Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Brisbane Shrine to St Mary MacKillop and Victims of Abuse




This chapel began life  following the 1989 renovations at the Cathedral of St Stephen in Brisbane as a tribute to the spirit of faith in the First Nations Peoples with wonderful works by Fiona Foley. A concerted campaign of vilification by Catholic racists pressured Archbishop John Bathersby to remove he images. 

The chapel space was then reconfigured as an Ecumenical space with framed copies of inter church covenants on display. 

Now in its third "reno" the ecumenical spirit has also been removed to make way for a duplicate shrine to St Mary of the Cross.

 Mass and Dedication of the new Shrine 21 October 2018


MY

Thursday, January 10, 2019

International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking

Together Against Human Trafficking: Are you ready to celebrate the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking on February 8th? It is not too early to start preparing.

The theme for the 2019 celebration is Together Against Human Trafficking. Resources for schools, parishes, organisations and individuals are available on the ACRATH website .


Pope Francis established this day in 2015. He continues to speak out about the evils of human trafficking, urging us all to do what we can to raise awareness of this "scourge on humanity", work towards its elimination and support those who have been affected by this crime. ---

“Every human being, man, woman, boy and girl, is made in God’s image. God is the love and freedom that is given in interpersonal relationships, and every human being is a free person destined to live for the good of others in equality and fraternity. Every person, and all people, are equal and must be accorded the same freedom and the same dignity. Any discriminatory relationship that does not respect the fundamental conviction that others are equal is a crime, and frequently an aberrant crime.

Therefore, we declare on each and every one of our creeds that modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution, and organ trafficking, is a crime against humanity. Its victims are from all walks of life, but are most frequently among the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. On behalf of all of them, our communities of faith are called to reject, without exception, any systematic deprivation of individual freedom for the purposes of personal or commercial exploitation; in their name, we make this declaration.”
— Declaration on International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Dec. 2, 2014
Events

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Twelfth Day of Christmas: Swap Clothes for the Misrule is Here!!



Today is a great day for a party and the rules call for frivolity, cross-dressing and wonderful recipes for food and drink. It is the day to rediscover "Wassailing and Mumming".

At the start of Twelfth Night the Twelfth Night cake was eaten. This was a rich cake made with eggs and butter, fruit, nuts and spices. The modern Italian Panettone is the cake we currently have that's most like the old Twelfth Night cake.
A dried pea or bean was cooked in the cake. Whoever found it was the Lord (or Lady) of Misrule for night. The Lord of Misrule led the celebrations and was dressed like a King (or Queen). This tradition goes back to the Roman celebrations of Saturnalia. In later times, from about the Georgian period onwards, to make the Twelfth Night 'gentile', two tokens were put in the cake (one for a man and one for a women) and whoever found them became the the 'King' and 'Queen' of the Twelfth Night party.
In English Cathedrals, during the middle ages, there was the custom of the 'Boy Bishop' where a boy from the Cathedral or monastery school was elected as a Bishop on 6th December (St Nicholas's Day) and had the authority of a Bishop (except to perform Mass) until 28th December. King Henry VIII banned the practice in 1542 although it came back briefly under Mary I in 1552 but Elizabeth I finally stopped it during her reign.We keep this a remnant of tradition alive in Australia with the current Catholic Archbishop of Sydney affectionately known as "Boy George".

It's a busy day as it's time to take down your Christmas decorations and install those missing three kings to the Nativity set at least for the day. When you have completed your Christmas duties and feasted with great gusto you will probably be ready to sit back and watch the midnight  hour approach with a good dose of Shakespearean comedy:





Thursday, January 03, 2019

Eleventh Day of Christmas: Epiphany Chalking


In case you miss the opportunity for another great Christmas custom you have a couple of days to go out and buy the chalk you left off your Christmas shopping list.

One of the lost customs of the season is the "Chalking of the Door" at Epiphany. The ever reliable Wikipedia tells us:
Either on Twelfth Night (January 5), the twelfth day of Christmastide and eve of the feast of the Epiphany, or on Epiphany Day (January 6) itself, many Christians chalk their doors with a pattern such as this, "20 † C † M † B † 17", with the numbers referring "to the calendar year (20 and 18, for instance, for the year 2018); the crosses stand for Christ; and the letters have a two-fold significance: C, M, and B are the initials for the traditional names of the Magi (CasparMelchior, and Balthasar), but they are also an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means, May Christ bless this house."[1] In some localities, but not in all, the chalk used to write the Epiphanytide pattern is blessed by a Christian priest or minister on Epiphany Day; Christians then take the chalk home and use it to write the pattern. The reason families chalk their front door is because it represents the hospitality of the Holy Family to the Magi.


Blessing the Chalk
V. Our help is the name of the Lord:
R. The maker of heaven and earth.
V. The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in:
R. From this time forth for evermore.

Let us pray.Loving God, bless this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name that we who use it in faith to write upon the door of our home the names of your holy ones Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in or visit our home; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Instructions for Blessing the Home
Using the blessed chalk mark the lintel of your front door (or front porch step) as follows:
20 + C + M + B + 18 while saying:

The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and seventeen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer: Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen
“Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of the Epiphany and God’s blessing of our lives and home. With time the chalk will fade. As it does we let the meaning of the symbols written sink into the depths of our heart and be manifest in our words and actions the Latin words, Christus mansionem benedictat, “May Christ bless the house.” (Source)
One of my favourite Liturgy sites  from Aotearoa-New Zealand includes more prayer choices for this ritual. And for the more visual there is even a youtube tutorial:


Of course for the more adventurous there is the Greek custom of the dive for the Cross which is much more challenging in the Northern Hemisphere while our locals get to take advatage of a decent summer dive.

Tenth Day of Christmas: Time to Take Stock


It hasn't taken long for the "Christmas Sales" signs to be replaced by "Stocktake Sales" in the major stores around our cities.These sales are basically incentives to add to our consumer appetite at bargain prices.

Today can also be a great day to "take stock" of life as the year draws to a close. Our new year resolutions are best informed by the reflection of the previous year.

Today is a day to take stock of core values and commitments. It means I place my commitment in small communities such as L'Arche, in the activism of groups like Amnesty International and Oxfam, in the commitment of NGOs like Micah Projects and Palms Australia to bring about social change.

December 31 also provides opportunities for media outlets and commentators (like me) to review the year. The following offer some of the best of the 2017 reviews:
And if you need something a bit more interactive you can take the ABC Quizes. 
When I take stock of my core values I recognize my duty to use social networking tools for raising awareness of justice and peace concerns and building solidarity with those who occupy our cities for the cause of justice.

I invite you to share the story of your "stocktake" of 2018


Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Ninth Day of Christmas: Message for World Day of Peace 2019



MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE
FRANCIS
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE 
52nd WORLD DAY OF PEACE
1 JANUARY 2019

 Quotable quotes

Peace is like the hope which the poet Charles Péguy celebrated.[2] It is like a delicate flower struggling to blossom on the stony ground of violence. We know that the thirst for power at any price leads to abuses and injustice. Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions, but when political life is not seen as a form of service to society as a whole, it can become a means of oppression, marginalization and even destruction.

In this regard, it may be helpful to recall the “Beatitudes of the Politician”, proposed by Vietnamese Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyễn Vãn Thuận, a faithful witness to the Gospel who died in 2002:
Blessed be the politician with a lofty sense and deep understanding of his role.
Blessed be the politician who personally exemplifies credibility.
Blessed be the politician who works for the common good and not his or her own interest.
Blessed be the politician who remains consistent.
Blessed be the politician who works for unity.
Blessed be the politician who works to accomplish radical change.
Blessed be the politician who is capable of listening.
Blessed be the politician who is without fear

In these days, we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in the wake of the Second World War. In this context, let us also remember the observation of Pope John XXIII: “Man’s awareness of his rights must inevitably lead him to the recognition of his duties. The possession of rights involves the duty of implementing those rights, for they are the expression of a man’s personal dignity. And the possession of rights also involves their recognition and respect by others”.

The politics of peace, conscious of and deeply concerned for every situation of human vulnerability, can always draw inspiration from the Magnificat, the hymn that Mary, the Mother of Christ the Saviour and Queen of Peace, sang in the name of all mankind: “He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm; he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly; …for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever” (Lk 1:50-55).

Eighth Day of Christmas: Beware of the Cutters

http://emmock.com/2011/01/01/bible-blog-335/
Welcome to January 1st. In the "Land of the Long Weekend" This is the day to recover from the NYE parties and celebrations. It\s a day at the beach or home with a 'Barby".

In good old Catholic Tradition this day was known as the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord. Yes, it is the only Catholic feast for a medical procedure. As with all great Biblical accounts there is a picture gallery available on google. As with all great Catholic and Orthodox Celebrations there is a hymn or two for the feast.
Circumcision gets some pretty good press in the Scriptures as a popular practice and metaphor. By the time you have worked through the Hebrew Scriptures and made your way to some of Paul's letters you get to the most cutting of his statements:  "Beware of the cutters,"  (Ph.3:2).  So, there you have it, time to stop infant circumcision!! If Paul was around today he would probably join one of the Facebook pages against infant circumcision.

Circumcision has made its way into the public forum. SBS Insight had a public forum: The First Cut. Two of my good friends appeared as guests Elwyn Moir and Sharon Orapeleng. By strange coincidence they were seated next to each other for the recording.

Thanks to this feast we also have a great new word for scrabble: prepuce.  The Holy Prepuce or the story of the foreskin relics is another contribution of Catholicism to the religious entertainment industry. It seems that we can also learn a bit from Michelangelo about this practice.

And so a new year is upon us. May it bring you blessings of peace and happiness. May we work together to build a community of hope and justice in our neighbourhoods and on our planet.