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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.


What's On

Forgive to be forgiven PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 17 September 2017: Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father, forgive usI tell you that you forgive not seven times but seventy times seven.

Let us examine our attitudes to others in our worshipping community. Have we failed to face up to our antagonisms, and tended to justify them by being judgmental of the attitudes of our fellow Christians? The great Church Father, John Chrysostom, has good advice for us as we examine our conscience. If we are not aware of our destructive attitudes we shall never grow up spiritually. On the other hand, he tells us, awareness of our own failings helps us to find the wisdom, gentleness and compassion that should be ours as true followers of the Saviour.

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of turnbacktogod.com (see also: Father Forgive Us)

Australian Citizenship Day

Ordinarily Australian Citizenship Day (17 September) would be something to celebrate by putting an extra sausage on the barbie and then forgetting about the Day. This year, though, citizenship has been on the front pages. First, the Government announced new changes that made it more difficult to become an Australian citizen. And then, almost by retaliation for meanness, fate arranged that Government ministers and other parliamentarians should have had their own positions thrown into doubt because they may have held double citizenship.

The politics of citizenship are fascinating, but the day and the changes being made to citizenship invite us to think more deeply about what it means for us. Our starting point as Catholics, and indeed as human beings, is that each person in the world is deeply loved by God as a human being - not because of their virtues or accomplishments - and that we are joined in a shared humanity. All human beings in the world are our brothers and sisters upon whom we depend and who depend on us.

It follows that we are first and foremost citizens of the world, and are each entitled to a place at the table of the world on which we can eat. Many people are deprived of that place, of course. They lay on us all a responsibility to make a place for them.

Australian citizenship reflects the same truth that we are not isolated individuals, but that we depend on one another to flourish as human beings. We belong to our nation and we are responsible to each other in making and sharing its resources. We are all entitled to a place in the national table.
We are also members of other groups within the nation – of states, shires, churches, schools, unions, sporting clubs. The shared commitments and the mutual affection of these groups contribute to the health of the nation. They all show how our relationships to other people and to the groups we form shape our own identity and that of the nation. Citizenship is part of our lives.

When we see citizenship in this way we can see that it is not a privilege conferred as a gift by governments or parliaments but is a deeper gift that we have by living together in a nation that we claim as our own, and accepting its institutions. Governments may place conditions on it, but they have no right to make it depend on language, wealth, religion, intelligence or national origin.

In recent years politicians have used citizenship as an attempt to shape the religious and racial composition of Australia, making it more difficult for elderly immigrants and others to obtain citizenship. This affects many of the vulnerable people with whom we work at Jesuit Social Services, and we have made a strong submission to the Senate Enquiry in their defence.

To treat citizenship as a gift that separates dinky di Aussies from others is to divide Australians and to deny many a place at the table.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults: First Gathering

BibleSaturday 07 October 2017, 5:00pm

St Ignatius’ Church
326 Church Street
Richmond VIC 3121

Are you thinking about becoming a member of the Catholic Church?

We are hosting our first gathering where you can come and talk to us and we can help you through this very special time of discernment.

Please contact us between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Tuesday to Friday

First Holy Communion

EucharistSunday 29 October 2017, 10:30am

St James’ Church
162 Kent Street
North Richmond VIC 3121

Please keep the following First Communion Candidates from Trinity Catholic School in your prayers:

  • Luca, Nghia, William, Phuong, Emerson;
  • Katarina, Nyadeng, Ridley, Christo;
  • Philip, Will, Tomasz, Reginald, and Philiana

Listening to others PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 10 September 2017: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

If your brother or sister listens to you, you will have won that person back

Jesus at the gathering

Jesus said to his disciples: "If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves.

"If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.

"If he does not listen, take one or two others with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.

"I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven."

Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September

Suicide affects all groups in society. Teachers, doctors, miners, church ministers and police have all grieved for colleagues who have taken their own lives, and have friends who have survived the suicide of family members. They can put faces to suicide.

But when people kill themselves their personal face is stripped away from them. They come to wear the impersonal mask of what they have done. Who they are is obscured by this one final thing that they have done. They may become things and abstractions, objects of fear and not the subjects of tender memories. Too often, too, the varied faces of family and friends who survive them are also obscured by the mask of suicide.

The mask is fixed in place by the silence that envelops suicide. The initial silence of incomprehension why any person would take their own life; the silence of inner confusion in which grief and sympathy are mingled with anger; the silence that says eloquently that we have no words that fit; the silence of shame that suicide should have insinuated itself into our family, our circle; the silence of guilt that we should have anticipated and prevented this death.

Silence freezes the mask into place. People avoid those who wear it and do not mention it, half because they also lack words but also because they secretly fear it is contagious. As a result all disappear behind the mask and become strangers to one another. They are not defined by their love for the person who died or by their relationship to one another, but by the mask of suicide they have come to wear and by the silence that holds them separate from one another.

If you wear a frozen mask you cannot accept nourishment and you starve. The remedy is to melt the silence that freezes on the mask by speaking about the person who died and the circumstances of their death. In this way you recover, become free from fear, and rediscover yourself alongside the person who took their life.

Banishing silence and recovering oneself is the goal of the Jesuit Social Services program, Support after Suicide. It encourages people to speak by providing sympathetic and skilled ears, and offers a place where people can speak with others who have had the same terrible experience. Conversation gradually thaws the icy mask and recovers the humanity both of the person who died and of those who grieve them. It plants seeds of gratitude, respect and compassion in place of the toxic weeds of blame and denial.

Anger, guilt, fear and isolation fester until they are exposed to light. They also feed our terrors and freeze our relationships. They are best dispelled by conversation.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ | Image courtesy of Hermanoleon Clipart

To follow Jesus PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 03 September 2017: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The suffering servantWhoever wishes to come after me must deny himself

"If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life?" -- Jesus

The International Day of Charity on 05 September celebrates the importance of the work that not-for-profit organisations do around the world to help in times of crisis and to assist people in need. Among them are many Catholic organisations, including the Vinnies, Catholic Social Services, Caritas and Jesuit Social Services. Through their volunteers and their organisation they save governments a huge amount of money, but more important is the compassion with which ideally they reach out to people in need. They bless the lives both of the people whom they help and of those who work in them.

The effectiveness of Catholic organisations, whether based in parishes or international in their scope, depends on the attitude of the heart that they nourish in their workers. Their staff need to embody charity in their own lives. Charity involves more than serving and giving things to people. It means loving people. If we give things to people without loving them they will never forgive us for it. In the nineteenth century charity houses got a bad name for loveless services given with pursed lips and sermons about the undeserving poor. People still say that cold persons and freezing days are as cold as charity.

Charity means recognising that each person, no matter how unattractive they may appear to us, is precious and deserving of respect. It means going out to people in their need, accompanying them on their journey and not giving up on them. It means standing up for them when they are abused and working to ensure that they are not neglected by society. It means seeing people as faces and not as cases, and engaging them with open hearts and hands. This is the disposition of the heart that makes Charities charitable.

In all organisations that compassionate spirit needs nurturing and nourishing. The test of its health is to be sought in the quality of the relationships that staff form with the people whom they help, and of those between members of staff. In a healthy organisation the values that it professes in its relationship to the people it works for will also characterise the relationships between staff. There will be the same respect, interest and care.

This does not happen automatically. It demands attention to the selection of staff, to their induction, to the encouragement of reflectiveness in their working rhythms and to the structure of in-service days. In Jesuit Social Services, as in many other Catholic organisations, there is constant reflection on the match between its mission and the actual relationships within the organisation.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ

Read more at Sunday Connection, Loyola Press, A Jesuit Ministry | Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Father's Day

Father and childToday we give thanks for our earthly fathers and pray for them.

Let us also give thanks for our spiritual fathers who serve the people of our parishes and communities so generously and well.

May we also remember and pray for two new ‘spiritual fathers’ who will be ordained as priests on Saturday 09 September at 10:00am at St Patrick’s Cathedral. All are welcome to the Cathedral for the Ordination Mass. Please remember in your prayers Deacons Toan Nguyen and Anil Mascarenhas as they prepare for priestly ordination next week.

Please pray for more vocations from our parishes and communities in Melbourne.

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