News & Events Weekly Update

News & Events across the Diocese of Parramatta and beyond.
Xt3's 2016 Advent Calendar website and app include words of love and compassion from St Teresa of Kolkata. Image supplied.

Xt3 Advent Calendar

This year’s Xt3 free Advent Calendar looks at the Nativity scene through the eyes of a child and features artworks by students in Years 5 and 6 from Sydney schools and surrounding areas. Amidst the artworks, the app contains reflective weekly videos highlighting words of love and compassion from St Teresa of Kolkata. The website and app contain meditations and podcasts for the Christmas season. Available on the First Sunday of Advent:

Holy Hour for Vocations: 17 November

Everyone is welcome to join the Holy Hour for Vocations from 7pm-8pm for an hour of adoration, prayer, music and quiet time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta. To find out more about priesthood contact Fr Warren Edwards, Director of Priestly Vocations,

‘Waiting for Gabriel’ Seminar for Couples Hoping to Conceive: 20 November

Location: Diocesan Assembly Centre (attached to Institute for Mission building), 1-5 Marion St, Blacktown. From 1.30pm-4pm. Hosted by Life, Marriage & Family Office, Diocese of Parramatta, tel (02) 8838 3441,

Meditatio Outreach on Meditation & Ageing: 20 November

Fr Laurence Freeman OSB, Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, will lead this Meditatio Outreach on Meditation & Ageing with keynote speakers, a panel, personal testimonies and small reflection groups, interwoven with meditation and contemplative practices. Registration 10am, first presentation 10.30am, Eucharist will conclude the day. Morning tea provided – BYO lunch. St Benedict’s Monastery, 121 Arcadia Road, Arcadia. For more information, click here. Bookings:

Advent – a Season of Hope: 26 November

Reflection Day for Women with presenter Sr Mary Louise Walsh ISSM. From 9.30am-3pm at Mt Schoenstatt, Fairlight Rd, Mulgoa. Cost: $25, BYO lunch – morning & afternoon tea provided. To register tel (02) 4773 8338,

Annual Advent Festival: 27 November

All are welcome at Mount St Benedict Centre, Pennant Hills. This year we will pre-empt the O Antiphons, and pray these ancient cries of COME O Morning Star, COME O Holy Guide, COME O Prince of Peace! On 1st Sunday of Advent, 3.30pm Afternoon Tea followed by the Festival at 4.30pm for one hour. RSVP for catering purposes by 21 November. Contact: (02) 9484 6208;  Mount St Benedict Centre, Pennant Hills, entrance Off Hull Rd.

ACU Advent Lessons and Carols: 28 November

Led by the ACU Strathfield Student Choir. Starts 6pm, followed by light refreshments. Barron Memorial Chapel, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield Campus, 25A Barker Rd, Strathfield. Details: tel (02) 9701 4223,

Scripture Reflection Evening – The Gospel of Matthew: 30 November 

The Institute for Mission is hosting a Bible study evening led by Dr Michele Connolly RSJ. Sr Michele is a biblical studies lecturer at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and will be opening up the Gospel of Matthew in preparation for the upcoming advent season and liturgical year. From 7pm-9pm at the IFM, 1-5 Marion St, Blacktown. RSVP 25 November:

Trip to Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, Sutton Forest: 6 December

You are invited to join the Sacred Heart Parish community for a day trip that includes coach travel, morning tea, self-guided tour of the grounds and shrines. BYO picnic lunch. Departs 9.30am from Sacred Heart Parish, 14 Ralph St, Westmead, returns approx 4pm. Cost: $15pp. Bookings close 29 November. Tel (02) 9635 9262,

Arrupe Project Christmas Appeal

Arrupe Place was established in 2015 to provide a welcoming space for people seeking asylum and in need of essential services in Western Sydney. Run by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), the centre in North Parramatta offers a range of services, including English language and cooking classes, a food bank, legal advice and a sense of community.

This year they are targeting donations to ensure they will provide necessary assistance but also opportunities for enjoyable activities for people seeking asylum. Needed items include: new children’s toys for ages 0-12 years, Opal cards, gift cards for Coles, Woolworths, K-mart, Myer or Big W. Please note: at this moment JRS is NOT in need of donations of clothing, food or second-hand toys.

Donated items will be accepted until Monday 5 December. Contact JRS tel (02) 9098 9336,

Formation in Themes of Faith

This guided exploration of key components of Catholic life is designed for people who are keen for mutual conversation and prepared reflection – no prior formal studies in faith are required. The Institute for Mission partners with the Institute of Faith Education (Archdiocese of Brisbane) in offering this program. Participants complete the Institute of Faith Education’s Beginning Theology course.

An engaging collection of provided readings are the stimulus for the group to further explore the Catholic faith. The process helps participants in their competency and ongoing growth regarding several key areas of life in faith: God (themes of Spirituality and Trinity), Word of God (themes of Scripture, Old and New), People of God (themes of Church, Sacrament and Spirit) and Living in God’s Love (themes of Catholic teaching and living). Applications close 11 December. For further details click here.

Music & Readings for Christmas: 18 December

Spectacular annual Christmas concert with massed choir, Penrith Symphony Bass, harp, handbells,  solo artists, Amy Johansen organ and Robert Ampt conductor. Join in congregational carols, experience the thrill of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus with choir, organ, brass and timpani on this night of Christmas joy. Suggested minimum donations: families $30 & individuals $10. Starts 7.30pm in St Finbar’s Catholic Church 46 Levy Street, Glenbrook.

Mass for the Holy Innocents: 28 December

The principal celebrant for the 23rd annual pro-life Mass will be Sydney’s Bishop Richard Umbers. Mass at 11am at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, 8 Diana Ave, Kellyville, followed by a rosary procession to the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents for devotions and benediction. Everyone is welcome to pray for the protection of all human life (especially the unborn) from conception to natural death. A luncheon will be provided – please bring a plate to share. Inquiries (02) 9629 2595.

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