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Click on the image for resources from the Diocese of Broken Bay
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At his weekly General Audience on 13 May, Pope Francis reflected on the essential characteristics of prayer in his catechesis, and described prayer as universal, intimate, and entirely trusting in God. He said prayer is common to all people, no matter what their religion, and ‘probably even to those who profess no religion.’ In fact, the Pope recently demonstrated the universality of prayer. He invited people of all religions to take part in a day of prayer on Thursday 14 May to implore God for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prayer flows from our heart: In his catechesis, Pope Francis said prayer involves the most intimate mystery of our being. Christian writers have always said prayer is ‘born within the secrecy of our beings, in that interior place called the “heart”.’ Our emotions, intelligence, and body all participate in prayer, though prayer cannot be identified with any one aspect of our being. ‘Every part of the human person prays,’ he said.
God is not shrouded in mystery: Prayer, said Pope Francis, is a yearning that takes us beyond ourselves as we seek some “other”. It is an “I” in search of a “You”. A Christian’s prayer, he added, begins with the revelation that the “You” we seek is not shrouded in mystery. “Christianity is the religion that continually celebrates the ‘manifestation’ of God, His epiphany.”
Intimate relationship: God has revealed Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. So the prayer of a Christian brings us into relationship with God, without any fear or trepidation. ‘Christianity has banished any type of “feudal” relationship from the connection with God,’ he said.
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We are now holding our final CWF Appeal for this financial year. The CWF is working hard during this time and needs your support as much as ever.
Your tax deductible donations are distributed among 5 charities that provide faith based support to the people in the Diocese of Broken Bay. One of these charities is St Lucy’s School, located in Wahroonga which provides a Catholic, nurturing education for children with disabilities. David Raphael, School Principal, kindly provided us with an update…
St Lucy’s has continued to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic focusing on the health, wellbeing and safety of staff and students. Due to the critical need with our vulnerable families, we were pleased that St Lucy’s was allowed to stay open through Term 1 and we started Term 2 with approx. 80% student attendance. For St Lucy’s students, consistency, familiarity and security goes a long way to help them on their educational journey.
We encourage you to donate on line at https://www.givenow.com.au/cwf You will be asked when donating to choose your Parish, please take care to select North Harbour, as your donation will then count towards our Parish quota.
Donations can also be made to the Parish Bank Account (put CWF as reference). Donations are tax deductable
Account Name: Catholic Community of North Harbour
BSB: 062 784 Account No: 2847 8001
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This pandemic highlights the importance of the theme of National Families Week - 'Stronger Families, Stronger Communities' - and the role families play by working together to support each other and provide care for those in the broader community. It is a time to show kindness and help protect the health and wellbeing all community members. The National Families Week TOP TEN TIPS provide some ideas - please adhere to physical distancing and government imposed restrictions!
As we celebrate Families Week this year at home we reflect on Pope Francis’ words from The Joy of Love, which affirms that families are the building blocks of a healthy society and a place where children learn to love, respect and interact with others. He reminds us that “there is no stereo-type of the ideal family, but rather a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems".
There will be a further celebration of Families Week as a recovery event later this year.
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Funerals are permitted for groups of 20 people indoors and for 30 people outside (burial services), Weddings may be celebrated where the group includes the celebrant, the couple and 10 guests. Social distancing of 4 square metres per person and hand hygiene regulations apply.
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After eight weeks of lock-down we really are in need of a little celebration and encouragement in our lives - something beyond phone calls or Zoom meetings, or even having our parish Mass streamed into our living rooms (all of which are but a pale reflection of our usual way of experiencing a loving faith community).
We are challenged at this precarious time to find new strengths within our hearts and spirits, new spaces in our lives to show forth a Christ-face to our world, which is now a place where examples of courage and generosity of heart are presently required. In the Gospel today Jesus extends words of encouragement to comfort us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me”.
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'Connected in Christ' is a DBB weekly resource, allowing generations to remain connected even while physically separate. Grandchildren can share their discoveries with grandparents and vice versa.
We hope that, in some small way, this resource will bring hope, joy and comfort to the people of Broken Bay as, together, we navigate our way through these unprecedented times.
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Welcome to Parish ‘Family Business’! Previously, we included information about the impact of the current situation on Parish finances, particularly in light of there being no collections taking place whilst our church buildings are closed. We expressed our gratitude for those making contributions during the present crisis and included some additional ideas for supporting the Parish. Sincere thanks to those who have responded generously to this appeal. Parish account details are included below for your information.
We are very much aware that many parishioners are facing hardship and loss of income through sudden changes in employment conditions, loss of jobs in industries, forced closure of businesses, and the knock-on effect in many sectors of the economy.
Prompt Government relief measures are very welcome and hopefully are lightening the burden of uncertainty we all face. While the Parish’s income has decreased in recent weeks, we are in a position to avail ourselves of some government initiatives to enable us to continue to employ staff and keep the Parish functioning.
Some families are experiencing anxiety about schooling arrangements where decisions are in process and parents are being advised progressively of plans for the term ahead. For some, school fees may prove a heavy financial burden but I hope that we can maintain enrolments particularly in our Parish schools. Parents with financial concerns should contact the respective Principals after school resumes.
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One very significant challenge we face as a Parish is that our income is largely derived from our weekly collections – which of course won’t be taking place whilst our church buildings are closed.
For those on Planned Giving credit cards, we thank you for your continued support.
For those who have supported us for many years by placing your donations or envelopes on the collection plate, we couldn’t exist without you. In our Parish, your contributions make up a significant part of our income.
We ask those able to consider going onto Planned Giving by credit card or making a donation to our bank account (details below). These options can be arranged for only the period when our churches are closed allowing you to resume your usual giving method once things return to normal. We know that some of you will be experiencing hardship and will not be able to contribute as you have in the past.
Giving to the Church is a significant part of our overall commitment as Christians and we encourage you to give what you can during this pandemic crisis.
Some of you have already made arrangements to continue your contributions and for this we are very grateful.
If you’re able to maintain your weekly support of the parish that will really help us – because the bills are still coming in, parish infrastructure needs to be maintained, insurance to be paid, along with parish staff salaries and so much more.
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Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!
Today the Church’s proclamation echoes throughout the world: “Jesus Christ is risen!” – “He is truly risen!”. Like a new flame this Good News springs up in the night: the night of a world already faced with epochal challenges and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family. In this night, the Church’s voice rings out: “Christ, my hope, has arisen!” (Easter Sequence).
This is a different “contagion”, a message transmitted from heart to heart – for every human heart awaits this Good News. It is the contagion of hope: “Christ, my hope, is risen!”. This is no magic formula that makes problems vanish. No, the resurrection of Christ is not that. Instead, it is the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not “by-pass” suffering and death, but passes through them, opening a path in the abyss, transforming evil into good: this is the unique hallmark of the power of God.
The Risen Lord is also the Crucified One, not someone else. In his glorious body he bears indelible wounds: wounds that have become windows of hope. Let us turn our gaze to him that he may heal the wounds of an afflicted humanity.
Today my thoughts turn in the first place to the many who have been directly affected by the coronavirus: the sick, those who have died and family members who mourn the loss of their loved ones, to whom, in some cases, they were unable even to bid a final farewell. May the Lord of life welcome the departed into his kingdom and grant comfort and hope to those still suffering, especially the elderly and those who are alone. May he never withdraw his consolation and help from those who are especially vulnerable, such as persons who work in nursing homes, or live in barracks and prisons. For many, this is an Easter of solitude lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties.
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This year the parade of people walking down Fifth Avenue in their new Easter clothes (or bonnets) on their way to Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be as distant a memory as the song Irving Berlin wrote about it almost a century ago. Our attendance at the Sydney Royal Easter Show can no longer be counted on to generate the communal sense of excitement as so many people gather just to be part of a loud and noisy crowd of curious show-bag seekers. Even family gatherings for holidays or festive meals; or our churches poised to provide the fullness of ritual and song for each of the holy days will all have to be put on hold, leaving a vacuum that we wonder will we ever be able to fill? All that used to surround this holy season to help build on our happiness at just being together to share in the love of God has dramatically been torn away from us.
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On behalf of the Augustinians of the Australian Province, I assure each of you who are part of an Augustinian parish community that you are in our prayers and thoughts this Easter. This is a difficult time for each of you, your families, your parish communities and our global community. Liturgically we celebrate the passage of Jesus through suffering, death into Life conscious that we share in that journey. In what is happening at present we can feel the heaviness of the first part of this journey without much experience of the joy of Easter. Yet like the green shoots emerging tentatively but surely from the burnt eucalyptus trees of the Australian bushland, signs of Easter are there. Signs of Easter are present in our simple yet extraordinary acts of kindness towards one another in the present corona crisis. They are present in the health care workers on the frontline who are giving of themselves for others. They are present in the sacrifices of public officials who realistically deal with caring for the community in this crisis at the same time as acting to sustain hope. The Augustinians are one with you at this time.
God Bless, Fr Peter
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THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING PROJECT COMPASSION 2020
COVID-19 is affecting all of us. In these challenging times, your
kindness and solidarity can make a world of difference to the lives
of the most vulnerable. Your support is life saving.
DO YOU HAVE PC BOXES AND CASH TO HAND IN?
We know that many of you may not be able to hand in your
PC Boxes, or cash, to parishes or schools at this time.
Did you know that you can go online at ‘lent.caritas.org.au’ and
securely donate with your credit card, or you can send a cheque to
Caritas Australia, GPO Box 9830, Sydney NSW 2001.
Alternatively, if you require assistance with your PX Box or cash,
please call our friendly team on 1800 024 413.
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LINK TO LIVE MASSES PARISH FACEBOOK PAGE - www.facebook.com/NorthHarbourCatholic (Sundays 9.30am)
or YouTube (not live but available by 11am) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt8Dxm0ehFt-5r1ie9xOjLw
FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM INSTRUCTIONS
(for those without a facebook account)
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IF YOU NEED A PRIEST URGENTLY, PLEASE CALL THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER:
Business hours – Parish Office – 9949 4455
After hours (Evenings and weekends) – 0490 898 464