Trinity Sunday

This weekend we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The following reflection by Jesuit, Fr Richard Leonard, gives us an insight into this feast.

A teacher asked her grade one class to paint something of their own choosing. All the children got busy about the task. As the teacher walked around she noticed Beckie was particularly focused on her painting. 'What are you painting Beckie?' asked the teacher. 'I'm painting God, Miss' replied the little girl. 'Well that must be difficult because no one knows what God looks like.' At which Beckie stopped, looked up and confidently announced, 'But they will when I'm finished.'

The names Christians give to God - Father, Son and Spirit - are both ancient and important. But we should never think they exhaust the possibilities of God's reality. Creator, mother, lover, redeemer, Saviour, higher power or friend all go some way to help us put words around our experience of our God, who is more and beyond all names we can possibly use.

The naming of God, however, is an important, but secondary focus to today's feast. There are two other facets to it that are more central.

The first is that the Trinity declares that relationships are at the very centre of God. We believe that the Father, Son and Spirit are in full communion, communication and relationship with each other at all times, in all places. To know Jesus is to know the Father and the Spirit and vice versa. They are one. This special relationship also indicates to us that nothing should matter more in our lives than our relationships with one another. To be like the God we profess every Sunday is to commit ourselves to our relationships, in all their varieties. To work hard on our relationships is, for a Christian, to touch the divine.

The second extraordinary thing we celebrate today is that the Father invites us into this loving relationship with Him, Jesus and the Spirit. What is especially consoling about this is that we are the only world religion that believes our God took our flesh. So through Jesus' life, teaching, compassion and sacrificial love we not only discover who he is, but, at one and the same time, we find out what God and the Spirit are like.

Some people think themselves unworthy of such invitation. Others argue they have to be a better person to deserve such an offer. While both of these responses to God's invitation are understandable, they fail to take into account that in Jesus we have been made worthy of God's love and if we are waiting to get to a certain level of goodness to deserve God's love, we will wait forever.

God invites us into the compassionate embrace of the Trinity where we are and as we are, so that we can become all that God knows we can be. We don't have to get good to get God. We have to get God before we can get good.

On this Trinity Sunday let's celebrate the intimacy and dignity to which we are called by signing ourselves with the focus of our love - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

© Richard Leonard SJ.

Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the author of "Preaching to the Converted", Paulist Press, New York, 2006.

Reconciliation - Caritas Just Leadership Seminar

On Tuesday 14th May, 8 students from Years 10-12 participated in a Caritas Just Leadership seminar. The theme of the seminar was Aboriginal Recognition, as recognition is the theme for this year's Reconciliation Week. Two students from Notre Dame, Gary and Acacia, spoke to students of many Perth Catholic Colleges about a future referendum. The referendum is to make amendments to the constitution disallowing the government to make laws based on race, stop people voting based on race, and to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the "First Australians" and traditional owners of the land.
During the rest of the term, these students will be finding ways to advise the staff and students of what they can do to recognise the "First Australians" and to inform them of progress on the referendum.

Family-focused, Parish-based, School-supported Sacramental Program

Mary-Anne Lumley - Liturgy & Parish Liaison

Students in Years 3, 4 and 6 are coming to the end of their respective sacramental programs:. Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. The students will receive a certificate to give to their parish priest to show they have been prepared for the sacrament. Parents need to enrol their child for the sacraments in their own parish. Specific details for local parishes can be found here.

Community Mass

A special invitation to next Friday's Community Mass - 31st May, where we celebrate the Commissioning of Student Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. A group of Year 12 students has been participating in training since Easter, and their commissioning coincides with the feast of Corpus Christi. It is a great blessing for our College to have a group of students willing to train and take on this witness in their community. We look forward to their sharing this ministry at Eucharistic celebrations in the College.
Community Mass: every Friday in term time. 8:00-8:30. Chapel.

The Black Pope and the White Pope: The Jesuits and the Papacy

(Public lecture by Dr Thomas Scirghi SJ, 2013 St Thomas More College Chair of Jesuit Studies).

When: Date: 29 May 2013 | Time: 6 to 7pm
Venue: University Club Theatre Auditorium, UWA
Parking: P3 off Hackett Entrance 1
Cost: Free, but RSVP essential by 24 May | Book online

Francis I is the first Jesuit pope in the history of the Catholic Church. The Superior General of the Jesuits, who wears a black cassock, has traditionally been named "the Black Pope." Yet the Jesuits promise to refrain from aspiring to hierarchical positions of authority. With the election of Pope Francis many are asking, "What is a Jesuit?" and "What may we expect from a Jesuit pope?"

Dr Thomas Scirghi SJ is an engaging, knowledgeable and high-calibre lecturer. A native of New York, he is Associate Professor at Fordham University (New York City), specializing in Sacramental and Liturgical Theology. He has authored several books, the most recent being "Everything is Sacred: An Introduction to the Sacrament of Baptism".