Commencing on 5 January 2013, the Saturday
6.00pm Vigil Mass will be celebrated in St John Vianney Church, Waramanga, for
the whole of 2013 in accordance with past practice.
6 January 2013, there will be only one Sunday Mass in the parish at 9.00am
in St Jude Church, Holder.
There is no change to the weekday Mass times.
the Saturday Vigil Mass will return to St Jude Church and the Sunday morning
Mass will move to St John Vianney Church.
I recognise that some parishioners will be
upset by these changes but I have taken this decision after due consultation
with the Parish Liturgy Committee, the Parish Pastoral Council and listening to
the views of parishioners.
Needless to say, it has been a very difficult
decision for me to make and one I have postponed for quite some time in order
to see what other parishes were doing. All diocesan parishes on the north side
of Canberra have dropped one of their Sunday Masses some time ago. Sadly, it is
becoming ever more clear that we can no longer continue with the present
timetable of Sunday Masses around Canberra because our priests, who are
presently serving in our parishes, are aging and not always in the best of health.
One of the great difficulties and, likely to
be an ever increasing one in the coming years, is getting supply priests when a
parish priest suddenly becomes ill as happened recently in one our northern
Even when a priest would like to take his
annual holidays he can encounter difficulty in getting supply.
Our retired priests (generally over 75 years
of age) are now relatively few and are not always available to help out on
It is stating the obvious to say that there are
very few young men coming forward to prepare for the priesthood. In this
regard, we all have a serious obligation to continue praying for vocations to
the diocesan priesthood if we want our parishes to have resident priests. If
you know of some young man who is thinking seriously about the priesthood
encourage him as much as possible for the Lord is never outdone in generosity.
And I also might add that we need to pray for vocations to the religious life.
Sadly, there has been a noticeable drop in
the numbers of parishioners at Sunday Masses in recent years. In our own
parish, parishioners have commented to me on how few people come to Sunday
Mass. The Mass going population in our parish of Weston Creek has now dropped
to below 400 per Sunday for the first time since the annual diocesan May census
began many years ago. This is a matter of concern for all of us and I exhort
everyone to play an active part in encouraging parishioners to come to Sunday
Mass and be part of our worshipping community.
You will no doubt recall the articles that
have appeared in our Archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic Voice, along the lines of “Too Many Masses and Too Few
Priests” and other articles on the state of the health of our priests and the
lack of vocations to the priesthood. This was often reinforced by Archbishop
Mark Coleridge during his visits to parishes and at various diocesan gatherings
before his appointment to Brisbane.
Priests and people need each other if we are
to fulfil our respective vocations of being Christ to our world.
I encourage everyone to live a life worthy of
our vocation especially in these very difficult times and to support each other
as the community of Jesus’ disciples in our parish of St Jude and St John
Vianney, Weston Creek.