Inclusiveness                    Hospitality                   Service                   Mission

  Mary Mother of the Church

Catholic Parish Ivanhoe

Your Views

You are invited and encouraged to briefly share your views on this page. Simply email your thoughts here  ( and type the words "Your Views" in the Subject box.



Looking Ahead: Winter Masses at St Bernadette’s Church:   (1 May   2015)                                     Because the weather is getting darker and colder, there are concerns for and by those who walk to and from the 6.30pm Mass at St Bernadette’s who may be finding difficulties at this time of the year. We are wondering if an earlier Mass at 6.00pm would be helpful, or is it preferable to leave it at 6.30pm and ask for your opinion?


Topic: Change of Mass Times at St Bernadette's                                                                                                                       Saturday 25 April 2015

For us personally because of other commitments  from 5.30p.m to 6p.m. the change would not suit.
Also the person  we take to church  would not be able to attend Mass.  However we are not opposed to the idea.
- Vito & Giovanna.


Topic: Mass times at St Bernadette's
Friday 24 April 2015

Have been keeping abreast of the parish newsletter and wish to comment on the mass time change option at St. B's during the winter months. Our thoughts are that it would make more of a difference to bring the time to 5.30. Of course this will depend on the needs and opinion of those who would be affected most of all. Cheers from Sarina and Patrina.


Topic: Easter Sunday Mass                                                                                                                                                       Friday 17 April 2015

I did think that the Easter Sunday Mass was a bit priest centred, with the congregation pretty much saying nothing, but I presume that is how the celebration is programmed!       As a general thing I think that our singing is too much "programmed". There is a lot of recorded music, and no parishioners joining in. I think that is because the singing is a bit high?
- Edward McArdle


Topic: Feedback on Easter Liturgies                                                                                                                               Wednesday 15 April 2015

I was so glad about how the 2015 Easter Liturgies around Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe were held. Participating during the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Liturgy Masses was great. Personally I believe everything ran very smoothly and efficiently. Here are my views on Each day during Holy Week.....................                                                                                                        

..................Read all of the feedback from Marcus Napolitano on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday here.


Topic: Feedback on Easter Tridium Liturgies -                                                                                                               Wednesday 15 April 2015

Congratulations to the liturgy group  on a job well done for the Easter Tridium  liturgies,  especially for involving  the young of our parish in the procession  to the altar of repose on Holy Thursday. Keep up the good work and may God bless everyone.                - Giovanna Iapozzuto


Topic: Feedback on Easter Liturgies - Good Friday                                                                                                                   Wednesday 15 April 2015

On Good Friday the congregation  should be reminded to  leave the Church  quietly at the end of the  Service. It used to be good at the end of the Good Friday Service when people could pay their respects at the altar of repose at the side of the church rather than in the sacristy. Why was this change introduced this year?  - Vito Iapozzuto



Topic: Church Behaviour
Friday 12 October 2012

As throughout history there is much within the church today to be ashamed of, and hopefully throughout the Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee for the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organizations a spirit of openness, honesty and redress will prevail. At the same time let us never lose sight of the overwhelming majority of those within the Church who faithfully and  exceptionally devote their lives selflessly and serve mankind truthfully in the ways of God, and because of whom so many lives are supported, elevated, and made complete. For all their sacrifices their lives now must be especially painful. Let this be acknowledged and they be appreciated. However as Wikileaks is demonstrating there is overall much to gain from openness, transparency and accessibility  - Rohan

Topic: "New Look" Newsletter
Friday 9 March 2012

Hello Ivanhoe Parish. I was expecting a more dramatic change but having the Responses up front is useful. I used to like the Front Page Reflection but can still manage to find it. Well done on producing this informative bulletin every week year after year - Jordan



Topic: Petition to the Pope
Wednesday 26 October 2011

Around two months ago I signed online a very well worded, respectful, thoughtful and faithful petition to the Pope urging the Church to consult more widely than it has done, and similarly to take into account the views of ordinary Catholics in its deliberations. The petition was prepared by Catholics for Renewal, but so far I've heard nothing since.  Does anyone know when we might expect to hear some outcome from this petition which I understand was signed by around 8,000 Catholics?  - Anon                                                               Ed, Saturday 29 October:  Catholics For Renewal Inc, authors of the Petition and the near 8000 signatories still await a response from the Catholic Bishops regarding their Petition and the Ad Limina visit. It is likely that some more information will be available to Catholics for Renewal Inc in mid to late November and they will report to us all on the outcome. Archbishop Philip Wilson's Ad Limina Statement to Pope Benedict (ABCB Website) as extracted on this website's "News" page is relevant.

Topic: New Mass Wording
Friday 11 March 2011

I thought the aim of the Mass was to remember Christ's words to us at the Last Supper and to help us better understand his teachings. From what I've seen and heard so far the new mass wording to be introduced this year has a different purpose, for whatever reason, to get back to the less understandable language of a time long since past, and to lose context with today's world. I suspect the new Mass Wording will do little to attract the young people who already find the Mass difficult to relate to - Rohan



Topic: Women priests
Sunday 21 November 2010

I very much admire and respect Fr Greg Reynolds for being honest and open enough to express his view on the need for woman priests (as reported in the media and in this website) and feeling the need to publicly say what he actually believes. I also very much agree with him on this issue. Wherever I've experienced women priests at some Anglican services I've attended (such as weddings and funerals) I've become even more convinced of this, and don't believe there are any sound theological reasons against it. However unlike Fr Greg I'm sadly afraid to supply my name.  - Anon

Topic: Religious democracy?
Tuesday 16 November 2010

It has been very interesting observing recent announcements of mass exodus by some Anglican Bishops and Priests into the Catholic Church under a Vatican scheme designed for that purpose. Reports suggest that this will be accompanied by larger numbers of their followers. The move results from their dissatisfaction with developments in the Anglican Church on a range of issues, particularly that of women priests. With the decline in Catholic Priest numbers one wonders about the impact of growing numbers of traditionalist Anglicans in an increasingly traditionalist Catholic church, and whether the Anglican Church will offer reciprocal transfer arrangements for any disenfranchised Catholic Bishops, Priests and Laity.     - Bernie L

Topic: A response to some Questions

Thursday 15 April 2010

At the new "Experimental" 5:00pm Mass last Sunday (11th April) and during an interactive discussion with those present Fr John asked a number of Questions. One of those, based on the day's Gospel Reading, was "Thomas the doubter. How does doubt affect our lives and Church?". Someone present has offered the following thoughts on that Question, and also on the meaning of "Heaven", and on "Paedophilia", and "The chosen people". - Ed.

These thoughts may be seen by clicking here.

Other Questions asked by Fr John were:

  • *Do you/we believe that God/Jesus sends us into the world with a message - of God's love and forgiveness for all people?
  • Large crowds attended the services here in Ivanhoe (and throughout Melbourne) over Easter - why not each week?
  • What does it mean to belong to a Christian / Catholic community?

Topic: New Mass translation

Friday 29 January 2010

After having made Mass prayers somewhat more understandable and meaningful in the current liturgy after much effort why turn back the clock - and younger people in particular - by introducing an unfamiliar, unfriendly and and out-of-touch new Mass vocabulary as now planned (Website News item 29/01). Just one of many examples is the proposal to change "one in being with the Father" to "consubstantial with the Father." Great fodder also for TV programs like "Chaser". More than ever before if the Church is to arrest its present decline it ought to continue rather than reverse its earlier good work of making the Mass more accessible - Edward



Topic: Role of Priests

Wednesday 30 September 2009

In a website "News" page opinion piece on September 29 Cardinal Mahony canvasses the idea of priest being more than a "sacramental provider" but also being an agent "leading a community of co-responsibility". It seems to me that this fully describes the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe where our PP has done just that and also spends a great deal of time caring for those in need. Our part-time "priest in residence" is very much of the same ilk and also spends a great deal of time caring for those suffering from mental illnesses. I wonder however whether or not the rest of us of us who are "co-responsible" are actually being responsible for driving the Parish forward, or instead are either simply promoting the interests of the particular Church we prefer to frequent, or simply ignoring the whole future of our Parish and our youth - Bernie L

Topic: Church Seating for people with walking constraints

Sunday 6 September 2009

To help those with walking constraints I  think it should be announced that the front pew in any of the churches should be made available to those people with walking limitations and their helpers.  They don't need kneelers. This should also apply to peak times such as first Eucharist. I was recently unable to get to the front to receive communion on such a day.  It would also  be easier for the Priest or others distributing Holy Communion to serve the front row first.  I know that many people prefer not to sit up front "for one reason or another" to use Father John's expression, and there was a time when priests had to invite people to fill the front seats, but I think the younger generation doesn't have that attitude.   Perhaps families with small children would also like to sit in front, so the children could watch the priest - J McG

Topic: Year for Priests

Thursday 23 July 2009

Whatever Priests ( or Priestesses?) we might have in the future, if there is a future for the church, it is essential that they also reflect the supportive attitude of our current Parish priests toward young people. Thanks to their efforts we are at least starting to see that young people actually do still exist in the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe. Future Priests and/or Parish Leaders will even need to go further in allowing/encouraging young people to help develop new forms of liturgy that speak their language - Louisa

Topic:Our Priests

Wednesday 15 July 2009

This Catholic "Year of the Priest" provides a timely opportunity to focus on people we often take for granted and simply expect to be there whenever and wherever we need them. Our Parish has been and is extremely fortunate to have Priests with strong and clearly expressed faith who actually believe in listening to, and  engaging people in the practice of their faith in practical ways. The Parish values reflect this. I've never known a Parish to be so inclusive and non judgemental. Do we therefore have the perfect model for priests in a Parish? Yes and no. Yes because of the progressive way our current priests (all 1.2 of them) behave, but no because it's totally unrealistic and unfair to expect priests of their ages and workload to go on forever, as we in our Parish appear to expect them to do, always wanting even more Masses and baptisms outside of Masses, wanting more churches. There are very obviously few suitable people available to replace our priests. In continuing to survive our Church needs to be honest enough to accept the need for married Priests and also for women priests, and we parishioners need to accept the challenge of becoming more directly involved in Parish and Church life - Rohan

Topic: Uplifting Spirit

Sunday 22 February 2009

Great work to include the Prayers of the Faithful on the
website. You are doing such a great job. I believe that Merle and the
team do a truly wonderful job encapsulating the thoughts and prayers of
the local community each week. Congratulations to you all. I read this
week's prayers with a heavy heart as I pondered the losses that so many
have suffered in the fires. But, we can see the work of God in the
goodness of people and that is very uplifting!

What a wonderful generous Parish we can  be. The bushfire relief donation of $5,000 from the Parish collections deserves special mention.

Congratulations to Ivanhoe Parish! - maria mcg

Topic: Master Plan

Monday 9 February 2009

Reading the comments on the site makes me wonder whether people are  
looking at the plan too blinkered. When I read the plan I got the
impression that the Architects were looking at not only trying to
preserve the Parish but allow it to grow in the future with each
church providing something different. St Bernadette's will be
providing accommodation, some office space, a venue that can be leased
out to Catholic communities that would like to celebrate mass in their
native language and an income stream. Mother of God will provide a
venue for large gatherings such as : First Eucharist Celebrations,
School masses, Events such as World Youth Day, Christmas, Easter ,
Large Weddings, Funerals , functions in its foyer section, etc. Mary
Immaculate in its new format will provide a venue for Sunday mass,
open chapel for quiet reflection, headquarters and offices.

On the re - roofing of Mother of God - to change the roof from slate
would ruin its character. Surely it is cheaper to repair it - Rosanna

Topic: Comments on Master Plan

 Monday 9 February 2009

I am pleased to see that as a Parish we are considering options to  
continue supporting the ongoing spiritual needs of the Catholic Parish
of Ivanhoe, whilst exploring ways to remain viable in a business

The proposed Parish Master Plan provides one option which could be
employed to achieve this.

The proposed changes for the Mary Immaculate site would provide an
additional income source, however I am concerned with the change in
location for the new Mary Immaculate Church. As a Catholic community
our first priority should be to locate the new Mary Immaculate Church
where it can be clearly viewed as a visible symbol of our faith
community. For this reason, I believe that the Plan for the Mary
Immaculate site should be amended to allow the Church to remain the
focal point on the eastern half of the block , with the proposed multi
use facility to be located on the western half of the block - Lucy Dal Pozzo

Topic: Parish Master Plan

Monday 9 February 2009

Having read the draft Parish Masterplan, I wish to express my dismay at what is happening to our Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe. I commend Wennie & Trish Van Lint’s views and Annie O’Donnell’s, already expressed on this issue.


Do we still not comprehend, that we don’t have enough priests to service 2 parishes in our local area anymore! Aside from the dwindling and aging number of priests in the diocese, we also have reduced numbers of parishioners and aging congregations. It is not viable into the future to maintain two or three Churches, let alone have two priests to perform services in these Churches...(the remainder of this letter may be seen here)  - Pia Boutsakis


Topic: Master Plan and further on Tennis Courts

Saturday 31 January 2009

I would like to write in support of both Wennie van Lint and Kerry



I wrote that the tennis club in its present form is probably

unsustainable. But a tennis club is a good thing for a parish to

have. It should be attached to a school.


I would like to see a new tennis club built near St Bernadette’s school.

Apparently it is the only school with any room near it to build on. The current courts are en tous cas, a brick dust surface which was great for many decades, but seems to be beaten by global warming. A more modern surface would be better, and

could be used by the school for netball or basketball during week days.


When the priests retire, there may be no masses here. Parishioners will

either change to a different parish, come to a community service of some kind, or stop attending church. In any of  these cases, it will be difficult to repay a loan taken out

to build flats on the courts. It may be simpler to sell them. But that

is just me guessing. If we are to continue as a group we need some attractions like a tennis  club to give parishioners somewhere to gather - Ed McArdle


Topic: The Parish Master Plan

Thursday 29 January 2009

Congratulations on the Parish Master Plan. Much more thought has gone into it when compared to the previous plans. It appears that the aspirations of most of the  Parishioners affected has been given due consideration .


Whilst it desirable to have a Retirement Facility for our many aging Parishioners, it is a pity that the youth of our Parish have to sacrifice  a sporting facility. As in  every  business venture, it is essential to develop a feasibility study incorporating, cash flow elements etc, no doubt  the Parish Leadership Committee would be producing one. As stated in the Master Plan, a sacrificial giving Campaign in 2009 to boost income is a must.


We wish the Committee every success on this project - Patricia & Nestor Mendes

Topic: Parish Master Plan

Wednesday 28 January 2009

I can't believe, that after all this time, we are still talking about keeping 3 mass centres! Even more outrageous, I believe, is that this plan includes the demolishing of a church that is a central point geographically and a visually sign of Church in the Ivanhoe Community as it is on such a busy road. What is going on? We are being told week after week by our clergy that we need to be in the business of bringing about the "Reign of God" to the here and now. Each week we are asked "how are you going to be a sign of God’s presence in the world this week?? For me this does not involve clinging onto 3 separate mass centres where few people gather each week but rather one vibrant community where many gather each week and share the role of ministering to each other.    Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts -  Annie O'Donnell

Topic: Master Plan - a response so far

Wednesday 28 January 2009

For the first time in many years of seemingly endless talk and debate about Parish problems with declining population, priests and finances, and increasing liabilities, I am somewhat encouraged to believe that things are at last in a position to start moving forward. When the Parish Leadership Team Executive briefly introduced their draft Master plan at Masses just before Christmas they strongly echoed and reinforced the well made and increasingly relevant point of past years that, given well quantified Parish decline, particularly in a ‘business’ sense, there remains no option to do nothing.  I strongly agree that changes are necessary and believe we are at last in a position to start moving forward immediately on selected elements of the master Plan, as we simultaneously consider and review some of its other elements (the full 3 page response can be seen here) - John Costa

Topic: Master Plan - St Bernadette's Tennis Courts

Tuesday 27 January 2009

I would like to comment on the proposal in the Master Plan to demolish St Bernadette’s Tennis Courts West Ivanhoe and replace them with buildings.


In my view, any proposal to take away the tennis courts/open space is short-sighted and should be reconsidered for the following reasons;

  •  Current users will be losers. The courts are used not only for social play, but also for senior competitions on 3 weeknights and Saturday afternoon, and juniors on Saturday mornings.
  • Future generations will also be losers. The initial 2 courts were established over 50 years ago by visionary parishioners and some 20 years later a further 2 courts were added with member/ parishioner financial support. Over this period countless parishioners and other persons of all ages have enjoyed the courts. Future generations won't have this opportunity under the Master Plan proposal.
  • There will be another loser being the wider community. There is already a shortage of tennis courts in the City of Banyule to cater for competition teams for night & junior tennis.

- Kerry Carroll, Parishioner & member St Bernadette’s Tennis Club  

Topic: One Community, One Parish, One Priest, One Church

Friday 23 January 2009

The proposed Master Plan only addresses one of the three key issues that we all thought were critical when we started this journey - to build a vibrant Catholic community in Ivanhoe. The process started not because we thought change in and of itself was good but because we faced a rapidly declining number of clergy, a diminishing ‘churched’ community consequently a reducing financial operating base ( see remainder of this two page response to the Master Plan here) - Wennie van Lint.

Topic:Parish Master Plan

Tuesday 20 January 2009

My reaction is one of disappointment.
This plan does not speak to me about where we are going as a parish, although it is called a parish master plan. Really it is a strategy document which proposes quite an ambitious - and perhaps unrealistic, in the current economic circumstances - strategy, based on real estate solutions to enable us, the three erstwhile parish of Ivanhoe, to maintain all existing properties, except the tennis courts in West Ivanhoe, which have been deemed expendable.
And herein lies my disappointment, as I have  been involved in myriad groups and working parties and consultations from the beginning of the establishment of the Ivanhoe Cluster. In those days we were all focussed on preserving the essential and particular(?) aspects of our three communities, and our properties.  As a relative late comer (1981) - I was never convinced of those essentials and particularities, but having lived through a number of amalgamations at work, I understood that people need time in these situations.
I think it is sad that we still can't see ourselves as a Catholic community in Ivanhoe; that we still are holding onto our own "communities" whatever they are; that we are not open to and willing to explore together, what a Catholic parish in the wider Ivanhoe community could be in the 21st century. I think our inability to really embrace one parish in Ivanhoe is the real elephant in the room.
And this is symbolised in the attachment to property. You see, I believe that we will never truly be a parish until we have one Mass Centre - I look at the Outreach Group, with which I have had substantial involvement (until this year), and I see  that it could benefit from much greater involvement from across the whole parish. Who knows what it could be, what it could do . . . and I suspect this is true of other groups as well.
I am sad that we haven't over come the attachment to property - that there is still an unrealistic ambition, reflected in this plan and presumably the consultation that produced it, to hold and maintain so much more property than is really required to support a vibrant Catholic parish in Ivanhoe. I think we now have a pretty good idea of the challenges that face our Church, in an increasingly secular and materialistic wider society, as it seeks to keep a different world view and a different way of being, before that world, as especially young people. Are these challenges not what a Parish Master Plan should be addressing?
I appreciate that churches are sacred places - as long as the Blessed Sacrament is there, and people meet to pray, in particular the Eucharist - but beyond that a church is just a building, notwithstanding that we may have a strong emotional attachment to that building. All over the metropolitan area, rural and regional Victoria and probably Australia, these buildings are being rationalised - because in the end, they are buildings and they are not the essence of our Church, our faith, the presence of Jesus Christ in the world - Trish van Lint


Topic: History, Communication and Master Plan

Saturday 3 January 2009

 I would like to congratulate the Parish History group as well as the Communication group for their most timely presentation of photographs which document some changes that have occurred in our parish (es). They raise a core historical question of the reality of change or continuity as a driver of human activity. Would those good people who worked so enthusiastically to raise the first substantial Mary Immaculate Church have ever thought that their efforts would prove inadequate by the 50s? The truth, as Father John continually reminds us, is that we are the Church. Not the buildings. Every generation finds subtle changes and different needs are required for the people of their time. The land where generations have come to worship and build the community of God is more important but even that in a relatively young and continually developing nation may be negotiable.

I also commend our Parish Leadership Group for their recently released Parish Master Plan. It pays careful attention to a number of complex issues. I think it is better that we consider and discuss these matters rather than be forced into last minute decisions that may well be even more difficult and irreversible as far as the people of the future are concerned - Eileen Mount



Topic: Master Plan

Tuesday 30 December 2008

Congratulations to the PLT for responding to the views of parishioners 
and developing a plan that will enable the three Mass Centres to
continue. This new plan appears likely to preserve the highly-valued
local communities, yet enable parish-wide activities as well.
The consultative nature of this new proposal is also much appreciated!
I do have one reservation, but realise that it might not be possible to
accommodate this while retaining the financial viability of the plan: I
prefer to avoid high-density (and high-rise) building in the area, and
trust that all efforts will be made to minimise the intrusion on
neighbours - Mary-Ann Darcy

Topic: The Parish Plan

Friday 26 December 2008

This is an entirely personal response. I have been a member of the tennis club for a long time. At the moment it is in serious decline, largely because of its doubtful future in the parish, but also also because of the drought restrictions. It seems a pity to have it go, but our membership is relatively small at the moment, and not many members are current parishioners. A lot were, but have moved elsewhere.

What we do need are (a) six months to wind up all our current competitions, and (b) a fairly definite ending date. Teams have been entered in approaching seasons, and we would not like to be suddenly left stranded. on the other hand, it would be better to finish on a date, and maybe have a wake then to slowly die by attrition.

I don't know whether it is necessary for us to retain the property and build units. My guess is that The Manor over the road (where I recently resided for a week or two after a car crash) would love to expand even more. They currently use the car park at the street end, and might like to turn the lot into a very expensive car park! Or maybe care units - Ed McArdle

Topic: Master Plan

Friday 26 December 2008

I have considered the master plan . The Parish Leadership Group and the architects are to be congratulated for coming up with such a bold and challenging concept. I am In principle agreement with it although there are many details to be worked out before it could be implemented. However we need to be decisive about this and not allow it to drag on for years with interminable meetings and discussion. We need to make an in principle decision within a matter of months and then have the PLT with such coopted assistance as they need consider the feasibility of proceeding and if it is feasible an implementation plan.

I sound a note of caution about a sacrificial giving campaign having participated in the last. We cannot keep flogging existing contributors many of whom are retired and on fixed or in the current climate declining incomes. We have to concentrate on new sources of income derived from assets as the master plan suggests. 2009 will not be a good year for asking existing contributors to give more. If anything they are more likely to be reducing their contributions. I hope these comments are of assistance and again congratulations to the members of the PLT for their performance of a thankless task - David Jones.

Topic: The Master Plan

Friday 26 December 2008

In Hanh Nguyen's letter "Knocking down Mary Immaculate Church"
I understand his outrage, and even rage, against demolition of such a Sacred Place. However as MOG rep. on the PLT I must defend MOG's position. These are very difficult times.We have two churches, and two presbyteries that are in dire need of some TLC. We have dwindling numbers, dwindling funds and ageing priests. When I came to the PLT in Feb. this year, we were in the mode to sell MOG presbytery and use the funds to have a one Mass Centre at MI. MOG church was going to be closed for Sunday Masses, only to be opened for school ceremonies, funerals etc.

I know Hanh's feelings well, because we at MOG, have felt them before you. I must refute however his accusations that Mother of God spends more that it raises and always takes advantage of the other churches on the west sides of Ivanhoe. Where is the proof? I am the MOG rep. and was not on the Executive Committee that proffered this report. However, there were at least two MI reps.  Change is very difficult and often hurts.Creating something new is often messy and painful.This Parish new plan may not be the way to go, but attacking MOG will be of no benefit to anyone. I wish Hanh a Happy New Year in which we discuss our problems and a mutually agreeable outcome will be achieved - Isma Chiera (full letter here)

Topic: Knocking down Mary Immaculate Church

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Our family have been living in Ivanhoe since 1992 so I like to think I have earned the right to express our view on the Master Plan. I object to the plan on knocking down the current Mary Immaculate Church and developing the site into mainly a business precinct. Not only does it not solve the problems which the plan was meant to solve, it makes them worse. I don't agree with the architect's analysis of the situation and am afraid that in the future the plan will be seen to have been a serious mistake. I am so glad that the same mistake was not made by pulling down St Francis Church in the city for commercial reasons and turning into another Myers or David Jones. I have written a detailed letter of objection to the Ivanhoe Parish leader Team giving my reasons and also copied it to my website (and here - Hanh Nguyen

Topic: Architect's report

Monday 21 December 2008

At Church on Sunday 21st December a summary of the architects report  
on a master plan was given. It was stated that to publish the full
report would be too lengthy . If you get the architects to put the
full report on a PDF file then that file can be put on the site so
that all parishioners can read it in entirety. In this way all
parishioners are getting equal access to the information. Summaries at
times can be perceived as being a little coloured depending on who is
writing them with details being missed in translation - Rosanna

Topic: Young People's Mass on 7th December

Tuesday 9 December 2008

What surprised me about the youth Mass last Sunday was not only that it was clearly  appreciated by the youth taking part, I also found the service to be personally uplifting and I noticed that other older people seemed to react similarly. There was a strong sense of faith and energy. It was direct,  honest and natural. The music and videos were great.  Fr Thomas brought it all together so well, and what also surprised me was the very worthwhile comment on the gospel reading by one of the youth leaders. Yes we need to be reminded that we are models for our youth. This is terrific stuff - Luke

Topic: Parish Survey

Monday 13th October 2008

In response to Jill Brophy's prior posting on his topic there have been countless decisions made in our now 10 year journey earlier of structural change including:

- Parish amalgamation, now completed
- Have a single Sunday Mass centre
- It is to be at Mary Immaculate
- Deferral of this move pending assessment of physical changes required for Mass centre,       priest's accommodation, and administrative needs.
- No disposal of any of the current Church buildings while Fr John is Parish Priest.

The "one mass centre" issue was not directly addressed as part of the current survey and in fact no concrete 'solutions' or changes were addressed.

The survey was aimed at  the more general areas of needs and attitudes.

It is envisaged that Sue's strategic review, which will include the surveys findings and the Architect's strategic review will be completed in time this year for a broad plan to be drawn up for use in a consultative period before Christmas.

The Parish Governance structure involves the full PLT making a decision in the form of a recommendation to the PP who has the sole formal canonical authority to make decisions.

All input to this process by groups and individuals will be most welcome, many things are not set and undoubtedly decisions will be made and some will be changed. Major decisions are normally taken by a process of motion, discussion and vote.

Decisions on the direction to be taken in the masterplan, including the one mass centre will as mentioned include the Strategic Review, the Architect's review  and consideration of :
- clergy allocation
- Deanery future directions
- Korean community needs, and
- finances.

Yours in Christ

Chris Dixon
For Parish Leadership Team

Topic: Trust

Thursday 25th September 2008

There are biblical warnings about "false prophets" . It's not easy to know who or what organisations can always be trusted or taken at face value. Having "warm feelings" or blind faith is one thing but being confident is another - Rohan

Topic: Parish Survey

Sunday 14 September2008

The issue of 'One Mass Centre' was not directly addressed in the Parish survey - this continues to be "the elephant in the room" within the parish.
In Parish correspondence it is stated that the establishment of One Mass Centre is in progress and would need to be "revoked" if the decision were to be reversed. The impression given is that having commenced the process it is not easy to stop.  I would very much like to know what is involved in this process and if the leadership team is prepared revoke the decision if community feedback indicates that there is insufficient support for a single mass centre  - Jill Brophy

Topic: Annual Military Expenditure

Friday 5 September 2008

The amount of money spent for military purposes (Website News Report 3 Sept.) is staggering.There also seems to be no correlation between the amount spent and positive outcomes achieved! - Anthony

Topic: World Youth Day

Saturday 2 August 2008 

Thank you Pilgrim Liz (WYD Page) for sharing your Sydney experience so powerfully and helpfully. In the process you have reached out to me, a (presumably) much older person. It's clear than many young people have opened themselves to the Spirit and to the Church. It would be wonderful for the future of the Church if in return it could equally open itself to the thoughts, ideas and conventions of young people - including those who didn't participate in WYD08 - Marino

Topic: World Youth Day

Sunday 27 July,

Following WYD week one young person said, 'In Australia we now have permission to be Catholic.'  - Eileen 

Topic: World Youth Day 

Saturday 12 July,

When I read the impressive Website account of World Youth Day in the Parish I felt humbled that young people  travelling here on a shoestring from around the world  have publicly shown more spirit than local Catholics like myself who didn't even go along - Luke

(see other WYD reactions on the WYD "Days in the Dioceses" page  of the Website- click here

Topic: Boring?

Saturday 5 July 2008

This Church isn't as boring as I first thought it was - Luke 

Topic: Lighting the Fire

Tuesday 24 June

As an older person I was very happy and found myself being inspired to see so many young people involved in the special Mass on Sunday in celebration of World Youth Day. The music itself was spiritual and beautiful.  Fr Len was right when he said we should make sure young people are given every opportunity and encouragement to exercise their great and original talents in our community. There are signs of new life and we can all benefit from this - Louise

Topic: Ordination of Women 

Friday 30 May

Interesting coincidence. One item on the website "News" page today reports about excommunication of those who attempt to Ordain women to the Priesthood whilst another advertises a Fellowship to attract young Catholic women into some form of religious "leadership", presumably in the Church - Rohan

Topic:  Parish Associate

Sunday 18 May 2008 

 I wonder if we should not try and think outside the square on this issue. A question first - why the change from Pastoral Associate; was it because of Diocesan professional requirements for employment of Pastoral Associates?

My thought is that perhaps we should be looking for two or three people working together to fulfill this role. If we employ a full time Associate the salary needs to be sufficient for somebody working in a career type appointment and this limits the range of people and experience that may be available. If we say employ two or three people covering the hours of 5 or 6 days we may find a range of skills to cover infant and school age, young adults and mature age. People may be happy to work 2 or 3 days a week who definitely don't want to regularly work full time. They may also be satisfied to work at a lesser rate because of the flexibility such a position would offer. Night and week end work may then be far less onerous if part of a 16 to 25 hour commitment rather than a 40 hour commitment. It may also open the possibility of occasional full-time work to backstop the other employee(s) on leave. I am not suggesting that employees should be underpaid but that a part-time employee may not need the upper range payment that a full-time employee fully dependent on their wage may need - Mary Hoban

(Fr John's "Weekly  Reflection" for the week commencing 4 May asks questions about Sacraments Church and Parish, in the context of imminent Confirmations in the Parish)

Topic: What are Sacraments, the Church, the Parish?

Monday 5 May 2008 

I find these questions very difficult to answer, which is a worry. I vividly remember my 1st Communion and my Confirmation. The impact on me of first communion has remained strong. Whilst as a pre-communion child I had already felt a particularly strong sense of  'communion' with God this Sacrament told me I had reached a spiritual milestone (like passing through an initiation) and earned the 'right' to more formal and intimate association with God. It has remained for me an ongoing 'reminder' of the call of Christ to follow his teachings. Confirmation gave me a sense of commitment and being able to (and needing to) make my own judgements. Sacraments to me, then, are symbolic representations of belief and faith, in ways that are ongoing and empowering (or motivating). The Sacrament of 'Confession' seems different and I have never felt comfortable with the idea of 'confessing' via a 3rd party (however good). To me "the Church" ought to be about teaching and reaffirming faith in God, through the teachings of Christ, in the supportive way that a community should be. It should not simply be a set of fundamental rules, nor should it ignore the reality of humanness and changeability of the times. It should not be buildings and organisation but primarily a source of caring, human, loving, accepting, serving people in the spirit of Christ - Anthony

(The Newsletter of 3-4 May 2008 invited comments, amongst other topics, on Parish Finances) 

Topic: Parish Finances

Sunday 4 May 2008

There are a number of ways Parish finances could be improved - just a couple would be:
* As is done very satisfactorily in many other parishes - Families choose to contribute to the sacrificial giving, or pay an increment on top of the designated school fee.  This revenue should be put towards church cleaning, insurance and maintenance, etc. The existence of a well maintained and open church is after all central to a catholic school community where access to liturgy and the sacraments is crucial.
*  The Mother of God church building could be easily altered to become a large community centre.  The altar screened off, chairs replacing pews, and the building used for community, and other, groups and events, as a substantial school hall, or even hired out for appropriate use (ie as a venue for funerals from outside the parish, music lessons, yoga or tai chi classes, social gatherings, etc. etc.). The building would still primarily be a church - with seating adjusted for any size of congregation.  
With a bit of creative thinking- there is much  that could be done - Jill Brophy  

Topic: Shepherds & Prophets 

Tuesday 15 April 2008 

What do you think about shepherds and prophets? The concept of a shepherd I find easier to grasp - anybody who cares and wants to improve the circumstances of any aspect of life on this planet. Thank God for many. The concept of prophet is more difficult. At this time people of all ages are constantly bombarded with information/challenges. The effort to discern the enduring truth has become critical. I wonder if during the time of the Old Testament prophets were acknowledged only after their message (s) had stood the test of time. Does the same process still apply?  -  EM   

Topic: Who is a prophet?

Monday 14 April 2008 

A prophet is someone who leads; someone who shows us new ways of seeing, new ways of being Christian.  A book by Marcus Borg "The Heart of Christianity" offers this insight.  It is a resource used by Ivanhoe Churches Together in the current Easter Season Studies.  

- Lorraine Smith

Topic: This week's Reflection (12-13 April)

Sunday 13 April 2008 

This week's Newsletter invites thought on "what is a prophet" and reports that at a recent SIP meeting Bishop Hilton Deakin defined the prophet as one who listens, questions, and pushes back the boundaries. One of the persons he thought fitted that description was "Dorothy" Day. The following extract from Wikipedia illustrates why.

"Dorothy Day (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980) was an American journalistst turned social activist and devout member of the Catholic Church. She became known for her social justice campaigns in defense of the poor, forsaken, hungry and homeless. Day, with Peter Maurin, founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933, espousing nonviolence, and hospitality for the impoverished and downtrodden."  - John Costa

Topic: This week's Reflection (12-13 April) 

Sunday 13 April 2008

Fr John Asked today "What does the Word "Shepherd" mean to you in the context of our lives?"  I have mixed feeling on this. On one hand it can be taken to mean a Priest or "leader" helpfully guiding parishioners in the teachings of Christ. On the other the word "Shepherd" is associated with "Sheep", passive creatures that can't or don't think for themselves. Not a useful concept in 2008. I therefore selectively interpret this in my life as simply meaning caring, nurturing, guiding - Lucy

Topic: This Week's Reflection

March 31 2008

In this week's Reflection Fr John asks good questions about Mass participation during key liturgical periods compared to other times, and what the Church and Parish do or don't offer. Clearly large attendances at such times compared to other times suggests to me that people remain spiritually very strong, but either don't find a need for involvement at other times or else don't find the offered opportunities for involvement particularly satisfying or relevant in their lives - Lucy

Topic: One Mass Centre

 March 24 2008

I am very relieved that the decision to move to a single Mass centre has been delayed, albeit temporarily.  Personally, I fear the loss of two communities, one at East Ivanhoe and the other at West Ivanhoe if the decision goes ahead. 

 I would like to see a survey conducted over a period of 4 weeks of Mass attendees at all churches to determine:

1) Who would attend Mass at the single Mass centre of Mary Immaculate if the decision proceeds, and

2) Who would continue to contribute to the Sacrificial Giving?

 I acknowledge and thank all those people who have worked on this Plan to date.

 Regards, Cathy Milesi

Topic: Sunday Mass at MOG

March 15 2008 

I would like to suggest that given the large congregation now attending 10.30 Sunday Mass at Mother of God Church, consideration be given to retaining the Mass.  One Mass in each of the three churches in the Parish would be very manageable.  Thanks, Jill

Topic: Future of the Church

 March 14 2008

In "Youth Group" (9 March) Margaret asks why young people aren't attending masses. Anyone who speaks openly and honestly with young people (as our Parish Priest does) will know the answer. Setting up a Youth Group is fine but we need to do more. We need to make the Mass and the Church relevant to these people, as some other churches have already discovered. Conversation with young people shows that their spiritual depth is often surprisingly high. Let us be prepared to change man-made conventions and practices that have little to do with spirituality for this group and which fail to meet their human needs. The Church/Parish must seek to serve in the spirit of Christ the needs of all age groups, not just older committed people - Louise