Thoughts from the presbytery – 29 May

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We were told yesterday that Sister Macrena will be moving to Young this coming Tuesday. A lunch will be held outside the Hartigan Centre this Sunday at 12:30pm for those who would like to wish Sister Macrena all the best for the future and to express our gratitude for her gentle ministry over many years in the parish. There will be a barbeque operating, please bring meat to cook, salads, etc., for the farewell.

Next weekend we begin a new phase of gathering after lockdown and we will return to our normal timetable. There will be Mass on Saturday morning at 9am, especially for older parishioners. A Vigil Mass will be held at 6pm and Sunday morning at 10:15am, both held in St. Augustine’s. Until we are permitted 100 at gatherings, next week will be for those with surnames A-M and the following weekend, N-Z. Those distributing Holy Communion will need to sanitize hands before and after distribution. Collection baskets will be handled only by those collecting. There will be no need to put your names down for weekday, Wednesday 5:30pm, Thursday 7:30am and Friday 12noon. Mass at Gunning will be at the usual time, 8:30am Sunday.

This Sunday we will celebrate our Liturgy of the Word via Zoom, followed be Holy Communion for those wishing to attend at the Lovat Chapel or St. Francis Xavier’s.

Two days ago we were informed that the people we support in Oecusse were in a desperate situation, many sick and starving due to lockdown and inability to sell at markets. The clinics are opening with additional staff from Dili and I have been able to organize a truck load of rice for the people. The rice cost $7,000 and I am sincerely grateful to Gunning parish who have contributed $5,000 towards this emergency.

There is an opportunity to join the Minister’s Fraternal in Yass for a combined service, via the link provided, at 11:30am, this Pentecost Sunday. The Yass Ministers Fraternal was established by Fr. Bill Crahan and Barbara Badger. There is respect for the different traditions and I admire the zeal of the pastors. We normally meet at the presbytery, but to record the service for this Sunday we gathered at the Baptist Church.

It will be exciting to meet many more parishioners face to face and I thank God for your patience and faith.

Mick Burke

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