ASCENSION OF THE LORD – Sunday 24th of May 2020


We are drawing close to the end of the great Fifty Days of Easter. The Ascension marks the movement toward our grand finale of the Feast of Pentecost. There is no doubt that this Easter season has been like no other in our lifetime with the unexpected encounter with the COVID-19 season. We started this season with the women at the tomb seeking Jesus and becoming bewildered (Matt 28:5). We heard of the disciples on the road to Emmaus appearing downtrodden (Luke 24:17). We might see that scene in our imaginations with their heads bent and looking down—until they behold the Risen One in the breaking of the word and the bread. We come now to the apostles being asked, “Why are you looking up?” (Acts 1:11). Throughout these weeks of readings and in our texts today, we have a continual unfolding of the meaning of the resurrection.

The disciples were surely looking for a route forward. Their questions arise when they are assembled with Jesus (Acts 1:6). Their questions could be summed up: When are you going to restore the brokenness to wholeness you promised? And Jesus gives them a reason for detours: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons” (Acts 1:6-7). Jesus assures them that something more is ahead. He gave them and us the promise of the gift of the Spirit to guide us in all things.

We do this all with promise and hope: Jesus says, “I am with you always, until the end of the ages” (Matt 28:30). I am with you in joy and pain, the struggle and the celebration of all the little moments! He promises the Holy Spirit will abide with us. When the Ascension was observed on the fortieth day, it gave rise to a novena leading to the great feast of Pentecost. Perhaps in the coming week, we can pray for the Spirit to come and abide with us and to renew us.

Submerged a little in the middle of all that has been going on, is the tradition during this week to pray for Christian unity. One of the blessings, in the midst of this Corona virus, has been the way people have compassionately cared for one another in this crisis. We do not simply identify as Catholic or Anglican or Uniting Church or any other religious grouping, in our own particular tribe, but we recognise the need to work together and to share the good news that we have within. Let’s pray that we will continue to break down the barriers that divide and separate us set so that what unites us as followers of Jesus, will become even stronger.

The Ascension reminds us all to keep looking forward in hope. He is with us until the end of the age. Let us make faith, hope, and love our GPS — even if life takes our journeys on detours and we need it to recalculate, to keep moving forward!

Stay safe and strong.

Father Ian



Following the direction of Bishop Vincent and the NSW Premier, we are able to reopen our church, subject to a number of stringent conditions. Therefore there are now weekday Masses only from Wednesday to Friday.

Mass will be celebrated as follows:

 Wednesday 9.00am
 Thursday 9.00am
 Friday 9.15am
 Saturday / Sunday Webcast only

  • Maximum of 10 people in the church for Mass and you will need to make a reservation – see below
  • Use only the 10 designated chairs
  • Avoid touching any statues or pictures
  • Use the hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the church
  • Communion will be distributed only on the hand and by the priest walking from person to person
  • After Mass the chairs must be cleaned and sanitised
  • If you are feeling unwell, please stay home and contact your doctor.


  • All places for each Mass must be pre-booked
  • Bookings may be requested no more than 5 days in advance
  • Call our Parish Secretary – Claudine on 9871 8710: Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 4pm
  • Available spaces will be allocated in the order requests are received. Only one reservation at a time will be accepted, to give everyone a chance to attend Mass


  • The church will be open 9.00am – 4.00pm daily Monday to Friday
  • Maximum of 10 people in the church at any one time
  • Use only the 10 designated plastic chairs
  • If all 10 chairs are occupied, please wait outside until someone leaves
  • Avoid touching any statues or pictures
  • Write the date, time, name, phone number, email address on the form provided
  • Use the hand sanitiser after signing in


  • Confession will be by appointment only
  • Call our Parish Secretary – Claudine on 9871 8710: Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 4pm to make a time
  • Please follow the above sign-in and sanitiser requirements

BABY NEWS: Congratulations to the Jilesh family who welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Martha last Thursday 21st May, 2020. Many blessings on their new little arrival.

THE SWAG:   The Swag, the quarterly magazine of The National Council of Priests of Australia, provides a forum for publishing progressive but responsible Catholic thinking within the Church, featuring a wide range of topics from local and international contributors. With the suspension of Sunday Masses around the country, the Winter edition of The Swag will be available online. Parishioners will have free online access to a Page Turner and a PDF of the Winter 2020 edition. Click on the following link to access:

LITANY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Enjoy this beautiful composition for reflection:

PARISH DONATIONS: Parishioners who wish to make a donation to the parish, can access the facility on the front page of the Parish website by clicking “Donate Now” on the top right-hand side of the page or donating directly to via Credit Card. Should you wish to make a donation via direct debit, please use the following details:
BSB: 067-950
Account Number: 00000479
Account Name: North Rocks Catholic Church

FIRST COLLECTION: If you would like to contribute towards the support of the priests (First Collection), please use the following details:
BSB 067-950
Account No. 00004265
Account Name: Parramatta Diocesan Clergy
Reference Number: 6027
Thank you to everyone in the continual support of the parish and the clergy of the Diocese of Parramatta.

MASSES LIVE STREAMING from ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL: All Masses will be livestreamed via YouTube: and FaceBook:

READINGS FOR THE MASS: Provided by Universalis, can be found here:

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: or requiring assistance from Vinnies, please call 13 18 12.


THE SICK: Christopher Hale (Brother of Lesley Bosci), Monica Mayo (nee Hart), Ken Abood, Jill Wulf, Ron Lucas, Arthur John Meston, Mary Magill, Joe Frare, Afifi Elchaar, Daniele Donu, Patrick Wheeler, Sylvette Marsh.
DECEASED: Giuseppina Cutrone, Carmelina Cutrone, Jimmy Cutrone, George Cutrone Jr, Beniamino Cutrone, Yvonne Boulous, Phillip Boulous, Charlie Karam, Leila Karam & All Souls.


Join with others as we create community online to share and grow faith, every Saturday from 11am – 12pm with Saturday Sessions.
Listen to the pre-recorded presentation about a topic of faith before Saturday 11am and then join an online group discussion via Zoom between 11am – 12pm. Register in advance for this meeting to receive the links for the presentation:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting and the links to the presentation.
Saturday 23rd May 2020
Bishop Robert Barron
Giving a reason for the hope within us.
Bishop Robert Barron is an American prelate of the Catholic Church serving as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Bishop Barron speaks about the rising tide of the unaffiliated in our Church and looks at the who, why and how of this very relevant topic. Not only true of young people in our communities, but of all generations.

2020 marks the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, which was signed on 24 May 2015. Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home, Laudato Si’, is an inspiration during moments of difficulty. It encourages us to reflect on the values we share and create a more just and sustainable future. The theme of Laudato Si’ Week is “everything is connected.” During Laudato Si’ Week, we come together as one people around the world to prayerfully discern the lessons of this moment. While the world experiences a historical crisis, we reflect and prepare to build a better world. At midday on Sunday May 24, we’re invited to join with the rest of the world as we say a common prayer (as attached) together to mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’. Please see attached a video message from Bishop Vincent which marks the occasion –


To view this Sunday’s Mass online, click on the link below:


WARNING: for those who have been engaging in Zoom meetings recently and cannot wait for face-to-face meetings to resume!