Image (above): Iraqi Christians fleeing terrorist invasion
“Comfort, comfort my people, says the Lord” (Isaiah 4.1)
COMFORT MIDDLE EASTERN CHRISTIANS
This week all Australian Catholic churches have received notification that today, 7th December, is to be a day of consolidated prayer for the Christians in the Middle East. It takes place under the auspices of the Conference of Bishops and Representatives of the Middle Eastern Churches in Australia.
BISHOPS TO VISIT MIDDLE EAST
The Chaldean, Melkite and Maronite Bishops heading these communities in Australia will be joined by Archbishop Porteous and Archbishop Prowse as they go to Iraq and Lebanon to visit large refugee camps ‘housing’ Christians who have been forced to flee their homelands. These bishops will carry the assurance of prayers from the Australian Christians and will distribute financial assistance. The Wagga Diocese, courtesy of bishop Gerard Hanna, is sending a cheque for the delegation to bring to those suffering.
Iraqi Christians fleeing
OUR PRAYERFUL RESPONSE
If we were driven from our homes, forced to walk across deserts, carrying our children on our backs, without any possessions and forced to flee to a foreign land, we would be desperate beyond belief! We would welcome any and every little support offered to us – whether financial, material or prayers.
OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN FAITH
Our hearts are rent at the images we see in the news. Let our prayers for them today – and every day – be fervent. They need us to be thinking of them and to be praying powerfully for them.
IMPACT OF OUR PRAYERS
God hears all prayers and grants those offered selflessly on behalf of others. We cannot see the effects, but most assuredly, our prayers impact their suffering – bringing them courage, hope, perseverance and a peace deep in their hearts which this world is refusing them.
INVISIBLE EFFECTS OF PRAYER
We cannot know what a Rosary, or a decade of a Rosary, or a Mass or my Holy Communion offered for them will do for them. But our faith gives us confidence that it will be balm to the wounds they carry in their bodies, minds and souls.
Iraqis’ fleeing for their lives
FOR THE TRAUMATIZED
So, we pray especially for those traumatized and displaced, that they may find refuge, welcome, and support in their time of distress – until they can return safely to their homes and homelands, their farms, their jobs, their towns and villages and cities.
FOR THE LEADERS
We also pray for the leaders in the conflicts – that God will give them an overwhelming desire for peace, and the wisdom and courage to persevere in the search until it is obtained.
FOR THOSE GRIPPED IN DARKNESS OF EVIL
We must, as Jesus taught, pray for those who persecute us and our brothers and sisters. We pray that Jesus the Light of the world will shine so brightly in their hearts that they will emerge from the darkness in which they are now perpetrating their evil deeds.
POPE FRANCIS said this week in Turkey, it is unthinkable that Christians should be driven from the Middle East. Today, let us ‘comfort, comfort God’s people,’ there in the Middle East with our humble but earnest prayers. Pray – now in Mass, and at home, for all these urgent intentions. “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Article on the Persecution in Iraq and images, click here.
* * *
Parish Contact Details
* * *
Masses 6th – 7th Dec
6.30pm Mass (John Hickey, Presti & Borhi)
Sunday 7th 2nd Sunday of Advent
9.00am Mass (For parishioners)
10.45am Mass at St Pius X, Coreen
Monday 8thThe Immaculate Conception of BVM
9.00am Mass (Jim, Marg, Jimmy Collins family; Sheridan, Beattie & Payne families)
9am Mass (Ted Kingston; Sr Liz Clancy; Paul Farquar)
9am Mass (Mongan, Ellis, Stevens family; Marg Stomann)
11.00am Holy Communion to Homes
12.00 Mass (Shane Burdon; Jack Griffen, Kearney families)
9.00am Mass (Maggie, Grace Glynn, Drum & Chandler families)
Saturday 13th St Lucy
9am Mass (Mary & Les Cudden; Jack Tomlinson)
6.30pm Vigil Mass (Jim & Janet Carroll, Carmel, Maureen & Cathy)
Sunday 14th 3rd Sunday of Advent
9.00am Mass (All parishioners)
* * *
Also Remember in Prayer
Bill Tunstall, Vera Petteit, John Hickey, Mark Fitzgibbon, Noel Houlihan, Hunt family, Kevin Elliott, Jace Whyte, Noreen Rourke, Pat Kelly.
* * *
Roster 13th – 14th December 2014
6.30pm N Kingston M Carroll
9.00am M Clohessy C Tilders
6.30pm C Knight J Lowden
9.00am M Kelly M Milthorpe
6.30pm I & F Brooks
9.00am B Christy R Taylor
Altar: M Macqueen
6.30pm L Hanrahan
9.00am C Sandral
6.30pm L Heagney D Forge
9.00am O & S Atkin Z Rippingale
Collection J Taylor
Counters M Kelly
Please let the office know if you are not available for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses.
* * *
Support Vinnies Giving-Tree for Christmas
Please take an envelope & place items beneath tree. Thanks for your support.
* * *
NOTICES: Meetings / Imp. Dates:
08th Dec 12pm Ministers Fraternal meeting at Chocolate Factory
08th Dec 7pm – Schola Cantorum Concert at St Pat’s Albury for Mary’s Feast Day
09th Dec 5.30pm Finance Committee – at O’Shea’s
10th Dec 5.00pm Carols practice at Church: please come and practice so that we may host a strong evening of prayer on Sunday 14th.
14th Dec (Sun) 7pm St Mary’s hosts Corowa Traditional Carols – Readings, Carols, and prayers. The perfect spiritual preparation for Our Lord’s birth. Ladies, please bring a plate to help our ‘cuppa’ after Carols.
15th Dec (Mon) 6pm School Graduation Mass & Parish Raffle Draw.
17th Dec (Wed) 7.30pm Confessions to prepare for Christmas – 3 priests available.
* * *
St Mary’s Parish Annual Christmas Raffle
Prizes- 1st (Value $350) 3 days – 2 nights for 2 or a family, at The Alpenhorn Holiday Units, Tawonga South – near Mt Beauty.
2nd (Value $100) Dinner for 2 Voucher
3rd (Value $50) Christmas Stocking Games Toys and Lollies.
Book of tickets on back table – $2 a ticket (1 Book at $20) All books to be returned by: 15.12.2014 (Monday). Thank you.
* * *
CATHOLIC RADIO BROADCAST
DIOCESE OF WAGGA WAGGA – THE JOURNEY CATHOLIC/CHRISTIAN RADIO PROGRAM
This week on “The Journey” which airs on 14 December:
- Sr Hilda from The Abbey reflects on “The Heart”,
- Fr Dave Callaghan from the Missionaries of God’s Love reflects on “God’s Embrace in the Midst of Suffering” and
- Marilyn Rodrigues in her segment – The Peaceful Parent, shares “Pray, Hope, Don’t Worry”.
Tune into 98.5 THE LIGHT Albury Wodonga Sun 11am, repeated 9pm or listen in via podcast anytime at www.radio.dow.org.au