From Fr Greg's Desk

Hello everyone!

The new school year is beginning next week, and I welcome all our students, teachers and staff to the local schools and colleges in the Ryde-Gladesville Precinct. I had the good fortune of interviewing all of the new students and their parents for both SCB and OLQP primary schools, and have been an active part in the interview process for many of the teachers at Holy Cross College Ryde. We have three excellent catholic educational institutions in our area, and this looks set to be a really fantastic year!

SPARC Youth Camp

Last weekend, I went away with our youth and youth leaders for our SPARC Youth Camp at Toukley on the Central Coast. Despite the threat of rain, it proved a really wonderful event, and for the 32 teenagers who took part in it, an unforgettable experience of meeting new friends, learning things about their lives, and about what God is dreaming for them to become. A huge thank you to Jemille West and out Youth Team who made it all possible!

And thank you to Principal Phil Stewart, of Holy Cross Ryde, who generously lent us their bus, and to John Cincotta, one of our acolytes, who not only drove the Holy Cross Bus up there on Friday, and drove it back on Sunday afternoon, but somehow convinced his family to ferry him home again in between! See more about this event on the last page of the bulletin.

Young at Heart Nowra Trip

I won't only be accompanying our 'young ones' on their trips away, but also our Young in Heart! Their next planned excursion is to the Air Museum at Nowra, and I am chuffed to be invited to come along, and I hope to see a huge turnout of our mature age parishioners for that day excursion, from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday 22nd February! Don't just come along - invite your friends to come with you!

Journey of St Paul Pilgrimage

There is one other 'excursion' planned for this year for me, and that is to lead a 12 day pilgrimage in September to the lands where St. Paul travelled. This is my 25th Year of Ordination to the Priesthood, so I will be going away for a pilgrimage to celebrate it, this time to see where Paul eked out his 'mission ad gentes’. The visit takes place in Greece and Turkey, and ends up at Lone Pine and Gallipoli. There is an optional extra extension, going to Majorgorie just beforehand. If you'd like to come along, and learn with me about St. Paul's expeditions, there are pamphlets at the back of the Church. Or, call Harvest Pilgrimages or the Parish Office for more details.

Safeguarding and Child Protection

Thanks in advance for all those who have done the compliance training for safeguarding our children. Next Wednesday 29th January at 7pm we have a Salt Training Meeting, so please take this opportunity to complete your Parish Compliance if you are a Volunteer.

And that's about it for now. Have a beautiful first week back to school!

Your brother, in Christ's service,

Fr. Greg