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Message of Thanks – From Fr Jude

Message of Thanks – From Fr Jude

Fr Jude wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to all who have reached out and ministered to him at the recent and sudden death of his sister-in-law Leonie and of Brother Joe Pantalleresco mssp who died during the week at the Little Sisters of the Poor—Northcote.

For this, he is truly grateful.

 

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Message from Fr Jude

Dear friends,

It was truly encouraging to witness the many people who participated and journeyed with us during the Holy Week retreat beginning from Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday.

One young Parishioner was so moved to see her father shed tears as he walked the Stations of the Cross led by our Parish’s Youth Ministry at 10:00am on Good Friday.  Others shared the joy of seeing the 9 Catechumen and Candidates being baptized and received into the Church. Many visitors were taken by the welcome and hospitality felt during the celebrations, others highlighted the environment and the music ministry which assisted in engaging and motivating the community into song and praise.  Others again commented on the dignity of the altar servers and the marvelous sense of team work amongst all.

One family from Heidelberg wrote:

“The community of St James are just incredible, all playing their part, no matter how big or small to ensure that everything comes together for a joyful celebration.  Your Church pulsates with friendship, acceptance and above all faith.”

God bless you all dear friends and may the Risen Lord bless and protect us as we continue to embrace the power of life in the face of darkness, encountering the Risen Lord and reflected in the daily acts of mercy, faith, joy and love.

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp

 

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Message from Fr Jude – 19/20 Feb

Dear Parishioners and friends,

Over two weekends this year I accompanied both Red and Geralyn to our Paulist Retreat Centre in Wantirna and journeyed with our Youth Leaders and Young Paulists in a weekend focussing on reflecting, exploring and building on their faith as young adults, deepening their relationship with God and reflecting on their purpose in life.  I was deeply encouraged and inspired by the depth of their sharing and the joy of community.

This weekend I’ll be off to Philip Island for the marriage of my nephew Joel to his wife Tayla.  Thanks to Fr Silvio for his generous support and care in my absence.

 

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Message from Fr Jude – 12/13 Feb

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St James,

It was wonderful to see many of you at our Eucharistic celebrations last weekend.  It was obvious that attendance has increased as our lives go back to some sort of normality.  It was great to see our Parish Primary Schools and Secondary School College return and our Parish Ministries back with enthusiasm.

Welcome back to you all.

Throughout the year there will be a number of opportunities for all of us to meet and explore our vision and dream as we look ahead for the future life of the Parish and our current financial situation after the recent Church refurbishments. We will also be looking at Stage 3 of our Building Project, the Community Centre.

We look forward to journeying with each other even through challenging times.

May the spirit of peace and goodwill remain with us all as we enter into this new year of 2022.

God bless you and your families,

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp

 

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Welcome Back – A Message from Fr Jude

Dear Parishioners and friends of St James,

Looking back over the year of 2021, we can see how it was another frustrating year in so many ways for all.  I appreciate that it has not been an easy time for any of us.  At least we have had the opportunity for live streaming so that family members and friends have had the opportunity to participate by tuning in, and being virtually present in spirit.

Masses are now open to all and you are all most welcome in joining us at our Sunday Liturgies.  In this first publication of the Parish Bulletin, may I welcome all Parishioners and in particular new Parishioners who have begun the journey of faith with us. We also welcome back our Parish School Communities and all ministries within the life of our Parish, enhancing and deepening our encounter with Jesus.

Late in 2019 Pope Francis decreed that a day be ‘devoted to the celebration, study, and spreading of the Word of God’.

In Australia it’s the first Sunday in February. Here’s a fragment from Francis’ letter: ‘A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a year-long event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers. . . We need to develop a closer relationship with sacred Scripture; otherwise, our hearts will remain cold and our eyes shut, struck as we are by so many forms of blindness.’

Throughout the year there will be a number of opportunities for all of us to meet and explore our vision and dream as we look ahead for the future life of the Parish and our current financial situation after the recent Church refurbishments. We will also be looking at Stage 3 of our Building Project, the Community Centre.

We look forward to journeying with each other even through challenging times.

May the spirit of peace and goodwill remain with us all as we enter into this new year of 2022.

God bless you and your families,

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp

 

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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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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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Message from Fr Jude

Dear friends,

This second lockdown has been more of a challenge than the first. I certainly have struggled this time. Even though we have not been able to gather physically, we are conscious that our Parish Community continues to gather as a domestic church linked together by our faith. Our webpage has the latest news and daily reflections. As a Parish Community, we continue to hold each other in our prayers, mindful of those Parishioners who are sick and in hospital, and those who have died.

We are looking forward to when we can finally gather as a community in prayer and fellowship. Until that time, keep safe, keep well, be people of prayer and know that we think of you and pray for you each morning.

On behalf of Frs Silvio, Mario and myself, go gently.
Fr Jude Pirotta

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