Another calendar year is fast coming to a close, and as a Church, we begin our new liturgical year with the start of Advent. I invite you at this time to take a moment to reflect on the past year, and also to open yourselves to new possibilities in both your personal spiritual life, as well as our common spiritual life as a parish.
Each year that I am here as parish priest, I would like to provide some universal guidance for this important reflection by introducing a new annual theme. When I arrived at the parish in February, I announced a Year of Trust. Over the last few months, we have had a special opportunity to reflect on, learn and renew our Trust in God, in the Church and in others that are around us. We hosted different priests and guest speakers to help us further our understanding of Trust. In almost every parish bulletin we have had a reflection or a prayer for Trust. Year of Trust candles with a beautiful prayer for Trust attached were available to purchase and take to our homes and share with others. Those of us who wanted to use this opportunity to reflect on Trust had many opportunities to do so. It is my hope this year of Trust helped many of you to trust more than before and to open your hearts for the next step in your spiritual life.
As we continue our faith journey together at St Patrick’s community, I would like to announce a different theme for this new liturgical year which we begin today! The next step after we learn how to trust is to love. This is why, together with the parish pastoral council, I have decided to launch the YEAR OF LOVE in our parish!
The theme for this year will be based on a fragment of 1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God.”
In the YEAR OF LOVE, I would like to invite all of us to reflect on love in the same way as we did with Trust. We will reflect on how to love God, His Church and one another. This will be an opportunity for different generations in our community to reflect on love, to learn how to love with a pure heart and how to renew our love. During this year, I will once again invite different guest speakers, and in the parish bulletin, we will have different reflections and prayers for love. We will also organise various events and prayer times to help us all better understand love as well.
Love is not all hearts and flowers or what is presented in a sappy romantic film, Pope Francis said.
- “Love is something else. Love is taking responsibility for others.”
- “Love isn’t playing violins, all romantic,” the pope said in his homily at Mass. “No. Love is work.”
- “Do I remain in the Lord’s love? Or do I leave it, seeking other things, forms of fun, other ways of leading my life?” the pope told them to ask. “To remain in his love is to do what Jesus did for us. He gave his life for us. He was our servant; he came to serve. The love Christians are called to show others is not something that should be occasional “but must be a constant in our existence.”
- “This is why we are called, for example, to care for the elderly as a precious treasure and with love, even if they create economic problems and difficulties. But we must care for them. This is why we must give every assistance possible to the sick, even in the last stages. This is why the unborn always must be welcomed.”
- “Life always must be safeguarded and loved from conception to its natural end… This is love.”
With this short reflection of Pope Francis I would like to encourage you to start this journey of love together so we as St Patrick’s Parish community will grow in our understanding of love and share it with one another. I would also like to invite the three local schools, St Joseph’s, St Edward’s and St Patrick’s, to join us and reflect on love together, building a whole community in our area founded on Christ who is love, and learn from him how to share and reach out with love to others in our parish and school communities.
Let us pray together that we all will be filled with God’s love and will share it with one other!
Fr Greg Skulski SDS
Second Rite of Reconciliation Times
- 18/12/2019 at Woy Woy, 7:00 – 7:30 pm
- 19/12/2019 at St Patrick’s Gosford, 7:00 – 7:30 pm
- 20/12/2019 at Our Lady of the Rosary Wyoming, 7:00 – 7:30 pm
- 23/12/2019 at Holy Cross Kincumber, 7:00 – 7:30 pm
Christmas Mass Times
Christmas Eve at St Patrick’s
5:00 pm: Children’s Outdoor Mass on the grounds of St Patrick’s Primary School’s Melbourne St
9:00 pm: Youth Mass
12:00 midnight: Midnight Mass
Christmas Eve at St Francis of Assisi, Somersby
Christmas Day at St Patrick’s
7:30 am Mass
9:00 am Mass
No evening Mass at 6:00 pm.