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.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Dear Parishioners,

Today’s Gospel, the Annunciation, reminds us that the first Christmas and the events leading up to it was a very messy affair. Mary’s “yes” to God’s invitation comes at a time which was unexpected and perhaps even unwanted given her age and position in Jewish Society. So often life is chaotic, unexpected and unwanted as we have experienced ’close up’ this week as the events in Martin Place so tragically unfolded. We think also of the hundreds of innocent children in Pakistan so brutally killed and what families must be feeling at this time.

Our Advent waiting confronts these realities not with simple answers but with a challenge. The editorial of the Sydney Morning Herald last Tuesday spoke of the events in Martin Place as first and foremost a test of our empathy. Along with the innocent victims and their loved ones, the paper went on to say “Perhaps we face an even more difficult test of our empathy as well. How should we feel for the perpetrator and his family…. Forgiving him will be very difficult and it will take time. Without forgiveness, though, we have to live with destructive hate.”

The coming of Christ challenges us at the very core of our existence including our sometimes natural feelings for revenge under the banner of “justice.” Our response to the events of this week will reveal as the Herald said, “who are we, how we are to respond to criminal dangers in our midst and, most confronting, what sort of nation we want to be.”

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.