Sacramental Diary


May 14: First Holy Communion Parent Meeting - 7:00pm - Holy Spirit Parish Centre

May 28: Parent Confirmation Meeting with Fr. Don Kettle - 7:00pm - Holy Spirit Parish Centre


May 3-4: Confirmation Rite of Commitment - All Masses

May 29: Confirmation Workshop for Children & Parents

May 17-18: Reconciliation Enquiry Weekend - All Masses

May 24-25: Reconciliation Enrolment - Saturday, or after 9:30 Mass Sunday

Further details:


Most people know and love this gospel of John 10. In the Archdiocese of Perth our Archbishop, Timothy Costelloe, and assistant bishop, Don Sproxton, are the 'shepherds' responsible for Catholic schools and parish life. We were very lucky to have Bishop Don preside at our Mass to celebrate the canonization of St John XXIII. His inspiring and knowledgeable homily on the ministry of St John XXIII is below for those who missed it - or would like to 'hear' it again.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe encourages the people of God to come together in their parish communities to celebrate the Eucharist and other sacraments. We are lucky that we have vibrant community masses and Primary masses in the College; our taking this out into our parishes and wider community is part of our living this 'good news' we share. Next Sunday, 3rd Sunday of the month, College families are encouraged to connect up in their local parishes - particularly those families in our local Jesuit parish, Holy Rosary Nedlands.


Today we celebrated with our wonderful, vibrant Year 11 students and many mothers. Thank you to the Year 11 leaders and Mrs Rice for your work in organizing and preparing this Mass. We were also blessed that Fr Arnmando Caranang, the chaplain of UWA, was able to preside at our celebration with these senior students. All are welcome to the Friday Community Mass, any time.

Where: Chapel

Time: 8:00-8:30

When: Fridays in term time.

Homily notes on the Canonisation of John XXIII

A famous meeting by a Soviet Russian official and his wife with Pope John, where having shaken the Pope's hand, the wife remarked in Russian, "He is one of us, look at his hands". The pope had such large hands like those of a peasant worker. She was able to recognise something familiar in the man. We, of course, recognise someone else when we learn more about the man John XXIII. We see Christ shining through this man's spirit, in his virtuous life and humanity.

I was recently asked by a priest why it was that John was being canonised. Was it for his accomplishments and great works? My answer: it seems to me it is because from his early years Angelo Roncalli had decided to become a holy man. He had chosen to set out on the path of humility. In the course of his journey, he became more human and loving. This accounts for him attaining the greatness that is beyond any other: becoming a saint.

This is more important than anything he may have achieved as a man, a priest, a bishop or a pope. The method was to follow the path of humility. He would learn the lessons of humility through his early life of poverty and the setbacks, the ups and downs of his career, through the dead ends that seemed to appear so often.

Angelo was quite unprepared for the mission he was sent to when he was appointed to be the Church's representative in Turkey and Greece, then to Bulgaria. He had not been trained in the skills of diplomacy and would have accepted that he was naïve and not politically savy. The Catholics in these countries were a minority and not considered very significant. There was marked discrimination against them in Turkey, sometimes aggressive oppression by the government of Ataturk. Angelo was mostly ignored by the Turkish and Greek governments.

The success of his time is these rather hostile countries is measured by the enduring friendships he made with other diplomats and the remarkable amount of pastoral work he engaged in in this period. He was more the parish priest than the bishop-ambassador. He made friends through social gatherings, mostly by sharing a meal, hence Angelo's rather large girth!

As the Second World War engulfed Europe, he transferred to Athens permanently. He developed a fairly close relationship with Franz von Papen, a Catholic and a leader in the Nazi occupation forces in Greece.

After the war, he wrote to the court where von Papen was being tried for war crimes. He wanted the court to know that together he and von Papen had been able to save 24,000 Jews, many who were to eventually make their way to Palestine. Von Papen was spared the gallows and was jailed for many years. He gave a testimony to the postulator for Pope John's beatification.

Angelo thought that he had reached the end of the road from a career point of view. So he was astounded when he was asked to go as Apostolic Nuncio to France. Some opposed his appointment, saying that he was not astute enough for such a complex situation. One opponent had called him 'an old fogey'. One or two wanted him to fail. Their criticisms of his nomination may have been well founded, and yet he succeeded because of his amiability, charity and humanity.

His predecessor and some of the French bishops had been accused of collaborating with the Vichy government during the Nazi occupation. The de Gaulle government wanted them to be deposed. Angelo succeeded in the negotiations with the government and the relationship with the Church was healed. The work he had done in Turkey, building friendships among the diplomats, became the key to his success in Paris. The onetime French Ambassador in Turkey was now an influential figure in de Gaulle's government.

The recognition by the Vatican of his outstanding work in France came when at the age of seventy one he was made a cardinal and appointed to the Patriarchate of Venice. This was not a bad way to complete a life's journey!

As Angelo looked back over his life, he was amazed at how the hand of God had shown itself. The hard times and dead ends were the times when he recognised the presence and power of God. He was amazed at the surprises too, not the least being his election as pope. His journey along the path of humility helped him to see and believe. 'Blessed are they who have not seen me yet believe'. These words of the Risen Jesus certainly resonated with Angelo Roncalli.

Today is a wonderful day for the church everywhere, but most especially for John XXIII College. Your patron is one of the heavenly Communion of Saints. You can rely on his constant intercession as you move forward into a future of joys, accomplishments and challenges as individuals and a Catholic college.

My prayer is that as we come to know more about the life of John XXIII, we will be able to recognise the strong Spirit of Christ that gave him faith and trust, strength and courage. May we learn how to trend the same path of humility and obedience, becoming true images of Christ ourselves and disciples of the way of love.

Bishop Don Sproxton