Liturgy and Parish Liaison

This Sunday's Word - Social Justice Sunday

Jesus said to the Pharisees: 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried…' (Luke 16:19-31)

"Maybe the reason this Gospel-story has become so famous is its extraordinary attention to detail; the regal colours of Dives' clothes, his exquisite tableware and fine dining. It all conjures up a vivid picture. At the same time Lazarus' world is equally well described. Begging at the gate, Lazarus' only companions are the dogs and his sores. Even giving names to both these characters adds to the power of the parable. These people are not just a rich man and a beggar. They are Dives and Lazarus, well-known to everyone in the village. All these years later they are well known to us too. Not the actual characters, of course, upon whom the story could be based, but all the Lazarus' and Dives' in our own villages. It is an important task for us to decide which one of these characters we think we are.

Recently the United Nations published a paper which creatively described the world as a village of 100 people. Staying consistent with the international statistics the United Nations tells us that our global village looks like this. There are 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 North Americans, 8 Africans, 4 South Americans and an assortment fills up the final four places. There are 52 women and 48 men of whom only 30 are fair-skinned and 70 are dark-skinned. 91 are heterosexual while nine are gay. Only one of us has a University education and yet six people in our village own 64% of our town's wealth and all of them are Americans. 80 people live in substandard housing without electricity, clean water and sewerage. 70 of us cannot read and 50 suffer from malnutrition.

This village analysis sorts out very quickly who Lazarus and Dives are in our world. As hard as life is for some of us and as much as we struggle financially, we are, comparatively, dressed in purple robes and feasting off fine linen.

The UN report goes on to say that 1.2 billion people live on $1.50 a day or less. And while we might be personally very generous in assisting the poor in a variety of ways, our Dives-like countries are not. Australia only gives $98 per person per year to aid third world development. Canada gives $108, the UK gives $112 and the USA's third world development budget is just $67 per person per year. And for all the moral scorn sometimes heaped upon Scandinavia, Denmark is the most generous country in the world, giving $649 per capita last year.

The point of Jesus' story in today's Gospel is not to remind us that there are poor people at our gate. It is to implore us to listen and learn. Some Catholics want to vigorously uphold dogma and liturgical laws but do not seem to care one iota for the social teaching of the Church which instructs us that our love of God is truly found in deeds not words.

Given the way we keep repeating the sins of the past and we allow the rich to get richer while the poor die before us, it seems we Christians, who have had the benefit of the Law, the Prophets and even a man coming back from the dead, will not change the structures that enshrine global injustice. Why?

There is no way around it. Such a change would involve real sacrifice on our part and we are not prepared to pay the price. Jesus, however, reminds us today of the consequences in both our selective deafness toward Lazarus' cry and our lack of action; our comfortable passivity has implications for this world and the next."

A Homily by Fr Richard Leonard SJ, who is the author of Preaching to the Converted, Paulist Press, New York, 2006.

To coincide with Social Justice Sunday: Lazarus at Our Gate: A critical moment in the fight against world poverty, the 2013-14 Social Justice Statement examines some of the issues above. The statement urges all Australians to focus on our obligation to help the world's poorest people and to work to overcome poverty wherever it is found. The aim of the statement to raise awareness and work towards solidarity; it is not a specific fundraising campaign.

What can I do?

Download Ten Steps (towards eradicating poverty) here:

Download the Prayer for Solidarity here:

Download the complete statement Lazarus at Our Gate: A critical moment in the fight against world poverty here:

For further information about the Social Justice Statement, visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website or call (02) 8306 3499.

Community Mass

This morning a large number of our College community, including many parents, gathered for our weekly Eucharist where we began by praying God's healing blessing on Mr Casey and lighting a candle on the altar for him. We gathered with Year 11 students, and accompanying staff, who are making journeys during the holidays: those going on pilgrimage, and those going on the French study tour. We also celebrated with some Year 12 students and parents as they approach their final weeks. Our thanks to this morning's presider, Fr Vincent Glynn, who is a faculty lecturer at the University of Notre Dame, and is a member of the College Council of Management. The next Community Mass is Friday 18th October. All are welcome.

Time: 8:00-8:30.

Day: Fridays in term time.

Venue: Chapel.


Sacramental Program

We are delighted to announce a number of Year 3 students who are making their First Reconciliation during September and October in the parish of St Joseph's Subiaco: Poppy Barich, Mark Bauersachs, Bridgette Beament, Benjamin Fletcher, Jade Hewitson, Jasmine Holly, Kai Jahn, Ethan Judge, Dominic Korn, Lula-Rose Lawrence, Amelia Loveridge, Holly Martin, Kirsten McCormick, Stella Morgan, Thomas Morrissey, Isabella Nocciolino, Isabella Pietrzak, Dominic Richards, Zachary Skerrat.

And Jameeka Leigh in Year 4B is also making her first Holy Communion at St Joseph's this weekend.

Looking ahead to 2014

Do you have children in Years 2, 3 or 5? Is your home parish Holy Spirit in City Beach? Highlights of the Sacramental Program for Holy Spirit Parish are below. For full details, please go to the website page:

November 7, 2013 - Enrolment for Holy Spirit Sacramental Program

February 13, 2014 - Information Meeting

February 23 & 24, 2014 - Commitment Masses

June 8, 2014 - Confirmation

June 22, 2014 - First Holy Communion

August 21, 2014 - First Reconciliation

Details of 2014 Sacramental Programs in other parishes will be published as they become available in Term 4. For any queries at all regarding the Sacramental Program, please contact: