What would you do when your prayers are not answered by God? I have had an experience in my ministry where I doubted the fruitfulness of prayer. It happened before I came to Australia. With all the enthusiasm of a first-time Parish Priest,
Sophy was delighted that, Jack, an agent of an Australian university came to her home. Indian universities are not good enough for her daughter. The mother was so excited about the Australian prospect and became too busy preparing a ‘beda khana’ (sumptuous meal) for Jack. She left her daughter to learn all about studying in Australia and the courses they off
The deluge and the recent floods in Sydney area has been devastating. I spoke with the priest of flood-ravaged Windsor parish. Only one parishioner could come to Sunday mass there. The roads were cut, and their properties were under water or affected otherwise. A massive number of people were evacuated from their homes. Any hand in this need is a neighbour in deed to them.
Christianity is on the decline. That’s the census finding. While Christianity is still the most common religion in Australia only 43.9% of respondents identified as Christian in the 2021 census compared to more than half in 2016 and 61% in 2011. Almost 40% of the population responded “no religion” on the 2021 census, an increase of 10% in the past five years. According to the media, this should alarm the Church.
An increasing number of baptised people are shying away from their faith commitment and this has been the topic of discussion for some time. In the context of evangelisation, many ideas are floated to address the erosion of the practicing Catholics. In recent years, Sydney has been warming up to Sherry Weddell’s ideas. Her catch phrase is “Intentional Discipleship”, and there is a book with the same title to her credit. She concludes that the problem with Catholic Church today is that though many are baptised as ‘cradle Catholics’, not all of them intentionally follow the Catholic religion. Therefore, what we need is disciples of Christ who deliberately intend to be so.
After the COVID19 break, more people seems to have settled down to the idea, “Why should I go to Church when I can pray better at home? Why not online Mass?” It is in fact questioning the relevance of the Holy Communion. The narrative about Jesus ‘feeding five thousand people from five loaves’ (Luke 9:11-17) can teach us a thing or two about the Holy Communion.
We all need to belong to someone. The joy of the family is that a child belongs to the parents and vice versa. From their belonging to each other something of a magic happens: they start to long for each other. In a husband-wife relationship also there is a longing for each other and having a sense of belonging to each other. Not all who call themselves friends long for each other; but true friends do.
We have been seeing the agony of the people in the besieged parts of Ukraine. The people there are traumatised by the war around them and the images of the people locked up in their homes for the fear of the atrocities happening around them is heart breaking. Imagine you walking into one of those rooms, saying “G’day mate!” How will that be taken?
Our new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese boldly said, “Now it is a different Australia”. He was referring to the mandate he had for his policies. Until his election a week ago, he would not have dared to say it. What has changed is the blessing he has had through the recent election mandate. With that blessing he has the power and confidence to imagine and announce a change for Australia.
A parish, as the local Church, can do with good consultors. If the parish priest is to be absent for a prolonged time, the importance of the consultors increases. When there are issues to be addressed, wanting to do the right thing, the parishioners would be wondering how best they can understand the mind of their parish priest who has gone away.