The traditional month of Mary, as celebrated by communities within our Catholic tradition began with First Friday Prayer on 3 May. The prayer in the Beaconsfield chapel focused on Mary, the first and best disciple. As Catholics we do not worship Mary, we ask her to pray for us as we too try to bring Christ into our world. Lindsay Sant challenged our staff to put into action the service of one another and our students in following the way set by the yes of the Mother of God. (see prayers below)
Our celebrations will continue with the presence of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the Diocesan Plenary candle – 24 May at Beaconsfield (10.30am Mass), Officer (2.20pm Mass) and on 28 May, Berwick (9.50am Mass)
The Icon and Candle will be present in Parishes throughout the Sale Diocese in the lead up to the Sale Diocese Assembly on 13 – 14 September. Details of the Pilgrimage and accompanying resources are below.
Our school, along with the 43 other Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale, will celebrate Catholic Education Week from 24 to 31 May. The theme for this year’s celebrations is Listen to what the Spirit is saying…
As Catholic schools, we are called to do more than just pass on the faith: we are invited to translate our faith into deeds so we are truly living God’s Word.
Catholic Education Week is an opportunity for all Catholic schools to celebrate our distinctive mission and share features that are special about our schools.
Members of our staff will be attending the Leadership Mass and Dinner held in Traralgon on Friday 24 May. Our school will also hold a number of activities to celebrate Catholic Education Week, including the Masses where the Icon and Candle are brought into our community.
This week Cantabile will be spending two nights at Safety Beach, while Year 10 and 11 RE Homelessness students will be staying in the city to learn about the issues of poverty. Cantabile will continue to refine hymns in preparation for upcoming liturgies, and combined with reflection and prayer will explore the spirituality of liturgical service. The students will come to Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians 6.00pm Saturday night Mass, where they will lead the music ministry. Parents are most welcome to join us, especially parishioners of OLHC. City Retreat students will finish their time in the city with attendance at Mass at St Francis’ Church in Elizabeth St. Thanks to Simon Cuckson and Carlos Escobar for their wonderful work of service in leading these two enriching experiences.
Bishop Patrick has announced a Diocesan Assembly to be held on 13 – 14 September at Marist-Sion College Warragul. During the Plenary Council 2020 Listening and Dialogue process, several common topics have emerged. It has become evident that many of the suggestions which have been made can be initiated and implemented at a local Diocesan level. The Diocesan Assembly, while part of the overall Plenary journey, is of vital importance as it will provide us with the opportunity to together discern and discuss what it is that we can do here and now for our local Church in the Diocese of Sale.
In the months leading up to the Assembly, the Diocesan community is being invited to embark on a period of prayer and preparation with a Diocesan Pilgrimage of the Icon of our Lady of Perpetual Help (the patroness of our Diocese) and the Diocesan Plenary 2020 Candle. Each parish will host the Icon and Candle for one week with the opportunity to receive and bless the Icon at weekend Masses and have it displayed for prayer during the week.
All parishes are invited to join in a prayer roster by praying for the parish in the diocese who is currently hosting the Icon and Plenary Candle as part of the Diocesan Pilgrimage.
Prayer for the presence of the Icon and Candle:
In this time of preparation for our Diocesan Assembly, we pray for the community of St. Francis Xavier College. May they be graced with the fruits of the Holy Spirit as they host the Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and ask for her intercession.
Sun 24th St Mary’s Cathedral Sale
Sun 3rd Yarram Parish
Sun 10th Foster Parish
Sun 17th Leongatha Parish
Sun 24th Korumburra Parish
Sun 31st Wonthaggi Parish
Sun 7th Cowes Parish
Sun 14th – Sunday 21st Holy Week and Easter Triduum
Sun 28th Cranbourne Parish
Sun 5th Clyde North Parish
Sun 12th Narre Warren Parish
Sun 19th Pakenham Parish
Sun 26th Berwick Parish
Sun 2nd Koo Wee Rup Parish
Sun 9th Iona-Maryknoll Parish
Sun 16th Bairnsdale Parish
Sun 23rd Lake Entrance Parish
Sun 30th Orbost Parish
Sun 7th Maffra Parish
Sun 14th Cowwarr-Heyfield Parish
Sun 21st Traralgon Parish
Sun 28th Churchill Parish
Sun 4th Morwell Parish
Sun 11th Newborough Parish
Sun 18th Moe Parish
Sun 25th Trafalgar Parish
Sun 1st Drouin Parish
Sun 8th Warragul Parish
13th -14th Diocesan Assembly, Warragul
Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The original Byzantine icon dates from the 15th century, and possibly from the 13th. It has been in Rome since 1499 and is now housed in the church of St Alphonsus Liguori and in the care of the Redemptorists.
It shows the Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus, who seems to be a small adult. Jesus clasps the right hand of his mother as he looks upwards where the archangels Michael and Gabriel are holding the instruments of his redeeming passion. St Michael holds the spear, the wine soaked sponge and the crown of thorns, while St Gabriel holds the cross and nails.
As the Christ child contemplates this vision of his coming passion there is a hint of his anguish shown by the loss of one of his sandals. Yet the icon also depicts the triumph of the resurrection shown by the glorious gold of the background and the angels holding the instruments like trophies.
Mary looks outward; she is both holding her child and presenting him to the faithful viewer. It is worth noting that the figures of Mary and Jesus are both crowned in this copy. The crowns were added in 1867.
Under this title of Perpetual Help, Mary is patroness of several parishes. Significantly for us, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is patroness of the Diocese of Sale. Our first bishop, James Corbett, obtained a copy of the icon when he visited Europe in 1889-90. He returned in February 1890, bringing the icon, along with a group of priests he recruited in Ireland and the first sisters of Our Lady of Sion. The icon is now enshrined in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale.
The copy I have has been in my family for many years. I recall seeing it in the home of my grandparents, Tom and Mary Slater, in Leongatha, and believe it had been with them on their farm at Nerrena beforehand. After they died in the 1960s it moved to my own parents’ home and since they died I have kept it.
I could only guess when my grandparents obtained their copy, perhaps when they married in 1917, or possibly at the time of a Redemptorist parish mission in later years.
Fr Peter Slater VG
Parish Priest, Warragul & Drouin
Mary, faithful, strong and willing to serve encouraged Jesus to perform his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. She knew he would begin his ministry. She knew that her abundant love for her Son would stay with him, no matter where he went.
All: Mary is our model of love. May we follow her example when we are called to serve.
At the foot of the cross, Mary’s heart was breaking, for her beloved son was to die. Her deep faith, great strength, abundant love and unconditional promise to serve God would carry her through the next few days. These elements of leadership have made Mary our model or leadership and ministry.
All: Mary is our model of leadership and ministry. May we follow her example when we are called to serve.