THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER 2020 – 26th April 2020
INTRODUCTION – Fr Ian McGinnity
Whilst the normal rhythm of life has been upset by our social isolation and distancing, there are some passages of life that can’t be interrupted. Mothers are giving birth to new life during this time. Parents are doing their best to educate and recreate with their children at home. Shopping is required to keep us nourished even though there are new ways of doing this. Birthday presents are being purchased online and delivered to the door of your homes. Lawns are being mowed and gardens, in some cases, never been so well tended! Hobbies and interests are being pursued. Favourite television shows are being binged on. In some cases, families are watching TV or movies together that they haven’t done for a long time. People still have illnesses (apart from the coronavirus) chronic and acute that still need to be responded to. Cancer patients are receiving treatment, urgent heart surgery is still being performed. And sadly, people are dying of natural causes.
Over the past 6 weeks I have presided at 3 funerals. One can only feel extraordinary sympathy for those who have lost loved ones in this unique time. The normal rituals of farewell are limited by the number of people who can attend; and human touch is constrained by social distancing for non-immediate families. Grief can be compounded due to the anxiety of catching this virus as well as the limitations of celebrating the life of the one we loved. For many it will mean celebrating their lives a little later, when more people can gather. Some have used technology to connect extended friends and family with the funeral which has ameliorated the problem of social distancing.
During the week I heard of the deaths of two religious, both of whom I had known. Brother Chris Gorringe FSC, passed away on Easter Monday 13th April. Brother Chris was Principal of Oakhill College from 1998 – 2006 and would probably be known to some members of the parish who had contact with the College during that period. He was originally from Dunedoo, a New South Wales country town where many vocations from yesteryear came from. Brother Chris was a humble and gentle leader and a good educator. He was 75.
The second passing was a wonderful woman whom I had worked with as a priest in Mount Druitt when I was assistant there from 1986-88. Her name was Sister Margaret Eustace, a Brigidine sister and pastoral associate in Emerton, Mount Druitt for many years. Sister Margaret died last Wednesday 22nd April, she was 98 years of age almost 99. Margaret came from a place called Tullow in Co Carlow, Ireland to minister in a far-off land called Australia. In fact, it was the same parish that Bishop Daniel Delaney had founded both the Brigidine sisters and the Patrician Brothers. She had been a novice Mistress in the mid-60s for the Brigidine sisters and in her final years of ministry, had a great commitment to the poor and the needy in Mount Druitt with Father Paul Hanna where she lived for many years until 2002. She had a great gift for compassion and the extraordinary gift of listening and paying attention to the people with a gentle smile and her humble Irish wit. Many people mourn her loss, as I do.
Both of these religious will only have small funerals that probably doesn’t do justice to their magnificent Christian commitment. Nonetheless we can still pray for them and rejoice that they now join the Communion of Saints and, as the Gospel for this weekend reminds us, in the Emmaus story – in the appearance of Jesus with the two disciples on the road; He will accompany them and they will recognise his presence and know fully, his glory.
This Saturday, Anzac Day, we also remember those who have died to defend our freedom in a multitude of conflicts and war. While we won’t be able to attend the dawn service or attend Mass, we will remember them. Lest We Forget.
Here is a link to a liturgy that you might utilise at home to help you to do this created by Father Kevin Walsh: https://realhomilies.wordpress.com
Let us continue to pray for one another in these strange times.
Stay safe and strong.
THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
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BABY NEWS: We congratulate Lena and Keith Henson on the arrival of their new grandson, who was born in Queensland last Wednesday morning. Mum and baby boy doing well.
PLEASE KEEP IN YOUR PRAYERS: Mr Tony Hughes, Principal of Christ the King Primary, who had unexpected eye surgery last week. He has returned home and is recovering well. For the latest news for parents with children attending Christ the King Primary, click on this link:
Important Update Regarding Term 2.On Tuesday morning 21st April 2020, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that NSW…
READINGS FOR THE MASS: Provided by Universalis, can be found here: www.universalis.com
THOSE IN NEED: During this difficult time, if you hear of anyone in need of assistance from a priest or the Parish Office, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9871.8710 or via email: email@example.com or requiring assistance from Vinnies, please call 13 18 12.
IN YOUR MERCY, PLEASE REMEMBER THOSE FOR WHOM PRAYERS HAVE BEEN REQUESTED:
THE SICK: Arthur John Meston, Ken Boys, Mary Magill, Joe Frare, Afifi Elchaar, Daniele Donu, Patrick Wheeler, Sylvette Marsh.
RECENTLY DECEASED: Sr Margaret Eustace CSB, Br Chris Gorringe FSC.
ANNIVERSARIES: Peter Murphy, William Lum, Doris Euhus, Brian Coorey.
DECEASED: Y.T. Hsu, Deannu Hsu, Joseph Van Minh, Tony Khalife, Soraya Khalife, Morrie Kahlife, Yvonne Boulous, Phillip Boulous, Charlie Karam, Leila Karam & All Souls.