Parish Blog

For discussion by parishioners of Our Lady of the Way Parishes, North Sydney.
Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Parish as a whole or of the Jesuit priests.
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"Dear Lord,
May we always be mindful of your teaching: Love God & love your neighbour."

Arriving with a different point of view - Domenic Cioffi

Arriving with a different point of view

 

It is said the goal of travelling is to arrive with a different point of view.  Indeed!

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Takeaways from “Amoris Laetitia”

Takeaways from “Amoris Laetitia”

 James Martin SJ, America Magazine – 8th April 2016

Pope Francis’s ground breaking new document “Amoris Laetitia”(“The Joy of Love”) asks the church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people’s lives and to respect people’s consciences when it comes to moral decisions. The apostolic exhortation is mainly a document that reflects on family life and encourages families. But it is also the pope’s reminder that the church should avoid simply judging people and imposing rules on them without considering their struggles.  

Using insights from the Synod of Bishops on the Family and from bishops’ conferences from around the world, Pope Francis affirms church teaching on family life and marriage, but strongly emphasizes the role of personal conscience and pastoral discernment. He urges the church to appreciate the context of people’s lives when helping them make good decisions.  The goal is to help families—in fact, everyone—experience God’s love and know that they are welcome members of the church. All this may require what the pope calls “new pastoral methods” (199).

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Conversations: Don't fence me in

Conversations

Don't fence me in by Catherine Marshall | 27 August | Republished with permission from Eureka Street

My immigrant family never slept that first week in our newly-rented Sydney house. Too fearful were we of burglary or attack. There were no bars on the windows, no fence securing our plot. Anyone could breach the flimsy lock that kept us safe from intruders and find a way to shatter our new-found peace.

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Conversations: The mystery of why the Sisters are not in charge of the Church

Conversations

The mystery of why the Sisters are not in charge of the Church

thumbRNS NUNS CONVENT082212i 425x350 300x247There were the Sisters who taught grades one through eight: Sisters Aimee, Beatrice, Dorita, Everard, Gratia, Mary Margaret, Mary Therese, Rose Margaret, and Spiritu.

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Conversations: Family violence more complex than sexual abuse.

Family violence more complex than sexual abuse
Andrew Hamilton |  Eureka Street | 12 August 2015

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, like its Federal counterpart into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has revealed the personal stories behind the statistics.

The Chief Commissioner has also emphasised how appalling and complex the reality of family violence is.

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Conversations: If Ignatius hadn't missed the boat ...

Conversations

If Ignatius hadn't missed the boat ...

By Andrew Hamilton SJ, 29 July 2015, Reproduced with permission from Eureka Street,

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Conversations: The US Supreme Court's gay marriage overreach

Recently, the US Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v Hodges, deciding by the predictably narrowest majority of 5-4 that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry, and that the right is protected under both the due process and equal protection clauses.

Eleven of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, had already legislated to recognise the right of same-sex couples to marry. Justice Scalia in dissent observed, 'Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views.'

There is much about the judicial reasoning in the case that would raise eyebrows among lawyers not used to the judicial activism of the liberal majority of the US Supreme Court which has long viewed the due process and equal protection clauses as a vehicle for legislating their preferred view on contested political and social issues. Writing for the five liberal judges, Justice Kennedy used poetic, but not very judicial, language when he commenced his judgment with this stirring call to judicial arms: 'The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach.’

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Conversations : Why Pope Francis' new encyclical is so radical

Most of the early comment on the Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment, has rightly focused on its political impact. But to appreciate its reach it is helpful also to read it within the context of Catholic reflection on ethical issues.

The distinctive contribution of the Encyclical is to make respect for the environment a priority in Catholic life, and to justify that place by making it centrally in Catholic reflection on the human condition.

Encyclicals, which are addressed directly to the Catholic Bishops, always set their themes within the Catholic tradition, and particularly within the context of recent Papal teaching.

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Intergenerational fairness goes beyond economic competition

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Earlier this year the Intergenerational Report was published.

Intergenerational equity needs to be set within a broader context than that of economic competition between individuals. Generally, it means accepting that the way in which we live in the world today should not impoverish future generations. Or positively, that the way we order our human relationships today, including the relationships that comprise the economy, should benefit future generations as well as our own.

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Conversations : 24 May : Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling

Conversations : 24 May : Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling

Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling

Many people become uncomfortable when conversation turns to social justice. That may reflect their experience of being buttonholed by unrelentingly serious people on the wrongs of the world and the need to change them. But their discomfort may also reflect a long history that goes back as far as the French Revolution with its slogan, 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity'. Social Justice Week offers an opportunity to tease out the connections implied by this slogan.

Of the three revolutionary aspirations, liberty has come to dominate our contemporary world, particularly in its form of negative liberty – freedom from oppression and from regulations that limit personal choice, especially economic choice. The desire for individual liberty is often opposed to the desire for equality, which usually advocates some constraints on liberty. Social justice has commonly been identified with the desire for equality. So when someone raises issues of social justice their hearers fear that their individual freedom will soon be crimped in the name of state control or of the redistribution of wealth. They naturally become uncomfortable.

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Are we doing enough?

Are we doing enough?

For perhaps the first time in our history, the leaders of both our major political parties have come from our schools. So perhaps we have a responsibility for what we have given the country, in the form of the leadership of its two major parties.

Aside from being educated in our schools, it sometimes seems the only thing they have in common is the slogan “border protection.”

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What is the Church’s Social Teaching?

What is the Church’s Social Teaching (CST)?

The Church’s social teaching recognises that we are not alone in this world and that we need to care for each other. Since the late 1800s the various Popes have written about different aspects of how we can build a more just world and this makes up the body of Catholic Social Teaching. They are not a set of rules and regulations but exhortations or guides as to how women and men can live and work together. They are derived from 14 primary Papal Documents: (see Appendix1)

And may be enunciated in 5 basic principles:

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Conversations : Can speech be free in the Catholic Church?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Free-Speech.jpgCan speech be free in the Catholic Church?

Some 60 years ago the German Catholic theologian Karl Rahner wrote a pamphlet on free speech in the Catholic Church. His explorations may seem now to be very tentative, but were daring at a time when the Pope took positions on disputed questions and demanded acquiescence.

Rahner's Catholic world was different from that of today. In discussions about the Synod on the Family, cardinals have differed publicly on how to approach irregular relationships.

Priests in England drafted a letter, invited other priests to sign it, and made it public. In turn, English Cardinal Vincent Nichols rebuked them for caucusing.

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Pope Francis as media role model

Thank you for your feedback regarding last week’s conversation ‘Expectations’. You can still join the discussion on our blog. Over the next few weeks, consideration will be given to developing our own set of expectations.

In this week’s Conversation, we look at the power of genuine and heartfelt expression, as evidenced by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis as media role model.

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'St. Valentine's' Day?

stain st valWhat's not to love about Valentine's Day?

Chocolates, wine, love, hugs, picnics, dinner....

But how much "Saint" is in Saint Valentine's Day.

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Conversations

Conversation ExpectationsIn the first of our conversations with the Parish community, we explore the concept of mutual expectations – what is expected of each parishioner, and what parishioners can expect from the Parish community.

 

To get this conversation started we have reproduced a pamphlet called “Expectations” from St Monica’s Church in Los Angeles.    

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Not from the Pulpit - Fr Andrew Bullen SJ - Parish Priest - 31st & 1st

A homily given by Fr. Andy Bullen to Catholic high school students in Melbourne a few years ago….

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“What happened on your first day at school?” For some of you the event is so recent, just a week or so ago, that you could say “Lots of things” and tells us them in detail. Others might scratch their heads and then say perhaps “The school was so big, and noisy”. Others might recall that it was exciting and scary at the same time. Others, after reflecting a bit, “It was the first time I spent a full day away from home and mum and dad; it was the beginning of something huge in my life, it set a pattern that I am still living in years later”.

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Not from the Pulpit - Fr. Andrew Bullen SJ – Parish Priest

Ordinary time again, as the Church calls it, and over 30 weeks of it ahead through the year.

Green is the colour – hope, greenery, life; the ordinary makings of our day.

How ordinary is ordinary?                                                  

This year we are going to go through this ordinary time with Mark’s gospel, the toughest of the four. 

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Piero's World: David Attenborough's Favourite Painting

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Piero’s World: Pieran optics as revealed in “The Baptism”

Afterwards for days Piero’s world informs your own – the city streets, the placement of buildings, are as he painted them, or should be.

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Evangelli Gaudium and the Piketty book: best reading of 2013 & 2014?

Looking back on 2014, my nomination for the best reading of the year would be the Piketty book, just as early last year my nomination for the best reading of 2013 would have been Evangelii Gaudium.

My selection of the Piketty book for 2014 is not very original - for a while in 2014, it almost seemed like no dinner party on the lower north shore was complete without a discussion of the Piketty book.

And this was a worldwide phenomenon:

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