The Growing in Holiness article series shares the stories of Catholics in the Diocese of Parramatta who are striving to grow in holiness through the means provided by the heritage of the Catholic Church.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 2013: “All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” (LG 40 § 2) All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)
“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13) is the favourite scripture passage of 19-year-old Simon-Pieter Doodeman, a university student in the Diocese of Parramatta.
Named in honour of St Peter, Simon-Pieter is a young spiritual warrior in training.
Not afraid of sacrifice or discipline, he has dedicated himself to Our Lord through worshipping Him at daily Mass.
“However, now that I am at uni, the campus offers Mass at least once every day, which has made it easier for me to attend, and I go whenever I am able to,” Simon-Pieter told Catholic Outlook.
“Being able to receive Holy Communion gives my soul nourishment in my studies, and definitely, through the graces that it offers, helps me to achieve my purposes for each day.”
Even when overwhelmed with stress, assignments or work, Simon-Pieter finds the time to offer his day to God.
“I’ve had assignments due, been stressed, and Mass provides Christ’s encouragement to achieve what I need to get done.”
RELATED: Diocese of Parramatta HSC Masses
Other occasions which bring special significance to weekday Masses are the special feast days, memorials and solemnities. There are also the anniversaries of relatives, sacramental anniversaries and name days to remember. Simon-Pieter celebrates his name day on the Feast of Saint Peter and Paul, June 29.
Weekday Masses often only take half an hour due to the omission of the Creed, a brief or omitted homily and minimal music. Almost every parish in the Diocese has weekday Masses.
Simon-Pieter has found attending daily Mass helps him grow in holiness and give every part of his life to God.
“Daily Mass has definitely made me more firm in my faith, and in defending it when needed,” he said.
He found an opportunity to defend the faith on the Feast of the Assumption while studying at the Augustine Academy with some Protestant classmates.
“There was a debate between some of the students because Protestants don’t esteem Our Lady as highly,” he said.
“I remember going to Mass that day and the receiving the grace I needed to approach my classmates and explain that part of the faith.”
The Mass is the most powerful prayer because it truly enters into the eternal sacrifice of Our Lord.
Simon-Pieter’s favourite prayer after Holy Communion is the Anima Christi, which reflects the Mass and Holy Communion’s intense union with God:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever
‘SP’, as he is known, encourages young people in the Diocese of Parramatta to head to a weekday Mass in addition to Sunday Mass.
“All you need to do to go to Daily Mass, is to find a parish near you where this is offered, and to take half an hour out of your day to be there.”
“Listen to the Word of God proclaimed in the readings, participate in the prayers said, and if in a state of grace, receive Jesus – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion.”
“Take that time out of your day because that grace he gives you in really powerful in whatever you have to face,” he said.