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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.

Commemorating the 150th year of St Ignatius' Church

St Ignatius' Church 150th Anniversary Commemorative book2017 marks 150 years since the building of St Ignatius' Church.  Our parish celebrated this occasion with a specially arranged Mass at 9:30am on Sunday 30 July 2017 with Fr Brian F McCoy SJ, Provincial, as main celebrant. Concelebrants included the priests of our parish - Fr Nguyễn Viết Huy SJ, Parish Priest, Fr Tro Tran Van SJ, and Fr Ferruccio Romanin SJ - and many other Jesuit priests.

At the Mass, one of our parishioners, Dr Therese Keogh shared a Reflection: 150th Anniversary of St Ignatius' Church.

It was wonderful to see many parishioners, especially past parishioners, at the Eucharistic Celebration and in the parish hall for morning tea afterwards. Thank you to all who joined us in making it a memorable day.

A photographic book to commemorate this historic church (cover seen at right), launched at the Sesquicentenary Mass, is now available to purchase at a special price for a limited time.

ORDER NOW

Doing the Father's will PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 01 October 2017: Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Vineyard workerHe went out moved by regret. The tax collectors and prostitutes will precede you into the kingdom of God.

The situation Jesus poses is rather straightforward. Given the same task by their father, one son asserts his disobedience in words, but then obeys in his actions; the second son obeys with his words, but disobeys in his actions. The question that Jesus poses is pointed and direct: Which son did what the father wanted? All would agree that “actions speak louder than words” and that even if his words were disobedient, the son who did the work as ordered did the father’s will.

...Jesus could ask us the same question. Do our words indicate our obedience to God? If not our words, do our actions? God desires a full conversion of heart, that our actions (and our words as well) will give evidence of our love for God.

Read more at Sunday Connection, Loyola Press, A Jesuit Ministry

As the plebiscite on same sex marriage approaches public debate has become more heated. The same arguments on each side are repeated, each time more loudly.

When we take sides in such debates, as sometimes we must, we commonly become more and more convinced of the truth of our position each time we insist on it. That is fine. But we may also become more convinced of our moral and intellectual superiority to our opponents. We may see ourselves as the virtuous guys with white hats battling against the black-hatted, black-souled battalions of unrighteousness.

Today’s Gospel reading invites us to think again whenever we take our superiority for granted. In his story Jesus does not divide the human race into the sinless and the sinners but into two groups of people both of whom who get it wrong. One insults his father by refusing to do as he is asked. Later he changes his mind and does it. The other makes promises, promises but doesn’t carry them out. Although his father would have been more pleased with the son who finally did what he was asked to do, we might imagine that he would have preferred a perfect son who simply did as he was told without making a fuss about it.

But as it turned out he had to deal with two imperfect sons. As does God, who knows only imperfect people with large gaps between what they say and what they do, and further gaps between what they think and what they say. So Jesus suggests that the final test of our love and faithfulness does not finally lie in our thoughts and words but in how we live our lives. And that will always be messy.

If that is so we have no grounds for judging others as worse than ourselves because they have worse words and thoughts than we do. In the Gospel story Jesus criticises the Pharisees who believed they were better than others because they were the chosen people. As a result they missed seeing God’s hand in the teaching of John the Baptist and of Jesus himself. Ultimately, they were blind to what God asked of them.

In the plebiscite, whatever side we are on, we are also fallible and imperfect human beings. We have no warrant to despise or call into question the good intentions and moral uprightness of others with whose positions we may disagree.

Our business is not to judge but to recognise the humanity we share with people from whom we differ, and especially to recognise and respect the humanity of people who have been ostracised and excluded through much of history. These are among the vulnerable young LGBT people with whom Jesuit Social Services works. To respect them is a request that we might once have refused, but are now invited to act on.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ

Wedding at St Ignatius' ChurchPastoral Letters on the Institution of Marriage

Please refer to the back of the church noticeboards to read the pastoral letters from various Australian Bishops and Pope Francis on the institution of marriage.

You can also visit the following links:

Thank you.


 
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