Welcome to St. Catherine Labouré Catholic Church, Gymea
St. Catherine’s Catholic Parish is a welcoming, supportive, and faith-filled community of believers inspired by the life of Jesus Christ and emboldened by the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Catholic faith. We are called to make Christ present in our parish, in our local community, and in our world. We respect and uphold the dignity of all human life and strive to remain faithful to the intellectual richness of the teachings of Christ and His Catholic Church “in and out of season”.
Our Mission is to seek holiness in everything we do — to love, to know, and to give praise to God the Eternal Trinity. We desire to experience Christ’s mercy and to make this mercy known to others; to be a community committed to recognising Christ present in each person through our service to the wider community and in the joyful and reverent celebration of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist — the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith.
Parish Rosary Via Zoom: Every Saturday Morning at 10 am
All are welcome to join Fr Greg online to pray the Holy Rosary together each Saturday morning at 10 am for as long as the lockdown continues. Each rosary will be offered for various intentions. Please find the Zoom link/Phone number below. Please contact the parish if you have any questions. Feel free to invite your friends and family to join us.
To join our parish rosary, either (1) call the phone number below and enter the meeting code; or (2) copy and paste the following link below into your address bar above. Note, you will need to have downloaded Zoom onto your computer for this link to work. (https://zoom.us/signup)
Topic: Parish Rosary: St Catherine’s Gymea
Time: Every Saturday at 10am: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Join from telephone (meeting ID: 694 7578 9620): (02) 8015 2088 (Sydney)
International numbers available: https://sydneycatholic.zoom.us/u/ecwj88Pys1
Join from Skype for Business (Lync):
Confession Times (Once Covid Restrictions Ease):
After each morning 9:15 am Mass, Monday – Saturday, and then 4.30 pm – 4.55 pm prior to Saturday Vigil 5 pm Mass. Father Greg is also happy to make himself available at any other time for those who want to receive this wonderful sacrament of peace and healing. Please contact the office to make an appointment or speak to Fr Greg directly before or after Mass.
Eucharistic Adoration (Once Covid Restrictions Ease):
Preceding the 9:15 am Weekday Masses (Tuesday-Saturday), from 8:30 am to 9:10 am, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will take place in the Church. Please come and join us in praying for our parish and our parish community.
Happy Father’s Day!
(Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph with a beautiful Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde, “With a Father’s Heart”
Wishing all our wonderful fathers a very blessed and happy Father’s Day. Be assured of my prayers for you over the Weekend and throughout the days ahead. Here is a little reflection I wrote about one great dad and saint who continues to inspire us to live our vocation to fatherhood with integrity and to love the Catholic faith to the full, namely, St. Thomas More.
St Thomas More:
A Father First
One of my great heroes in heaven is Saint Thomas More (1478-1535). He is and was many things to many people — a learned lawyer; a sharp thinker; a prolific writer; an illustrious statesman; a devoted humanist; a champion of Catholicism; and, ultimately, a courageous martyr and canonised saint. Yet, despite the nobility and grandeur of all these qualities and achievements, it is worth us remembering that Thomas More was, first and foremost, a father. His vocation, that is to say, his calling to holiness, was, first and foremost, to be a loving and committed husband and dad. And this, indeed, he was and did. (He had four daughters – one was adopted – and a son.) Perhaps, thence, he is a particularly piquant model – besides St Joseph – for us to uphold as we celebrate Father’s Day.
A powerful way to get to know Thomas More is to read the letters he wrote to his wife and children whenever he was away from the family home; including his time in prison at the Tower of London. Every letter bespeaks of the tender love and the paternal affection that he had for each of them; but a love and affection that was founded upon, and derived from, his own experience of God’s mercy and the singular strength that comes from practicing the Catholic faith. It is often commented upon in historical biographies that More only ever chastised his children with “peacock feathers”. Nevertheless, he bequeathed to them – first through his words but most of all through his witness – that to be fully alive as a human being is to be fully alive in Christ. The two are not mutually exclusive. To be a committed Catholic is to be a committed human being; a real family man; a true lover. There is nothing more manly or fatherly than to kneel down before Christ in the tabernacle and pray earnestly to God – ‘Our Father’ – for one’s wife and children. This is the witness the world so desperately needs today; it is the witness our parish also so desperately needs too! (I remember as a teenager being very moved and inspired when I went into the school chapel to make a visit and saw the chaplain kneeling alone in his cassock before the Blessed Sacrament praying his breviary. Simply by seeing that act of piety, I thought to myself: ‘That man really loves God and I want to love God like him’.)
More had a tremendous intellect which he put to good use in defending the Catholic faith, especially on the precipice of the Protestant reformation. But he was also insistent that women should also be educated in the world of ideas just as much as men. In a letter written to William Gonnell, his children’s tutor, he instructed him saying: “I do not have to tell you that both men and women can be successful in the sciences for they speak the common language of men…Both men and women have the same right to study, given that they have the understanding to do so…Cultured persons and saints long ago shared the same opinion as I.” Such progressive sentiments were certainly provocative given the age in which More lived. Yet, he never shied away from encouraging his daughters to develop a keen interest in the life of the mind. His eldest daughter, Margaret, was said to have been especially brilliant.
This propensity for forthright and courageous thinking never faltered. More was a man of unwavering integrity and refused to sacrifice the truth for the sake of securing his own (worldly) comfort. By refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon, an act which no doubt pricked the moral conscience of the King (especially since More was always greatly admired and loved by King Henry), he was executed for treason — a testament to the valiance of More’s own faith-filled conscience, on the one hand, and a palpable example of the insecurity that sin can breed when we depart from the natural moral law, on the other. This is the witness of a Catholic father that undoubtedly inspired not only his children, but generations of children ever since and, no doubt, will continue to do so long into the future.
Love for God must come first in everything and despite everything. More lived this fact throughout his life. Even when he was Lord Chancellor of England and would don the splendid robes of his exalted office, he would continue to wear a hair-shirt underneath (a garment made of bristly animal hair worn for penitential reasons); a poignant sign that it was Christ who was closest to his heart. For the fortitude of faith always begins to atrophy when we, along with society, become too comfortable in the pursuit of worldly endeavours.
In the lead-up to his execution, the King communicated to More that “[at] your execution, you shall not use many words” (referring to the last words traditionally offered by the condemned). Indeed, More’s words were brief, culminating in his famous remark: “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first”. Such brevity was certainly in keeping with the spirit of St. Francis who once said: “Preach the Gospel and if necessary, use words.” More’s martyrdom was the perfect homily on what faith and fatherhood are really all about.
Let us pray for all fathers during this time, but especially all the fathers – biological and spiritual – in our Church: that, following the illuminating example of St Thomas More, they may grow in their commitment to God above all else and, in so doing, grow in their commitment to their wives and children. May we never compromise Christ for comfort; for comfort, no matter how attractive, can never set us free.
A Message from Fr Gregory Morgan on Sunday 29th August 2021.
It was a true joy to join over twenty-five parishioners for our first “virtual rosary” yesterday, Saturday, 28 August.
Whilst we might recalibrate the structure a little to avoid the audio distortion, it was still a very beautiful time of communal prayer. Thank you to everyone who came. Please feel free to invite other parishioners who might not be aware of our parish website to join us over the coming weeks. The details can be found below.
I hope to think of other ways, too, for us to pray in common.
On a similar point, I enjoyed another energising conversation with a long-time parishioner of St Catherine’s during the week. One of his comments really struck me. “Gymea”, he said, “is a very spiritual place.” There is a natural desire for prayer and piety amongst many of the parishioners, I am told, which is a huge blessing. For prayer, as we all know, is the foundation for a strong and successful parish. But prayer is not easy; it is an art. And like all “arts” it requires time and effort. The more time and effort we put into our prayer life, the more we come to see why we cannot be truly productive, both as individuals and as a parish, without it. If we want our parish to thrive well into the future then our love for Our Lord must be at the centre of it all; prayer is the gateway to a deeper and intenser experience of that love that binds us together in God.
As I have already said, it is difficult not to be able to meet with you all as we normally would. That said, I am always willing to bring the sacraments to the homes of those who are sick and housebound. Please do not hesitate to contact me at the Parish if you would like to be added to the list. Furthermore, I am going to block out some time on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings for parishioners to book in for a Zoom chat. I am very keen to hear from you all — to hear particularly about your thoughts on the past, future, and present experiences/needs of our parish. I am allocating a number of 30–45-minute blocks. Please contact Kerry at the parish office if you would like to have a chat with me and we will then send you a Zoom link or I will give you a call at the established time.
Last week, I also had my first meeting as Parish Priest with the Parish Finance Committee. I feel truly blessed to have inherited such a powerhouse of skilled professionals to work with in order to ensure that our use of the parish resources is transparent and in the best interests of our apostolic mission. (Thank you especially to the Chairman, William Walker, who has been incredibly helpful to me over the past few weeks as I have settled in.) Sadly, one member, Steve Heesh, who has been a stalwart on the committee for over 14 years is resigning to care for his health. On behalf of the parish, I thanked Steve at the meeting for the incredible contribution he has made over so many years of service. Thank you, Steve, and God bless you!
You might note that the Archbishop has launched an appeal to support the refugees from Afghanistan who are coming to Australia. The situation has deteriorated beyond belief — it is dreadfully sad, indeed, to see such harrowing suffering on the faces of our fellow human beings. Please see the following link if you are able to donate: https://www.ourfaithourworks.org/ara/
A few months ago, $2,000 was sent from the Church’s account (which is made up in part by your contributions to the second collection on a Sunday) to buy rice for poor families in the Philippines. A video has been sent that shows the rice being delivered by some of the local seminarians. It is very moving… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaKzQsfZpxU
I am very keen indeed for this kind of charitable work to continue, whilst always ensuring that the money raised and donated goes directly to those who need it most. Hence, as noted, I am wanting to start a committee that will help to guide how our parish lives out the Church’s Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy. If you have a passion for social justice and for the Church’s mission of mercy, please get in touch.
Finally, please keep an eye on the website for further updates and activities.
My love and prayers for you all as we continue to live in this precarious time.
A Message from Fr Gregory Morgan on Sunday, 22nd August 2021.
Last week I had the absolute privilege of visiting one of our most senior parishioners, Alice Elliott, the mother of one of our most devoted parishioners, Barry Elliott. Alice is ninety-five-years-young, and lives at a nearby nursing home. Although Barry told me that she suffers significantly from short-term memory loss and tires quickly, we had a tremendous 45-minute conversation that was both personally invigorating and very moving.
After being introduced as the “philosopher priest”, Alice told me that her two favourite philosophers are Socrates and Aquinas! “Mine too!”, I exclaimed. From thence forward, I knew we would hit it off. Alice explained that she came to study philosophy later in life; impassioned by a love for, and a desire to know, the truth. The Truth! Is there any endeavour more noble? Is there anything in this world more important? Is there any better use of our time than to pursue the Truth? For we cannot truly love unless we know the truth about what love is. And, yet, in this world of wealth and materialism, so few even begin the journey…
I wish I had taken notes as Alice gave me some wonderful bits of advice; advice that was especially pertinent on becoming a Parish Priest. But there was one thing that she emphasised and it has been on my mind ever since. “The teaching of the faith has been watered down”, she said, “and this is very, very sad. What we need is ‘meat on the bone’. Give the people ‘meat on the bone’.” In other words, “do not be afraid to preach the richness of the Truth” — even in the face of being counter-cultural and unpopular.
What Alice touched upon was the fundamental reason why I love the Catholic faith so much. It’s timeless beauty and it’s enduring challenge is grounded upon the fact that, in an age of relativism and compromise, it continues to uphold the teachings of Jesus Christ for no other reason than that they are true. We should never apologise for standing up for the Truth. And, if we are prepared to study and live out the teachings of the Church, even when the challenge seems beyond us, then we will also discover their abiding genius and the supernatural joy that they impart.
A good example can be found in the Gospel for this Sunday. After instructing the people about the need to “eat his flesh and drink of his blood” – the Eucharist –, Jesus is riposted by some of his own followers who exclaimed, “this is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’” But Jesus did not back down from the truth; he did not compromise; and, thus, we are told that, for this reason, “many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.” The temptation to water down the truth or to turn the truth into just “my (subjective) truth” was clearly as strong then as it is now. But the Catholic Church has never compromised on this great dogma: that Jesus meant exactly what he said —the Eucharist is Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity but veiled under the appearance of bread and wine. What a gift!
As I was celebrating Mass one day this week, the thought of this great truth struck me. How easy it is for me to take the grace of the Mass for granted. I’ve been saying Mass for over ten years now and the danger (for us all) is that we can simply ‘go through the motions’ when we come to Mass, and forget what an awe-inspiring and incomparable privilege it is to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. But such wisdom requires prayer and study. Hence, as I said last week, I pray that this time of sacramental absence will, nevertheless, be a time of spiritual resurgence; particularly in terms of our love for, and devotion to, the Truth of the Mass.
(I include below a few words I wrote a couple of months ago on my ten-year anniversary as a priest. Some parishioners have sent emails asking if I would say a little more about my own vocation/background. So, this might be a good start.)
I also had a wonderfully energising conversation with our illustrious school principal, Mrs. Jodie McKay. I am really looking forward to working with Jodie and we both share a common desire to really draw some of our younger families and younger people back to Mass. In the meantime, Jodie has kindly offered the parish use of the requisite technology needed to Livestream. Thus, depending on how things progress, it might be possible for us to meet each other, virtually, for the celebration of the Eucharist in the coming weeks. Updates on this front will be made on the parish website.
A final word on the events in our world. It is obviously sad indeed to see the case numbers for Covid-19 rise in Australia and for the lockdown to be extended for at least another month. But, at the same time, watching the events in Afghanistan and the absolute desperation on the faces of the people there was truly heartbreaking. We have so many blessings here in Australia. Please remember to pray for the people of Afghanistan. The parishioners of this parish are known for their generosity of heart. Perhaps, down the track, we might begin to think of how we could also find ways to support the refugees materially. On that score, you might note my intention to start a new committee to guide our parish on promoting the Church’s ‘Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy’. Essentially, I want to think of how we, as a parish community in this blessed country, can continue to reach out to the less fortunate and live out the precepts of the Gospel most effectively. As always, your thoughts and involvement in this is both welcome and essential.
My love and prayers for you all. Do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
Reflection: Ten Years a Priest, 21st May 2021
I would never have become a priest unless a discalced-Carmelite-friar made some footprints in the snow in January 1916. It was a bitterly cold morning in Logrono, Spain. A then sixteen-year-old boy named, Josemaria, noticed a trail of footprints in the snow. He was startled! Startled, because the footprints seemed to have been made, not by shoes, but by bare feet.
Curious as to who in their right-mind would walk barefoot in the cold snow, Josemaria followed the trail of footprints until he arrived at the door of a monastery Church. There inside he saw a lone Carmelite-friar kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in fervent prayer. He had no shoes on because he was a discalced-Carmelite — discalced meaning shoeless; a sign of the monk’s vow of poverty.
So moved was Josemaria by this priest’s utter devotion to God – the gentleness of his footprints; the goodness of his piety; the peacefulness of his prayer; the love expressed in his poverty – that it inspired him to ask himself: “Could I dare to love God like that?” He writes:
“I began to have intimations of Love, to realise that my heart was asking for something great and that it was love.”
This love drew him to become a priest; a priest who would found a movement that encouraged the laity in particular to discover their own call to holiness (to self-sacrifice) in the midst of an indulgent world.
This movement would spread as far as Australia where a small number of independent schools were established that sought to teach the Catholic faith intelligently; that challenged students to think critically; that, most of all, helped students to pray — to love the mass, to seek regular confession, and to discern their own vocations.
It was because I moved to one of those schools – sheerly by providence – and was, for the first time, captivated intellectually by the beauty of the Catholic faith that the seeds of my own priestly vocation were born. And, so, as I think back on my first ten years of priesthood – which, of course, is a small but perhaps the first significant milestone – I am humbled to think that my own vocation and any good I do as a priest is largely attributable to those footprints of love made by that friar in Spain in 1916.
Little did that friar know how significant those footprints would be.
We should never underestimate, therefore, how God can use the most minor and mundane of human activities to inspire a whole new generation of saints. The point is this: anything we do for God, no matter how mall, that is animated by self-sacrifice will bear fruit; fruit that can change the course of history for some and, thus, have eternal consequences for many.
All vocations, but perhaps especially to the priesthood and religious life, are inspired by visible examples of self-sacrifice. Because self-sacrifice is the living presence of the cross; and the cross is, paradoxically, actually what attracts. Why? Because the cross is the complete truth about what love is and what love looks like. It is the exact opposite of self-indulgence…
Although I responded to a call to the priesthood at a young age, I never wanted to be a priest. I had my own ambitions of being a lawyer – a worldly advocate –, married with a large family, and, like most others, wealthy. But God made it very clear to me that my vocational adventure was to serve others as a priest.
And, so, ten years ago, on the 21st May 2011, I prostrated myself on the floor of St. Mary’s Cathedral as is customary in the rite of ordination. In many ways, it is like a mini-Pentecost. The priest-to-be lays on the ground as if he were dead to the world; and, like those first apostles, he awaits the coming of the Holy Spirit that comes to him through ordination. And, so, he walks in a man; but walks out a spiritual father; a witness to the power of grace…
I could never, ever, ever have imagined that my first ten years of priesthood would have been so wonderful, so eventful, but, indeed, so challenging. Although always and forever unworthy, I thank God sincerely for the gift of being a priest — to hold Christ, Lord of the Universe, in my hands in the confection of the Eucharist; to forgive sins in the sacrament of confession and watch joy radiate on the faces of those who have been absolved; to have baptised; to have presided at weddings; and to have shared the last earthly moments of so many lives — holding their hand as they prepare to meet Our Lord.
I would never have imagined 10 years ago that I would have studied in England and now be teaching philosophy — a subject I used to hate, but now adore!
But perhaps providentially, this morning I came across a line in an article which said: “Unbelievers will not go to hear philosophers, but they will go to hear saints…” So, I pray for that grace. But it is a grace that we should all pray for. For who knows, maybe your footprints, if impressed by a heart of self-sacrifice, will be what God uses to inspire a new Pentecost.
A Message from Fr Gregory Morgan (Jnr), Fifth Parish Priest of Gymea, on Sunday, 15 August 2021, The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To My Dear Parishioners,
It is certainly unfortunate, to say the least, that I assume the role of Parish Priest (PP) of St. Catherine Labouré Catholic Church, Gymea, under such precarious and peculiar circumstances. To state the obvious: tomorrow I will offer my first Sunday mass, pro populo, that is, “for the people”, as PP without you and your families present. (Although, there is always a great turn up of angels and saints at every Mass so perhaps you might ask your guardian angels to come and pray on your behalf? I intend to say Mass at 10:30 so please tell them to be on time!) Please be assured, however, that I will be praying for each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart — that God will keep you safe, protect you from all dangers, but also that, during this time of sacramental absence, the Holy Spirit will inspire you to fall more and more in love with Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist; more convinced of its infinite value; more appreciative of its invaluable grace; more committed to receiving Our Lord reverently as often as possible and bringing others to rediscover the wonder of the Catholic faith anew.
I also humbly ask (beg!) that you please pray for me. At the end of the Mass tomorrow, I intend to kneel before the statue of Mary in our Church and consecrate my ministry here in Gymea to Our Lady, Assumed into Heaven. Through her powerful intercession, along with the intercession of St. Catherine Labouré, I will petition Our Lord to help me to love you and serve you – the great people of this parish – with all my heart, mind, and soul. I cannot express in words how much I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you. Please pray for me that I will always be faithful to Christ and, so, faithful to you and that, together, we will grow in holiness — in the joy that is to be “fully alive” through the gift of the Catholic faith! No matter what anyone might say, it is truly the greatest gift to be a Catholic!
Despite the unfortunateness and inconvenience of the present circumstances, providence has ordained it such that I commence my ministry here on the precipice of two wonderful feast days. Today, Saturday 14th August, is the Feast of St Maximillian Kolbe and, tomorrow, Sunday 15th August, is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. What unites both St Maximillian and Our Lady is a strong sense of identity. St Maximillian knew that to dare to be ordained a priest is to be prepared to lay down your life for others. Hence, he offered to take the place of a man who was to be executed by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Our Lady knew that to dare to be faithful to God is to be prepared to say “fiat!”, “let it be done”, to God’s will even when His inspirations and plans make absolutely no sense to us.
In many ways, my appointment as PP also made absolutely no sense to me. In fact, it was probably the last thing I was excepting! I was actually told by one prelate not that long ago that it was unlikely I would be made a PP for many years as my focus would be on serving the Church through academic work. But, then, I quickly remembered that everything I have done as a priest has always taken me by surprise. Thus, I hope to draw strength from the poignant example of St Maximillian and Our Blessed Mother, Mary — to be true to my identity as a priest and as a son of the Church and to trust that God’s providence was behind this unexpected move. So, now I have the privilege of being PP and also will continue my academic work/projects. I have always much preferred to be busy. But, as Mother Teresa pointed out, if you are someone who is very busy then you will need to pray twice as much! Hence you might note that my first move as PP has been to introduce (once Covid restrictions ease) Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesday to Saturday mornings, 8:30 am-9:10 am. My hope is the period of time will gradually increase! We have such a wonderful location on the high street for people to come in and pray throughout the day.
Obviously, I will have a bit more to say when we finally meet so I won’t labour on too much more. For now, please know that I want my approach to ministry here in Gymea to be defined by two things: transparency and approachability. To that end, please always feel you can contact me about anything and everything. I will always be grateful for your honest thoughts and feedback. I intend for St. Catherine’s to be truly “Catholic” both in name and in nature, which means, it is a place for everyone without exception to come to encounter Christ.
During this time, feel free to email me on the details below or ring the parish office. I am also very happy, in accordance with the Covid-19 restrictions, to make pastoral visits to those who want to receive the sacraments of Holy Communion, confession, and the anointing of the sick (but especially the sick and the elderly). I am also looking at ways through which we might be able to connect visually and digitally as well as spiritually. A note will be put up on the website to encourage those who want to receive news and my little missives via email to pass on the relevant address(es) to the parish office. I am also exploring the possibility of livestreaming Masses. There are already a number of parishes doing this already so it might be a little redundant. However, I am open to your thoughts and suggestions on this front.
Once again, be assured of my love and prayers for you all. I look forward to meeting you in due course and I’ll endeavour to write to you all again soon.
My gratitude to Mons for his kind advice and support as he moves to lesser duties. I am sure you will join me in praying for him as he begins this new chapter.
Fr Greg Morgan (Jnr.)
My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer of Consecration: Feast of the Assumption
O IMMACULATA, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, Fr Gregory Morgan, a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you as I take up my new ministry as Parish Priest of St Catherine’s, Gymea. If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.” Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.
Important Notice Regarding Containers for Fiji
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY ITEMS FOR FIJI
AT THIS TIME
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Respectfully, we must ask that you please do not attend the parish to deliver items for Fiji. No further containers will be sent pending a consultative review of the project over the coming months. Please see the email below from the Curial Offices of the Archdiocese of Suva.
We have also been visited by the local police on reports that people have been breaking Covid-Restrictions by delivering goods to the Church.
For the proximate future, but keeping in mind the current Covid-Restrictions, you might consider selling your items online and donating the proceeds to the Fiji Chaplaincy in the Archdiocese of Sydney or the Catholic Women’s League who can then send the money directly to families in need of our care and support. For further details, please contact the parish office by phone or email.
The parish staff are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to Mass after the lockdown. Everyone is welcome at our parish. Be assured we are praying for everyone in our local community and do not hesitate to contact the parish if we can assist you in any pastoral matter.
God bless & stay safe!
Email from Fiji Regarding the Containers
Dear Fr Greg,
Bula and greetings from Suva
I am so glad to make contact with you.
Fr. Greg, whilst we are grateful for the assistance that your parish is giving us with containers, we must ask that you stop sending us the containers at least for the moment.
In May, as Fiji neared its 1st month of lockdown due to COVID19 and with no end in sight, I requested Monsignor to stop sending us the containers. We have come to the point where we can no longer find free storage space for the contents. Should it come to the point that we must rent storage space, I’m afraid that that would cost the Archdiocese unnecessary expenses that the Archdiocese cannot at this moment afford.
Many workers are laid off as a result of this lockdown. With little or no income, our parishes are struggling to keep afloat let alone pay the Archdiocese levy necessary for the Archdiocese’s work.
The containers, once they arrive in Suva, can cost the Archdiocese anywhere from $3500 – $5000. This includes duty, VAT, wharfage, bio inspection/security, customs inspection, cartage, etc.
Prior to the 2020 COVID lockdown, the Catholic Women’s League would to a certain extent support the seminarians through a series of fundraising events. The 2020 pandemic put a stop to any fundraising activities as people struggled first to rebuild their lives.
My apologies, Fr Greg, I did not want to sound ungrateful but I want you to understand what is happening here and if you could possibly stop sending us any more containers for the moment.
From Offices of the Curia, Archdiocese of Suva, Fiji.
PARISH NEWS & RELATED FILES PAGE:
Please also refer to our Parish News & Related Files page for more Parish updates and messages from Father Morgan…
Please note, the last Bulletin published was 26/27 June when lock-down was initiated.
A COMMUNIQUE RECEIVED FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE’ CATHOLIC COMMUNICATIONS UNIT
Dear Parish Priests and Secretaries,
I hope you are keeping well during these challenging times.
It must be difficult not being able to see and connect with parishioners, and to celebrate the sacraments and liturgy together as a family.
Please know we are praying with you for the good of the nation, and our faithful community, the Church.
I am also conscious, on a more practical note, how hard this must be on parishes financially. With regular attendance still recovering from last year’s lock-down, our second lock-down is not helping in rebuilding our faith community.
In light of this, I want to share with you our new “Our Faith Our Works” app released by the Fundraising and Development Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney that will hopefully assist your parish and parishioners in two ways.
1. keeping the fire of faith alive amongst parishioners with spiritual formation resources (videos and podcasts) and 2. easy access to support your parish by setting up a monthly (or one-off) donation from the comfort of one’s living room (this can currently be done by accessing our SUPPORT US banner on the top right hand side of the page – please use the DROP-DOWN box to identify the destination of your DONATION)
We are in the process of rolling out the “Our Faith Our Works” app across the Archdiocese of Sydney, and I would like to invite you both to download and share with your parishioners.
Please find attached below: (a photo image will be produced manually shortly – please stay tuned…)
- Our Faith Our Works App – Poster (with QR code)
COVID-19 UPDATE – from 6 pm Saturday,
26 June – We are in Lock-down until midnight,
16 July 30 July 28 August 1 October
Be advised that this lock-down has been extended to the end of
September & possibly even through into October….
There are no Masses or Sacraments during this period.
Denis Paul M’Gee, Bernardina Carlino, Rita Verco, Vonnie Schutes, Terry Sweeney, Roy Humphreys, Marie Carter,
Pamela Neate, Mirella Balzan.
We remember those whose Anniversaries we commemorate at this time:
Tracy de Lyall, Roy & Mary Esplin, Bill Godfrey, Rod Halter, Lionel & Bev Hurst, Sid & Sylvia Mullen,
John Vincent Sidgreaves, Antonio Sorbara.
Remember to Support our Local Village Shops
Fruiticious with Wally & Wadih – two Maronite Catholics
Taste Buds, with Bebe and her young family – the youngest is in Year 5 at St Cath’s
The Gymea Lily (Home & Kitchenware) now owned by parishioner, Peter McGrath
Wrights Butchery (now Meat Hook) run by young Daniel Geary
COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN UPDATE – SERVICE NSW REQUIREMENTS
¨ All congregants it is preferred that you wear a MASK whilst inside the Church
¨ There must be “NO” entry to site if unwell
¨ All congregants MUST sign in – either by QR code (per person/dependant) or by the SIGN IN Registers – providing name and contact number – MUST BE CLEARLY PRINTED and one person per line and NOT grouped together – that is ONE NAME PER LINE !!!!!!!!
¨ All congregants are reminded that they should leave the Church after the service and not mingle
¨ All congregants are reminded of the requirement of 1.5m rule for physical distancing – 200 maximum at this time
¨ All congregants SHOULD wear masks during any service & afterwards
¨ All congregants are asked to take their bulletin with them after Mass and NOT return them to the area where they are stored or leave them on seats
¨ Maximum number of people within the Church space is 200 being 1 person per 2 square metres – at this time
LEGION OF MARY
The Gymea Legion of Mary welcomes members from Oyster Bay and Miranda parishes who have now joined us.
The Legion meets in the Conference Room from 9:45 am after the 9:15 am morning Mass on Thursdays.
Enquiries can be via the President, Mike Links:
THE MEDJUGORE PRAYER GROUP
Meets every Thursday evening at 6 pm inside the Church (Choir area) and contact is Bruno via email at: email@example.com
Among the many things impacted by COVID 19 is our Catechist ministry. Many of our volunteers have been forced to discontinue serving as Catechist teachers, out of health concerns for themselves or their family members.
As a result, there are a number of Scripture Classes which do not have a Catechist teacher at present.
If you are in a position, health-wise, to volunteer to teach at the local schools, then please urgently contact the Coordinator, Elena at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Credit Card Forms for Planned Giving (download, fill in, scan and email back or post) & New Envelope Contributors……
St Catherine’s Primary School Link
A message from the Archdiocese of Sydney
The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney upholds the dignity and rights of all children and is committed to ensuring their safety.
We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children
in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional,
intellectual and social development.
Child sexual abuse is a crime.
The appropriate people to deal with crimes are the police.
If you, or anyone you know, have been abused,
please contact the police.
Alternatively, you can contact the
Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity Office on (02) 9390 5810
or email at: email@example.com.
You may also want to speak to your Parish Priest,
Father Greg Morgan (02 9525.1138) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
who will be able to provide support and guidance.
The Archdiocese has a legal obligation to report crimes to the police.