From Fr Greg's Seat: 26th July

Hi everyone! What fantastic weather we have had this first week of the third term of the scholastic year! A bit cold, but gloriously sunny! Let’s hope it stays that way...

Br. Steve's Diaconate Ordination last Sunday was a really joyful and significant event in the life of our Parish. He has been waiting a long time for this to happen; nearly ten years of
preparation and mission has gone into his becoming a Deacon. Yet it is just a passing stage on his missionary journey; we look forward to his being ordained to the priesthood next year, God willing. Please keep him in your prayers as he grows into this final stage of his formation during the coming year.

Good news from Br. Dan as well. You will be pleased to learn that last Monday he successfully passed his final written exam for his Bachelor of Theology at our Verbum Dei Theological Institute (Madrid, Spain) and he has his final oral exam this coming Monday, at about 6 pm our time. So, as the bells ring on our Church to mark the Angelus at 6 pm next Monday, spare a little prayer for Br. Dan and his final oral exam. I know he will appreciate it! Br. Dan should be back with us in the Parish in the last week of September, God willing (and COVID 19 travel restrictions permitting).
Lots of things happening at present, catching up on what couldn't be done during the recent lockdowns. We have now locked in our dates for First Holy Communions, First Rite of Reconciliations and Confirmations for our younger set. The details of these have been included in the bulletin on page 2, and have been sent out through communications channels of both SCB and OLQP schools.

State primary school students. We need your help, however, to get this information out to families of students in our local state primary schools, as we have not yet returned to give SRE classes there due to the coronavirus restrictions in force to date, and the reality that many of our catechists are elderly and cannot risk going into the schools yet.

For this reason, parents who have children in state schools who are ready for any of these sacraments need to get in touch with the Parish Office to arrange for final instruction for the reception of these sacraments, and a booking for their children, particularly for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation, as this will be celebrated in the coming two months of August and September. Formation for Confirmation begins in week 3 of this term, which is in a fortnight’s time. Try booking will open this coming Wednesday afternoon at 3 pm for Confirmation bookings and will be open for two weeks.

Urgent need for catechists. We actually only have enough catechists this next term for Kindy and Years 3 and 6. If there are any among you who could help to give catechetical lessons, please let the Parish Office know. Our kids need you.

There are some spaces for Baptisms available on weekends, but you will need to get in quickly. As we are restricted to about 90 people in the main area of SCB Church, and about 60 at OLQP, this also means having to baptise fewer children each time, and multiplying the celebrations to fit the families and invited guests in. And there is a large backlog of kids for baptism, along with the deferred weddings and confirmations, First Holy Communions, Reconciliation Masses and the like, all within the next five months before Christmas. Whew!!

So, again, please be patient with us as we wade through all this over the coming months. It is going to be a busy time for all of us at the Parish.

And that’s about all I have for this week. Thanks for your continued patience with us, and your volunteering, financial, spiritual and moral support. It is very needed and appreciated. Together we are bringing Jesus love to the world, and helping to restore hope in our people. That is priceless, and timeless!

Your brother in Christ's untiring service,

Fr. Greg