In the year 2000 the two parishes of Epping and Carlingford entered a common relationship through the sharing of a single Parish Priest. Over the next six or seven years the parishes entered a process of increasing collaboration and sharing of resources and pastoral programmes, including the sharing of a common parish staff. In July 2007 the two parishes formally became one parish with the name of The Catholic Parish of Epping and Carlingford. In the model we are following however we still retain two distinct (though of course collaborating and cooperating) communities within our single parish structure the communities gathered around our two parish churches of St Gerard's at Carlingford and Our Lady Help of Christians' at Epping.

For more information about our way of working as two communities within one parish please click here.

Dear parishioners

This Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Season of Lent, the time of preparation for the Feast of Easter! Times of Masses on this day are listed in today’s bulletin. Traditionally both Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of ‘fasting’ and abstinence from meat, while every Friday of Lent is meant to challenge us to keep a significant focus on prayer, fasting and charity towards those in need as part of our ongoing Lenten penance. Whatever we decide to ‘do’ or ‘give up’ for Lent, the important thing is that in six weeks time we have grown in our relationship with Jesus as individuals and as a faith community.

In order to assist us in our Lenten journey the parish is offering in addition to our Lenten weekday Masses and Saturday celebrations of Individual Reconciliation (Confession):

(a) our parish Lenten ‘Pulse 8’ series where parishioners meet together in small groups, praying and reflecting each week on the Lenten Sunday readings using the Wollongong Diocese programme ‘Arise” (please add your details to the available groups listed at the back of the Church or contact the Parish Office).

(b) Our ecumenical Lenten gatherings beginning at:
The Anglican Parish of Epping – St Alban’s Church on Tuesday 24th February.
West Epping Uniting Church on Tuesday 3rd March.
Catholic Parish of Epping and Carlingford – St Gerard Majella’s Church on Tuesday 10th March.
Epping Uniting Church on Tuesday 17th March.
Epping Baptist Church on Tuesday 24th March.
All liturgies commence at 7:45pm.

(c) Involvement in Project Compassion (boxes and other material are available this weekend).

(d) Our Parish celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) in preparation for Easter on Wednesday evening 25th March. For more information on all these activities please see the relevant notices in the parish bulletin over the coming weeks.

The weeks ahead will be busy on a number of other fronts also. Young people will be preparing for the celebration of their First Reconciliation, and our Catechumens (those preparing for baptism) and Candidates (those preparing for Full Communion with the Catholic Church) are entering into their period of final preparation for Easter Sacraments. Perhaps the true ‘spirit’ of this time is best summed up in the chorus of that beautiful hymn which says, “Grant to us O Lord a heart renewed, Recreate in us your own spirit, Lord!”

Fr Peter
This week's parish bulletin
(For urgent or late notices not available when the bulletin was printed please click on Stop Press)

1300 PRIEST (1300 774 378)

1300 PRIEST will put you in contact with a local Catholic Priest in times of need or if there is illness or death in the family and you need a priest urgently.

The 1300 PRIEST phone number is answered 24-hours, seven days a week. On weekdays from 9am - 5pm the phone number is answered by staff in the Diocese of Broken Bay office. After Hours the phone is answered by Pastoral Care Practitioners who are also associated with the major hospitals in the Diocese.