Messages from the St Josephs Parish Community
This is a worthy appeal that Gladys has brought to our attention at St Joseph’s Enfield.
Many of our families have relatives and friends that have been hit hard by this event.
Dear Friends in Christ,
These are unprecedented times, testing times but also an opportunity to look beyond our own needs and care for our fellow Parishioners; parishioners who are less fortunate than us, parishioners who need a reassuring word or a help hand.
We also acknowledge the medical personals, those who care for the sick and risk their lives and are at the forefront in giving their lives. It is important that we keep the medical personals in our prayers and care for their wellbeing and safety. We must also remember our parishioners, you, during this challenging time.
However, as Catholics, as Australians, as a Civilisation, we have been through challenges and persevered.
From our persecution in Rome, to the early wars of the 20th century, we as a people have come out stronger.
Even the infamous black plague did not perish us.
Many suffered, and many more will.
However this is an opportunity for the Church to shine.
Although we won’t have mass available, Jesus is with us.
Remember, when “two or more are gathered in my name, there I am amongst them”. Perhaps we use this time to pray more at home with our family – say the rosary. Spend time with Jesus, reading the Gospels, or enjoy his company in quiet prayer.
This is His time to shine, in serving our immediate family, friends, Neighbours and further remembering those who are sick and suffering.
Perhaps consider preparing a meal for a friend who’s finding it difficult to manage or your elderly neighbour or a Parishioner from our Parish.
Charity begins at home, look into your own family and see if a family member needs help due to their circumstances being changed by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Perhaps looking out for people who have been isolated due to family conflicts.
The Catholic Church in Australia is closely following, and complying with the advice of the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference is providing resources to support people’s prayer life, including links to online Masses and a Sunday prayer resource.
You are not alone.
We thank you for your patience, understanding and support during the national lockdown and look forward to welcoming you back into the fold in the near future.
Be safe, take care and please stay connected.
May your prayers give you comfort and please do not hesitate to contact Fr Kim, should you wish to receive spiritual support by phone.
Yours in Christ,
Richard Allcock – Chairperson Parish Pastoral Council – St Joseph Church Enfield.
My name’s Stephen Howard, I’m a 26 year old seminarian for the Archdiocese of Sydney, studying at The Good Shepherd, and I’ve been welcomed graciously by Father Kim into the presbytery of St Joseph’s to continue my studies and formation during this confusing time.
I grew up with strong formation in the faith in Northwest Sydney, but after leaving school and moving out of home, my personal faith couldn’t bear testing, and for many years, Christ and His Church were essentially irrelevant to me; I was too interested in my own story, in being liked by everyone I met, and in solving my own problems.
After many long years, I was halfway through studying to become a high school art teacher, when I began to recognise that I wasn’t enough. That everything I had built for myself – no matter how fun or impressive – had failed to make me a good man, or even a healthy, balanced person. I needed something more. I could have anything I wanted, but still there was always something missing. Some-One missing.
So, I took a semester off, I travelled Europe, and eventually found myself at my parents’ farm in northern Victoria, with the beauty of Creation all around me and a lot of time to think. After realising my deep desire to be a good man – and a good father someday – thinking became making changes in my life, and this ended in prayer.
I prayed to St. Joseph of course, the patron of manhood and fatherhood, the very image of the Father on earth. He wasn’t God, and he wasn’t the Immaculate Mary, he was just a man who did his best, quietly and courageously – even failing sometimes. And he answered my prayer, breaking open my heart at the thought of the Child Jesus resting against his heart – my heart. He introduced me to his wife through the Rosary, and she too broke open my heart, and I received the Holy Spirit in a profound way. She led me to the sacrament of Love and Mercy – Reconciliation – and I received her Son, Christ Himself in the Eucharist again not long after.
The following years were intensely difficult as I strove to say yes each day to whatever God was calling me to: uni chaplaincy, conferences, retreats, mission trips; but eventually I learned to begin to let go, and to allow Him to work in me, and to stop trying to control my life. This lead not to a wife and children like I’d planned, but to the seminary and a different kind of fatherhood.
So here I am again, a refugee under the protection of my patron and yours: St. Joseph. I hope to meet many of you, but know that you are in my prayers, particularly when I have the privilege to serve the mass in your beautiful church, and I ask you all to keep me and my vocation to fatherhood in your prayers as well. Stay Hopeful, and remember we are all one Body in Christ, embraced by the Father, and the Spirit burns in us.
Also if you want to, you can reach out to me for any reason, I’d love to talk about growing in the faith or discerning vocations, and I’d like to be involved with the youth group too (maybe we could pray together online?). You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(If you’re under 18, be sure to have express permission from your parents/guardians and cc them into any email you send.)
Click here to view family-educator
OBSTACLES OR OPPORTUNITIES
Sadly we faithful are unable to attend Mass because of health concerns associated with the COVID19 Pandemic, we have become more isolated. “I really miss shaking people’s hand, I just can’t get used to it” said Tim, at CMFSYD gathering 23/03/2020. In no way should this infectious flu-like virus be played-down, but it is interesting that that up to 650,000 people die annually of respiratory diseases linked to flu [see WHO]. Social-isolation is now part of our language and our behaviours have changed dramatically. A sneeze can make you paranoid. People talk like they are experts in epidemiology, microbiology, immunology and public health. Panic buying is rife.
Our lives will never be the same. Similarly, an experience with Jesus alters our life forever. Three of us gathered to for Intentional Discipleship Study [Thresholds of Conversion: Seeking and Intentional Discipleship]. Part of what we considered in this, our 4th session of 6 sessions was:
- What causes people to experience a spiritual awakening/conversion; and
- Demands and challenges of true discipleship.
With every difficulty comes a choice of how to respond: With fear and anxiety or with and faith and hope. We can’t gather for Mass for a while, but we can call and connect with people. We cannot be part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for a while at Mass but we can give of our time and energy. Importantly, opportunities abound to empower the young to mission activity. Most of us are Baby Boomers or Generation X [born 1946-1980]. A few of us, like my 92yo mother are the Greatest Generation [1901-1927] and some are part of the Silent Generation [1928-1945]. Few Millennials [1981-1996] or iGens [mid 90s – 2010s] are active in the life of the church. Their time is now.
The igens have been fully immersed in a high-tech, smart phone driven world all their life. Who could be more suited to help create a suitable platform (e.g. ZOOM conference call), where parishioners and their guests can log onto a suitable device (smart phone or iPad). Recommended social isolation practices to help control the spread of COVID19 cut right to the heart of fellowship – no more handshakes. Note the two sets of shaking hands in the CMFSYD logo. Let us make a positive response to the social isolation practices enforced upon us and build up our parish, community and world. Contact Reverend Father Kim Ha and let him know what role you can play.
BAppSci (Environmental Health)
Coordinator – Catholic Men’s Fellowship
It is with much sadness and a heavy heart that this crisis has caused the following ministries to be temporarily shut down: Healing Masses, Teaching Days and Wednesday Night Prayer Group.
How ironic THIS HAPPENED DURING our Lenten Season! I wonder if this isn’t a wake-up call for all of us to draw even closer to God. As Catholics we still have an opportunity to celebrate Lent – just differently – a quiet, introspective time at home for prayer, fasting and repentance without any distractions.
Some suggestions are prioritizing a time daily for prayer e.g. Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Reading the Word of God, praying for the needs of the World. Ensure you set a definite time of day for this and not be distracted by chores. This is personal, quality time just between you and God. Cherish it!
A lot of fear has been propagated by nonstop Media coverage. But we are God’s children. He is Our Father and He will care and protect us.
May I leave you with these Scripture Quotes?
“The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the troubles of the just, but the Lord delivers them from them all.”
Psalm 46: 1-3
“God is strength and protection, an ever-present help in affliction. We will not fear…”,
Yours Faithfully in Jesus Christ Our Lord
God is Alive in our hearts and prayers!
Our churches may be closed, but the true church is in US…the people.
We may be separated… but we are joined together as one in the Holy Spirit.
We must continue the church in our homes… with private prayers, bible readings and personal reflection. If you know of anyone who would like the parish bulletin posted to them, especially if they have no internet access, please send an email to email@example.com or call the parish office on 9747 4884.
The parish Bulletin will be posted online every weekend on our website www.stjosephenfield.org.au
This will keep you up-to-date on what is happen in our little part of the world!
The path is not always easy, especially when there is constant change and disruption to our daily lives. We return to the basic fundamentals of food and shelter (maybe toilet paper?) … and most importantly GOD as a constant “ROCK” to steady us and keep us moving in the right direction.
Let us see this as a time of building our own Resilience, Patience and Faith to continue our journey with Jesus!