Home' The Southern Cross : June 2017 Contents NEWS
THE SOUTHERN CROSS June 2017 | www.thesoutherncross.org.au
– PAGE 13
10 Living Catholic
24 Public notices
27 Mass times
THE SOUTHERN CROSS
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Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide
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United in faith
Continued from page 1.
During the visitation the different
groups were asked for their thoughts
on questions relating to welcome and
inclusion in the Church; signs of how
Jesus is present in the school; and
ways the college could connect more
with the wider community.
“For many of the parents there
they weren’t so connected with the
Church and not all were Catholic. A
few were talking about wanting the
school to do more by way of religious
education, in relation to preparation
for the sacraments.
“For me, it was a moment to see
where a good number of parents are,
and to get a sense that ‘hey, we have
got a bit more work to do here’ to try
and gently draw them into what it is
we are already doing.”
Members of the college board and
PPC joined for an informal meal
hosted by the college. Fr Morris
said this was the first time the two
groups had met so it was a chance to
get to know each other. For all those
involved in the day including those
visited by the team at the Mount
Barker Vinnies Centre and Southern
Cross Care, the general feeling was
they appreciated being heard.
Mrs Sue Eckert, a Strathalbyn
parishioner and member of the Mt
Barker PPC, said the discussions
held on two of the eight renewal
markers had been “really open and
accessible” and “quite an education
for the PPC about what we need to
be looking at to ensure our parish is
She said Strathalbyn parishioners
who met with Fr Marshall and Ms
Lynch were very pleased to have
an opportunity to discuss issues that
they would normally only talk about
with one or two people.
“It was nice for us to have a
hearing,” she said. “It makes people
feel like they really matter.”
Mrs Eckert said it was the first
time in her memory that the three
communities had gathered together.
“There are differences between the
communities and that’s why this is
precious,” she added.
Lucie and Stephen Hendrick, who
attended the Mass and gathering
with their three children, said it was
important for them as a family to be
involved in the parish community.
Lucie said when they came to Mt
Barker from Kalgoorlie in WA 18
months ago, the parish had been
“very welcoming” and they had met
a lot of people. Stephen, who has
joined the Knights of the Southern
Cross, said it was important for their
children to view practising their faith
as a normal part of their lives.
Ms Lynch said there had been an
“amazing vibe” at the final gathering
with many people saying it was their
first opportunity to worship with
Fr Marshall said it was “so
heartening to see the extraordinary
response of the community” and
their commitment to being ready to
welcome people, particularly as the
region was one of the fastest-growing
in the State.
“It’s so wonderful for us to see the
community really living their faith.”
The next parish visitation will be
held in the Croydon Park parish
from June 18 to 25.
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Witnessing Jesus in our local community
The Southern Cross newspaper
An important part of a bishop’s life is visitation of the
parishes that belong to his diocese. Since the renewal
team came together under the guidance of Father
Philip Marshall, I have been able to look at how the
parish pastoral visitation program can be integrated
into the desire that we all have, that is, to work
together to be better disciples of the Lord.
We’ve had a process that’s gone on for some time
reflecting about what we want to be, how we want
to respond to Jesus and his call today, and we’ve
come up with the eight markers of a healthy, vibrant,
As Church leaders, our responsibility is to reflect with
parishes and communities and then provide them with
the opportunity to come up with the decisions they
need to make in their local area.
Part of the visitation program is drawing together all
the discussions and work undertaken by the parish
in conjunction with the visitation team and coming
together to reflect on the markers and give us some
wisdom to put grist to the mill to help us support
parishes to do this work for the sake of the Lord.
The renewal process is not ours, you are the ones
who are in charge of how this should unfold in your
community. Your ownership of that, your response
to those markers, is what will give life to them in our
We are very blessed to be alive in the life of the
Church today. You may not think so because of the
way we’re spoken about in the media; you could easily
be led to think we’re on our way out and we are dying.
But in fact when you reflect upon this Church we
belong to and its past 200 years you’ll see there are
incredible manifestations of the power of the Holy
Spirit that go beyond every other period of its history.
We have had 200 years of popes without corruption.
In fact we have had 200 years of popes who have been
saints. In my lifetime, we have had Pius XII as pope
when I was a child, John XXIII was elected when I was
eight years old, Paul VI was elected when I was 12,
Pope John Paul II when I was 26, then Benedict XVI
and now Pope Francis.
They are all very different people with different
experiences. But all of them have been holy and all of
them have been really great leaders just right for the
time in which we find ourselves.
Pope Francis is a huge choice on God’s part and
a gift to us because if you see what he is doing and
saying, he’s really animated by the Holy Spirit and
really able to guide and help us.
But there is human nature, of course, and human
nature reveals itself in the life of the Church as much as
it does in other communities.
Angelo Roncalli was elected pope in late October
1958. On January 25 1959 he sent a special invitation
to the cardinals of Rome to come to vespers to honour
St Paul in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls.
Rome in January is a very miserable time. The last
thing you want to do is go out in the evening, it’s
too cold. So a lot of the cardinals got the gilt-edged
invitation from His Holiness and thought ‘it’s okay,
nothing will happen, it will be all right’ so very few of
them bothered to turn up.
It was the occasion John XXIII used to announce that
he would convene the Second Vatican Council to ‘give
the opportunity to the Church to experience a new
Pentecost, a new outburst of the power of the Holy
In his notes, the Pope wrote that his announcement
was greeted by ‘pious silence’ and nobody rushed
forward and said ‘gee, that’s wonderful, thank you’.
About 10 days later the cardinals came running
saying ‘don’t do this, we don’t want to do it’ because
of all the trouble and work it was going to be.
Pope John XXIII kept quietly organising things. All the
while the power of the Holy Spirit was working in him,
even when he was dying of cancer. One of his most
charismatic and extraordinary speeches was delivered
just after a massive haemorrhage and it was thought
he wouldn’t be able to go through with the three-and-
a-half-hour ceremony. But he struggled on and talked
about the new Pentecost and the new beginning of
the Church. He said there were many people speaking
negatively about the Church as if it was about to fall
apart and our responsibility was to recognise the signs
of the presence of the Holy Spirit and to give our best
in our life to achieve what the Lord was asking of us.
What was true in 1962 for the universal Church in the
mind and heart of Pope John XXIII is true for us today.
Here we are in our own simple way doing the best we
can to be good disciples of the Lord. The process of
parish visitation gives us the opportunity to do that in a
way that’s anchored into our own experience.
Jesus needs us to give witness to Him here in our
own communities and to do that by being converted
to Him. The real call for everybody is to love Jesus, to
place Jesus at the centre of their lives and then, in a
renewed way, offer Jesus as gift to the world.
DISCIPLES: Mt Barker parishioner Lucie Hendrick (left) and her daughter Lara participated in discussions
held in the Strathalbyn church hall last month as part of the visitation program.
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