Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
THE ROYAL COMMISSION HEARINGS INTO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA
The first of three weeks of final Hearings into the Catholic Church by the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is now coming to a close.
This first session has been a stark exposure of terrible statistics. Data tells us that over six decades, from 1950-2010, some 1,265 Catholic priests and religious were the subject of a child abuse claim.
For every entry in this overwhelming data, a child has suffered in some way through the actions of someone who should have cared for and protected them.
We recognise that as bad as this accounting is, there are many survivors of abuse that have not come forward, and perhaps never will. Our prayers remain constant for all those who have suffered.
Monday, 6th February, saw the first of the live-streamed Panel Sessions. Very Rev Fr David Ranson VG was invited to participate as an expert academic at the opening Panel, which sought to explore the areas of Structure, Governance and Culture within the Church in Australia. Fr David was again present on a Panel on Monday, 13th February, focusing on the formation of clergy and religious.
There is a great wealth of reporting being disseminated around the Hearings. A selection of items and summaries from the Truth Justice and Healing Council (TJHC) are updated on the Diocesan website daily for your information: www.dbb.org.au
The Hearings are streamed live, and the Commission website has full transcripts available:
“The Light is On”
“The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel,” - Pope Francis, (The Joy of the Gospel, 114).
The Light is On
began as an initiative of the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington where all Catholic churches across the DC metro area were open for quiet prayer and Confession on a specific evening throughout Lent. At a meeting of our Hornsby Deanery late last year many of our parishes decided we would like to implement a similar programme during Lent here in our own Deanery. Commencing on Friday, 3rd March, all the parishes listed below will be offering The Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession commencing at 7:30pm in the churches indicated each Friday of Lent until Friday, 7th April.
“The Light of God’s love, of God’s mercy, of God’s forgiveness, is always on, and we can always come home to God and to the Church if we have been away for a long time or even if we have been there all along.” - Cardinal
Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.
Lent is the season where we prepare ourselves to renew and restore our relationship with Jesus and the Church as we prepare to celebrate Easter. For many of us the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession can be scary and even embarrassing. We may be too nervous or consider ourselves unforgiveable. Yet with confidence Pope Francis reminds us:
“How many times in my pastoral ministry have I heard it said, ‘Father, I have many sins,’ and I have always pleaded, ‘Don’t be afraid; go to him; his is waiting for you; he will take care of everything.’ We hear many offers from the world around us, but let us take up God’s offer instead: his is a caress of love.—Pope Francis, Homily. Basilica of St John Lateran, Divine Mercy Sunday, 7th April 2013.”
Also please note that during Lent here at Epping and Carlingford, we will also pray the Stations of the Cross commencing at 7:00pm prior to Reconciliation
I encourage you all to avail yourself of this opportunity as a way of welcoming the mercy of God this Lent.
List of Parishes/Churches where ‘The Light is On’ can be found:
This week's parish bulletin
Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral
23 Yardley Ave, Waitara
||3/03, 10/03, 24/03, 31/03, 7/04|
St Benedict’s Church
121 Arcadia Rd, Arcadia
||3/03, 10/03, 24/03, 31/03, 7/04 |
|Catholic Parish of Epping and Carlingford
Our Lady Help of Christians Church
31 Oxford Street, Epping
||10/03, 24/03, 7/04|
St Gerard Majella’s Church|
543 North Rocks Road, Carlingford
||03/03, 17/03, 31/03|
St Patrick’s Church
Cnr Royston Pde & Baldwin Ave, Asquith
||03/03, 17/03, 31/03|
|St Bernard’s Church
1-19 Woodcourt Road
||10/03, 24/03 & 7/04|
St Agatha’s Church
20 Boundary Road, Pennant Hills
(entry via Trebor Road)
||3/03, 10/03, 17/03, 31/03, 7/04|
(For urgent or late notices not available when the bulletin was printed
please click on Stop Press)