At Home Retreat by Heart of Life

At Home Retreat by Heart of Life

Heart of Life is offering an “At-home Retreat – Moments that are Grace” – over five weeks, beginning Tues 03 Aug and finishing 31 Aug. This at-home retreat, invites you to spend some time in prayer at home each day pondering your experiences of the day, and to be accompanied by a retreat-companion on how God might have been present for you. To register your interest, please email [email protected] or call 9890 1101, by this Wed 28 July.


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To make this Lent a more meaningful time, consider taking part in any of the following available at our Parish:

The Way of the Cross: During Lent, time to reflect on the Stations of the Cross will be every Friday at 7:30pm in the Paulist Centre.

Parish Lenten Retreat:  Next session on Tues 02 Mar at 7pm-8pm led by Dcn Royden on Zaccheus’ encounter with Jesus.

Project Compassion: Project Compassion Box and/or envelopes are available to assist some of the world’s most vulnerable people build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.

Paulist Missionary Sponsorship:  For $5 per month, you can help with the wellbeing and education of children in Pakistan, Peru, Cuba and the Philippines. Brochures available after Mass.


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I came across the YP retreat at the right moment. If it hadn’t been for the encouragement of 2 current YP members I would still be out there looking for a place to call home. It wasn’t something I expected to be a part of but I’m so happy that I was.

The weekend we spent at St Paul’s Missionary College was a peaceful break from my day to day responsibilities. It allowed me to reflect on what I was missing within my life with Jesus whilst connecting with so many different impactful people. I have come out of that weekend with more trust in Jesus and more enlightened on who he wants me to be and how powerful we can be as humans when we go out there and help each other. This weekend away showed me how strong faith can be when you’re surrounded by a community you can call home.

Emily Mejia


I now live and work in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I managed to be around the area at the same time as the YP retreat and was kindly invited by Father Jude to attend. Leading up to the retreat, I was unsure of what to expect after being away for so long but as the day went on, it felt like I’d never left. It was a weekend where the YPs shared their spiritual journey and growth with each other, new friendships were made and it was just a space where we as young adults in the Catholic community were able to express how God had touched our lives in different ways. I truly felt at home during the retreat and as the community grows, I pray that so do the number of young adults that embrace their faith and openly share it with the community.

Thomas Sia


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Young Paulists’ Retreat

The Young Paulists (YP) are a Young Adults group established in 2013 to respond to local and global concerns.  The YPs are having a retreat on 16/17 Feb led by Fr Jude.  Fr Jude extends an invitation to those 18+ years old to consider coming with them:

When: 8:45am Sat 16 Feb-4pm Sun 17 Feb

Where: St Paul’s Missionary College, Wantirna

Who: Young adults (aged 18+)

Cost: $90

RSVP: Fri 08 Feb via emailing the Parish Office at [email protected]


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St James Youth is the Parish Youth Group and is open to all teenagers in Years 7-12. Meeting weekly on Sundays 4:50pm-8:00pm.  We welcome anyone who wants to discover what faith can mean for the everyday teenager, about journeying with others our age and discovering that life is meant to be lived at its fullest! To find out more, contact us: 0409 184 299 or [email protected]

Thank you to Fr Jude, Geralyn and Red for taking the St James Youth Leaders on a retreat last weekend. This year’s Leaders will be commissioned at this Sunday night’s Mass.  Here is what one first year Leader had to say about her experience of the retreat:

When I was invited to the 2019 Youth Leaders Discernment Retreat, I was honestly unsure. Unsure of what this new stage in my life holds. In the days leading up to the retreat I was nervous, but I didn’t need to be. I was instantly brought into a group of amazing young adults and made to feel welcome. The retreat was an excellent experience to discover more about my own spiritual journey. I have never met people who I instantly got along with. Their welcoming and accepting nature is a reflection of the St James Parish and I am so thankful to continue on my spiritual journey with this wonderful community.

Nieve — 2019 Youth Leader


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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 [email protected] during Office Hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30am-2:30pm).

Registrations close Thurs 20 Sept.


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Dear Father Jude and Geralyn,

I just wanted to thank you both for facilitating such an excellent retreat for the Young Paulists. As expected is was an enriching and spiritually nourishing weekend. Thank you for providing us with such thought provoking questions and excellent stimuli to further question and enrich. I count my blessings daily to have a such a great Faith community. It isn’t often you find a Parish Community so connected, like the one we have at St James. At times when I can be challenged with my Faith or struggle with being enriched spiritually, I know I can rely on a brief moment with the YPs to re-energise. The theme of being a “prophetic presence” was so meaningful to the Young Paulists, especially in the way it helped remind us about why we were called to this community in the first place. The exploration of “The Call of Jeremiah” to understand that God invites us to do God’s work, despite what we believe about ourselves and that we need to have faith in God that God will guide and protect us on our mission in our contemporary culture and secular society, was particularly valuable. However, it was the unpacking of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World” that was most enriching. The quote that particularly stood out was “it is our duty to be holy…holiness does not mean that we have to be special or perfect; to become holy all we have to do is to carry on doing the things of life in an extraordinary way.” It was just that reminder that our actions, whether as an individual or within the Young Paulists do not have to be grand but simple, as long as they are done out of genuine love and sincerity. Therefore being a prophetic presence in our wounded and often secular and self-centre society means that we cannot live out the word and Good News of God just by “talking the talk” but by leading by example through our actions in a way that appeals to all members of society and not just to followers of Christ.

It has been a while since I have been so spiritually nourished like this and it was not only because of the experiences of scripture, the recent exhortation on our call to holiness from Pope Francis and other prompts but because of the wonderful group of young people that were invited along. Their willingness to participate so honestly, openly and genuinely just added so much value to the weekend. I look forward to another year of service with the ongoing members as well as the new members who will be joining us.

So I thank you again, for bringing us together, challenging our thinking, teaching us and feeding our hearts and our minds so that we can continue living out the Gospel values in our everyday lives.

Taryn Darlow
Young Paulist Member

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Reflection on menALIVE Retreat

Our special thanks to Fr Jude for inviting menALIVE to your parish, for your support and warm welcome, and for blessing us with the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist.  We were very aware that you were unwell and very busy, so we were very grateful for how much effort that you made to be with us, and particularly for the way that you made that final Mass so special for everyone.

Numbers were good, and the response was big — what a great Weekend!  I am sure many lives have been impacted and many graces will come for your Parish and the other places the men have come from.  There were moments when God was tangibly and profoundly present and men’s hearts were transformed through the experience of the love of God.  Your faithfulness helped make this happen!

Martin Stone, menALIVE Presenting Team

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On the weekend of 22/23 Apr, our Parish’s Young Paulists went on a retreat facilitated by Fr Jude, Fr Ivan and Geralyn. Thank you to everyone who kept them in your prayers. This is what some of them had to say about the experience:

The Young Paulist retreat presented an opportunity to take a break from the busyness of everyday life and really connect with the Word of God without distraction. The retreat also furthered my understanding of the works of Paulist Missionaries and the purpose of the MSSP. Overall, it was an experience that enriched both my relationship with the Risen Lord and with fellow Young Paulists.—Diane Sia

On the 22nd and 23rd of April, I was invited by Father Jude to participate in a weekend retreat to deepen our relationship with other members of the parish and our God. We arrived at Lady Northcote Recreation Camp and got straight into getting to know each other and the activities relating to the Risen Lord and how he has been a part of anything we do in our daily lives. It was a weekend where I was able to reflect on the times where I ‘met’ God and allowed myself to be guided by Father Jude, Geralyn and Father Ivan to continue to look for God in times of need and to be grateful to Him.—Thomas Sia

The experience was enriching being able to listen and share our encounters with Christ with like minded young adults from our community. Having experienced this retreat has been an affirmation of my own faith knowing that we all encounter Christ in our own special way. Thanks to Fr Jude, Fr Ivano and Geralyn for leading us in our reflections.—Justin Gatt

“I felt refreshed both in body and mind after the weekend. At first I didn’t know what to expect but at the end, the experience  was well worth it. The number of participants was reasonable thereby giving everyone the opportunity to reach out and be heard. The timing of the retreat seemed perfect in the sense that were are celebrating the risen Lord, and this takes me to the bible story used for  the weekend “The road to Emmaus” and how this story fits in our individual lives and how it also relates to the Paulist  Missionaries. Finally was the Eucharistic celebration which I found to be like the early Christians, with everyone sitting around and breaking bread together. Overall, I felt that I reached out to many people, listening to their stories and what the risen Lord means to each and everyone of us and also a call to engage within and outside our parish community. Thanks Frs Jude & Ivano, Geralyn, Dylan and everyone one else for this wonderful opportunity”.—Patrick Ekweanua

The Young Paulist retreat was a great opportunity to stop and reflect on our faith journey. Along with other Young Paulist Core Team Leaders, Mission 17, Youth Leaders and young adults from our St James parish community, we explored and meditated on our own ‘Road to Emmaus’. With Fr Jude, Fr Ivano and Geralyn as our faith facilitators, we were able to reflect, laugh, share, sing, break bread and pray together. Over the 2 days, we explored our faith journey so far, the impact of Jesus in our lives and to consider what God wants us to do now. After this weekend, I feel renewed and refuelled to take on another year of ministry with the Young Paulists.—Sheryn Mallillin-Gatt


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St James The Apostle