Catholic in Yanchep

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With One Heart Joined Constantly in Prayer

promise-of-the-elect-1

Promise of the Elect from last year’s Ordination to the Diaconate

A wondrous thing is happening in Perth on 17th November. Six young men are giving their lives to God and will be ordained as priests.

It behoves us all (yes, that word may seem archaic, but I need to use some lofty language to express the grandeur of this event) – it behoves us all, as a praying, united, Catholic community, to spend some time supporting these men in prayer.

Joanna Grzech, sister to one of the ordinands, has suggested that we all join in a Novena – starting tomorrow, if you can, so that we can reach the end point on the day prior to the big event.  Joanna says …

I ask that you join me in a novena dedicated to the futures of these men. A novena is a set of prayers that we pray over 9 days with a special intention. A novena to St. John Vianney may be fitting given he is the patron saint for Priests.

Please pray this novena for these men to be steadfast to the will of the Lord during their vocation. Let us pray that they be prayerful, devoted and faithful to spreading the Good News and the teachings of Mother Church. 

Three men are lucky enough to be locals and have their close family and friends around to celebrate this joyful occasion, but please keep in your prayers those whose family cannot be here for their ordination due to health or financial reasons, that that they feel the love of their Perth Catholic community like they would from their own families. 

These men’s lives will no doubt be tough, but they have been called at this time to do God’s work, and we thank them for listening and answering God’s call. Please keep them in your prayers now as they prepare for their Ordination, and throughout their lives.

You can find and download the words of the novena here:
St John Vianney Novena.

The six deacons are: Mariusz Grzech, Konrad Gagatek, Joseph Laundy and Tung Vu from St Charles Seminary, and Patricio Carrera Morales and Kenneth Acosta Garcia from the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Our sincerest congratulations to all of you for your perseverance and gift of self.

 


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Holy Thursday | Where does Jesus ordain a new Priesthood?

Jesus_washing_Peter's_feet-Ford Madox Brown

Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet, Ford Madox Brown (1852-56), oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London.

Have you ever wondered why Catholics have priests, but many other Christians have ‘pastors’ or ‘ministers’ and shun the idea of priests because they equate them with the dreaded Pharisees and the teachers of the Law?

At the amazing ecumenical Bible Study I attend in our little seaside community north of Perth, we have been studying chapters 13 to 21 of the Gospel of John, or the ‘Book of Glory’ as this section is called.  This has given me the opportunity to delve deeper into the reading we will have on Holy Thursday:  Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.  On the surface Jesus is talking about humility, selfless love and service to others, but when we start looking at the typology, a whole new world of meaning opens up.

In fact, Jesus himself tells us there is more under the surface when he says: “At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  This reminds us of other times the disciples didn’t know what Jesus was talking about – Luke 18:34, for example, “But they could make nothing of this; what he said was quite obscure to them, they did not understand what he was telling them.”

   They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him.  Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.

   He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’  Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter, You shall never wash my feet.’  Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.‘ ’Simon Peter said, ‘Well then, Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’  Jesus said, ‘No one who has had a bath needs washing, such a person is clean all over.  You too are clean, though not all of you are.’  He knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are.’

   When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table.  ‘Do you understand’, he said, ‘what I have done to you?  You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am.  If I, then, the Lord and Master have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.

‘In all truth I tell you,
no servant is greater than his master,
no messenger is greater than the one who sent him.’ 

So what points can we make to demonstrate that during this scene, and in the chapters following, Jesus is transforming the status of the disciples to that of priests and carrying out a mystical and sacramental act?  In fact, this would have been much clearer to the disciples and early Christians than to us, because they were familiar with the language and significance of the Old Testament.

  1. Jesus is acting as a High Priest about to carry out an act of expiation. The Old Testament prefigures and is fulfilled by the action of Christ in the New Testament, so we can look for parallel passages in the Old Testament which throw light on what Jesus is doing.  One such passage is Leviticus 16 which describes the action of Aaron, the high priest, for the Day of Expiation.  The table below shows the common elements between Leviticus 16 and John 13.
NEW TESTAMENT

The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet  (John 13)

Common elements OLD TESTAMENT

The Great Day of Expiation (Leviticus 16:23-25

… he got up from table, removed his outer garments The High Priest takes off his outer vestments. When he has sent the goat into the desert, Aaron will go back into the Tent of Meeting and take off the linen vestments which he wore to enter the sanctuary and leave them there.
… and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. The High Priest carries out a washing ritual – but Jesus transfers the washing to the disciples. He will then wash his body inside the holy place …
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table.  Re-robing after the washing. …put on his vestments and come outside …
Jesus is about to offer his own life as the ultimate expiation for sin. Expiation … to offer his own and the people’s burnt offering.  He will perform the rite of expiation for himself and for the people.
  1. Jesus is wearing the garment of the High Priest. We know this because he has just taken off his outer garment – probably his prayer shawl.  So he must be wearing the seamless undergarment that John tells us about in John 19:23 – a characteristic of the High Priest’s linen vestment as well.  Josephus describes the seamlessness of the high priest’s garment in his History of the Exodus.

Now this vesture was not composed of two pieces, nor was it sewed together upon the shoulders and the sides, but it was one long vestment so woven as to have an aperture for the neck; not an oblique one, but parted all along the breast and the back. A border also was sewed to it, lest the aperture should look too indecently: it was also parted where the hands were to come out.(Antiquities, Book III, Chapter 7, 4.)

  1. Jesus is carrying out a ritual water purification prior to approaching the altar of sacrifice – where he will be the sacrifice. This is described in Exodus 30:17-21, except that instead of Aaron the High Priest and his sons, the Priests being purified, we have Jesus the High Priest purifying his spiritual sons, the Twelve Apostles, priests of the New Covenant.

You will also make a bronze basin on its bronze stand for washing.  You will put it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it, in which Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet.  Whenever they are to enter the Tent of Meeting, they will wash, to avoid incurring death; and whenever they approach the altar for their service, to burn an offering for Yahweh, they will wash their hands and feet, to avoid incurring death.

 Note that John takes for granted that his readers would understand that the disciples would have washed their hands during the course of the Passover meal anyway.  There were three ritual hand washings during this meal: before drinking from the second cup during the reading of the Haggadah (Exodus story), before the unleavened bread was distributed, and after eating the roast lamb.   Only the feet remained to be done, and in fact Jesus may have replaced one of these hand-washings with the foot-washing instead.

  1. Jesus talks about the disciples “having a part in him” – so if he is the High Priest (Heb. 4:14-16), they are the regular priests. John uses the Greek term, meros (μέρος) for the disciples’ share (part, portion) in Jesus.  This is an unusual word to use, but when we look at its parallel usages in the Old Testament, it makes perfect sense.  Where God gives land to the tribes of Israel, he says to the Levites, the priestly tribe, “You will have no heritage in their country, you will not have a portion (μέρος) like them; I shall be your portion (μέρος) and your heritage among the Israelites” (Numbers 18:20).  Again in Deuteronomy 10:9,

The LORD then set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the LORD’s covenant, to stand in the presence of the LORD, to serve him and to bless his name, as they still do today.  This is why Levi has no share (μέρος) or heritage with his brothers: the LORD is his heritage (μέρος).

So when Jesus says, “If I do not wash you, you can have no share (μέρος) with me,” (Ἐὰν μὴ νίψω σε οὐκ ἔχεις μέρος μετ’ ἐμοῦ), Simon Peter gets the reference to the ordination of Aaron and his sons, the priests, and wants to be anointed feet, hands and head!

  1. Servanthood = ministry. Another interesting point is that when Jesus says,

Amen, amen,
no servant is greater than his master,
No messenger is greater than the one who sent him.

the word doulos (δοῦλος) in Greek means both servant and minister, and the word for messenger is, of course, apostle or apostolos (ἀπόστολος), so Jesus is talking about appointing these apostles in a particular role as a ministerial priesthood.

  1. Jesus’ consecration of the Apostles during the High Priestly prayer. If we read further in John, we will come to Jesus’ act of consecrating Himself to the Father, and then consecrating his Disciples.  This is outside the scope of the Holy Thursday reading, but relevant to the consecration of Priests.  For ‘consecrate’ he uses the word, hagiazei (ἁγιάζει), which is also used in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers for the ordination of priests.

Consecrate them in the truth;
As you sent me into the world,
I have sent them into the world,
and for their sake I consecrate myself
so that they too may be consecrated in truth. (John 17:17-19) 

A lot more could be said on this topic than will reasonably fit into a blog post, but let me recommend Scott Hahn’s study, John, the Sacramental Gospel, particularly part 6, which covers the section from chapter 13 onwards, as well as Dr Lawrence Feingold’s treatise on the Typology of the Old Testament Priesthood, which goes into the comparison between the threefold model of High Priest, Priest and Levite in the Old Covenant, with the offices of Bishop, Priest and Deacon in the New Covenant.

Today’s readings (2nd Sunday of Lent):
Word format: Year A Lent 2nd Sunday 2017
Pdf format: Year A Lent 2nd Sunday 2017


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2nd Sunday of Advent | Filled with the knowledge of the Lord

It’s such an encouragement to the faithful when we see young men willing to step up and give themselves to the priesthood.  Last night I had the joy of attending the ordination to the diaconate of four young men from the Perth Archdiocese.  Many of you will know Mariusz Grzech who has been serving at our ‘parent’ parish of St Andrew’s, Clarkson, for the past year (if you didn’t know, Yanchep was part of St Andrew’s parish from 1994 until about 2001).  Ordained with him were Konrad Gagatek, Joseph Laundy and Tung Vu, whom you can read more about here.  I thought that I’d share with you some photos from the Ordination Mass …

This first photo shows the Promise of the Elect, where the Deacons make various promises about their new role (discharging the office of Deacon with ‘humble charity’, proclaiming the faith in word and deed, remaining celibate, deepening their prayer lives – especially by praying the Liturgy of the Hours – and conforming their lives to the example of Christ).

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Promise of the Elect

The Deacons lie prostrate to receive the Lord’s blessing while our prayers fly to heaven in the soaring, otherworldly Litany of Supplication.  (You can view this on the Record’s FB page.)

litany-of-supplication

The Litany of Supplication

Next comes the Prayer of Ordination and the Laying on of Hands, where we bring to mind those first seven Deacons, appointed in similar fashion in Acts 6:1-7.  This prayer has some beautiful words …

Send forth upon them, Lord, we pray,
the Holy Spirit,
that they may be strengthened
by the gift of your sevenfold grace …

May there abound in them every Gospel virtue
unfeigned love,
concern for the sick and poor,
unassuming authority,
the purity of innocence
and the observance of spiritual discipline.

(Excuse the blurriness of this photo, but my hands are not as steady as they used to be, I didn’t want to use a camera because of the shutter noise, and tablets are notoriously wobbly for still shots!)

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The laying on of hands and the Prayer of Ordination

The Deacons are vested by their nominated priests, assisted by their families, with the Diaconal Stole and Dalmatic.  Here Mariusz is helped by Fr Conor Steadman and his brothers.  If you’re interested in the history of church vestments there is quite a nice article here, with illustrations, which calls the Dalmatic a garment with ‘festive origins’.

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Investiture of the Diaconal Stole and Dalmatic

The Deacons receive the Book of the Gospels from Archbishop Costelloe.

Receive the Gospel of Christ,
whose herald you have become.
Believe what you read,
Teach what you believe,
and practice what you teach.

… says it all, really.

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Handing on of the Book of the Gospels

Here the Archbishop makes his final address, where he conveys the Deacons’ messages of thanks to their families and all who have helped them get to this point.

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Final address from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe to the new Deacons, from left Mariusz Grzech, Tung Vu, Joseph Laundy and Konrad Gagatek.

This morning, it being the first Saturday of the month, I made the trip down to Clarkson and was pleased to be able to hear Mariusz’s first homily – which as a Deacon, he is now able to deliver. Appropriately enough, the Gospel was about asking the Lord of the harvest ‘to send labourers to the harvest’ (funny how God does that!)  It also happened to be the memorial of St Francis Xavier, the most effective evangelist in history.  So Mariusz’s homily was about St Francis Xavier, and also about our own role in mission – we don’t have to go overseas to go on mission – our mission field is Australia, our mission field is Perth, our mission field is our own Parish, our mission field is our family.

I must say I was pleased to hear it, as this blog is part of what I see as my mission … to whoever might read it.  For example, what I write here is shared to my profiles on various social media platforms, one of them being LinkedIn.  Now LinkedIn connects me with all my contacts in my capacity as Company Director.  And LinkedIn is telling me that 30 of my business associates read my entry for last week, the First Sunday of Advent (and that’s not including FB or other platforms).  I find this quite extraordinary – I have no idea who they are, but those people are quietly discovering the way prayer makes a difference in my life – and the Holy Spirit is waiting to invade, with his powerful presence, the lives of any of them who might be open to Him.  Only this week, I discovered an extraordinary coincidence between a prayer uttered fourteen years ago, and the results now bearing fruit (but I will have to save that story for another time.)  It’s a shame that many people are afraid to talk about their faith today (because we receive so much ridicule from secularists), but if we don’t toughen up and become unafraid to admit to following Christ, how will other people hear the kerygma – the message of the Gospel and the gift of eternal life?

Almost forgot … here is the Mass leaflet for today.

Today’s readings

Word format:year-a-advent-2nd-sunday-2016

Pdf format: year-a-advent-2nd-sunday-2016

 


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Christian Irdi’s Ordination

Our former Altar Server, Christian Irdi, was ordained yesterday, 2 August 2014, at St Mary’s Cathedral, in a beautiful ceremony.  To view the photos, please go to our Gallery page.

Christian Irdi with Gus and Anelia Irdi

Christian Irdi with Gus and Anelia Irdi


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Fr Christian Irdi’s Ordination

 


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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Here is our Parish Newsletter with Readings for Masses this Sunday.

Parable of the Hidden Treasure, etching by Jan Luyken

Parable of the Hidden Treasure, etching by Jan Luyken

Word format:  Year A 17th Sunday

Pdf format:  Year A 17th Sunday

 


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Our former Altar Boy is ordained!

On Saturday 2nd of August, Christian Irdi will be ordained at St  Mary’s Cathedral. The ceremony will start at 10.00 AM.  Christian and his brother Adrian were Altar boys here in Yanchep, during the 1990s, with Fr. Pat Lim and then with Fr. Philip, when we were part of St. Andrew’s Parish. Congratulations from all of us to Christian and all the Irdi family!