• Year A

    First Sunday of Lent 2020

    A Professor walks into a classroom and he puts a large empty jar on the desk in front of the class. Then he fills the jar with golf balls and asks the class if the jar is full. To which they reply, yes. Then, however, he gets a container of small pebbles and pours them into the jar . . . naturally they fill the space around the golf balls. Again, he asks the class if the jar is full. To which they reply, yes. Then he brings forward a bucket of sand, and he pours sand into the jar and the jar has no difficulty in accepting this new…

  • Sanctoral

    Ash Wednesday 2020

    The Church has begun its annual season of Lent:  the time of preparation leading up to the festival of Easter the greatest of all Christian celebrations.  We can never separate this period upon which we are embarking today from the celebration of Easter, just as we can never separate Easter itself from the festival of Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit, which is celebrated seven weeks later.  We have begun the one journey, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Pentecost Sunday:  our annual celebration of what is most important in our Christian life:  the death and resurrection of Jesus.   As Christians we are particularly mindful that we are constantly on a journey ‘from’…

  • Year A

    7th Sunday of Year A

    One of the most curious aspects of the ministry of Jesus is both the place in which it begins and the message by which it begins.  It begins in Galilee, the territory of great oppression by the Romans.  As the writer, Miroslav Volf identifies, when Jesus begins his ministry, the Palestinian population “was suffering under the loss of national sovereignty to the Romans, as well as under a tense relationship between the Jewish aristocracy and the Herodian monarchy.  Economically, the majority were caught between the Roman and the domestic elites, both of which were competing with the other to expand their fortune, especially through taxation.  Dominated, taken advantage of, and threatened in their cultural…

  • Uncategorised

    6th Sunday of Year A

    At the Law Institute in Melbourne there is a restaurant called, “The Bottle and the Snail.”  It is named after a famous law case in the early 1930s, the case of Donoghue and Stevenson.[1]  A young lady had drunk a bottle of ginger beer and as she was finishing it discovered a snail at the bottom of the bottle.  Within a few days she had fallen sick, but at the time there was no legal apparatus by which which could gain any kind of compensation.  Eventually the case was taken all the way to the English House of Lords which accepted the principle in common law which is now the basis of all compensation…

  • Year A

    5th Sunday of Year A

    In the research today about leadership there is much discussion about whether leadership it something innate or something learnt – i.e. are we born with qualities of leadership or are these skills that we can develop as time goes on and as circumstances call forth. In many ways, it is a question of and/both rather than either/or. Yes, some personalities have a natural instinct for leadership but if this is not refined then it cannot become effective; others never feel comfortable with roles of leadership but with time and with coaching they can learn how to lead.  However, the single most significant factor in leadership is neither the natural ability nor…

  • Occasional

    Vigil for Fr Denis Callahan

    Our farewell of someone is always a celebration of memories. Even in the recounting of just a few of the facts of a person’s life and in the re-telling of some of the stories of their journey, we glimpse something of their mystery and of the relationships that made them such a particular presence in the world that, without exception, we realise is not the same as it was before the gift of the person’s life. For a few brief moments it is like being at the window of a person’s life. Yet we also realise that our own memories of the one whom we are farewelling cannot fully capture…

  • Occasional

    Opening of School Year – Loreto College Normanhurst

    Each year the Macquarie Dictionary selects a word of the year.  The word (or words) for 2019 were ‘cancel culture’ which is the online phenomenon of boycotting public figures who say or do the wrong thing. The year before that it was ‘Me too’ – the drive of women to stand up against abusive behaviour of those in power. However, given that the theme for Loreto College this year is Verity, I want to come back to the word that emerged as the one for 2016, four years ago. That word was ‘fake news.’ And of course, it has lost none of its currency since. As the committee of academics, writers and journalists…

  • Sanctoral

    Presentation of the Lord

    Being the fortieth day since Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Church today recalls his Presentation in the Temple, the occasion on which his parents made the sacrifice required by Jewish law at the birth of a first son.  Traditionally, it is also the day on which the Church blesses candles, bearers of light and symbols of dedication. Hence the word Candlemas is another word for this feast day. Perhaps it is an opportunity then to reflect on the significance of the humble candle, and the most extraordinary recognition all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish its simple, flickering fragile light. The lighting of candles seems…

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