Daily Archives: February 25, 2009

Lent has begun…

Ashes. We have lots of them about around here. I know that it isn’t the liturgical thing – you are supposed to use the burned leaves of last year’s palms – but I did wonder if it would have been fitting for someone to have gathered ashes from our burnt bushlands and townships and imposed that on us all today…

I cantored at two masses in the Cathedral today, the one the just ended was celebrated by the Archbishop. A quiet, peaceful service of great dignity, with no organ music, but lots of incense. Add that to the beautiful afternoon sunshine that comes into that building at this time of day and it was a truly sublime atmosphere in which to begin Lent.

I am hopping onto my motorcycle now to get to the service at my wife’s Lutheran parish with my family. (I could have attended a fourth Ash Wednesday service today if I had been inclined – the girls had an Ash Wednesday mass at their Catholic parish school.)

They will have the imposition of ashes in the Lutheran service too – something rare in the Lutheran Church when I was a child, but which we began to introduce during my time in the Seminary, and which I always observed in every Ash Wednesday service I celebrated as a Lutheran minister.

Funny how, on the one hand, the Catholic Church is awakening to the gifts which the Protestant Churches have to offer us (slowly, but surely), and how equally the Protestant Churches are making their own our ancient customs. A sharing of gifts.

I have high hopes for this Lent – and pray that God will give me the grace to make a “good Lent”. Today marks the beginning of a pilgrimage for me. When Easter Eve comes, I hope to be with my wife in St Peter’s in Rome…



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Solomon [Rajah] in all his glory!

When I was a student at Luther Seminary, a Malaysian pastor by the name of Solomon Rajah was there doing his masters degree. Solomon was a good bloke, and I remember him well, although we did not keep in touch after he returned to Malaysia.

Well, now it appears he has risen to new heights, being consecrated as Bishop of the Malaysian Lutheran Church (the previous bishop, Julius Paul , died last year in a boating accident).

This report says that he was consecrated by

Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden, The Most Rev Karl Gustav Hammer

in the presence of Rt Rev Dr H.A. Martin, the Bishop of the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tamil Nadu

and Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia Rt Rev Ng Moon Heng.


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Newman and Chesterton Seminar in Melbourne this Saturday

with Guest Speakers:
Bishop Peter Elliott
Rev Dr Austin Cooper
Rev Dr Lawrence Cross
Mr Anthony Krohn

The Caroline Chisholm Library (3rd floor, 358 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE)

Morning Seminar at the Library

Saturday 28th February, 2009
9.30 am-12.30 pm


Chairman: Bishop Peter Elliott (Director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage & Family, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Author and scholar in sacramental and liturgical theology.)

9.30-10.30 – Keynote Talk “Newman as Pastor” – Rev Dr Austin Cooper OMI (Fr Cooper is a church historian and a highly regarded author and lecturer in Christian spirituality.)

10.30-11 am – Talk 2 “Newman & Revelation” – Very Rev Prof Lawrence Cross (Centre of Early Christian Studies , Australian Catholic University.)

11- 11.30 am- MORNING TEA

11.30-12.30 Talk 3 & Panel Discussion “100 Years After The Man Who Was Thursday” – Mr Anthony Krohn (Library Secretary, Barrister.)

Seminar Lunch : A light and reasonably priced lunch with the speakers will follow for those interested at 1pm at The Celtic Club at the corner of La Trobe and Queen Street – two blocks from the Library. Note: Pay for lunch separately at the Celtic Club.

Registration including refreshments:
$15 full registration
$10 concession.
The Newman & Chesterton Seminar
Bookings & Payment
To: The Caroline Chisholm Library 3/358 Lonsdale Street; MELBOURNE
Phone: 03 9670 1815
Email: cclibrary@bigpond.com



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From the Cathedral Presbytery: Lent at St Patrick’s

The following came through on the notices today. I thought you might be interested:

In his recent Lenten pastoral letter the Archbishop said,”On Ash Wednesday we begin together our Lenten journey. Through prayer, fasting and works of love we will experience God’s power at Easter, which ‘dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, and brings mourners joy’.” (The Exultet)

Saint Paul said to the Ephesians: “You must be renewed by a spiritual revolution, so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:23-24)


Mass Times for Ash Wednesday in the Cathedral
Mass will be said at the usual times of 7am, 8am and 1:00pm [with the blogmeister as cantor]
An extra Mass will be said at 5.30pm with Archbishop Denis Hart as the Principal Celebrant [and the blogmeister as cantor again].
Ashes will be blessed and distributed at all Masses.

Ash Wednesday Reconciliation in the Cathedral
Reconciliation is available on Ash Wednesday between 12 – 12:50pm [I note that they have two priests rostered on today]

Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral during Lent 2009
Stations of the Cross will commence at 12.30pm Friday 27 February and then on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:30pm for the duration of Lent.

Lenten Obligations – Days of Fast and Abstinence
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence from meat.

Lenten Obligations – Friday Practices of Penance
On Fridays other than Good Friday, the following practices of penance fulfill the law of the common practice of penance.

1. Prayer (eg: Mass attendance; a visit to a church or family prayer)
2. Self Denial (eg: Limiting food and drink, not eating sweets or desserts)
3. Helping Others (eg: Special attention to someone who is sick, elderly, lonely or overburdened)

Additional Lenten Exercises available in the Cathedral Parish
every Sunday Liturgy of the Hours 7.30am Cathedral
every Wednesday Stations of the Cross 12.30pm Cathedral
every Thursday Six30 Eucharistic Adoration 6.30pm Cathedral
every Friday Stations of the Cross 12.30pm Cathedral
Eucharistic Adoration 1.30pm Cathedral
Exposition 5.30pm St John the Evangelist



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