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."
Michael Gill is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Way. He is co-chair of the Parish Pastoral Council. He is closest to the community at Our Lady Star of the Sea at Kirribilli.

National Catholic Reporter's Man of the Year

The National Catholic Reporter (USA) on 30 December 2014 announced that it had joined ( although a little later) Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Advocate in choosing Pope Franci as its Man of the Year.

In one sense, one is prompted to think that , as a prominent Catholic publication, such a nomonation is only to be expected. Niothing exceptional.

But this is a publication different to the others; its editors and journalists are experts on the Church and tend to be knowledgibly critcal of the Church. They are more expert in Church affairs than is the secular press.

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SHOWING REAL LEADERSHIP

All of us, at times, have to deliver important and difficult messages to family and friends, those closest to us, colleagues and workmates, members of the same sporting team. Sometimes we know that the message will disappoint or cause hurt or even anger. It may permanently change a relationship.

Many people duck the responsibility; others wish that someone else would do it or they wish they could be somewhere else. They dont want the confrontation or the risk of losing a friend, being misunderstood or losing popularity.

The attached article shows a Pope who is remarkably brave in facing up to the challenge of delivering difficult messages. The difficulty is not so much in the subject matter of the message. It is more in the close proximity of the audience, their power and opportunity to make his life very hard and the need he has of their support in his wish to take the church back to Christ.

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Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission

The TJ&H Council has published its Activity Report as at December 2014. The link is at: 

TJHC-Activity-Statement_FINAL-02-web-Medium.pdf

The Report is comprehensive, clear and refreshingly transparent. It shows that the Council is living up to its Terms of Reference.

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Victims and Martyrs

I have been thinking about two events in our Parish over the last month. Francis Sullivan from the Truth, Justice and Healing Council came to speak to us and hear from us about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Many parishioners turned up, asked questions and made statements as befits this terrible scandal in the life of our Church. Reconciliation may be under way but we have a long way to go.

One of the issues raised was how we, as the community of faith at Our Lady of the Way, can play a role in that reconciliation.

At about the same time, we were remembering the events of 25 years ago in El Salvador; six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter murdered at the University of Central America.

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There are many reasons why I admire Pope Francis

There are many reasons why I admire Pope Francis. One is the clarity, the simplicity of his language.

In my life I have often found that if I could express my thoughts in a few simple words, I was better able to be sure of what i was saying and be more successful in my communication with others. Of course, it usually take much more time to reduce thoughts, ideas, concepts, submissions to a short statement composed of simple words and clear concepts, thus understood by more people. It's like the difference between a well prepared short homily and lengthy waffle which is boring, repetitiious and, ultimately, unconvincing.

But back to FI; here is a link to recent article about the messages which Pope Francis is inviting us to consider with him in Advent. There language is simple and the messages are short.

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Pope Francis's Radical Environmentalism

Pope Francis's Radical Environmentalism

(Extracts from an Article first published in The Atlantic in July)

In a talk at the Italian university of Molise in July, Francis characterized concerns about the 

environment as “one of the greatest challenges of our time”—a challenge that is theological, 

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Who will stand up for the Christians in Syria?

Try this link for an interesting read - written by a rabbi.

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