Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We Catholics in Australia love our nation. Indeed, so much of what is cherished as good in our society is, in fact, the fruit of Christian culture. So, we want our ‘story’ to continue to be heard in all the great debates about the foundations of our society. Our voice is not the only voice but it is an important one. One such debate currently concerning us all is the issue of same-sex marriage. We have always sought to contribute to our society as good citizens. We strive to act and speak out for the common good especially for the poorest and suffering among us. We seek to cherish the dignity of the human person and support all in need: especially families, our indigenous brothers and sisters, migrants, refugees and all who need the compassion and mercy of Christ. We pledge ourselves to continue to do everything we can to contribute to the common good of all Australians. As Catholics, we want to build up and strengthen our great diverse multicultural community here in Australia. Our point in relation to the current debate about same-sex marriage is simple. We make it in good faith according to the demands of our consciences. The Catholic Church, along with other faith traditions, teaches that marriage is a natural institution established by God to be a permanent union between one man and one woman, intended towards the formation of a family in which children are born and nurtured. Any legislation that changes this definition of marriage recognised by all the major cultures of the world demands careful consideration by all Australians. It is vital that we Catholics vote, so that our viewpoint can be heard on this vital public issue. Its outcome will affect our society and families profoundly in the future. We understand that ours is not the only viewpoint in our diverse society. Many do not agree with it. Many people see this as an issue about ensuring equality for every and all relationships. Yes, human rights are important. But so are human responsibilities. We are responsible for the impact of our decisions on future generations. Therefore, we ask all to consider the profound implications of possible legislation that will embed this desire for equality of relationships in our laws. This debate on same-sex marriage raises profound questions about who we are. Fundamental issues are at stake. Why do humans exist as male and female? Is that distinction simply marginal? Is it simply a social construct? Do our children also have rights? We are all children of a male and a female. Should not this be a central consideration in our decisions about the way children should be ideally nurtured and educated in our society. We understand that these are complex issues. But certainly, no legislation should be enacted without a deep public conversation in which we all engage about such issues that goes beyond slogans and soundbites. In a pluralist community, we maintain that respect for difference should be as important as a demand for equality. Things can be equal in all respects without having to be uniformly the same.We sincerely believe that there is a core and fundamental wisdom and truth in the traditional definition and understanding of marriage that should not be ignored and is worth keeping for the health and future of our society. As Pope Francis has pointed out: ‘The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the cul-ture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life.’ Some will naturally be disappointed in our stance. Some even question our right to speak and follow our consciences. It is entirely possible future legislation about same-sex marriage could infringe fun-damental human rights of freedom of religion and conscience. It could result in re-strictions on the right of ministers of religion and religious bodies and organisations having the freedom to teach, preach and speak about marriage between persons of the same sex being contrary to their religious or conscientious beliefs. We as a church affirm the dignity of all those who identify as having a same sex orientation. Like all human beings they are created in the image and likeness of God. They have a right to expect to be loved and welcomed and not subject to unjust discrimination. So where do we go from here? In all our conversations and encounters, let us imitate Pope Francis, who asks us to be humble and never judgemental. In that spirit, the Catholic Church will continue to teach and preach the truth that marriage is a union of one man and one woman and encourage all people of good will to embrace the fullness of that truth. We will also work to promote and strengthen marriage and families. We will strive to uphold the dignity of every human person, including persons who experience same sex attraction, welcoming them as our brothers and sisters. As Catholics concerned for the common good may we join all our fellow citizens of Australia in an active and respectful engagement in this critical public conversation. Yours sincerely in Christ
† Denis J Hart
Archbishop of Melbourne
Children’s Liturgy As a group we gather in the MacKillop Room, listen to the gospel, sing the Alleluia and discuss what it all means for us as followers of Jesus in 2015. We usually respond to the word in a number of ways- using drama, mediation, song, drawing and creating in a meaningful way. We conclude with Prayers of the Faithful, often sharing our own prayers from the heart with each other. We often receive more spiritual wisdom from the children than that from a lot of adults!!
St Patrick’s Parish Beenleigh Sacrament Program Dates 2017
First Holy Communion
Parent Formation/Information 6.30pm Monday, 24th April
Rite of Enrolment Weekend of 6th and 7th May
Presentation of Lord’s Prayer Weekend of 20th and 21st May
Family Barbecue 6pm Thursday, 8th June
Family Session with Elizabeth, Carole 6.30-8pm Thursday, 8th June
Celebrating God’s Mercy 2nd Rite of Penance Tuesday 13th June
First Holy Communion Weekend of 17th and 18th June
Parish celebration cake? Weekend of 24th and 25th June?
School Holidays Activity Day Alive in the Spirit Friday, 30th June
Your Prayers Are Requested For
The Sick: Gary Battle, Graeme Becker, Carolyn Becker, Sofia Birch, Rosario Burgos, Billiie Fiscalini, Peter Fiscalini, Debbie Chambers, Priscilla Gabriel, Jeffrey Graver, Val Hintz, Mary Hall, Ben Hall, Mary Harrigan, Roy Hull, Brenda Humberstone, Arthur French, Dominga Kennedy, Peter Katsadores, Neil Kajewski, Mary Kolosowski, Steve Leibinger, Vicki Leibinger, Ruth Marshall, Jill Palmer, Carol Robertson, Paul Russell, Gavin Stewart, Rubeth Samuelsen, Jodie Taylor, Helen Topp, Kev Topp, Joe Topp, Peter Topp, Kallum Topp, Neil Wright, Googal Zillionoro Prayers are also requested for the following nursing home residents at Beenleigh, Pimpama, Bethania Gardens, Jimbelunga—Eagleby, Connolly Court, Palm Lake, Jeta Gardens and Woodbeck Village.
Announcements & Reminders
Catholics “Come Alive” Seminar 22,23 & 24th September 2017. St Patrick’s Church. To book contact Mary McGrath 0402 859 396
Catholic lay apostolate, Aneel Aranha will be speaking at the Church 7pm Thursday 14th September 2017.
28th July, in the School Hall. Tickets are now on sale at all Masses.
Our parish has implemented the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults policy. We are committed to high standards of recruitment, screening and selection of all of our employees and volunteers and undertake intentional strategies to maintain a safe and healthy ministry environment for all. If you are a volunteer reader, Eucharistic Minister etc. and have not received a Volunteer Data Form and the Code of Ethical Behaviour, please contact the parish office.
Young Adults meetings every Wednesday night (except the 2nd Wednesday of the month) in the Church from 7.30 – 8.45 (after 7pm Mass). Depending on the night, it may include prayer and praise, discussion, Scripture and Church teaching. If you’re in your late teens, twenties or thirties you will be very welcome!
St Patrick’s Parish Beenleigh Sacrament Program Dates 2017