THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED REGULARLY WITH THE LATEST ADVICE REGARDING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Dear Parishioners of St Pat’s,
We are now preparing to enter Holy Week, the most important week of the year. In the space of seven days humanity will reach its lowest low by committing Deicide, the killing of God, and will have its highest high as Jesus rises from the dead, conquering sin and death and enabling us to share his divine life.
Holy Week 2020 will be unforgettable because of a sense of absence. For the first time in living memory we will not be able to physically gather and celebrate the most important mysteries of our faith. There will no doubt be a real experience of loss. The inability to receive Reconciliation and Holy Communion at this time will be felt very keenly. In spite of this, Holy Week 2020 presents the possibility of being one of the most grace-filled Easters we’ve ever celebrated. Here’s why.
The inability to gather physically will make the spiritual reality of the Communion of the saints, of which we are all members, more crystal. The deepest bond we share with each other is that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Our first duty in love is to pray for one another. While we can only physically assist and be present for a limited number of people, we can call down grace, help, comfort and love on absolutely everyone through attentive prayer. There is no one we cannot be close to in this time.
The pain of separation and isolation can be fuel for our prayer and contemplation of Jesus. Our Lord’s greatest suffering was the sense of his own Father’s absence, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!” He was also grieved by the fact that his closest disciples, though physically present, slept while he was in his agony; “could you not pray with me one hour?” The ability to watch and pray with Jesus on Holy Thursday and Good Friday is not constricted by our inability to come to church.
Lastly, whether we gather or not, Easter happens! As the priests around the world offer the Sacred Triduum, the whole church is present even if not physically. We will be once again made present to those very moments of our salvation, and the world will rejoice.
You are all very specially held up to God in my Masses, in the Divine Office and in the Rosary. Please note that at this time the only sick calls priests are allowed to do is for the Last Rites. I will ensure that those of you who are unwell are given a special place in my prayers at the altar.
In accordance with new restrictions announced by the Federal Government on Sunday 22nd March and following instructions from the Archdiocese of Sydney, St Patrick’s church will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
The only exceptions for opening the church provided for by the Government and Archdiocese are funerals and weddings, as long as the congregation is no more than five for weddings and ten for funerals and social distancing observed.
Priests will still be available to give the Last Rites to those who need it but all other visits are to temporarily cease. It is with particular sadness that we have been ordered not to leave a door open for people to come and pray privately. It had been my deep desire that this church be a spiritual refuge and place of comfort during this time.
Nevertheless, each day, Mass will be offered for you and your intentions as well as a holy hour of Eucharistic adoration offered for a swift end to the crisis. I will also endeavour to publish a written homily on the Scriptures each week to be put on the website.
Please know that the Lord is close and you can reap the benefits of making a spiritual Communion even if you cannot make a physical one.
You are all in my prayers. May God bless
you and watch over you all.
Fr Dan McCaughan
As I stated last week, we are living in very fluid times. Well, change has come upon us again this weekend. I am hoping you will all understand.
After much thought and prayer, Fr Dan has asked me to postpone the Sacrament of First Reconciliation for your children. With Covid-19 upon us and new guidelines set by the government and Archdiocese of Sydney, we feel that it is not prudent to put people in undue jeopardy at this time. We will, however, be making a new time and date for this wonderful celebration for the children and hope that you understand.
Please, if you have an enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me or the parish office.
Hoping everyone is keeping safe and secure. Keep praying.
The Sacrament of Confirmation has been postponed indefinitely at this point. Please keep an eye on the website for further details.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Friday night Stations of the Cross have been cancelled.
St Patrick's Parish acknowledges and honours the Gweagal people of the Dharawal Nation as the original custodians of this land.