Posted on: December 24, 2020

Fr Richard's 2020 Christmas Message

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 24th December 2020

My dear people,

The time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Our Lord has arrived. The birth of Jesus is a vital aspect in the history of the salvation of the human race for it is the birth of the person who will spend his life, particularly the three years of his ministry, pointing out to the rest of us how to live an authentic human life.

This birth of the Son of God should bring us joy because it represents the light which removes all darkness, especially the darkness of sin.

We celebrate Christmas tomorrow during a year which has been an experience unknown to most, if not all, of us. The physical separation from the ones we love, which we have had to endure this year, will leave wounds very difficult to heal and scars which will be with us forever. We think of and pray particularly for the repose of the souls of those who have died from COVID-19, and for their loved ones. We pray also for those who have not been able to be with their loved ones at the time of their death and/or at their funerals. Having celebrated a few funerals in May and June, I remember vividly the sufferings of these people.

However, we believers know that with death, life is changed, not ended. We continue on our own journey hoping to see our deceased loved ones again. The celebration of the birth of Jesus is a stark reminder that one day this child will suffer and die for us so that each of us has a share in eternal life. Once the tears are wiped and time starts healing the pain, we know that God will provide the strength and courage required to continue with our own pilgrimage. This certainty accompanies us in all parts of our lives, be it our work lives or our family lives and indeed in everything that makes up our lives. Furthermore, it is important to find the strength somehow to celebrate the birth of Jesus because, despite all the challenges of this year, we still have each other and you and I know that we need that right now. So, in the midst of uncertainty and after a trying year, I truly wish you and your loved ones, near and far, a very Merry Christmas. May the celebration of the birth of Jesus bring you joy and peace.

Also, as we come to the end of the year I would like to sincerely thank, from the bottom of my heart, all the people who contribute to making our parish the wonderful community it is. I thank the office staff, the members of the PPC, the coordinators of ministries, everyone involved in all the ministries and most importantly, all of you the disciples of Jesus Christ here at St Catherine of Siena Caroline Springs. Thank you for your support and your love, which I treasure immensely.

Unfortunately, at this time we say our final farewells to Deacon Chris and Tien and reiterate our best wishes to them as they continue on the journey that God has traced out for them. I personally thank them and I am sure you do too for their fantastic contributions to our community during their time among us.

We also welcome Fr Simeon, Mary and Natasha to the team. I am sure that, like me, Robert will miss Deacon Chris and Tien, but we are excited about the new way in which the office will operate next year.

Just a few parish notices as it were. We will continue with our TryBooking account for the booking of Masses during the month of January. A reminder that bookings for Masses from Tuesday to Sunday will be open from 1 pm the Sunday before and close two hours before each Mass.  Incidentally, please note that the booking of Masses for Christmas is still open. As usual, those without internet/computer access or who find the online booking system too complex can call the office for assistance in booking a seat. As we have even more people coming in for Mass, which will require individual signing in, seat allocation and giving of instructions, it is of utmost importance that you are in the church at least thirty minutes before the start of Mass. We will lock up the church 10 minutes before Mass starts to enable our parishioners helping with the above-mentioned tasks to wrap up and be seated themselves.

A reminder that there is a farewell for Deacon Chris and Tien on Sunday 27th December.  It will take place outside the hall of CRC Caroline Springs and you are invited to bring something to share. We will be using the TryBooking system to ensure that the numbers are not exceeded.

Please be advised that the Parish Office will be closed from noon today and will re-open on 4th January. For the month of January, the office will operate at a slower pace and will close at 3 pm. As such, this is the last of my weekly messages to you for 2021. They will resume for the weekend following Australia Day.

My people, again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2021.

We continue turning to our patron saint and we ask for her intercession.

St Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

 

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr Richard Rosse PP

Posted on: December 18, 2020

On the 4th Sunday of Advent

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 18th December 2020

 

My dear people,

It has now been seven weeks since there has been a locally transmitted COVID-19 case in Victoria and we praise God for such a wonderful achievement!

This week marks the end of the school year and we think particularly of the communities of Christ the Priest and Saint George Preca, our two parish primary schools. The teachers of Catholic Regional College Caroline Springs go on holidays this week while the students finished last week. We wish them all the very best for their holidays praying that it is indeed a time of rest and recreation. We pray especially for all those who are transiting from one community to another. Let us pray to God that their new adventures will bring them all they desire.

We are continuing with our TryBooking account for the booking of Masses. A reminder that bookings for Masses from Tuesday to Sunday will be open from 1pm the Sunday before and close two hours before each Mass.  The exception to this is the booking of Masses for Christmas. These are already open. As usual, those without internet/computer access or who find the online booking system too complex can call the office for assistance in booking a seat. As we have even more people coming in for Mass, which will require individual signing in, seat allocation and giving of instructions, it is of utmost importance that you are in the church at least thirty minutes before the start of Mass. We will lock up the church 10 minutes before Mass starts to enable our parishioners helping with the above-mentioned tasks to wrap up and be seated themselves.

A reminder that this and the following Sunday (20th and 27th December), we will have the farewells of Deacon Chris and Tien. As you know, we can only have a maximum of 100 people for public gatherings outside. As a result, we have decided to have two farewells for both of them. This way, 200 people will be able to come and personally talk to them. These farewells will take place outside the hall of CRC Caroline Springs and you are invited to bring something to share. We will be using the TryBooking system to ensure that the numbers are not exceeded. Bookings for these two events are now open. Again, we wish both of them God’s choicest blessing as they embark on the next chapter in their respective journeys.

We will continue with the online daily rosary until 23rd December. If you are interested in joining us to pray the rosary together as a community, please send an email to CarolineSprings@cam.org.au and the ZOOM meeting details will be sent to you.

As we embark on the last week of advent, let us prepare our hearts to receive the infant child who comes to free us.

We continue turning to our patron saint and we ask for her intercession.

St Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

 

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr Richard Rosse PP

Posted on: December 11, 2020

On the 3rd Sunday of Advent

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 11th December 2020

My dear people,

We have now registered 42 days of no new COVID-19 cases in Victoria and we continue to be grateful to God for having come such a long way. Praised be Jesus!

Yesterday, I was delighted to be able to announce (via a video clip now available on our social media platforms) that we are able to have 250 people in the church from this weekend, following last Sunday’s announcement by the Premier of Victoria. The other great news is that the wearing of the mask is not mandatory anymore but different households will still have to be separated from each other by 1.5 metres. This increase will take place this weekend at all the five Masses. I strongly encourage you to please book to attend a Mass. I would dearly love to see all our Masses with 250 people.

We are continuing with our TryBooking account. A reminder that bookings for Masses from Tuesday to Sunday will be open from 1pm the Sunday before and close two hours before each Mass.  Those without internet/computer access or who find the online booking system too complex can call the office for assistance in booking a seat. As we have even more people coming in this week (potentially twice the number), which will require individual signing in, seat allocation and giving of instructions, it is of utmost importance that you are in the church at least thirty minutes before the start of Mass. We will lock up the church 10 minutes before Mass starts to enable our parishioners helping with the tasks I have mentioned to wrap up and be seated themselves.

In my message last week, I mentioned the ordination of several men to the diaconate, permanent and transitional, and of deacons to the priesthood. While aware that one of the deacons to be ordained a priest will be coming here, I was not at liberty to share that wonderful news yet. Fortunately, I was able to do so at all Masses last weekend and am able to mention that again this week: Fr Simeon Anthony, ordained on 5th December 2020 will be here as Assistant Priest from this weekend. I invite you to keep Fr Simeon in your prayers. There will be many opportunities for us to get to know him over the next few weeks, months and years.

With Deacon Chris finishing at the end of the year as Pastoral Associate, there will be some changes in the parish office. Firstly, Robert will continue to be the Parish Coordinator and take on all the duties of Deacon Chris, except for RCIA Coordinator and Baptism Coordinator. I will be the RCIA Coordinator and Mary Borg will be the Baptism Coordinator. Mary Borg has also accepted to join the office as Parish Secretary as a volunteer on a part time basis. Another exciting news is the appointment of Natasha Berchy as an Evangelisation Coordinator for the parish. Natasha will come and introduce herself and her role to the parish in the new year.

Along with Deacon Chris’ departure, Tien will also complete his pastoral internship in the parish on the 25th December 2020. As you know, we can only have a maximum of 100 people for public gatherings outside. As a result, we have decided to have two farewells for both of them. This way, 200 people will be able to come and personally talk to them. These farewells will happen on the 20th and 27th December outside the hall of CRC Caroline Springs and you are all invited to bring something to share. We will be using the TryBooking system to ensure that the numbers are not exceeded. Please keep an eye on our website for booking details. We wish both of them God’s choicest blessing as they embark on the next chapter in their respective journeys.

We are continuing with the online daily rosary and if you are interested in joining us to pray the rosary together as a community, please send an email to CarolineSprings@cam.org.au and the ZOOM meeting details will be sent to you.

I look forward to seeing all your faces over the next few weeks as so many can come to Mass. For any other issues, I am always available at the presbytery.

We continue turning to our patron saint and we ask for her intercession.

St Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

 

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr Richard Rosse PP