By Adrian Middeldorp, Catholic Outlook, September 2016
Parish secretaries from the Diocese of Parramatta gathered at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents at Kellyville on 24 August 2016 for a day of reflection and retreat. The shrine was chosen as it has a one of the designated Holy Doors for our Diocese during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
To view a gallery of photos of the day, click here.
The day focused on the Year of Mercy, with the Dean and Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Very Rev Bob Bossini, challenging participants to find ways of enacting mercy in their lives.
“The Gospels aren’t there to make us feel easy. Learning to be merciful like the Father is difficult,” he said.
“We have a great tradition in the Church of helping the sick and feeding the hungry, but we must also look at the broader ways to do acts of mercy.
“Do we visit those affected by death? Those who are spiritually poor, not knowing the Gospels? Do we console those who have lost sight of the good things?”
A series of days held throughout the year are a chance for parish secretaries to come together for both professional and personal development.
Referencing the life of St Teresa of Kolkata and various saints, Fr Bob said that prayer is the most important part of our lives as Christians and finding time for prayer is the best way to help us enact mercy.
He also encouraged secretaries to embrace the Year of Mercy and help others to do so by looking at ways of renewing and deepening participation within their parishes, especially with the celebration of the Sunday Mass.
“The celebration of the Lord’s death and resurrection should inspire us to be involved in the works of mercy,” he said.
Rev Robert Melnick OFM Conv, Assistant Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville, explained the purpose and development of the Shrine of the Holy Innocents and St Maximilian Kolbe, who features on the ceiling of the chapel.
A fresco of St Maximilian, a Franciscan Conventual killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz, takes prominence in the chapel.
“We honour St Maximilian as he gave up his life for a father of a family,” Fr Robert said.
He also outlined the vision that the Franciscan friars have for the shrine to be a place of calm and reflection in our hectic lives.
To view a gallery of photos of the Shrine of the Holy Innocents click here.