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We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, as the traditional caretakers of the land which is the Richmond Catholic Parish.

We acknowledge the Elders, past and present.

May we, too, be good stewards of this land.

Testing Leads to Trusting PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 01 March 2015 – Second Sunday of Lent

This is my Son, the beloved; listen to him

The transfigurationThe destination of our Lenten journey is clearly to be seen in today’s readings: the mystery of the Cross, in which the father ‘did not spare his own Son’, and the glory which was to be the Risen Christ’s in his final triumph, glimpsed on the mountain.

The testing of Abraham is one of the masterpieces of the Old Testament. The story echoes a brutal age in which the sacrifice of children was not uncommon – in fact, the people of the old Israel were taught to sacrifice an animal in place of their offspring, to turn them away from this horrendous temptation.

But the real point of the story, made so wonderfully, is the absolute trust that is asked of Abraham, making him the model of all true believers. To the people of Abraham’s world there was nothing more important in life than descendants who would remember and honour them. Long after the age when he could expect a child, God gave Abraham a son. If he gives up Isaac, he has nothing left but his trust in God. That trust is rewarded – those who will call him their father will be countless; all the peoples of the earth will be blessed in his name – through the salvation brought by the Cross of Christ.

This heart-rending story of the testing of a father’s love is linked in today’s liturgy with the basic truth of our Christian faith, proclaimed by St Paul, in the second reading. The eternal Father, who for our sake ‘did not spare his own Son’, will not refuse anything to his people in their need.

Excerpt from Fr John Thornhill sm | Image courtesy of turnbacktogod.com in article The Meaning of Jesus' Transfiguration

Buy slavery-free chocolate this EasterWill you be buying slavery-free chocolate this Easter?

In the lead up to Easter 2015, support cocoa farmers and help stamp out child trafficking in the cocoa industry by buying and consuming certified Easter eggs.

Perhaps you would like to visit www.signwithmary.com.au and sign the petition.

See Also

Last Updated on Friday, 27 February 2015 17:28
A desert experience PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 22 February 2015 – First Sunday of Lent

He was tempted by Satan, and the angels looked after him

Many of us have faced big, life changing decisions in our life. Marrying, moving out of home or out of our country, leaving a secure job to follow our dream, retiring to devote ourselves to voluntary work are just a few of them. Such decisions often make us anxious so that we need to deal with our inner demons. Today’s Gospel shows Jesus confronted with this kind of decision. He was called from being a private citizen to a public life of preaching that God’s time had come. The Spirit of God who had called him drags him into the desert.


The desert was a lonely place without distractions, where you were left alone among snakes and scorpions, with your thoughts and fears and addictions. It was the place where demons preyed on you. You quickly got rid of any sentimental notions and asked yourself whether you really wanted to follow your dreams and what really mattered to you.

It was right for him to go into the desert - God’s Spirit led him there to test his purpose. So at the end of his time there he began to preach confidently about the need for the change of heart needed to hear the Good News. To repent is to be changed completely, to have your heart turned around so that you see things in a quite different way. That is what the time in the desert did for Jesus. He knew what mattered and its discovery filled him with joy, as he knew it would do for others.

It is the Spirit who leads us into these hard times when God seems far away...

We hear this Gospel at the beginning of Lent. It is also a time to ask ourselves what matters in our lives and to open ourselves to hear the Good News that God has joined us in Jesus, shared our troubles, and died and rose for us. It is a time to rediscover the joy of the Gospel and to renew our following of Jesus.

Like Jesus we often discover what matters through testing experiences – through loneliness away from home, through sickness, through the death of people we love, or failure in what we desperately want to do. The Gospel reminds us that it is the Spirit who leads us into these hard times when God seems far away, and that God is with us as he was with Jesus. They can also lead us to focus on what matters and to find the Good News of God’s presence.

At Jesuit Social Services the young people we meet have often entered terrifying deserts where their demons play wantonly. Abuse, addiction, homelessness, disadvantage of all kinds. If they come through it their experience can make them a great gift to others who pass through this desert. And to accompany them is a privilege, helping them to see what matters and to reconnect with the world from which they were cut off.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ

Unity, diversity, inclusivityParishioner’s Information Form - Reminder

Please return your form to us by Sunday 08 March 2015

Thanks very much to all the parishioners who have completed the forms. If you have not yet done so, we would appreciate your generous support by completing the forms within the collection period.

We strive to strengthen our Catholic Community with Diversity, Hospitality and Inclusivity. Understanding your needs and interests helps us to create a more cohesive Parish Community.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2015 18:27
Embracing the rejected PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 15 February 2015 – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The leprosy left him and he was cured

Jesus touches the leperTo touch the unclean made one unclean. As John J Pilch noted in his book, The Cultural World of Jesus (pp 35), ancient Jews concerned themselves with the notion of pollution, not of infection. They made little distinction between a cultural and a natural source of the pollution, as long as they kept the source of the pollution at a distance.

Embracing those rejected is the first step towards healing them

In a culture that had a firm mistrust of change, they had an obligation to reject anything that changed what they believed was a God-given lifestyle. When Jesus touched the diseased man, he ‘took’ the disease upon himself. He changed the status of the ‘unclean’ to ‘clean’ and became polluted. He made himself rejected, so the leper could become accepted. And he did it willingly. In this sense, Mark foreshadowed Jesus' ultimate act of accepting pollution from nature and society. He took death upon himself, so all might have eternal life with God.

Excerpt of a reflection on the Gospel by Larry Broding

Parishioner’s Information Form

UnityYour participation is crucial.

At this weekend's Masses (14-15 Feb 2015), we are distributing Parishioners’ Information Forms, aiming to understand your needs and interests in order to build a more cohesive Richmond Catholic Community. We look forward to your positive response. Thank you.

We create and strengthen our Richmond Catholic Community with our unity and thankful hearts. God bless you and your families.

Lent 2015: Way of the Cross

Lent is a season of self-examination, fasting and penance in preparation for our Easter Day observance. The period of Lent lasts for 40 days. In preparation of our souls, Richmond Catholic Parish will conduct The Way of the Cross on four consecutive Thursday evenings:

When: 26 February, 5, 12 and 19 March at 7:30pm
Where: St Ignatius’ Church, 326 Church Street, Richmond

Reconciliation at 7:30pm:
English: Wednesday 25 March
Vietnamese: Monday 30 March

~~ All are welcome ~~

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 February 2015 13:08
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