receiver
receiver
receiver

St Vincent De Paul Christmas Hamper Appeal

We would like to thank Parishioners, St James, St Francis and St Clare’s Primary, Thomas Carr College and IGA Werribee for the generous support to the Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal 2020.

We are overwhelmed and thankful for the donations received, especially after a tough 2020. Your continued belief and support has enabled us to provide assistance to those in need through food vouchers this year as well as providing them with the Christmas spirit. We would like to share the many thanks from all those who received help as well, who all had a smile on their face when help was given, arms opened for a hug to thank us and the tears of gratitude.

Thank you and wishing you a safe and very Merry Christmas from the Hoppers Crossing North St Vincent de Paul Conference.

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Sounds of Christmas—An Online Christmas Carol Event:

St James Parish is hosting this event on this weekend, Sun 20 Dec at 7:00pm. You can view this event with the family from our Parish Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/stjamesapostlehcn).

Christmas Mass Times:

Christmas is near! but COVID-19 is still with us. In our Paulist Centre we can only fit 300 people under the COVID precautions. We have added another extra Mass Time over the Christmas Period totalling 8 Masses: Thurs 24 Dec 9:00am, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, 9:00pm and Midnight and Fri 25 Dec 7:30am, 9:00am and 10:30am, but most of our Masses are totally booked out!

Unless you have booked a seat inside the Paulist Centre, there will be no space for you inside. You can, however, bring a chair or a rug and sit in the Play Plaza or on the oval. All Masses will now be live-streamed on the St James Facebook page, which is a public page and can be accessed by everyone. We suggest you bring your smart phone with you and participate in Mass through Facebook. At Communion time, ministers will be available to distribute Communion outside. You will be required to register on arrival using our Parish QR code.

New Year’s:

Last Mass of 2020 celebrated on Thurs 31 Dec at 6pm in the Paulist Centre. First Mass of 2021 celebrated on Fri 01 Jan at 10:30am. Please note, no 9am Mass on New Year’s Day.

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Exemple

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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Thank you to those who have volunteered to assist our community as Ushers and Welcomers for the weekend Masses. Your service and generosity is what allows us to be able to have Masses during this Covid-normal time.

We are looking for more volunteers who are willing to be trained up as an Usher/Welcomer for future Masses, especially for the Christmas period where we will need more Ushers/Welcomers.

If you are able to assist us, kindly contact the Parish Office this week on 9401 6367 or at [email protected]

There will be a training session on Tues 15 Dec at 7:00pm in the Paulist Centre.

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Christmas is an important time for us all to celebrate, especially after this challenging year. This year, due to the recent change in caps and density limits, we are now able to offer 6 Christmas Masses.
Please note a change to Christmas Mass times following the increase in the number of people permitted to attend. You must pre-book online before attending any of the Christmas Masses (see below). Bookings for Christmas Masses will open 2:00pm Sunday 13 December. Christmas Mass times are as follows:

Thurs 24 Dec
6:30pm, 9:00pm, Midnight

Fri 25 Dec
7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am

The Booking Process and link is the same as booking for weekend Masses (Book HERE).

The Masses on the weekend of 26/27 Dec will now be the regular weekend Mass for that weekend.

The last opportunity for Reconciliation before Christmas will be on Tues 22 Dec at 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Paulist Centre. Pre-booking for Reconciliation not required, but you need to fill in the QR Code upon arrival. Assistance can be provided for this process, including if you do not have a phone or the internet.

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Exemple

Advent Angels – Available Online

Thank you to everyone who has supported our Advent Angels initiative. We had a wonderful response!

So far we have raised $2040 for the typhoon victims in the Philippines through mssp missions. We still have some stock left so we have extended our online purchasing facility until Sat 12 Dec.

Advent Angels can be purchased using this link:

https://forms.gle/YJFrbDSop4L2GENo8

Purchases can be collected from the Presbytery on Sun 13 Dec between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Please bring your receipt with you when collecting your goods. Thank you once again for your generosity.

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Christmas Mass Times During COVID Times

Christmas is an important time for us all to celebrate, especially after this challenging year.

With restrictions still in place, each Christmas Mass will have limits to the numbers who can attend.

This year we are able to offer 11 Christmas Masses over 4 days, with attendance at any of these Masses over these days fulfilling our Christmas obligation. Booking details for Christmas will be advertised in a future Bulletin and on the Parish Website and Facebook page.

The last opportunity for Reconciliation before Christmas will be on Tues 22 Dec at 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Paulist Centre.

Thurs 24 Dec
Christmas Eve
6:30pm
9:00pm
Midnight

Fri 25 Dec
Christmas Day
7:30am
9:00am
10:30am

Sat 26 Dec
Christmas Masses
5:00pm
6:30pm

Sun 27 Dec
Christmas Masses
8:30am
10:30am
5:00pm

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Christmas is approaching and our Parish would normally be putting up our St James Giving Tree and asking for donations to provide Christmas Hampers to our Community.

This year, because of COVID-19, we are asking for Parishioners and our four schools to assist us with monetary  donations. The money will be given to our vulnerable families in the form of a Coles Gift Voucher(s). We are requesting that this be done by the 11th December so we can deliver in time for families to shop before Christmas.

You can deliver your donation in an envelope and place into Parish After Hours Chute or the Parish Letterbox.

Please note, for this year only, donations towards the St James Giving Tree and the Vinnie’s Christmas Hamper Appeal is via monetary donation only and not through gifts of food, clothes or toys.

We thank you in advance and will keep you in our prayers and thoughts.

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St James The Apostle