• Year A

    Feast of the Holy Family

    At my father’s funeral just before Christmas, I happened to meet a man whom I had not known before. When I asked him his connection to my father he replied, “Well actually my great, great grandfather was responsible for bringing your great, great grandfather to Tasmania.” I was fascinated by the information which resolved some confusion as to how my forbears came to Tasmania. The man at the funeral had the answer: Samuel Ranson arrived in the Port of Launceston on 12 August 1841 to be the overseer of Wickford’s – a property near the township of Longford, near Launceston. This disclosure opened up further discovery for me – that…

  • Sanctoral

    Christmas

    Our nation comes to Christmas this year with a weariness from the combination of heat, fire and smoke that have marked our December. We long for rain that might extinguish the fires and bring relief to the drought that tightens its grip on our landscape. This Christmas we think especially of those who have been so deeply affected by the drought, whose livelihood is at stake, and we are mindful of those who have lost loved ones and property because of the unprecedented fires across our State of New South Wales, Queensland and most recently in South Australia. For many of these people Christmas brings little cheer. And even if…

  • Year A

    Fourth Sunday of Advent

    On this the Sunday before Christmas, we light the fourth candle for Advent – the candle of peace. Over our journey we have lit candles for hope, for faith, for joy. Now, on the eve of Christmas. we do so for peace. Peace is the quality that perhaps we most often associate with Christmas. It is the quality we want to surround our coming celebration – the outcome of the lights, the gifts, the carols, our Christmas Mass, our family gathering. For a few brief moments, Christmas promises us peace. We catch our breath; we glimpse innocence; we let go of the demands of our work; we rest. That peace might…

  • Occasional

    Funeral Homily for my father, Geoff Ranson, Church of Apostles, Launceston Tasmania 20 December 2019

    Nestled in the temperate rain forests of north east Tasmania, Derby reached its boom time in the late 19thcentury through the discovery of tin. By 1931 when Dad was born and raised there it was still recovering from a catastrophic flood a couple of years earlier, though the mines were still in operation and would be for a couple of decades further. At the height of its industry, the village numbered some 3,000 people – for that time in Tasmania, virtually a bustling centre of commerce and social life. For several generations prior, the Ransons and the Dilgers had farmed across the north east from Branxholm, Maydena and Scottsdale. They…

  • Year A

    Third Sunday of Advent

    As we continue our Advent journey, the sense of expectation in our waiting increases. Christmas is virtually only a week away now! This can fill us with a sense of disbelief and dismay because of all that we consider needs to be achieved beforehand. But it can also fill us with a sense of wonder and anticipation. The outcome of wonder is joy. And so, we light the third candle of our Advent wreath – the rose-coloured candle – designated for the gift of joy that is given to us as people of both hope and faith. As those who watch for the birth of the Lord’s life in the…

  • Sanctoral

    8 December – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

    Over these weeks our city has been blanketed in a fog of bushfire smoke. It has been quite exceptional and a number of us have found it difficult to breathe. Given that it has been an experience day after day for some time now we have begun to long for that day, for that sunrise and sunset that is clear, for which the air is fresh and clean. There must be some days we wonder if we will have that assurance again. It can seem that we are destined to live in the grip of this brown haze. However, I am sure that when we do come to that new…

  • Year A

    Second Sunday of Advent

    As we shared last Sunday, 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 finally love that crowns all the rest. These are the true gifts of Christmas, the gifts given to us as those who seek the birthing of the life of Jesus 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.  On this second Sunday of Advent we light our second candle, the…

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