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Friday, 14 February 2014 11:00

Finding my Hidden Treasure

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20140214 1 oriental-jewel-case-557329-m 150For weeks now I have been waiting to uncover my hidden treasure. On Tuesday, the time was right. But it didn’t turn out as I had expected…

It has been at least five years that I have a kept my ‘good jewellery’ in a special box which was in storage while living at our old house. Having recently moved, I was looking forward to rediscovering what was in this special box.

Friday, 07 February 2014 11:00

Forming Men for Mission

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20140207 marricville-library 150Around 3 years ago in my parish there were rumblings in two distinct voices with regard to reaching out to men. One voice was the parish priest. He had been the member of a men’s social club in Melbourne for many years. The other voice was a De La Salle brother who was interested in what has broadly become known as the Men’s Movement. I had been interested in reaching out to the men of the parish for some time so these two voices caught my attention.

Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:00

God dreams a dream… for Man to make True!

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20140130 sky 150I like to dream. I do have crazy, wonderful and big ideas but without acting upon them, they are just clouds of thought. However, when I write them down, act upon them and start living the dream, then they become incarnate reality.

20140122 xewkija-gozo-church1 150If you ever explore the Maltese Island of Gozo, you will notice small villages clustered in the valleys and on the hilltops with Church spires poking above the rooftops, seeming like a tower amidst the small Gozitan houses. The spires poke through the heart of the village. The parish being in the centre of the village is not a statement but symbol of a living reality – the Parish is the heart of community life. People come to the centre to go out, radiating to the outskirts of the village.

Thursday, 16 January 2014 11:00

No more Ordinary Time… bring in Extraordinary Time!

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20140116 mh900252635 150For many of us it’s back to work this week. This means getting back into a rhythm and when the family ask, “How was work?” you reply, “Just another ordinary day.” And I am sure, now that we have returned from our holidays, we have returned to our parishes and we might be tempted to say the same thing – especially as we enter Ordinary Time!

20140106 img 2957 150As a Sydney sider my summer is always marked with the Sydney Test Match and as a high school student going to the SCG to watch the game was my official ritual for the start of the holidays. I heard on the radio that on the first day of the SCG Test Members started queuing from 4am to get a seat.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 11:00

Happy Re-NEW Year!

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20131231 fireworks 150Around New Years we hear about resolutions, for example “I’m going to start my no carb, no sugar diet! Celery sticks here I come!” or we buy gym membership under the false illusion that we WILL go at least twice a week. But why is making resolutions so important in the New Year? We probably hear ourselves saying, “It’s nearly a new year and that means a new me! New horizons, new perspectives and new resolutions!” Resolutions help us to improve as a person – to find Renewal.

Monday, 23 December 2013 11:00

Sleep in Heavenly Peace!

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20131223 joytotheworld 150Peace is a theme commonly expressed in Christmas Carols. Most especially, Silent Night expresses this peace. It builds a beautiful sense of the child-like humility of the Nativity and for all who listen, a serenity comes over the heart.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:00

Christmas Lunch and the Mass: How to host a Banquet

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20131217 banquet2 150My teenage brother exclaimed recently, “I love Christmas! So much food your eyes can hardly feast on!” Christmas gatherings nowadays all seem to centre on the meal, or more appropriately, the banquet! Using the formidable tools of the internet, I have done an extensive search of the definition of banquet. And in general the sources define Banquet as a ceremonial dinner (that being a sumptuous and elaborate meal) for many people honouring someone or an occasion. Coincidently… or not… this sounds like Mass.

Friday, 06 December 2013 11:00

Consumerism, Christmas and the Poor

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20131206 homeless2 150When I was a child my dad would tease me and say, “Why do we give each other presents? It’s Jesus’ birthday; shouldn’t you be giving him one, not receiving them?” And then he would leave me very confused, wondering whether I should open my present or not. Of course, I did open my present but it did make me think – why do I give other people presents on Christmas?

20131126 6822321529 2dd52bde72 150Last weekend marked the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. “Whovians” flocked to the cinema to celebrate, dressing up and enjoying the fun of this creative television series. I am happy to admit that I am a fan and I was happy to display in public my Whovian colours donning sandshoes, a bow tie and fez (iconic wear of the previous two doctors). As I sat in public not worrying about what others thought, I wondered, could I be as bold in proclaiming my faith?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 11:00

Listening: a non-passive way to Evangelise

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20131113 csc 9771 150One of the most challenging leadership moments I experienced was heading an international team of five misfits who for four weeks were serving a school of 23 by washing, cleaning and organising liturgies. Now add the fact that English was their second language and my quick Australian accent is not easily discernible and you have ‘lost in translation’ mayhem with many of my instructions left with no response or rather something completely different being achieved.

Sunday, 20 October 2013 11:00

From Rome to Home: The Church in my Backyard

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20131020 stpeterskangaroo1 150It’s been a month since I returned from a year in the Eternal City. Let’s be honest, Sydney is not Rome. No St Peter’s, rather than a Catholic Church every few metres, it’s every few kilometres and the Pope is not in my backyard. So, with Pope Francis on the other side of the world, I am back home with my Parish Priest celebrating Mass in my humble parish church. So I hope you will forgive me when at Mass I had this dispirited thought, “I could be in the Vatican with the Pope! What am I going to do away from the heart of the Church?”

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 10:00

Travelling Light: Life, Journey and the Cross

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20131001 sheen 150Over the last 30 years or so there has been something of a revolution with regard to air travel. It was once the case that only wealthy people boarded a commercial airline. It seems now that while not universal, many more people have access to air travel than was once the case. The main cause of the change in behaviour has of course been the drop in airfare prices and the emergence of cut-price airlines. As anyone who has booked a ticket on a cut-price airline knows while the base ticket may be cheap there are extra charges for everything with checked baggage attracting the most attention. For me, one of the spin-offs in this method of ticketing is that progressively I have learnt to travel light.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 10:00

The Pope, Refugees and the Australian Election.

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20130917 mbw asylum-420x0-300x214 150As the last votes are counted and the new Australian government takes up the reigns of power I am finding it personally difficult to make sense of what has happened to Australian culture. It appears that as a people, the wealthier we have become the harder our hearts have become. It is sometimes said that we get the politicians we deserve and indeed we are extraordinarily privileged to be able to elect our government.

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