Living Prayer

Intentions for this month:

  • for those doing their HSC and final exams
  • for young people and educators as they start Term 4
  • for the youth of the world, that they find hope for the future and a faith in the love of God
  • for families struggling with separation, unemployment, addictions and violence
  • for all those working in the forefront of the fight against Covid 19
  • for the ALPHA course
  • that the Hello Hunter group will be successfully established and begin to reach out and support those in need
  • for our deceased family and community members

Welcome to St Joseph's Parish

Changes due to the Coronavirus pandemic

Our parish, like many other organisations around Australia, has implemented many changes from our usual routine to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Our church is now open for Mass on Sunday and Wednesday.

Numbers are limited by law, so bookings are required. You can register by contacting the Parish Office.

We will continue to make available relevant information on this web site to assist in dealing with this pandemic and to maintain as far as possible the opportunities for prayer and worship in the absence of large community gatherings.

Here are some immediate suggestions for how to Keep Sunday Holy.

From Brendon

Parish Leader

The End of the Parish?

“It was with the joy of the Holy Spirit that you took to the gospel, in spite of the great opposition all round you.” –  Thess1.6

During the week, I read an article in the online magazine La Croix written by an Australian deacon, Justin Stanwix. In the article, the author poses the question, Has the parish as we know it ‘run it’s course’?

While reflecting on the impact of the coronavirus on our churches, the author also recognises that this particular time in our history is also an opportunity. Yes, many things will need to change. Yes, the concept of the parish as we knew it will need to adapt. But maybe, just maybe, these are good things. As Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium:

“The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different

Following the Pope’s lead, the author sees this time as a ‘wonderful opportunity to do something radically different.’
He writes:

We are all the People of God: not them and us. Our radical role is now.

The Church is us – not over there or hidden in a church building. We, the People of God, are the Church, right here and now. The baptismal call of priest, prophet and king has rarely been stronger.

There is a strong argument that the pandemic provides the catalyst we have been waiting for to renew our Church. We know parts are broken and we have grievously sinned.

As we move out of that phase, in God’s redemptive love, we have the opportunity to “rebuild my Church” as St Francis heard Jesus urge him from the cross at San Damiano.

We will have to be smart, because people are looking for new forms. But the parish remains the established vehicle with existing infrastructure and potential to adapt, change and transform. Radically so.

The real question is whether we are all ready to make the change, to go out into the night waters, seek the fish and help haul in the catch.

The parish on its knees – in prayer, not in rejection or grief – will be the start. Then, with the benefit of the Lord’s abundant grace, let’s put out into the deep!

Read more

Useful Links

Ideas for Worship and Prayer

Homilies and Reflections

A beautiful reflection by Pope Francis during “Extraordinary Moment of Prayer” 27th March.

Read the latest homily by Fr Andrew Doohan of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Newcastle.

Maitland-Newcastle Diocese YouTube channel.

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