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:  http://bit.ly/1tuFnsJ
St Francis of Assisi:  http://bit.ly/1lUMFqY
Dorothy Day:  http://bit.ly/1uk4HnR
Thomas Merton:  http://bit.ly/1iTR8Yw
Mother Teresa:  http://bit.ly/1uHZy7n
St Peter:  http://bit.ly/1wfCtdh
St Joan of Arc:  http://bit.ly/1qfZb5w
St Bernadette:  http://bit.ly/1tJjVnI

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

A talk by Fr ronald Rolheiser OMI.  http://bit.ly/1tJjVUw

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:  http://bit.ly/ZgoXv2

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.  http://bit.ly/1qfZe1e

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://bit.ly/1AwZDfM

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://bit.ly/1wfCxto

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://bit.ly/1xGBiId

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://bit.ly/1wfCyO1      To watch Talk 5, click here:  http://bit.ly/1oqQ0tg

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://bit.ly/1lUN38X

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://bit.ly/1rEmC3I

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://bit.ly/1qKv83u

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:  http://bit.ly/1uk581f

 

Latest News 

CHRISTMAS MASSES

St Michael’s: 
Christmas Eve: Children’s Mass: 6 pm (Children are invited to come dressed as shepherds, angels or magi.)
8 pm and Midnight.  (The Midnight Mass is preceded by carols, commencing at 11.30 pm.)

Christmas Day:  9.30 am.

Greenwich:  Christmas Day: 8 am.

Riverview: Christmas Eve at 8 pm.

Note:  There is no 6 pm Mass on December 25.

CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS MASS: CHRISTMAS EVE AT 6 PM

The story of the Nativity will be re-enacted by our children again this year at the 6 pm Christmas Eve Mass.  If your child is interested in participating in the Pageant or is willing to share his/her beautiful voice in the choir please send an email to Tahnee ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) with the following details:  Name of child, school, age, school year, CHOIR or PAGEANT.
We also need a few parent volunteers for both the choir and pageant.  Can you please send Tahnee your name, phone number and email address if you are able to assist?
Please note the children are required to be in Year 1 and above for the Pageant and Year 2 and above for the Choir. The deadline to reply is the 14th November.  Roles are limited and we encourage new participants to apply. Please know that we will attempt to accommodate the children in our full capacity so we appreciate your flexibility.
 First Rehearsals will begin on 22 November at 4pm for the CHOIR in the Parish Hall and on 23 November at 4pm for the PAGEANT in the Church.  Rehearsals will continue on the these dates and times:  Choir:  4 pm on December 6, 13, 20 and 23.  Pageant:  10.30 am on December 7, 14, 21 and 23.

ADVENT REFLECTIONS

Fr Robert Barron is offering free daily reflections throughout Advent.  Each day, from November 30 until Christmas Eve, you will receive a short reflection on an advent theme (in either English or Spanish).  If you’re interested, go to http://AdventReflections.com

LECTIO DIVINA FOR ADVENT 2014

The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay has been creating lectio divina guides for the Seasons of Lent and Advent since 2009. During the past 5 years, these guides have reached over 70,000 people across every diocese in Australia and beyond.  To download the Lectio Divina booklet as a PDF file, click here:  http://www.dbb.org.au/news/dsp-default-lectio.cfm?loadref=588

SCHOOL REFERENCES

At this time of the year many parents are completing applications forms for our local Catholic high schools.  Most of the local Catholic high schools require a parish reference.  Fr Geoffrey is more than happy to complete your reference and forward it to the school.  Please make sure that you are on the parish data base (you can download a parish census form from the website).  If you do not know Fr Geoffrey personally, please make an appointment to see him.  If you are not on the parish data base and are unknown to Fr Geoffrey, the only option he has is to indicate that he has insufficient knowledge of the family to make a recommendation.   Please include a family photograph with your parish reference.

CAN YOU HELP WITH THE CHRISTMAS EVE CHILDREN'S MASS?

If you’re interested in participating as a parent helper and coordinator at the 6 pm children’s Christmas Mass, please contact Henia Colinard - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THINKING ABOUT BECOMING A CATHOLIC?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which adults who have never been baptised are welcomed into the church.  It also welcomes baptised members of other Christian churches who would like to explore the possibility of becoming a Catholic. 
We meet on Monday evenings, except during school holidays, but Monday, October 6.  Where?  Some meetings are held at the parish house (next door to the church), but on other weeks we meet in parishioners' houses.  For further information, and to find out where we are meeting on a particular Monday, please contact our RCIA Co-ordinator, Ruth Connelly, on 0414 851 471.

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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