Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

A Week of Feasts!

We are in for a feast of Feasts this week.  On Sunday we will celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord, then on Monday we will celebrate the feast of our country's patroness, Our Lady Help of Christians, and finally next weekend we will celebrate the great feast of Pentecost.

In a message issued this week as “A word of encouragement to the Catholic people of Australia”, our bishops noted that the country “has certainly suffered because of the pandemic, but not as grievously as some other countries”.

The bishops approved the entrustment of the country to Mary Help of Christians during this week’s plenary meeting, conducted using videoconference technology.

The motion read: “That the Australian Bishops entrust Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title Our Lady Help of Christians, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ascension Day

 
So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?"
 
He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
 
When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
 
While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.
 
They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." (Acts 1:1-11).
 
Within Luke's overarching vision of history, the ascension marks a key turning point from when the risen Christ was present visibly to one group of disciples gathered in and around Jerusalem to his being present among his disciples everywhere.
 
In each community that he visited, Luke wanted to affirm that the risen Jesus had both left them – in the sense that they could not directly see him: 'he was taken from their sight' – but also that he was no longer confined to one place, one group or one moment. After the Ascension, he was there in the community now gathered and listening to Luke.
 
This year most of us cannot gather in big assemblies. We must celebrate in small groups if you are in lockdown with family or friends, or you are alone.

But the risen Lord's presence is not confined: he is with you in lockdown – and there is no more appropriate moment to experience this anew than on Ascension Day!
There is no more appropriate day in the whole liturgical year to remember the presence of the Christ among us.
 
 

 
 
I have a favour to ask. Would you pray with me?
 
I’m more aware than ever before of how much we need the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, during this time of the pandemic. All the unknowns make for great anxiety. And then there’s so much loss – the loss of so many lives, the loss of livelihood, the loss of plans we had made, the loss of simple things, like hugs and smiles that are now hidden behind face masks. But I do believe deep in my heart that even at times like these God’s grace abounds. But we need the Spirit to give us the eyes to see it.

This pandemic has already changed our lives forever. It’s forcing us to reimagine ourselves as the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Those first disciples didn’t know how to be Church but had to listen to the quiet voice of the Spirit and dare to go where that voice led them. We’re pretty much in the same situation.

So if you feel inspired, would you join me for the next nine days to pray this novena? Just as Jesus told his followers to gather in the Upper Room and devote themselves to prayer till he would send them the Holy Spirit, so we can do the same. And we can do this together even though separated by space.
  
Click here to access Dan Schutte's  NOVENA FOR PENTECOST. 
 
It’s been many years since I last made a novena, nine days dedicated to prayer. But if there’s ever a moment when we all could use the light and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, it’s now. While we wait till we can be together again for Sunday worship, this is a way we can join our hearts in prayer, as those first disciples did, and wait in hope to receive the Comforter, the Spirit of Jesus.
 
Begin today, and come back each day for the nine days of prayer as we move slowly toward the Feast of Pentecost.
 

Some prayers for Ascension and Pentecost

 
 

Table Prayers for Ascension

Before a meal...
 
Lord Jesus,
Bless us now as you blessed those gathered in Bethany
By asking the Father to hear our prayers
For all who are suffering from this virus
In a whole complex range of ways,
As well as for all who care for them,
And for us gathered here in your presence.
Alleluia!
 
Offering thanks after a meal.
 
God our Father,
We thank you for what we have enjoyed eating
And for our joy around this table.
Look on us gathered here in the presence of Jesus,
Risen from the dead and seated at your right hand,
And bless us on our journey.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Alleluia! 

A glimpse of our life in this parish.

Our people are a friendly...
and fun loving community.
In our Outreach, we support a group of young girls in KonTum, Vietnam
to receive an education they might otherwise not be able to access.
The Easter Vigil is a very special time for us,
as we welcome adults into our faith community through the RCIA.
The Bishop kneels to pray with our confirmation candidates and their sponsors.
Young children are always welcome at our Masses,
and several times a year, families stay and share a meal.
Some come to pray and reflect together,
while others wait patiently for Fr Linh to visit the Aged Care Homes.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is readily available, via a simple phone call.
Our children and their education is the primary concern of our four primary schools.
St Vincent de Paul Society also has a strong presence in our parish.
  • Our people are a friendly...
  • and fun loving community.
  • In our Outreach, we support a group of young girls in KonTum, Vietnam
  • to receive an education they might otherwise not be able to access.
  • The Easter Vigil is a very special time for us,
  • as we welcome adults into our faith community through the RCIA.
  • The Bishop kneels to pray with our confirmation candidates and their sponsors.
  • Young children are always welcome at our Masses,
  • and several times a year, families stay and share a meal.
  • Some come to pray and reflect together,
  • while others wait patiently for Fr Linh to visit the Aged Care Homes.
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation is readily available, via a simple phone call.
  • Our children and their education is the primary concern of our four primary schools.
  • St Vincent de Paul Society also has a strong presence in our parish.

The priests in my life.

Sometimes we just need to stop...and appreciate the good things in life.
 

Healing Prayer to the Spirit

Breathe in us, Holy Spirit, when our bodies ache,
   when our arms are sore from holding the Body of Christ,
   when our shoes wear through from walking with others.
 
Breathe in us, Holy Spirit, when our hearts ache,
   when we are numb from grief or sadness,
   when pain and anguish force us into ourselves.
 
Breathe in us, Holy Spirit, when our souls ache,
   when you feel so far away from the reality of our world,
   when we struggle to trust that God is with us.

Melb Archdiocese updates

The best place to get Archdiocesan updates on COVID-19 is the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
 

Government updates

The best place to get National updates on COVID-19 is the Australian Government Department of Health.
 
The best place to get Victorian updates on COVID-19 is the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria