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Easter Message from Fr Jude

Exemple

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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Easter Celebrations

Every year, our Easter celebrations get larger and more meaningful. This year we are seeking help to ensure that our celebrations continue to engage and move everyone who attends.

Easter Triduum Rehearsals: For those involved in the Liturgies during the Triduum (including Readers, Special Ministers of Communion, those to be commissioned, etc) there is a Rehearsal on Tues 30 Mar in the Church. Holy Thursday Rehearsal from 6:30pm-7:30pm, Good Friday Rehearsal from 7:30pm-8:00pm and Easter Vigil Rehearsal from 8:00pm-9:00pm. Please arrive 5 mins before your scheduled start.

Reconciliation: 1st Rite of Reconciliation available on Mon 29 Mar in the Church at 7pm-8pm. Last opportunity before Easter.

Project Compassion: Project Compassion Boxes can be returned between Palm Sunday (27/28 Mar) & Holy Thursday (Thurs 01 Apr).

 

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Dear St James Parishioner,

There has been a great response from parishioners wishing to participate in our Easter celebrations at St James. We are trying to meet the demand while complying with Covid restrictions put in place by the government.

Please note that the latest announcements of restriction easing by the government have not affected the numbers we can have at Mass as Religious Services were already operating out of these relaxed numbers since January.

Use the link HERE to access our booking site.  The link is also available on the St James website and Facebook pages.

In an endeavour to accommodate as many people as possible, the church Narthex and Chapel will be used for seating where we can.

You are reminded that in all cases you will receive an email from Trybooking confirming your booking has been made successfully. If you are not sure your booking went through correctly, send an email to [email protected] and we will check your booking to avoid disappointment on the day.

If you have booked a seat and for whatever reason cannot attend, please cancel your booking to enable fellow parishioners to attend. To cancel your booking, click on the link to “return tickets” in your booking confirmation email or send an email to the parish office.

People wanting to make a booking at a Mass that is currently booked out are encouraged to regularly check our online booking page as some seats may become available through bookings being cancelled or further seats being released.

People who miss out on booking a seat inside the church will be able to stand outside the church after self-registering on their mobile phones using the parish QR code upon arrival.

 

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If you are Special Minister of Communion, an Usher or a Lector, we need your help at our many liturgical celebrations over Easter.

Over this weekend, please fill in the sheets in the Narthex with your availabilities at assisting at any of the celebrations, by inserting your name in an available empty spot.

You will be contacted on the lead up to the Easter confirming which celebration you are helping at.

Thank you for your assistance.

 

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Every year, our Easter celebrations get larger and more meaningful. This year we are seeking help to ensure that our celebrations continue to engage and move everyone who attends.

Palms and Olive Branches:
In preparation for Palm Sunday, we would welcome all donations of Palm, Pine and Olive branches to be left under the After Hours Chute of the Parish Office between Wed 17 Mar Apr— Sun 21 Mar.

Easter Triduum Rehearsals:
For those involved in the Liturgies during the Triduum (including Readers, Special Ministers of Communion, those to be commissioned, etc) there is a Rehearsal on Tues 30 Mar in the Church. Holy Thursday Rehearsal from 6:30pm-7:30pm, Good Friday Rehearsal from 7:30pm-8:00pm and Easter Vigil Rehearsal from 8:00pm-9:00pm. Please arrive 5 mins before your scheduled start.

Reconciliation:
1st Rite of Reconciliation available on Mon 29 Mar in the Church at 7pm-8pm. Last opportunity before Easter.

Project Compassion:
Project Compassion Boxes can be returned between Palm Sunday (27/28 Mar) & Holy Thursday (Thurs 01 Apr).

 

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Happy Easter everyone,

Strange as this Easter has been, I’ve been thinking that it’s also been one of the most reflective ones I have ever experienced.

This is all thanks to you, Frs Jude and Silvio, Dcn Royden, our neighbouring priests, Geralyn, our leaders, parish staff and all who have contributed to bring us the wonderful liturgies of Holy Week; I have participated in each one of the events. Nothing happens just by chance. I am aware how much effort goes into these functions during ‘normal’ times, and can only imagine how much more demanding it has been to organise all of this under such restrictive circumstances. Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.

As I mentioned, this has been a very reflective time for me. I shared this with some others and would like to share it with you too.

Churches all around the world are as empty and as desolate as the tomb this Easter.  But just as Jesus found his way to his friends on that first Easter morning, giving them courage and bringing them peace, this year he comes intimately into our own private homes, offering us the same gifts – courage and peace – and hope. By his grace, may we have the strength to bring these gifts to others who only see the present darkness.

Maybe the tomb wasn’t empty after all. Maybe Jesus filled it with hope – it just took us a long time to notice it.

I hope that you are now enjoying your Easter Sunday at home with loved ones, knowing that you have made what might have been a very ‘dark’ Easter the brilliant sign of hope that it actually is. Blessings,

Judy

 

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Dear Fr. Jude & Fr. Silvio,

We just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who made the beautiful ceremonies possible;  absolutely first class in every respect!!! In particular how wonderful that all parishes combined together for the Triduum;  the collaboration of all priests in our area — so beautiful — moving, prayerful and reverent.  So proud that we are all part of something so very special.  We thank God for such authentic spiritual leadership of our priest community and Geralyn too!!  (Great to have a woman on board….) You all must have worked so hard to get it all sorted before Stage 3 restrictions!!!

Hopefully the upside of the downside has been a new and different type of Easter for us all, where we have been able to connect with God on His terms minus all that we have become accustomed to, and embrace technology to bring us together with one heart and mind.

From our hearts wishing you a blessed Easter,

Ann & Frank

 

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The YPs are holding their annual Easter Fundraiser, with the sale of Easter Hot Cross Buns. The Hot Cross Buns will be available for purchase for $5 each and on Palm Sunday Weekend (Saturday 04th and Sunday 05th April) at all masses. All profits raised will go towards supporting the ongoing work of the Young Paulists.  Stock is limited, so get in fast to avoid missing out! Special thanks to the Eiffel Tower Bakery and Allied Pinnacle for the support and generosity.

 

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Prison Fellowship

This Easter, Prison Fellowship (PF) will again provide every Victorian inmate with 10 home-made biscuits, together with a card that explains the meaning of Easter. Help PF show the prisoners of Victoria that God loves them. Biscuits to be delivered to St James by Wed 25 Mar for collection by PF.

 

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Exemple

Dear Parish family and friends of St James,

The Easter story does not end with Mary in grief.  It tells us of her encounter with the Risen Lord who calls out her name and sends her out on a mission of proclaiming to others the Good News of the Resurrection.  Perhaps we too need to hear our names called and our personal relationship with the Lord affirmed.  In the midst of our despair and uncertainty, we need to hear the affirmation of our Lord with crystal clarity: “Be not afraid.”

Be not afraid to die to that which is not worthy of Christ, that which is like the old wineskins unable to contain the new wine God is pouring.  We as a church—the people of God—must constantly pattern ourselves on the death and resurrection of Christ.

As we mourn the death of the old ways of being church, we are not without hope.  The risen Christ shows us the way forward.  He also empowers us to be agents of change and partners with him in the furtherance of God’s reign.

God’s way often involves the pain of letting go, of beginning again, of going forward with hope and trust.   The Church needs to die to that which is not of Christ in order to rise again to all that Christ and his Gospel stand for.

  • We need to die to a worldly culture of power, dominance and privilege and rise to the Gospel-inspired culture of simplicity, vulnerability and powerlessness;
  • We need to die to being an experience of exclusion and condemnation and rise to being an encounter of radical love, inclusiveness and solidarity;
  • We need to die to worldly trappings, triumphalism, clericalism and rising again to the power of the vulnerable trust, servant-leadership, discipleship of humble service.

As Paulist Missionaries we were reminded of this in the writings of our founder Joseph De Piro when he insisted that we were to be servants of the poor and for the poor.  To abandon our culture of comfort and reach out to those most in need.

Let us endeavour to live the rhythm of Christ dying and rising in the Church and in all facets of our lives.

Then we can be certain that the loving God will bring about renewal and transformation as he brought Jesus Christ to life from the dead.

Happy Easter to all!

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp

 

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St James The Apostle