
I am a new parishioner and this year was my first Holy Week experience within St James Parish.
There was no doubt that there was a lot of planning, time, love & energy done from Father Jude, Father Silvio and all the ministries involved during the Holy week.
During the masses, I was amazed how everybody involved, brilliantly knew what to do.
I am so grateful to the Lord, to be part in such a vibrant and spiritual community where I get to remember & encounter Jesus as he makes me understand “The love HE has for me ” and why “HE has given up his life for me”.
I want to say thank you very much and may our good Lord in heaven bless each and every one of you and all St James parishioners and their families.
With deepest gratitude & warmest regards, Sindhy.