Catholic in Yanchep

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year C | Loving Our Mother

Visitation Clyde Monastery

The Visitation, mosaic, nave of Clyde Monastery, Missouri, USA.

No time for writing much today, as I’ve had to do my Christmas shopping! Others have done a much better job so I will point you in their direction:

  1. John Bergsma explains why the Catholic veneration of Mary is completely scriptural, based on today’s readings.
  2. Bishop Barron has a homily for today which asks us to look at our part in God’s theo-drama.  (Didn’t you know you are an actor in a great play and that it’s not all about you?  Best to get in touch with the Director, so that you can understand your part!)
  3. And even National Geographic realises that Mary is the world’s most powerful woman!

The readings for today are here:

Word format: Year C 4th Sunday of Advent 2015

Pdf format: Year C 4th Sunday of Advent 2015

For Christmas Mass times, go here.

And a very happy 21st birthday to Alistair Mungo Fleming (16th December) who may well be the first person in the Yanchep to Lancelin Pastoral Area to have been baptised here as a baby and still be an active member of our Pastoral Area at the age of 21.  Well done, Alistair!

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Welcome to Bishop Don Sproxton!

Bishop Don Sproxton

Bishop Don Sproxton

Bishop Don Sproxton is visiting the Pastoral Area of Yanchep to Lancelin today (14 November) and tomorrow.  Please bring a plate (preferably with something on it) for supper / tea after Mass.

Welcome to any visitors who would like to join us!

Please note that the Lancelin Mass has been moved to 10.30 on 15th November (only).

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Our Church at Lancelin Makes Progress!

Church and Priest's House Lancelin

Demountable Catholic Church (right) and Priest’s House (Left), Lancelin.  These were delivered on about 1 October 2015.

Thank you to Margaret McCabe from our Lancelin Church for this update:

We were expecting Padraig Foley (our building supervisor) to return to Perth mid October. Unfortunately he has experienced serious health challenges as soon as he arrived in Ireland. Five bypasses later and he is begging for information of what is happening back here. He tells me that the doctors and his wife agree that receiving information may assist him with his recovery. He asked me to send him photos of work completed on the block at Lancelin. On Thursday I was in town and took some photos but wasn’t entirely happy with them so decided to go untidy and take some more. To my surprise there are now two buildings on the block. I took more photos. 

I have made do with the photos from Thursday of the completed earthworks and sent them along with a couple photos of the buildings to Padraig. Thought I would share the photos with you. 

Please would you all pray for Padraig’s continued and complete recovery – he has worked very hard on this project and on the repairs to Fr Augustine’s house in Blaxland Ave, Two Rocks.

Meanwhile, our Yanchep-Two Rocks members are praying novenas for us to acquire land for a church/school in the area.  Please join with us in this prayer:

Heavenly Father, we the people of Yanchep and Two Rocks know that where two or three are gathered in your name, there you are in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).  We know that we are the living stones of your church and that you, Jesus Christ, are our foundation stone (1 Peter 2:5).  We know that “the God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not need to live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24).

Yet we still desire to have a visible, permanent, outward presence in the Yanchep-Two Rocks community.

We desire to have a public place where we can reserve your Precious Body and Blood and give you honour.

Lord, we ask that you help us to acquire the land and church building that will be a sign of your presence amongst us.

Lord, we ask that you break down any spiritual barriers that are preventing us from building a church.

Lord please bless and strengthen all those members of our Pastoral Area who have faithfully helped us in the time that they have lived here.  But Lord, we ask also that you send into our area people who will evangelise our community and boldly proclaim your wonderful plan for humanity.  Revitalise our pastoral area through the power of your Holy Spirit. 

We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


Siteworks of the Lancelin Church block prior to 1 October 2015


25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B | What were you arguing about on the road?

Christ with Children, Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1834-1890, Frederiksborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Christ with Children, Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1834-1890, Frederiksborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Our second reading today from the Letter of St James could have been written for our turbulent federal parliament this week:

Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it.  Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.

So now we see recriminations from both Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull supporters against those whom they think did not place the party’s interests first.

Without dwelling on what is happening in politics, let us have a look at our own church and see what Christ is saying to us.  Like the Liberal party previously, you could say that the Pastoral Area of Yanchep to Lancelin is failing in the popularity polls.  Our numbers have dropped from 72 members who attended more or less regularly in the early 2000s to about 12 regular attendees today – and I’m just talking about Yanchep (sorry people in Guilderton and Lancelin, but I would love dearly to hear about your experience as well).  As someone who has been attending Mass at Yanchep since 1993, I could give you a list of reasons.  What I find strange is that we, as a Pastoral Area, have not sat down and talked about the reasons among ourselves.  I think I know why.  It’s because it involves being completely open and honest about what we are doing wrong and could do better.  It involves people being willing to listen to each other and examine our own role in this trend.  It takes a person of great sanctity to examine themselves with perfect honesty and realise their own imperfections.  It takes leadership from the priest or a layperson with vision to start the ball rolling.  Such a leader needs to be a person of such exalted holiness that he can handle criticism without needing to fire back in anger.  In fact it takes such effort that sometimes it’s just easier for a parishioner to drive an extra 20 minutes to another parish rather than to keep banging away and not getting anywhere.  And finally, it takes prayer and the Holy Spirit for such an examination to happen fruitfully.  Let’s take James’s advice in the second reading seriously:

Why you don’t have what you want is because you don’t pray for it; when you do pray and don’t get it, it is because you have not prayed properly, you have prayed for something to indulge your own desires.

… and follow it up with Jesus’ recommendation to the apostles in today’s Gospel:

If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.

Not easy, is it?  We have some wonderful people in our small Catholic community here.  I’m thinking of Giovanni who faithfully attends every week, picks up the key for the Community Centre, and with his wife, Ann, sets up the chairs for the parishioners and then organises to deliver bread from Baker’s Delight to the needy.  I’m thinking of Janie who helps Fr Augustine carry in his bags and equipment every week, sets up the altar and, what’s more, does all his gardening (and she’s over 70 years old)!  I’m thinking of people like Christina and Peter who, although they are elderly, persevere in looking after their severely disabled daughter Ruth and still manage to contribute as Lectors.  These people never draw attention to themselves but are able to make themselves ‘last of all and servant of all’.  I am sure there are many more of you whose good works I am not aware of, precisely because you don’t go about parading them.

But we want to do more!  In fact, Archbishop Costelloe is asking us to do more, and he has started a programme of consultation with parishes so that he can have everyone’s input about what we should be doing in the Archdiocese more broadly and how we can go about it.  He has asked all Catholics throughout the Archdiocese to go to the Archdiocesan website and complete the questionnaire, The Way Forward.  Or save a print copy here: Archdiocese Questionnaire The Way Forward.

There is quite a useful commentary for priests today from Fr Genito OSA at Augustinian Friends,

Jesus exhorts us to listen to him today, just as he exhorted his disciples to learn from him when he placed the child in their midst. St. Augustine spoke of the true leader as one who walks alongside his people, not lording it over them. He used the imagery of being on the journey with his people, the leader shepherding his people as one among them, a fellow Christian. One of his most famous statements was from a sermon commemorating his ordination when he said, “For you, I am a bishop; with you I am a Christian.” In a related sermon he made a similar statement: “We have been placed at the head and we are servants. We are in command, but only if we are useful.” All of us are called to exercise this same attitude whenever we find ourselves in leadership, whether that be as leader of a family, a group, a parish, a city, a nation. The ultimate leader – Jesus – modeled this for us and showed us that it would not be easy.

Today’s readings:

Word format  Year B 25th Sunday 2015

Pdf format  Year B 25th Sunday 2015

Finally, go here to listen to Bishop Robert Barron’s homily for today on The Undoing of Original Sin.

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Good Friday | Why did Jesus die?

The Crucifixion, Isenheim Altarpiece, centre panel, Matthias Grünewald, 1512-1516, chapel of the Hospital of Saint Anthony, Isenheim, Germany, c. 1510-15, oil on wood, 9' 9 1/2" x 10' 9" Unterlinden Museum, Colmar, France.

The Crucifixion, Isenheim Altarpiece, centre panel, Matthias Grünewald, 1512-1516, chapel of the Hospital of Saint Anthony, Isenheim, Germany, c. 1510-15, oil on wood, 9′ 9 1/2″ x 10′ 9″ Unterlinden Museum, Colmar, France.

Today is the most solemn day of the year, and Catholics spend it in prayer, fasting and abstinence.  Why do we do it?  What is the significance of Jesus dying on the cross?

Billy Kangas discusses this question on his blog

An excerpt …

One day I came in and there was a giant banner hanging over the pulpit that read, “Why did Jesus die?” At first I didn’t take too much notice of it, but as I sat alone in the room for the next two hours the question began to gnaw at me. It got under my skin, it infected me. It became more than a question, it became a challenge. The question “why did Jesus die,” eventually drove me to question my faith, rethink my dogma and eventually set me on a path that ended in my joining the Catholic Church in the 2013 Easter Vigil.

Kangas goes on to explain the difference between the Protestant ‘penal substitution’ explanation (Jesus has to suffer for us because God is angry) and the Catholic view:

Augustine realized that God could have saved us with his power. God is fully capable of overpowering any creature, sin, vice, or person. God chooses to overcome with Christ’s death because God wanted to create a life with humanity where they could participate in God’s saving action with Him. A pure exercise of divine power would not have given humanity a way of participation. God used the shedding of blood because he wanted to give humanity a path of salvation that they could imitate, and even be united in through the sacramental life of the church.

Although men and women are freed from death and forgiven of their sins, they are not made perfect when they are baptized into Christ. People still fall into temptation and sin. Augustine also viewed the Cross as a sure guide for endurance in Christ. God’s action in Christ’s life, and death is the starting point that demonstrates what true obedience to God looks like. The salvation which is inaugurated on the cross is worked out as God’s grace works actively in us, and is made perfect as the Church as a whole is saved from even their sinful desires through the purgative life of the saints in unity with one another in Christ. (c.f. Augustine, Sermon 222; 232; 233)

Read more:

I have put together a booklet for The Lord’s Passion, which we remember this afternoon at 3 p.m.  Please join us for this and Stations of the Cross this morning at 10 a.m.

Word format: Good Friday A B C

Pdf format: Good Friday A B C

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Mass Times and Venues for Holy Week, Yanchep to Lancelin

Christ Crucified, Diego Velazquez, 1632, oil on canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid

Christ Crucified, Diego Velazquez, 1632, oil on canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid

HOLY THURSDAY, 2 April: Confession 6 p.m. before Mass, Presbytery, 3 Blaxland Ave, Two Rocks.

MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER:   6.30 p.m., 2 April, Presbytery, 3 Blaxland Avenue,Two Rocks.

GOOD FRIDAY, 3 April:  STATIONS OF THE CROSS, 10 a.m., St James Church,  Lagoon Drive, Yanchep.

GOOD FRIDAY, 3 April: THE LORD’S PASSION, 3 p.m., St James Church, Yanchep

EASTER VIGIL:  YANCHEP: Saturday 4 April, 6.30 p.m., St James Church, Lagoon Drive.

EASTER SUNDAY: GUILDERTON:   Sunday, 5 April, 8 a.m., Guilderton Community Hall, Wedge Street.

EASTER SUNDAY: LANCELIN:   Sunday, 5 April,  10.00 a.m., 33 Gingin Road.

CONFESSIONS:       Please ask Fr Augustine before Mass.

Any questions?  Phone 9561 2172 or 0400 660 337.

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The Feast of the Epiphany | God reveals himself to the truth-seeking heart

Adoration of the Magi, Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1485-1488, Tempera on Panel, Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence.

Adoration of the Magi, Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1485-1488, Tempera on Panel, Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence.

Today’s readings are rich with meaning, and we have some snippets to help you reflect on what God has revealed about himself.  First, the Mass Readings for today:

Word format: Epiphany

Pdf format: Epiphany

The Epiphany is all about God’s revelation to the world.  But how does God reveal himself to you personally?  Fr Barron talks here about Oprah-style ‘spirituality’ versus God’s particular revelation of himself in Christ.



Want to do some quiet adoration?  Let God speak to your heart through the music and art in this video.

Finally, Fr John Speekman has some great insights on God’s plan here.

Here is a small distillation of his thought, but you need to read the whole article to get the explanation.

And so, from the Epiphany event we learn a few truths:

  • The Father is presenting the world with his only Son, born of the Virgin. He is indeed ‘King of the Jews’, as the wise men call him, but only when he is ‘exalted’ on the Cross will the title take on its most accurate meaning.
  • The Father has a plan to make his Son known to the world. It is a sovereign plan; which, despite all resistance, will be fulfilled. Herod may plot but God’s purpose will be accomplished– the wise men will simply return ‘by a different way’.
  • God sees the heart. The presence of God’s Son on earth will reveal what lies in the hearts of men. The Magi who travel to seek the divine child travel in a line as straight as their hearts; while Herod shows himself to be evil. He is the precursor of all those throughout history who will oppose Jesus in one way or another, trying to expunge him from the earth.
  • God has come for all men. The Magi were pagans, perhaps even astrologers, and were invited to find and worship the Lord of the Universe. He was revealed to them and before him they fell to their knees and ‘did him homage’.


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Christmas Mass Times

Nativity of Christ, Domenico Ghirlandaio, c. 1492, tempera on panel, Pinacoteca, Volterra, Italy.

Nativity of Christ, Domenico Ghirlandaio, c. 1492, tempera on panel, Pinacoteca, Volterra, Italy.

If you are new to our Pastoral Area, Christmas Mass times are as follows:

6 p.m. Christmas Eve, 24 December: Vigil, St James Church, 2 Lagoon Drive, Yanchep.

8 a.m. Christmas Day, 25 December: Guilderton Community Hall,  Wedge Street, Guilderton

10 a.m. Christmas Day, 25 December:  33 Gingin Road, Lancelin.

Confessions: before Mass on request