From the desk of Father Geoff

WORTH WATCHING!

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:

Pope Saint John XXIII:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDeQ2q9gwI8
S
t Francis of Assisi:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw1LDSV23zA
Dorothy Day:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIknaD0qtOU
Thomas Merton:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O650TPCIXrI
Mother Teresa:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR8Z626rrqw
S
t Peter:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-_-a2iFpUo
St Joan of Arc:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPhbl-tjSoc
St Bernadette:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K3XmlfzdXQ

SPIRITUALITY AND THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE: ONE SIZE DOESN'T FIT ALL

A talk by Fr ronald Rolheiser OMI.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEm_vrPtZIU 

A JESUIT AND A FRANCISCAN DISCUSS THE FIRST YEAR OF POPE FRANCIS' PONTIFICATE

Fr James Martin SJ and Fr Richard Rohr OFM discuss the first year of Pope Francis' pontificate.  The discussion lasts for just over 8 minutes.  Click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TtuO44sv2M

SISTER HELEN PREJEAN TALKS ABOUT POPE FRANCIS.

Sister Helen is the nun who inspired the movie Dead Man Walking.  In this brief clip she speaks about people who have inspired her, including Pope Francis.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y7-d4WyGPQ

INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE

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:  http://youtu.be/j4P8iOUIS6k

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:  http://youtu.be/d1hV9qgsidk

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:  http://youtu.be/IV_buqNkmIc

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: http://youtu.be/fGEW4J_Qwi0      To watch Talk 5, click here:  http://youtu.be/gHo-k5Krs8c

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:  http://youtu.be/obJHjDw1N7I

CHRISTIAN MEDITATION

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:  http://youtu.be/9oa-FkDjgtw

AN INTERVIEW WITH POPE FRANCIS

In August of 2013 Pope Francis was interviewed by Fr Antonio Spadaro, editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal.   Fr Spadaro met the pope at the Vatican in the pope’s apartments in the Casa Santa Marta, where he has chosen to live since his election.   To download the interview as a PDF file, click here:  http://thinkingfaith.org/articles/20130919_1.pdf

WHO IS THE POPE?

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:  http://youtu.be/E6FTH1MB70o

VIDEO HOMILIES
Click on the image below to view my latest homily, or go to my Youtube channel to view all my homilies and talks:  https://www.youtube.com/user/GeoffreyPlant2066

 

Latest News 

THINKING OF BECOMING A CATHOLIC?     Information Evening July 22

If you’ve never been baptised, or if you are a member of another Christian denomination and would like to learn more about the Catholic faith, we invite you to an information evening to be held in the Parish House on Tuesday, July 22, commencing at 7.30 pm.

This information evening will explain the process that we call the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).  The RCIA involves weekly meetings that last for about an hour in which we explore the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church.  You are invited to attend even if you have no intention of becoming a Catholic.  

The RCIA reaches a conclusion at Easter 2015.  Those wishing to become Catholics are baptised or received into the Catholic Church during the Holy Saturday night Easter Mass.

 The Parish House is adjacent to the Church.  The address is 204 Longueville Road.  All are welcome to attend.

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME FOR 2014

To download the Sacramental Program brochure, click on "Sacraments" on the home page.

FIRST RECONCILIATION (CONFESSION) 2014

All the information you require to enroll your child in the First Reconciliation program can be found on the website.  Please click on "Sacraments" (top left hand corner of this page) and follow the prompts.  You can download all the forms required for the enrollment process.

WALKING THE CAMINO - DEPARTING SEPTEMBER 23

Join us next year to walk the Camino from León to Santiago de Compostela.   The pilgrimage departs Sydney on Tuesday, 23 September 2014, and returns to Australia on Sunday, 12 October, 2014.  We start walking on Friday 26 September, covering about 20 kms a day. We arrive in Santiago de Compostela on Thursday, 9 October, having walked about 300 kms.  We arrive back in Australia on October 12, 2014. 

Although this is a walking pilgrimage, the group will be supported with a bus to carry luggage.  Pilgrims will only be carrying a day backpack while walking.  The cost of the pilgrimage is $7,550.  That includes return airfares, transfers, local guide, pre-booked hotels, daily bus support for luggage, breakfast and dinner daily, and two lunches.  It will also be possible to accommodate pilgrims do not want to return to Australia straight away, or pilgrims who want find their own way to León (in Spain).  

If you're interested in further information, please email Fr Geoffrey to receive a brochure that contains a day-by-day breakdown of the pilgrimage, or collect a hard copy of the brochure from the pamphlet rack.

If you’d like to receive the monthly Camino Newsletter, email Fr Geoff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     The Newsletter is for those who are thinking about joining us on the pilgrimage, and for those who would like to join us in spirit!

SEEKING CATECHISTS FOR 2014

 Several catechists will be retiring at the end of this year, so we need to start recruiting now for 2014.  If you’re interested, contact the parish office and we’ll put you in touch with Anna Miller, our parish catechist co-ordinator.   During this term you may like to sit at the back of classroom and see what’s involved.  Our catechists have excellent resources and backup.  

ROSTERS FOR SENIOR SERVERS, LECTORS, ALTAR SERVERS AND WARDENS 

The latest rosters are now available for download.  Go to "Rosters" on the homepage.

SOME INTERESTING STATISTICS ABOUT THE PARISH FROM THE 2011 NATIONAL CENSUS

The following information about parish demographics is taken from the 2011 national census.  The total number of people living in the parish is 31,512 (36,119 in 2006). 

The Catholic population of the parish is 9,320 (10,036 in 2006) - i.e. 29.6% of the parish is Catholic (up from 27.8% in 2006).  The percentage of Catholics nationwide is 25.29%. 

Other statistics relating to the parish: No religion: 24.79%;  Anglicans: 17.54%;  Orthodox Christians: 2.7%; Other Christians: 9.8%; Non-Christian religion: 8%; Religion not stated: 7.6%.

The median age of Catholics in this parish is 35 years.  There are 3,214 Catholic families in the parish, and 753 Catholics live alone.  Forty-three per cent of Catholics in the parish have a university degree (up from 38% in 2006), and 66% of Catholic students living in the parish attend a Catholic school (down from 70% in 2006). 

WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECKS

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: www.newcheck.kids.nsw.gov.au 
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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