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St James Parish Retreat

St James’ next Parish Retreat will be held at St Paul’s Missionary College, (the Paulist Missionaries’ Retreat Centre), Norton’s Lane, Wantirna South, from Fri 05 Oct night—Sun 07 Oct afternoon.

This engaging and revitalising time is open to all people aged 18-100 and will be facilitated by Fr Jude Pirotta. Cost is $155/person for a share room (2 nights, 5 meals).

Transportation to and from the retreat is by your own vehicles and the Parish Van which can be booked by the first 11 people to complete their registration that would like to use it for transportation.

Numbers for the retreat is strictly limited to the first 30 people to register.

You can register by contacting the Parish Office on 9748 6800 or during Office Hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30am-2:30pm).

Registrations close Thurs 20 Sept.


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Today’s Gospel begins by repeating from last week Jesus’ claim that the “Bread” that he will give for the life of the world is his own “flesh”. The reference is to the revelation of God’s love that will occur when he lays down his life upon the cross. However, his audience (still named here “the Jews”) take the reference literally. Understandably, they baulk at what sounds like cannibalism.

In reply, Jesus adds to the notion of eating his flesh the even more repugnant idea (especially to Jews) of drinking his blood. He is attempting to draw his audience away from a purely physical understanding to a symbolic interpretation stemming from the Wisdom tradition of Israel. This tradition interpreted the Manna the Israelites ate in the wilderness in terms of divine revelation. To “eat” in this sense refers to accepting revelation.

Jesus’ flesh and his blood will be separated in his death on the cross. Within the same Wisdom tradition to “eat” Jesus’ flesh and “drink” his blood means to accept his death as the life-giving revelation that God is love (1 John 4:8).

The text is also open, of course, to a sacramental interpretation. To eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood in the Eucharist is to be brought sacramentally before his cross on Calvary. Our Eucharistic participation draws us into the rhythm of his self-sacrificing love poured out for the life of the world.

Jesus is, then, our “Bread from Heaven” in two senses: as life-giving Word of revelation and as “real” food and drink in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ


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We are searching for buskers to entertain the crowd at this year’s St James Parish Fete on Sat 20 Oct.

This might be your opportunity to perform in public and help raise some money. If interested, pick up an application from the Church Narthex or email and we will send you an application.

Busking will be in a 3mx3m powered site outside. All busking proceeds will be donated to cause(s) chosen by the Parish.

Busking applications close Sun 23 Sept.


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The people who are in dispute with Jesus in today’s Gospel are called “the Jews”, even though everyone in the scene, including Jesus and his disciples, is a Jew. The phrase is the Fourth Gospel’s way of referring to those who have become set adversaries of Jesus, resisting his claims. The usage reflects the historical situation of the community behind the Gospel. It should not be understood in an ethnic sense as referring to the Jewish people as such.

These people complain about Jesus’ claim to be “the Bread come down from heaven”. They know all too well his human origins (“his father and mother”). How can he hint at divine origin in this way?

In reply Jesus cites a text from Isaiah (54:13): “They will all be taught by God”. The text suggests a mode of teaching involving a divine-human engagement of unparalleled closeness. The Father has sent the Son into the world and drawn people to him so that in hearing Jesus and believing in him, they are really being “taught by God”.

It is as the One who imparts this teaching that Jesus describes himself as “the Bread of Life”. The “bread” (manna) God gave to the Israelites in the desert sustained their biological life for a time. Jesus in his teaching is the “Bread come down from heaven” that gives sustenance for eternal life.

We should not miss at the end a hint of the cost that this gift will involve for Jesus: the giving up (in death) of his bodily life (“my flesh”) for the life of the world.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ


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St James Annual Parish Raffle

This year’s Major Raffle is now in full swing and will be drawn at our Parish Fete on Sat 20 Oct.

This year the Raffle Prizes are:

1st Prize:      $2000 Travel Voucher—Your choice of destination (donated by Philippine Tours, 9384 1844)

2nd Prize: 55” Smart TV (valued at $1000)

3rd Prize: $600 Bunnings Voucher (donated by Benlor Real Estates, 9748 6333)

4th Prize: $500 Coles/Myer Voucher (donated by Thomas Carr College, Tarneit, 8734 2444)

5th Prize: $100 Fuel Voucher (donated by Sole Health Podiatry, 9749 5755)

All proceeds will remain in the Parish. Tickets are $2 each and we encourage you to show your usual support and try to sell Raffle Books of 10 tickets to your friends, families and workmates. The Parish and Function Committee look forward to your support!


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Parish Feast Day Party

Thank you to all who supported and those who participated in the fun evening last Saturday Night. The feedback has been very encouraging.

Special thanks to the Function Committee who worked tirelessly in organising the evening for us, to Clive Gonsalves for volunteering his services as MC, to the DJ’s, Unity Events, for donating their talent and time, the Carpenter’s Club for setting up the Paulist Centre for the celebrations, Bello Cleaning for cleaning the Paulist Centre on the Sunday and to the Parish Staff who made themselves available.

May God continue to bless us as we place our trust in Him.


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Fr Stephen Mifsud mssp, Vocations Director currently at the International House of Formation in Manila, will be joining us from the 10th August until the 1st September. Fr Stephen will be available for vocations discernment and to provide information about the missionary charism in the life of an MSSP religious. A Come and See Day will be held for anyone wishing to know more about this. If you are interested in participating or meeting with Fr Stephen, please contact Fr Jude. More information will be available in the coming weeks.


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St James The Apostle