Patrick Madrid gives retreat for men in Parramatta
|More than 200 men were present at the retreat in St Patrick’s Cathedral precinct. Photo: Bernard Toutounji.|
By Fr Suresh Kumar MSFS, Youth Director, Catholic Outlook, June 2012
On Saturday 19 May, Catholic theologian, Patrick Madrid gave a retreat morning for men in St Patrick’s Cathedral precinct in Parramatta.
The noted author, speaker, radio and TV host is a familiar name in Catholic circles.
The retreat was hosted by the Diocese of Parramatta in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Sydney. The topic was ‘Turn away from Childish things and Become the Man Christ wants you to be.
More than 200 participants gave witness to the faith that we profess.
The day began with the celebration of Holy Eucharist in St Patrick’s Cathedral followed by delicious BBQ breakfast.
Patrick’s deep reflections and practical examples were well received. His conviction of the faith he professes were made tangible through his conversation.
He elaborated the theme and empowered the men who were present to enable them to make a difference in the world. Patrick was quite at ease in answering the questions that were posed to him.
We too had an opportunity to spend time at the presence of the Eucharistic Lord during the Adoration. The participants were given an opportunity to make confession. Thanks to the priests who made themselves available to hear confession.
The day was a time of grace and faith, a time of prayer, a time of reflection, a time of conviction, and a time for change. We are grateful to the Archdiocese of Sydney for their support and co-ordination in organising the event. May Patrick’s tour bring blessings and renewal in the lives of the faithful.
Celebrating Mother’s Day at Penrose Park
|At the end of the Mass, Bishop Anthony prayed a special prayer over the mothers, including his mother, Gloria. |
By Fr Suresh Kumar MSFS
"God couldn’t be everywhere so He created mothers”, says a Jewish proverb. Although this sounds like an exaggerated statement it contains a lot of truth.
Mothers reflect the love of God. It is very natural to them. God personally shares many of His qualities with them such as love, compassion, mercy, kindness and an attitude of sacrifice.
On Mother’s Day this year, Catholic Youth Parramatta made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy at Penrose Park in Berrima. The day also happened to be Fatima Day at the Shrine, which is on the 13th of each month.
We planned the event for the young people of the Diocese of Parramatta to honour their own mothers. Our own Bishop, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Bishop of Parramatta, was accompanied by his mother and father.
The Pauline Fathers’ Monastery at Penrose Park is very peaceful and we could feel God’s presence in the beautiful natural surroundings.
Bishop Anthony was the principal celebrant for the 11am Mass, which was celebrated by a number of priests from various dioceses. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop prayed a special prayer over the mothers who were present.
More than 3000 people participated in the Holy Eucharist. It was a wonderful experience to be with so many people bearing the cold and windy weather and offering it as a sacrifice to God.
In the afternoon, we took part in a procession from the church to the grotto, carrying the statues of Blessed Mother Mary and the Blessed Sacrament, praying the rosary and singing hymns. It was a moment of grace and devotion.
At the beautiful grotto, we prayed the chaplet of Divine Mercy, which was prayed followed by a reflection shared by one of the priests. Bishop Anthony gave the Benediction and a special blessing to everyone gathered at the grotto.
This Mother’s Day was an eventful, graceful, and enjoyable day. May God continue to bless all our mothers.
Next Fatima Day – Wednesday 13 June 2012
Program: 9.30am Confession; 10am Exposition & Rosary; 11am Solemn Eucharist; 1.30pm Rosary Procession with the Most Blessed Sacrament to the Grotto; 2pm Devotions at the Grotto; 3pm Conclusion.
To read the Bishop’s homily:
The Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Penrose Park is at 120 Hanging Rock Road, Berrima. Open daily from 8am to 6pm, tel (02) 4878 9192, firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the Pauline Fathers’ website: www.paulinefathers.org
Faith to the Extreme combined youth camp
By Annabelle Bhandoo, Diocesan Youth Worker
The 2012 Faith to the Extreme combined diocesan youth camp took place from 16-18 April 2012 at the Crosslands Youth and Convention Centre in Galston.
This camp for Year 7-10 students was organised by CYS, Archdiocese of Sydney and CYP, Diocese of Parramatta. Students from both dioceses participated enthusiastically in the activities that took place.
Although many of the participants didn’t know the other to begin with, this was sorted out right at the beginning through icebreaker games.
The program included a mixture of faith-filled talks and activities, drama by the CYS NET Team, plenty of food and fun, indoor and outdoor games, group workshops and group sharing.
The rain did not stop the Amazing Race from taking place on Saturday and the different groups were very competitive.
On Saturday night there was the opportunity for Reconciliation and Holy Mass was celebrated on two days.
Apart from many other graces, the camp helped the youth realise that God loves them unconditionally and they were encouraged to share their Faith with others, especially their contemporaries. Certainly, each person who attended went home enriched for having attended. Near the end of the camp, a participant remarked “It was a great camp and I learnt a lot from it. I want to take my faith to the extreme and get involved more in my parish!”
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