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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.

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What belongs to God PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 22 October 2017: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, to God what belongs to God.Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and to God the things that are God’s

Jesus’ response to this attempt to trap him exposes the guile of his questioners. From his first words to them, Jesus shows that he is very much aware of what they are trying to do. He asks to see a Roman coin, which is readily provided to him. It may have come from the hand of a Herodian, but the Pharisees show themselves to be quite willing to accept this compromise. Jesus has already exposed the Pharisees as hypocrites.

Jesus takes his response one step further. He asks that his questioners examine the coin. Agreeing that it is Caesar’s image on the coin, Jesus tells them that it must belong to Caesar. Avoiding the question of lawfulness altogether, Jesus answers their question with simple logic. Then, going further still, Jesus tells them that their obligation is to pay to God that which belongs to God.

Jesus’ response to the Herodians and Pharisees suggests the ethic that Christians ought to adopt. It reminds us of the importance of keeping things in their proper perspective. Do we attach ourselves to worldly things at the expense of the love and honour that we owe to God?

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

Disarmament Week

Disarmament Week (24 to 30 October) represents a seemingly impossible ideal – a world where peace trumps war. It is impossible, not because people do not want peace but because they are ready to go to war in order to secure peace. Oliver Cromwell, the great Puritan military commander, offered this advice to statesmen: ‘Trust in God and keep the (gun) powder dry’. His advice is heeded today. Instead of gunpowder nations lay in nuclear weapons, poison gas, cluster bombs, landmines and all sorts of other horrors to deter potential enemies from attacking or to force them to sue for peace.

Possessing weapons costs money that might have been spent on hospitals, schools and public housing. Nations that make weapons sell them to groups with which they are allied, who then use them and often sell them on to opposing factions in the war. The manufacturers pocket the profits and avert their eyes from the thousands of civilians killed in the conflict. Producing arms becomes a crucial part of the economy, most profitable when the arms are being used, updated and replaced. Few people have an interest in disarmament; most of those who do are the victims of war, and they are either poor or dead.

The dangers of a world in which peace depends on nations matching one another in the destructive power of their weapons are evident in the current conflict over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons. One nation wants to develop nuclear weapons because it fears destruction by other nations which possess them. The nations that do possess them want to limit their spread to avoid threat to themselves. The pressures aroused by these conflicting desires threaten the lives of millions of people who are purportedly protected by their nation’s possession of nuclear weapons.

The irrationality of this calculus of terror and the terrible suffering caused by modern wars have led Pope Francis, like his predecessors, to condemn the arms trade and the reliance on weapons of mass destruction. He also points out the connection between personal conversion and international disarmament. If nations store up weapons out of fear, so are our personal relationships often marked by fear, defensiveness and retaliation. Non-violence begins in our most intimate relationships.

That has inspired the Men’s Project undertaken by Jesuit Social Services as a response to domestic violence. As men are mostly responsible for violence, so men who act violently must be helped to learn better ways. A purely punitive response only stirs the embers of violence. The roots of violence lie deep in the human heart; that is where Disarmament must also begin.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ