From the desk of Father Geoff

Visit my Youtube channel to view all my homilies and talks:

Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C:

Homily for the 1st Sunday of Advent, Year C:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 33:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 32:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 31:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 30:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 29:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 28:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 27:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 26:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 25:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 24:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 23:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 22:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 21:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 20:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 19:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 18:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 17:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 16:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 15:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 14:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 13:

Homily for the Birth of St John the Baptist:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 11:

Homily for Ordinary Time, Week 10:

Homily for the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ:

Homily for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity:

Homily for the Feast of Pentecost:

Homily for the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord:

Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter:

Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter:

Homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter:

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter:

Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Easter:

Homily for Easter Sunday:

Homily for Passion (Palm) Sunday:

Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent:

Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent:

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent:

Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent:

Homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent:

Homily for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Homily for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Homily for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Homily for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Homily for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Homily for the Feast of the Epiphany:

Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family:

A Christmas Reflection:  Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25?:

Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent:

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent:

Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent:

Homily for the 1st Sunday of Advent:




I’m currently working on a series of introductory talks on the Bible.  They are designed for people who are unfamiliar with the Bible, or for those who would like a refresher course.  

Talk 1 asks the basic question, “Why do we need a sacred text like the Bible?”  To watch Talk 1, click here:

Talk 2 looks at the importance of story.  Each of us has a story, and our story consists of all the people, places and events that make us the unique individual that we are.  To lose our story is to lose our identity.  To watch Talk 2, click here:

The Christian Bible is made up of the Old and New Testaments.  Talk 3 takes a look at the Old Testament.  What’s in the Old Testament, and what kind of literature are we dealing with?  To watch Talk 3, click here:

Talks 4 and 5 look at the New Testament.  What’s in the New Testament, and who finally decided which books would be included in the New Testament?  To watch Talk 4, click here:       To watch Talk 5, click here:

Talk 6 look at the historical background of the biblical story.  There is no text without context, so what is the historical context of the biblical story.  Click here to watch Talk 6:

Talk 7 offers an overview of the four gospels.  What is a gospel and why were the gospels written?  What's in the gospels?  Click here to watch Talk 7:


TALK 1:  I'm currently working on a series of talks that looks at key New Testament words as we find them in the Greek New Testament.  When we read the New Testament in English we are reading it in translation.  The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, the popular or common form of the Greek language spoken from around 300 BC until about 300 AD.  The Italians have a saying, Traduttore Traditore - the translator is a traitor.  There’s nothing sinister implied in that saying; it cleverly highlights the difficult task confronting any translator.  How do you express in English the full dynamism of a text written in another language, in this case the Koine Greek?  Each talk in this series will look at key New Testament word in the Greek New Testament and try to see how it was used and understood in its original first century context.  Click here to watch Talk 1: 

TALK 2:  The Greek Alphabet.  Since each talk in this series focuses on a key word from the Greek New Testament, it would be helpful to learn the Greek alphabet.  This talk offers a basic introduction to the Greek alphabet, as it would have been pronounced in koine Greek.  Click here to watch Talk 2:

TALK 3:  New Testament Words:  Ἰησοῦς (Iesous-Jesus).   The name Ἰησοῦς (Iesous) is a Greek translation of the Hebrew name Yehoshua.  Our pronunciation, Jesus, comes to us from the Greek via the Latin, Iesus.  Click here to watch Talk 3:

TALK 4:  New Testament Words:  Χριστός (Christos - Christ).  What does the word Christ mean, and what does it mean to call Jesus the Christ?  Click here to watch Talk 4:

TALK 5:  New Testament Words:  Ἀρχηγὸς (Archegos).  A title given to Jesus, but found only four times in the New Testament.  Click here to watch Talk 5:

TALK 6:  New Testament Words:  Tέκτων (tektōn).  In Mark’s gospel we learn that Jesus was a tektōn, a word that most bibles translate as carpenter.  What did it mean to be a tektōn in first century Palestine?  Click here to watch Talk 6:

TALK 7:  New Testament Words:  Mετάνοια (metanoia).  Metanoia is usually translated as “repentance”, but what does that mean?  Click here to watch Talk 7:

TALK 8:  New Testament Words: Παράκλητος (paraklētos).  Jesus is called a Paraklētos as is the Holy Spirit.  We don’t have an exact equivalent in English, which is why some translations use the word Paraclete.  What does the word mean, and what is it saying about Jesus and the Holy Spirit?  Click here to watch Talk 8:

TALK 9:  New Testament Words: εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion).  Our English word Gospel is a translation of the Greek εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion) which means “good news”.  Click here to watch Talk 9:


This talk is an introduction to Christian meditation.  Because we’re constantly thinking about one thing or another, our mind is often likened to a tree full of noisy, playful monkeys.  This form of meditation, using a prayer word or mantra, seeks to still the mind and rest in silence in the presence of God.   Click here if you’d like to learn more about Christian meditation:


When Pope Benedict resigned I prepared this talk about the election of a pope.  Who is the pope, how is he elected, and by whom?  If you’d like to learn more, click here:

Walking the Camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela

A number of parishioners joined me in 2014 to walk the Camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela.  Click here to view a photographic meditation of our pilgrimage: 

A Photographic meditation on Gethsemani Abbey

In 2011 I made a two weeks' retreat at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, USA.  Gethsemani was the Cistercian abbey where Thomas Merton lived, and this year is the 100th anniversary of his birth.  Clink on the link to view my meditation on Gethsemani, including my visit to Thomas Merton's hermitage in the grounds of the monastery.  The background music comes from the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.  Here's the link:

From Atheist to Catholic

I’d like you to meet Jennifer Fulwiler.  Jennifer grew up an atheist and was received into the Catholic Church in 2007, along with her husband.  She tells the story of of her conversion in her book Something Other than God.  (You can buy it through Fishpond - $28.92, postage free).  Hear something of her story at (Note: the audio is a little soft).  Another link to a lecture in which she also tells her story can be found at:   In these talks Jennifer talks about her personal journey from atheism to Christianity, and more specifically, to Catholicism.  You can also check out her website:


Fr James Martin SJ has an interesting series on the saints entitled "Who cares about the saints?"  Each episode is a brief (about 10 minutes) overview of the life of a saint, such as St Francis of Assisi, or St Ignatius.  But Fr Martin also profiles the lives of other people who are not yet saints, such as Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day.  So, have a look:

Our Lady:
St Joseph:
Pope Saint John XXIII:
St Francis of Assisi:
Dorothy Day:
Thomas Merton:
Mother Teresa:
St Peter:
St Joan of Arc:
St Bernadette:
St Ignatius:


Anglican Scripture scholar and bishop, N.T. (Tom) Wright presents an excellent program on the resurrection of Jesus.


A talk by Fr ronald Rolheiser OMI.


Latest News

Thinking of Becoming a Catholic?

If you have never been baptised, or if you are a baptised member of another Christian denomination, we invite you to come to an information evening about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
The RCIA involves a weekly meeting, for about an hour, during which we explore the beliefs and practices of the Catholic church through talks and discussion.  There is no fee involved, nor are people who attend pressured to become Catholic.  The sessions are led by members of the RCIA team. 
The RCIA leads up to Easter 2019, when catechumens (those never baptised) are baptised, and candidates (baptised members of other Christian churches) are received into the Catholic church. 
You can be part of the RCIA course even if you only wish to find out more about the Catholic church.  Contact the Parish Office for further information.

Child Protection

In November 2015 the Archdiocese of Sydney established a Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity Office to raise awareness of our responsibility to protect children. 
The Office has recommended that each parish appoint a Parish Safeguarding Support Officer to support the parish Priest.  Fr Geoffrey has appointed Elizabeth Cashman to this position.  Elizabeth’s task is to review the register of all parish volunteers to ensure that everyone has completed a volunteer form, signed the code of conduct, obtained a Working With Children check, and completed online training.
NSW Government legislation requires people working with children to obtain a Working With Children Check.
The Archdiocese has recently extended this requirement to include parishioners who are readers at Mass, Ministers of the Eucharist, Ministers to the Sick, Wardens, Senior Servers, Sacristans, Choir members, Musicians and singers.
Volunteers who require a WWC are also required to complete an online training course - comprising 2x20 minute sessions.  An email will be sent to volunteers in the next few weeks.  
If you are involved in any of these ministries - at St Michael’s, Riverview or Greenwich - and do not yet have your WWC check, please go to the Parish website for further information. 

St Michael's Christmas Giving Tree Appeal

Our parish Giving Tree is your opportunity to help bring a smile to the face of someone less fortunate this Christmas. 
This year we will again be supporting both the House of Welcome centre for asylum seekers and refugees and the Baabayn Aboriginal Community. 
Please take a gift tag from the back of the church and purchase a gift for a person of the age and gender written on the tag, then return the present with the tag attached to under the tree in the church by 16 December. 
The organisations have kindly asked if presents could either be wrapped in cellophane or placed in bags to help them match the gift to the recipient.  Thank you for your generous support.

Plenary Council 2020 – Listen to what the Spirit is saying

Pope Francis has approved the Australian Bishops’ decision to hold a Plenary Council in Australia in 2020 and 2021. It is a significant moment for the Church in Australia to make decisions about the future.   To prepare the agenda for the Plenary Council, all of God’s people are invited to reflect on the question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?” Find out more about the Plenary Council 2020 at the new website now online:

You may prefer to respond to respond to the questions as a member of a small group of five or six people.  If so, please contact our parish Plenary Council Coordinator, Colette Carpenter, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Children's Christmas Eve Mass

As part of the Christmas Eve Mass children act out the nativity story, as well as leading the congregation in singing.  So, we invite children to participate, either as members of the children’s choir, or as actors in the Christmas pageant. 
Rehearsal dates for the Nativity play will take place in the church at 4 pm on the following dates:  Sunday, December 2, 9 and 16.
Rehearsal dates for the Children’s Christmas choir will take place on Saturday, December 15 and 22 at 4 pm in the church.

Parish 2020 Survey Report

The results of the Parish 2020 survey are complete and can be viewed on the link below.  Our response rate was commendable and we thank those who took the time to complete the survey, your valuable input will help shape the planning process of our parish.

To recap, this survey was part of the Pastoral Plan for our Archdiocese.  People were asked to participate and provide their input on their parish experience, parish priorities and ways to grow and strengthen our community.

The formal Parish 2020 process will continue to address archdiocesan wide issues with deanery based focus groups commencing in the near future.  In the meantime, equipped with the data from our Parish survey, our team will be working to introduce new ways to improve pastoral care and strengthen our ministry.  

We hope you will take the time to review our results.

Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation

That’s a bit of a mouthful, but Pope Francis has just released this document, titled in Latin Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), on marriage and the family.  Amoris Laetitia gathers together the contributions of the two Synods on the family convoked by Pope Francis in 2014 and 2015, and draws on a long history of Church teaching.   Click here to read Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family:

Social Justice Update - Teresa House Homeless Shelter

We now have over sixty people who have volunteered, which will guarantee the success of opening Teresa House on a Thursday night. Current numbers indicate that any volunteers will only need to commit to once every three months for either the dinner or the night shift, which is fantastic.  If you wish to find out more you can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as it is not too late to get involved. 

Archbishop's Pastoral Letter for the Consecrated Life

Copies of Archbishop Fisher’s pastoral letter for the Year of Consecrated Life are available in the foyer of the church.  Alternatively, you can watch the Archbishop deliver his message on Youtube.  Click here:

Social Justice Statement

The Australian Catholic Bishops annual Social Justice Statement for 2015-16 is For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas: Justice for refugees an asylum seekers. For those interested you can access the statement and information on actions we can take at 

Pope Francis' Encyclical on the Environment

Pope Francis has just released an Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.  The name of this encyclical comes from its opening words, “Laudato si’ mi’ Signore” (Praise be to you, my Lord).  In the words of this beautiful canticle, St Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home (planet Earth) is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.  “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.”  Pope Francis makes the point that “this sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.”  To read Pope Francis' Encyclical on the Environment (Laudato Si'), click here:


All parishioners who have a parish ministry that involves working with children must obtain a Working with Children Check number.  At St Michael’s this means: Catechists, those helping with children’s liturgy, and senior servers.  People who do not have  a WWW check number will not be able to work with children.  Because you work on a volunteer basis, there is no charge.  Paid employees must pay an $80 fee.
Step 1:  This is an online process.  The website that you must go to is: 
Step 2:  Once you have accessed the website, click on “Start Here”.  You go to the “For individuals” section (not “For employers”), and click on “Apply”.  That will open up the online application form which will ask you for your personal details.  It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete the form.  The information you give on this form must match your “proof of identity” document (e.g. your driver’s licence).  In the section, “purpose for the check”, make sure you click “volunteer”.
Step 3:  You will receive an application receipt number, beginning with APP.
Step 4:  You must then go to a Motor Registry Office with your APP number and proof of identity (e.g. a NSW driver’s licence).
Step 5:  The parish must then verify that you have received a Working With Children Check Number.  Your check will be valid for five years.
If you have any questions, please contact the parish office.

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Weekend Mass Times

St Michael's Church, Lane Cove
Vigil (Saturday) - 6pm
Sunday - 9:30am & 6pm

Mary Help of Christians Chapel, Greenwich
Sunday - 8am

Saint Ignatius' Chapel, Riverview
Sunday - 7:30am

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