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my fellow men and women better?
The Catholic Parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea
Ph (02) 9337 2033
I was at a meeting with Cardinal Pell during the week (a common occurrence for me these days!). He spoke once again about something that is a reoccurring theme for him - we Catholics need to be active in getting our 'brand' known and present in the public square, given that many in roles of influence want to keep Christianity out of sight and out of mind.
In that light, His Eminence went onto speak about our Lenten actions, and our traditional disciplines of prayer, fasting and charity. He especially mentioned in this regard Project Compassion. (Caritas Australia uses the money raised by Catholics each Lent to support those in other parts of the world who are caught up in cycles of poverty.) The Cardinal also mentioned our lovely Lenten tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays - heading to the local fish shop of a Friday provides a very simple yet easy way of saying: "We're Catholic and we have something positive to say in our daily actions."
One final thing Cardinal Pell spoke about surprised us a little: he wanted to speak of Christmas (that's getting in early)! He wanted to get us thinking now about seeing if a place can be located in our local area for a public display of the Nativity - i.e. where can a crib go up in our local area? The point of doing this now is to get the various permissions sorted. But his point is the same: find ways of getting our Christian faith and culture 'out there' in the community. So, I'm open to ideas about where a crib might be displayed in our Watsons Bay / Vaucluse area.
I am proud that our parish is already doing some things to let our local community know we are around - our bells sound out regularly, and we have our lovely statue of Mary lit up at night. But the message of His Eminence is a good one to keep thinking about, nonetheless: We Catholics believe we have something good to say, and we shouldn't be afraid of letting others know we are not going away.
May our Lady, Star of the Sea, intercede for us all during Lent.
The Parish Priest, Most Rev Peter Andrew Comensoli DD