Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

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Gold? Frankincense? Myrrh?

Have you ever wondered why the three Kings gave the infant Jesus the gifts they did?
Just what was the significance of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?

Sarah Broscombe invites us to contemplate what these gifts symbolised, and then encourages us to set aside some reflective time to write our own gift list in the spirit of the origins of the tradition.
Read her intriguing article here, and then, as Sarah herself says, "why not create a list that actually reflects the marvelling of the Wise Men, the mind-boggling generosity of God, the gorgeousness of your friends and family, and the thrill that you have had on those occasions when you receive a truly apt gift?"

Sit awhile with Mary, as Amy Grant presents this reflection.

Women have been leading since Biblical times - they can lead again today.

Richard Clifford S.J. invites us to consider three turning pojnts in biblical history, where surprisingly, women have taken on leadership roles.

"These instances in which the Bible portrays female leadership at critical moments are not just acknowledgments that women were present or filled out the scene. In each case, they proved instrumental in moving the history of Israel forward, and what they did had an enormous influence upon subsequent events. Leadership by males proved inadequate for a new era; another kind of governance was called for, and it was done by women. Their stories illustrate vividly what Paul meant when he asked his congregation at Corinth to look around and see if they could find among themselves “the wise” and “the strong” of this world. Paul concluded, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27).
It is well worth reading, and considering as a topic for the Plenary Council. Read it here.

The Jesuits invite us to use Advent to prepare for the Lord

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December has arrived! Suddenly, houses are being wrapped in wondrous displays of lighting in anticipation of Christmas, and the end of the year is hurtling along with end of year activities, parties, gift buying, cooking and the busyness of the pre-Christmas season.

For us, this pre-Christmas season has another aspect to it. Just as it intensifies the hustle and bustle of daily life December can also offer a radical break with that hustle and bustle. When we name this pre-Christmas period as Advent, we accept the invitation of Advent's promise to enter into a fuller sense of time.

As we move through the coming weeks of Advent, stopping to contemplate Christ's Incarnation in a particular time and place, we can become more fully present in our own time and place. During Advent, prayerful expectation can lead to purposeful action, including service to those in need and grateful attention to friends and family. Without contemplation, action devolves into mere activity.

Advent, as a time of preparation for the for birth of the Christ child, invites us to sit with Scripture so that we may learn how to linger, how to be patient, how to be still.
Jesuit Communications is inviting people to connect more prayerfully with the sacred scriptures this Advent season, and their reflections can be found here. Alternatively they can be found on Facebook here.


Australian Bishop: respect for women is a top concern at Youth Synod

Our regional Bishop, Mark Edwards O.M.I., also hit the media in an interview with America Magaziine, when he was quoted as saying "We have a picture of what the goal looks like—the dignity of women, women feeling appreciated, their gifts being used—but how do you get there?” he asked. “Maybe the next step will show itself once we take this step.”
Read his interview here

'Knock, knock. Who's there? More than half the church!'

An Editorial at the National Catholic Reporter on Oct 25, 2018 has an interesting line on the topic of womens' place in the church, which is also worthwhile. Read it here.

Late Addition: Connecticut Bishop appoints laywoman to lead parish

NEW YORK - Less than two months after serving as delegate in the Bishops Synod on Youth which called women’s leadership within the Church “a duty of justice,” Bishop Frank Caggiano has established a new leadership model in a Connecticut parish, appointing a woman to serve as parish life coordinator.

The appointment of Dr. Eleanor W. Sauers, which was announced on Sunday in a letter to parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua in Fairfield, Connecticut, grants Sauers decision-making authority over a team of priests who will be responsible for sacramental ministry.

Read the full story here.