• Year A

    First Sunday of Advent

    We mark our journey to the Festival of Christmas by each week lighting a candle on our Advent Wreath. Each candle represents one of the blessings of Christmas: hope, faith, joy, peace and love. These are the true gifts of Christmas, the gifts given to us as those who seek how the life of Jesus is birthed more deeply in our hearts and in our world. In lighting each candle, we are reminded of how we are to be people of hope, faith, joy, peace and love. Lives marked by these gifts are radiant lives, lives that bear the life of Jesus in our world, lives transparent of this Promise…

  • Occasional

    St Leo’s College Wahroonga Feast Day

    “What’s in a name?” we might ask? “Is a name important?” we might add. How many of us know the meaning of our own name? I think our names are much more important than simple labels. Obviously, they give us a certain identification and acknowledgement. But names also shape us in some way; they give us personality and character.  We are given a name, and though it is possible for us to change this by deed poll most of us accept our name and grow into it the older we become. In so doing, I think something quite profound happens: we learn both to hear and to speak the word…

  • Year C

    Solemnity of Christ the King

    In these weeks the country has been on heightened alert for bushfire. We have known just how destructive the fires have been on the north coast and in Queensland; it has been difficult for us to imagine the scale of bush destroyed and we have felt the despair of the people who have lost their homes and property, especially those who have lost loved ones. Here in Sydney we have recognized the situation by the pall of smoke covering the city now for some days. All of us feel a sense of trepidation about the forthcoming summer. As we see the pictures of devastation and view the smoke that engulfs…

  • Addresses

    Launch of Bernadette T Wallis, Dear Mother Dear Father: Letters Home from John Corcoran Wallis 1927-1949 (Coventry Press, 2019)

    The great storyteller, Tolkien in Lord of the Rings records a wonderful dialogue between the characters of Frodo and Sam: “‘But so our path is laid,’ said Frodo.  ‘Yes, that’s so,’ said Sam. ‘And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of sport, as…

  • Year C

    32nd Sunday of Year C

    In many ways I am coming more and more to the conclusion that we live in an age of isolation, especially in our modern Western and brilliantly technological societies. There is a great paradox in this since with the communication revolution that is also a characteristic of our time never before have we been so connected to one another.  If we are as connected to one another as never before how can we be suffering from such isolation? This, indeed, is a critical question. Yet, the symptoms of isolation which mark our current social experience are all around us.  Tanveer Ahmed wrote some time ago: “Modern technology is vastly increasing our connectivity,…

  • Year C

    31st Sunday of Year C

    One of the people that stand out in my memory when I was engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction was a young man, James (not his real name).  When I first met James he had completed a degree in film and was involved in film-making, and was becoming quite successful in his endeavour.  But James was also struggling.  He was depressed and the depression was becoming more significant. I met with James regularly over perhaps a twelve-month period, seeking to listen to him and understand something of his life’s journey. Through our conversations it became apparent that though he was becoming quite successful as a film-maker he actually didn’t like what he…

  • Sanctoral

    Solemnity of All Saints

    Today we remember our destination to be the saints of God. In so doing we celebrate the holiness of life, the holiness of our own lives. As Pope Francis reminds us recently, “To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by…

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