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Inner-Westfest

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After weeks of planning and preparation, on November 7 Ryde-Gladesville Caholic Parish held its first Inner-Westfest event for Youth. Catholic singer/songwriter Gary Pinto (formerly from ‘boy band’ CDB) was fantastic with his moving mix of music, stories, conversion experience, prayer and reflection. He set the scene for an awesome evening with about 150 young people – which included a handball comp, food, barista coffee, adoration and confession.

Big thanks to our Youth Leadership Team (Br. Dan, Justin, Jessie, Jess, Caitlin, Dante, Marc, Gabi, Lauren, Janice, Seamus, Stefano, Joseph and Jemille) who carried out to perfection the
running of the event, along with our team of adult volunteers, eight local priests who assisted along with more than a little help from our friends at Holy Cross Ryde who hosted the event: Principal Phil Stewart, AP Michael Reid (our Masterchef on the night), and their cohort of Year 11 volunteers. Thanks to our parishioners for your prayers, sandwiches and…

Parish Planning Online Survey

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Last week-end a Parish Forum was held at St Charles on the Sunday and at Holy Cross College on Monday evening. About 50 and 32 parishioners attended respectively. The Forum was offered for two main reasons:
i) to give information about a perceived need to review and plan ---- the WHY  ii) to create an opportunity for parishioners to share their views on aspects of parish life where we may be able to do better.
An exploration of Focus Areas in the mission of the parish evoked animated conversation in the table groups and generated useful data to feed into the planning process. 7 Focus Areas of parish life were explored: 1--Welcome & Hospitality; 2--Community & Belonging; 3--Ministry Services; 4--Liturgy/Worship; 5—Adult Faith Formation; 6—Youth/Young Adults; 7—Outreach/Mission. Each of these is important but participants were asked to pick TWO ONLY which they considered most important. All categories got a smattering of preferences but there were three which were well ahead of t…

Parish Pastoral Plan Week 5: The journey is as important as the destination itself...

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OUR PARISH PLAN: The journey is as important as the destination itself…
Parish Planning Forums All are invited to one of the following forums to discuss our parish planning process that will set the direction for our parish in coming years. Sunday 14 October, 11.00am - 12.30pm, St Charles Borromeo Church Monday 15 October, 7.30pm - 9.00pm, Holy Cross College Library
For the past four weeks we have focused on a theme that was part of the conversations during the August week-end initiative by Fr. Greg, the Parish Pastoral Council and other invited guests. There were two reasons for these summaries. Firstly, to keep parishioners in the loop on matters to do with parish renewal. Secondly, to propose that we look at our ‘way of being church’ if we are to truly live out our mission as church to be the transforming presence of Jesus in the world. Traditionally, Catholics’ relationship with the church has been mainly one of compliance, keeping the rules, fulfilling our duties. Complying with such ex…

Parish Pastoral Plan Week 4: Catholic Parish Renewal

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Catholic Parish Renewal
With the present realities in today’s Church, it can be hard to see how to begin to move our parish forward so that it will grow and flourish. Fortunately, there are examples of Catholic parishes that have done just this. About 8 years ago, because of declining attendance, three parishes in the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada, joined together to become one parish. The newly appointed pastor, Fr James Mallon, rightly saw that if the parish continued as 'business-as-usual', then the same pattern of decline would likely continue. He decided to look at ways to renew the parish so that it became more authentic to its identity and mission. He began with Jesus' 'Great Commission' in Matthew 28:19-20: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe everything that I have commanded you." Jesus' request to the ap…

Parish Pastoral Plan Week 3: Our Parish - Maintenance or Mission?

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Our Parish - Maintenance or Mission?
‘In a maintenance church, the primary concern is for the people you’ve got, keeping them happy. In a missionary church, the primary concern is for the people you don’t have’. This quote is from a fairly recent book – Divine Renovation (2014), written by Fr James Mallon. The book recounts the reform of a Catholic parish in Canada – St Benedict’s, Halifax, Nova Scotia – worth a Google. We will share more about St Benedict’s next week from parishioner, Pina Bernard, who visited that parish last year.

So, in the context of parish, what is the difference between maintenance and mission? The following descriptors may give a sense of the difference. The concept of maintenance usually implies: ‘keeping the ship afloat’, ‘meeting compliances’, ‘responding to routine needs’, ‘more of the same’. Mission or missionary conveys an outward focus seeking to respond to questions such as: ‘who are not here? why are they not here?’, ‘ what relevant needs remain un…

Parish Pastoral Plan Week 2: WHAT IF… we heed what our Pope has to say?

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WHAT IF… we heed what our Pope has to say? We are fortunate to live during the Pontificate of Pope Francis. Even though he is not without critics, he has brought a freshness and a humanity to the role of Pope, that has found resonance and hope in the hearts of millions, including many who do not consider themselves religious. The quotes below, taken from his first Apostolic Exhortation –Evangelii Gaudium (EG), launched five years ago, are both apt and challenging for our parish now as we embark on planning a preferred future. Five years later, and unfortunately, there is not much evidence that the urgings and aspirations of Pope Francis have had much impact throughout the Catholic Church in Australia.  More of the same seems to remain the formula despite the changed and changing circumstances. Why such inertia? WHAT IF dioceses and parishes were to take seriously the Pope’s vision for a path of reformation? Below are earnest pleas from the 2013 Exhortation that point a direction and beg …

Parish Pastoral Plan Week 1: What is the future for our parish?

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What if we plan for a better future for our Parish?
Life is full of planning. First there is the mental creation, visualising a desired outcome, followed by the physical creation, taking the steps needed to get the desired result. Think of cooking a meal, going on a holiday, building a house…etc..etc. WHAT IF planning is absent in these and a multitude of similar situations?Indifference and inertia rule, results are disappointing and good things remain undone.
Businesses and organisations that are not constantly taking stock in our world of rapid change, and planning accordingly, quickly lose effectiveness and relevance.
The pace of change in society in recent decades especially is breath-taking; think of the world of digital technology, including the iPhone unheard of 20 years ago; think of same-sex marriage legislation; think of the upheavals in political systems…etc..etc.
So too for religion and church where change is experienced mostly as diminishment and alienation. And this when, de…

School of the Word

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Over the last month, Br Dan has begun a School of the Word, a prayer group with the Scriptures in Ryde-Gladesville Catholic Parish. We follow the Gospel readings of each Sunday, learning about what God's message is for us personally and as a community. It is a great way to get to know the Lord in a personal and intimate way. Come along on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm with your Bible and a notebook and find out what Jesus wants to tell you about himself and about you and your mission in your life and in the Church.

Call of Pope Francis: Fasting and Prayer as a response to Clergy Sexual Abuse

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Last Monday Pope Francis sent us an open letter, in which he gave his own response to the revelations from the Grand Jury of Pennsylvania, USA, that at least 1000 children and adolescents had been sexually abused by some 301 priests in six dioceses of that state. It is an impassioned letter addressed to the whole People of God, in which he calls on the whole Church to be close to victims in solidarity, and to join in acts of prayer and fasting in penance for all the evil caused. He says:

“Penance and prayer will help us to open our eyes and our hearts to other
people’s sufferings and to overcome the thirst for power and possessions that
are so often the root of those evils. May fasting and prayer open our ears to
the hushed pain felt by children, young people and the disabled.”

We are all deeply saddened by the enduring suffering it has brought to so many victims and the fact that the sexual abuse happened within the Church’s own institutions, especially among priests and religious. Pope…

Parish Pastoral Planning

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Our Parish Council and some others from both Our Lady Queen of Peace and Saint Charles Borromeo will be getting together next weekend 25th to 26th August, to discuss our pastoral planning for the next few years of the Parish. With that in mind, we had a very fruitful planning session with Br. Aengus Kavanagh last Wednesday night, and a meeting on Thursday night with the present Parish Pastoral Council and those who will participate on that weekend. 

We discussed the first chapter of Fr. Mallon’s Divine Renovation book, briefly reflected upon that, and shared together some initial reflections among ourselves. We would love to hear from you if you have any initiatives or concerns that you feel ought to be addressed. Send them to our Parish Pastoral Council email address ppc@rgcp.org.au

Installation of Fr Greg as Parish Priest by Archbishop Anthony Fisher

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Fr Greg Morgan fmvd was officially installed as the Parish Priest of St Charles Borromeo & Our Lady Queen of Peace Ryde-Gladesville Parish by Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Sunday, 10 June 2018 at 10am in St Charles Borromeo Church. A large crowd of parishioners and friends and family of Fr Greg attended as well as many brothers and sisters from his Verbum Dei Community.

Following the Mass there was a brunch in the grounds and hall of St Charles Catholic Primary School. Archbishop Fisher stayed and talked to parishioners for quite some time.

Morning Prayer and Adoration at SCB

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For anyone interested in starting their day with the Lord, Fr Greg, Fr Alfredo and Br Dan will be opening up the church in St Charles Borromeo for the Morning Prayer of the Church (Lauds) along with a period of adoration every Tuesday to Friday morning from 6am to 8am.

Gaudete et Exsultate: We are called to be holy!!!

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Pope Francis has recently published a new Apostolic Exhortation called Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be glad), on the call to holiness in today's world. 

He writes of what it means to be holy in the modern world, with many specific examples: viewing a person sleeping on the street not as an obstacle or a political problem but as a human being; refraining from gossip in the grocery store and impatience with our children; reading the Bible even in a time of constant online distractions; avoiding being “caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet.”

We encourage everyone to read this new document from our Holy Father and take up his call to be holy where you are: in your family, in your workplace, in school, with your friends because our world desperately needs holy Christians, people who can reveal the face of God to everyone else.

You can find the English translation at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazio…