Reflection from the Annual Clergy Conference held at Torquay June, 2018

Monday 25 July 2018

Dear Parishioners,
In June I attended the Annual Clergy Conference along with many fellow priests. This year the event was held at Torquay. The topic was "Young people and religion in Australia: The Bigger Picture"

The conference discussed youth and draws from research and census data. Following are my notes.

Farewell from Father Shibu Joseph

Saturday 28 April 2018

My dear Friends,
I am amazed at how time flies. More than seven years have passed since I first came to the communities of Park Orchards and Ringwood North. As I glance at those years, I realize that God has been wonderfully gracious to me in different ways through these communities. How lucky I am to have been in these communities for these years. Perhaps I was the luckiest priest in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to be in the best community of people.

Wishing you a Happy Easter…

Thursday 29 March 2018

Wishing you a Happy Easter…
It is another Easter. The forty days of Lenten observances, the readings and reflections of appropriate texts from the Scriptures during this time and now with the renewal of our baptismal commitment and the celebration itself have made us refreshed and renewed in spirit. "I came that you may have life; life in abundance," said Jesus (Jn.10:10). With his passion, death and resurrection the Lord has given us life, yes, life in abundance.

A puppy said to an old dog, "I've been told that joy lies in my tail. Thus I'm chasing it; and when I catch it, I'll be joyful." The old dog mused, "True joy lies in our tails. Yet, I've realized that when I chase, it eludes me. But when I go about doing my duty, it follows me." Joy is God's gift associated with the Easter season that we celebrate.

Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Denis Hart - Lent 2018 - "“Repent and believe the good news!”

Thursday 8 February 2018

Dear Friends,
Lent is a time for ‘Spring cleaning’ in our souls. We move the furniture in our life, take down the curtains, wash the windows and create space by removing what clutters our daily lives. It is not just a matter of getting rid of mess. It is rearranging things, finding ways to create more room, a better space. We see ourselves differently and make more room for God.

During the holy season of Lent we open our hearts and minds to a fresh, deeper, fuller awareness of God within us, around us: a deeper awareness of God's will for us. We are each called to spend extra time in prayer and to confess our sins honestly to Christ in the Sacrament of Penance.

Lent reminds us forcefully that we will be judged at our death and must give an account of our life.

Yet death is such a taboo subject in our culture. Some treat it as a ’problem’ that can be 'solved' and legislated about. But Lent reminds us we must ponder deeply its stark reality.

During our life on earth we struggle to protect our future with bank accounts, credit cards and investments. We protect the future with health plans, life insurance, social security and retirement plans. There is nothing wrong with that. But the statistic on death has not changed. It is still one per person.

Pray for Christmas

Thursday 28 December 2017

Dear Friends,

First of all I wish you a joyful and meaningful celebration of Christmas. As of now, Christmas greetings would have been sent and Christmas presents bought and wrapped and ready to be given. Christmas shopping would be sorted, ordered and ready to be shared at the Christmas table. We would have sung with all our hearts the Christmas carols, as we had our Christmas break-ups. We would have set up our Christmas lights flickering at night.

All of these and more are indeed signs that Christmas is in the air. But we need to remember that Christmas is more than just something that we do, or something we give. In fact, Christmas is about someone, and this someone has a name, Jesus - the Emmanuel, the God-with-us, the God who humbly came down from his throne in heaven, and chose to be born in a lowly manger – ‘a saviour who has been born to us (Lk 2:11)’, the ‘true light that enlightens all people (Jn 1:9)’.

Prepare and Watch – Season of Advent

Tuesday 14 November 2017

With the First Sunday of Advent, we start a new liturgical year. Advent is a season of preparation and anticipation. On the surface, we often think of the Advent season as a time the Church uses to prepare us for Christmas; the birth of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Scripture tell us that this preparation goes much deeper than celebrating an event that happened 2000 years ago. Advent is more than us getting into the Christmas spirit. It prepares us for seeing and accepting God in our lives and knowing that our ultimate goal and destiny is eternal life in heaven.

Remember in November

Tuesday 14 November 2017

In the Catholic faith, the month of November is dedicated to all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. We commemorate the dead at every single Mass, as part of the Eucharistic Prayer. This month gives us an opportunity to reflect in a special way, not only on the souls in purgatory but also on us who are left behind to live this moment. The topic may sound morbid, but in fact it contains a secret to tremendous joy.

The Assumption of Mary

Wednesay 9 August 2017

August 15th is the date for the Feast of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary. The Feast commemorates the Assumption of Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul into heaven was one of the last dogmas of the Roman Church to be declared. It was formally declared by Pope Pius XIII in 1950, but the idea of it has been around for centuries.

Wishing you a Happy Easter

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Easter Greetings to you all as we celebrate Christ’s rising, the root of our faith, which impels us to join the joyful alleluias of Paschal joy – Alleluia, He is risen!

In this setting of vibrant jubilation we hear Jesus greeting each of us “Peace be with you!” This same peace of our Risen Saviour awaits people of our own day

Lent - Repent and believe in the Gospel

Wednesday 1st March 2017

We are at the threshold of the season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. The imposition of ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday reminds us of the call to repentance and to believe in the good news. It is a season to celebrate the mysteries of our redemption – passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. During this season of Lent the suffering Lord invites us to put love in all that we think, do and act. When there is love then all our actions gain a new meaning: almsgiving becomes generous and spontaneous; prayer becomes union with God and leads to action and fasting becomes a sign of our solidarity with the poor and dependence on God.

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