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Weekly Bulletin

St John the Apostle Catholic Community
A Missionary of the Sacred Heart Parish
“To be on earth the Heart of God”


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time                          Year A
20 August 2017                                                  #38.17

Weekly Reflection

Insiders and Outsiders

The overarching theme derived from today’s readings is the question of insider-outsider. We see here that the divisions and barriers that emerge out of human experience have been shattered by the graciousness of God. Jesus’ openness to ‘the other’ finds a precedent in the prophetic tradition. Isaiah spoke of a time when outsiders would join insiders in worshipping God, thus dissolving the categories of insider and outsider. He was, of course, referring to the age of eschatological fulfilment. This age dawned with the coming of Jesus. Jesus himself moved out of the constraints of his own cultural worldview, and he directs us to do the same. People are either excluded because of gender, culture or religious perspective, or included only because they are able and willing to conform to discriminatory standards. In the reign of God, this should not be the case. People are accepted along with their own cultural profiles.  

For centuries, Christians have presented God as a Supreme Being who showers blessings upon insiders who share certain beliefs and proper institutional affiliation, but who punishes outsiders with eternal conscious torment. Yet Jesus revealed God as one who “eats with sinners,” welcomes outsiders in, and forgives even while being rejected, tortured, and killed. He preached that God was to be found in
self-giving service rather than self-asserting domination. What would it mean for Christians to understand, experience, and embody God as the loving, healing, reconciling Spirit in whom all creatures live, move, and have their being?  

For centuries, Christianity has presented itself as an “organized religion”—a change-averse institution . . . that protects and promotes a timeless system of beliefs that were handed down fully formed in the past. Yet Christianity’s actual history is a story of change and adaptation.  What might happen if we understood the core Christian ethos as creative, constructive, and forward-leaning—as an “organizing religion” that challenges all institutions (including its own) to learn, grow, and mature toward a deepening, enduring vision of reconciliation with God, self, neighbour, enemy, and creation?  

Many people today are leaving the belief systems of their parents and grandparents. This is a mass exodus from institutional faith that demographers are calling “the rise of the Nones.”

Resources used:Reflection, by Dianne Bergant CSS A System of Beliefs or a Way of Life?, by Richard Rohr 


From the Pastor’s Desk......

After its long, painful and arduous task of investigating the nature and extent of sexual abuse of children in institutions the royal commission is now in the process of making recommendations. One such recommendation that has caught the attention of the media is that of mandatory reporting of someone who confesses to child sexual abuse in the sacrament of confession; thus in effect breaking the seal of confession.  

In a rather provocative heading to his article published in last Wednesday’s Canberra Times – “I’d  rather break the law” – eminent lawyer and high profile Jesuit Fr. Frank Brennan puts forward a defence of the inviolability of the seal of confession. I cannot do justice to this illuminating article. But in brief terms Fr Brennan argues that despite the well intentioned recommendation of the royal commission those “who advocate the abolition of the seal of the confessional have a mistaken understanding of how confession is actually practised in the Catholic Church.”  

Fr Brennan argues that such a change to the law would not make it any safer for children, “common sense tells me that a sex abuser would be even less likely to present for confession if he knew that the confessional seal did not apply”.

Fr. Brennan observes that “I have been a priest for almost 32 years. No one has ever confessed the sin of child sexual abuse to me.” This has certainly been my experience too, and I would hazard a guess that this would be the case of other confessors as well. As Fr. Brennan points out, “[The] royal commission has told us time and again that these offenders tend to be devious and deceptive.” Contrary to the current public perception, there is no such evidence of widespread practice of sex abusers making regular use of the confession.  

There are sure to be many worthwhile recommendations by the royal commission of which the Catholic Church will no doubt accept and implement. Child safety has to be given the utmost priority. I feel that any media attention around the question of the confessional seal will only be a distraction and ultimately unhelpful to the real task of addressing sexual abuse in all areas of society.  

Archbishop Christopher Prowse has released a pastoral statement on the seal of confession and also on same sex marriage. 

Peace & blessings, 



Saving Energy: We are asking parishioners to be conscious of the unnecessary use of energy this winter:  

  §  Turn off lights when not in use.
  §  Ensure air conditioners in the library and parish centre are turned off when       leaving.
  §  Do not turn air conditioners to higher than 24.
      [above that temperature they are not effective.]
  §  The church foyer is heated so to retain its heat please close the church 

We recently paid our April to July electricity bill which totalled $6,815.18. 
Thank you for your consideration.


The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

  Perhaps you know someone who is interested in becoming a Catholic?

 Enquiry Night
Wednesday 11 October 2017  
Come and See  John 1:39 

It is an inalienable right for each person,whatever one’s religion or lack of religion, to be able to know Jesus Christ and the Gospel. In Australia the parish is the principal instrument of proclaiming the gospel. The whole parish community including the parish school, has the responsibility proclaiming the message of salvation of the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ in such a manner that there are many opportunities for repentance of sin, conversion of hearts and a decision of faith.

It is the responsibility of all the baptised to evangelise. 



St John the Apostle parishioners
are invited to celebrate

Migrant & Refugee Sunday

Please bring a dish of your cultural or traditional food
for a shared lunch

in the Parish Centre

27 August 2017
11:30am for 12 noon


St John the Apostle Refugee Resettlement Committee
Annual General Meeting 
Tuesday 29 August 2017 – 7:00pm

Please come along to hear about what we do and please consider  volunteering a little of your time and become a member of the Committee.


August Baptisms

We welcome into our community:
William and Cameron Broadhurst, sons of Mark and Michelle; 
Ashlyn Thomas, Daughter of Andrew and Megan


Douglas Park NSW

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have issued a new schedule of fees for spending time at the Retreat Centre. For people who may not be able to do a weekend or 6 day retreat the centre is offering a varied amount of options for spending time at the Park. 

See options and schedule of fees below. 
The 2017/2018 program is available at: 

Option 1: $ 20    Use of facilities morning and afternoon tea
Option 2: $ 35    as above plus 2 course lunch
Option 3: $ 80    as above plus spiritual accompaniment
Option 4: $ 60    Spiritual accompaniment
Option 5: $102    overnight stay and spiritual accompaniment

Costs are negotiable with the Director.


Concerned Catholics Meeting

Day & Date:  Thursday 31 August
Time:             7.30pm – 9.30pm
Where:           Australian Centre for Christianity & Culture, Blackall Street, Barton. 
Presenters:    Dr John Falzon CEO of SVdP NCA;
                      Sr Ruth Durick OSU  President, Catholic Religious Aus.
                      Fr Peter Day           
Founder of ‘HOME’ in Queanbeyan.

This second meeting of concerned Catholics will focus on how the laity of the Archdiocese might increase their participation in the Church.  Some background and content can be found at:  




24 August 2017
Thursdays Weekly

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Parish Church

The Childrens Choir sings at the 10:00am Mass on the second Sunday of the month. Contact the Parish Office on 6254 3236 or for more information



“The Grass Castle”
By Karen Viggers

Sunday 20 August 2017 - 3:00 pm 
Parish Library.



The next breakfast is: 
 Tuesday 22 August  -  7:30am

Little Chef Café 
Nettlefold Street Belconnen 

Every 4th Tuesday of the month 

 Pins & Needles Craft Group
Third Thursday Monthly 

Next Meeting: 21 September 2017
7:15pm Parish Library

 All Welcome.  
If craft is not your thing, maybe conversation is!  



Woman, you have great faith.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, the ‘Promised Land’ they sought was the land of Canaan (approximately the area of modern Israel, TransJordan, Syria and Lebanon). Here they were commanded to utterly destroy the Canaanites and to subdue the land. (Exodus 23:23-24) The Israelites never successfully removed all the Canaanites from the Palestine region. By the time of Jesus, the Israelites had established themselves in the region between Judea in the south and Galilee in the north, while the original inhabitants of the area had been ‘squeezed out’ – predominantly to the north. This passage sits in the middle of a group of three stories that make up Chapter 15 of Matthew’s Gospel. The first story deals with Jesus challenging traditional views of cleanliness and uncleanliness – one of the great separators between Jews and Gentiles. The story of this week’s gospel follows with its account of the Canaanite woman’s great faith being recognised.

Resources used: Greg Sunter at LiturgyHelp 



 27 Aug          Ministers of Communion


 Marie McKie, John Drury, Barbara Witrzens,
 Terry O’Brien, Margaret McMahon


 Ted Kell, Clare Kell, Violet Duve, Janet Almond, VACANT


 Rachel Blackwell, Marissa Blackwell, John Blackwell,
 Robin Williams, Libby Costello


 Judith Deklin, Agnes Pham, VACANT, VACANT, VACANT

 27 Aug       Reading Roster


 Marie Murphy, Elaine Laycock


 Carmel Screen, Shane Murtagh


 Louise Honan, Joe Ots


 Marian Crowley, Andrew Luck

 27 Aug            Hospitality Roster


 Barbara Witrzens, Marie McKie


 Margaret Ohlin


 John Blackwell, Louise Bulfin


 Judith Deklin

Weekly Rosters

     Altar Society:                      21 August                                    Mary Cruickshank                            
     Grounds:                         26 August             Group 4        
     Collections: 27 August      Group  8

      Church Cleaning:                 21 August         John & Jenny Maher      




Weekend Funnies
 Q.  What did the baby corn say to the mother corn?

 A.  Where's pop corn?


 Q. What did one plate say to another plate?

 A. Lunch is on me.



Let us pray for those who are sick.
 We remember them in our Masses

Recently Deceased:    Bob Cruickshank [father of Robert], Delma Cowley, Mick Ford,

Anniversary:  Emily Jacob, William Smith, John Ray, Joseph Zuk, Ronald Ryan, Alfred Niquet, Dorothy Hornick, Marjorie Carew, Edmund Kennedy, Alexander Aikman, Hedwig Von Straaten, Anna Yoo, Winifred Bridges, Joseph Weinheber, Andres Munoz, Tere Fearon, Bill Fearon, Sheila Dignam, Josephine Weinheber, Armando Cavuoto, Patrick Sheehan, Gladys Anderson, Virgina Mater, Melinda Davis, Annette Polak, William Wiegold, Philip Smith, Mary Telford, Gaye Walmsley, Susan O’Dwyer, Josephine Smith, Ralph Dunn, William Schofield, Dorothy Hush, Andre Domjan, Ivan Jones.


LIBRARY NEWS:  “Home coming: reclaiming and championing your inner child”, “Let me sow love: living the peace prayer of St Francis”, and “Simplicity: the freedom of letting go” are three of the current display of books.


School of Religion: – 9.15am-10.00am

Sundays Parish Centre (School Term Only)

For children not attending a Catholic School


Hearing Loop: - We have a hearing loop in the body of the church. To access it turn your hearing aid to the T-Switch setting.


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