Letter from the Pastors - 2 October

We are being spiritually united each Sunday at 11am at www.baysidecatholicmission.org and praying in our own time and way at home. This Sunday Mass (27th Sunday in Ordinary Time) will be live-streamed from Stella Maris church, Beaumaris.

The liturgy guide and prayers and a good range of prayer suggestions and can be accessed at: https://catholic.org.au/prayat...

Looking at the Parish Forum
Attached to this email are the slides from the presentation on 16 September from Lorraine McCarthy, along with an article that may be of interest. Bayside Workshop; Mission Driven Parish

Mission and Stewardship Teams
These groups will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday night this week. The Mission Team will consider all the proposals for the Sunday Mass timetable and these will be shared with you very soon.

Business Manager
This week we have engaged a Business Manager to assist us in the oversight of the parishes and the management of finances, property etc. We are pleased that Mr Charlie Mellican has accepted the position to assist us in this time of setting up the Mission structures. Charlie will be present at the Stewardship and Mission Team meetings this week., and he had a chance to meet the parish staff this week.

Sacrament of Reconciliation / Confessions
Following the slight easing of restrictions, there is an allowance for a small gathering of no more than five people outside a Place of Worship. The ‘guidelines’ state:
Religious Gatherings: Can also take place outdoors with five people plus a faith leader. Must be adjacent to the place of worship with only one group permitted at a time. You can only travel up to 5km from your home to attend a gathering and only for 2 hours.

Within the constraints of these guidelines, we are now able to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation outdoors, with some social distancing and face masks. Confessions will be available this Saturday afternoon outside Stella Maris church, Beaumaris from 4-5pm. To comply with government rules, there is only allowed to be a maximum of five people waiting at any time in the designated space. If there are five people waiting, please remain in your car, or at a distance. Please also remember to wear a face mask and observe social distancing.

As we are allowed to have a religious gathering outside, we are able to offer the Sacrament of Baptism, outside the church building (but in the vicinity of it) with a maximum of five people. We are aware that quite a number of people have children waiting for baptism. If you would like to proceed, observing the limitations of numbers and spacing, please email your parish office and we will make arrangements for you.

Praying and meeting together
As the current restrictions allow religious gatherings of five people and a ‘faith leader’ we will next week look at how we can facilitate some gathering of five people outside the churches for a time of prayer and sharing together.

Support of our Communities
Thank you to those who generously support our communities with your prayers and financial support during this time. As our normal sources of income (our collections) have stopped, we are extremely grateful to those who continue their contributions. Whilst Masses and sacraments have stopped, the bills have not !

If you would like information about direct debit options, please contact your local
parish office:
[email protected]
(St James and St Joan of Arc)
[email protected]
(St Mary’s)
[email protected]
(Sacred Heart)
[email protected] (Stella Maris and St Joseph’s)

Act of Spiritual Communion
As you participate in Mass on-line, I invite you to make the Act of Spiritual Communion during Mass. You might also like to include this in your daily or regular prayers.

My Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

St Alphonsus Liguori, alt. (1696-1787)

On Wednesday morning our Safeguarding committee met and we are well on the way to formulating some policies and procedures for our communities with a common Statement of Commitment, Code of Conduct and Policy Document.

On Wednesday evening we had a very informative Zoom meeting with the representatives of the St Vincent de Paul Conferences from Gardenvale, Brighton, Sandringham and Ricketts Point.

They shared some of the great work that they are doing and the generosity of the communities and the work of the members. A very pleasing thing was the great support that the parishes and schools provide to the Conferences.

This year that Christmas Appeal will be a very significant thing for the Society as they seek to help those in our communities who are particularly feeling the effects of COVID -19. The Conferences will always welcome new members and can be contacted through each parish office by email.

On Thursday morning we had a Zoom meeting with the secretaries from our communities and in particular we looked at how we can work together with the parish bulletin. You may see a few changes to the formats of the bulletin in coming week, as we try to streamline things a little bit to reduce some workload for our secretaries and work together.

On Thursday afternoon we met with our Pastoral workers from our communities and we spoke about the current challenges of our people and how we can also begin to
prepare people for sacraments.

With such things as the Grand Final (albeit in a ‘foreign land’) and the blossoming of Spring around us, we can begin to sense some hope and change around us. Let us continue to pray that this change extends to us Catholics and people of all faiths who seek to return to public worship in out spiritual homes.

Recently a Letter was issued by Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship in Rome, addressing the present situation:
The Christian community has never sought isolation and has never made the Church a city with closed doors…..As soon as circumstances permit, it is necessary and urgent to return to the normality of Christian life, which has the church building as its home and the celebration of the liturgy, especially the Eucharist….
Aware that God never abandons the humanity he created, and that even the hardest trials can bear fruits of grace, we have accepted our distance from the Lord’s altar as a time of Eucharistic fasting, useful for us to rediscover its vital importance, beauty and immeasurable preciousness. As soon as possible, however, we must return to the Eucharist with a purified heart, with a renewed amazement, with an increased desire to meet the Lord, to be with him, to receive him and to bring him to our brothers and sisters with the witness of a life full of faith, love and hope.

I think these words capture much of what we all feel at this time. You can read the full letter HERE.

Please pass on this email to anyone else you know who might not be receiving it and encourage them to sign up on the website. I know that not all parishioners have their email addresses registered with the parish. Please pass on the news to anyone you know.

May the Lord bless and protect you and your loved ones.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father David Cartwright
Moderator, Bayside Mission

Letter from the Pastors - 2 October 2020