Christmas Services

mangerIn a very short time Christmas will be here with us once again.

  • Once again we wait for the Christ child to come into our world.
  • Once again we wait for the long expected messiah.
  • Once again in a world of hatred and indifference the God of love will come.
  • Once again our hearts will be full of love for this Child.
  • Once again our redemption is nigh.

What will you be doing this Christmas?  If you are in Gippsland, and near Cowwarr or Heyfield you are invited to come to mass.

Midnight Mass: St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Church Street, Cowwarr

  • 11.30pm 24th December: Carols folowed by
  • 12.00am Christmas Day: Mass

Christmas Day: St Michael’s Catholic Church, Gordon Street, Heyfield

  • 10.00am: Mass
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Mass Times: Forthcoming Events

Below are the mass times, and the forthcoming masses and events for the Gippsland Ordinriate Parish.  Of special notice are the 1st Friday and 1st Saturday devotions; Midnight Mass at Cowwarr at Christmas; and a retreat for the Parish in February 2017 (theme is ‘Beloved’).

Mass Times
Meets:  Saint Michael’s Catholic Church, Heyfield
Sundays:  Holy Mass, 10.00 a.m; Confession: 9.30am

Weekdays: St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Church Street, Cowwarr
Wednesday:  Holy Mass, 10.00am;  Adoration, 10.30-11.00am,

1st Friday Devotions: Holy Mass: 7.00pm: Adoration till 12.00am

1st Saturday Devotions: Confession: 9.30am: Holy Mass: 10.00am: Rosary and Adoration till 11.30am

Saturdays (3rd Sat.):  Holy Mass, 10.00am, Maffra Motor Inn Chapel

Contact:  Father Ken Clark | 0403 383 873 | |

2016: Retreat/Quiet Day: St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Church Street, Cowwarr
Saturday: 29th October:

  • Mass: 10am
  • 1st Address: 10.30am
  • Quiet Time/reflection: 11.00am
  • Angelus: 12.00pm
  • Rosary after Angelus
  • Lunch (BYO): 1.00pm
  • 2nd Address: 1.45pm
  • Quiet Time/confession: 2.15pm
  • Evening Prayer: 3.45pm
  • Close: 4.00pm


Dates for the Diary:

2016: Christmas: Midnight Mass: St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Church Street, Cowwarr

  • 11.30pm 24th December: Carols
  • 12.00am Christmas Day: Mass

2017: Four day Retreat: Marlo

  • 5.00pm 19th February (Start)
  • Lunch: 23rd February (Ends)


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Musings 23: From the Ordinary

Here is the latest Musings of the Ordinary.  Some snippets:

In many of these basilicas the high altar is adorned with large crucifix, marble, statues of saints, tabernacles, candles and abundant gold leaf. It stands majestically on three steps so that, visible from the nave, the faithful must look upwards in prayer and adoration as the sacrifice of the mass is offered…

Yet the mass is not offered at these altars … in front of these altars is a table with small candles, no embellishment that can help the worshippers ‘see’ the splendour of God’s majestic presence … Here the focus is not on God who is beyond us, but on the ‘enclosed’ gathered community in which God’s presence is acknowledged.

… If we only strive to encounter God who is beyond us there is a danger that we will be of little earthly use. If we focus only on the God among us we will be good welfare workers, but less able to be effective disciples and lead others to salvation.

Evangelisation occurs when one person shows another how Jesus has changed their life because they have ‘seen’ the presence of our loving, merciful God in it and have ‘taken off their shoes’ in adoration … Evangelisation requires disciples to be heralds of hope. Ask people where they place their hope and
help them see that true hope lies in waiting on God in stillness. (Psalm 623:5)

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Mercy and holiness

I was at a meeting the other day where I heard that “mercy trumps holiness”. What does that mean? I am not sure, though I do think that people who adhere to this are pushing the boundaries so that mercy, is not bound by doctrine; that pastoralia, and care have been detached from doctrine and dogma. People who are pushing for a change will say that nothing has changed, doctrine is still there, but we have to have ‘mercy’ and from there people will be lead by discerning pastors to eventually have an informed conscience.

It seems to me that this is wrong. We are called to be holy as our God is holy. We are called to live lives that are in a ‘state of grace’, and from that state of grace we then reach out to people on the margins. Being holy, as our Lord is holy, and being merciful, as our Lord is merciful are entwined, and you cannot have one without the other. For me, everything flows from the sacrifice of the mass. It is here where we meet Jesus Christ, who saved us from our sins, and it is here where we meet Jesus who said to us, “go out to the stranger, the widow, the orphan. The acts of holiness flow from our relationship with God, and our theosis.

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Jesus is the path to salvation

i-am-the-wayHave you noticed that a lot of people (bishops, priests, religious, and people in the pews) seem to have forgotten that the overarching law of the Church is the ‘salvation of souls’, and not solely ‘social justice’. The current trend of chasing after social justice issues without concern for people to be saved is worrisome. I wonder how many we are dooming because we do not have the salvific power of Jesus always before us. I am not stating that social justice and salvation are separate, but social justice flows from Christ’s saving action of his kenosis, His Passion and His resurrection. He died to save all mankind from their sins, and bring them all within the life of the Trinity by our theosis, our transformation into the likeness of God through prayer, fasting, almsgiving and atonement (contrition, confession).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in its prologue states:

“FATHER,… this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”1

“God our Saviour desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”2

“There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”3 – than the name of JESUS

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24 Hour Adoration/Assumption Mass

Assumption_of_the_Blessed_Virgin_Mary_001This coming weekend we, the Gippsland Ordinariate are celebrating the Assumption of Mary.

We are holding vigil and adoration for twenty four hours ending with the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

For ALL Catholics, this is a Holy Day of Obligation.  As such, the Catechism states,”

On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God.” CCC 2185
  • 14th August: Sunday: 24 hour adoration: Cowwarr
    • Starts: 11.00am:
    • Finishes: 11.00am:
  • 15th August: Mass: Assumption of Mary: 11am Cowwarr
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Musings from the Ordinary

Musings 22                                                                                                                        August 2016


Those of us who have come from an Anglican background are likely to have a sense of déjà-vu about some of the factional arguments going on in the Catholic Church at this time. Fr Longnecker, a former Anglican priest, now a diocesan Catholic priest in South Carolina, has recently written about why Catholics are disturbed, annoyed, restless and angry at this time (Patheos July 26th). He believes it is because we are passing through another time of Catholic realignment.

Since the Reformation the Anglican Communion has accommodated both the Protestant and Catholic understandings of Christianity, and in more recent times a Liberal protestant interpretation of the Faith has been added to the mix. In the present Church of England there is a ‘Church within a Church’ in the sense that those who support the ordination of women and those who don’t, claim to be Anglican, but they are not in communion with each other.

In the Catholic Church since Vatican II there has been the conservative and liberal ‘churches’, each with their own publishing houses, colleges, religious orders and members of the hierarchy. In the Anglican and Catholic Churches, liberals believe Christianity to be a human construct, which must adapt and change to the culture of the current age in order to be relevant and survive.

Conservatives or Traditionalists believe that the Christian Faith is revealed by God, has a continuity of development and is unfolded in a particular way in each generation. This means that the Faith cannot be changed, and if necessary, the Church must challenge the world when there is a clash between the secular and Christian cultures.

This explains why liberal Catholics believe that abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage and the ordination of female and openly gay candidates are issues that the Church should embrace. Their traditionalist critics describe this as ‘Catholic-lite’ or pick and choose ‘cafeteria’ Catholicism that undermines the foundations of Catholicism and will lead to the collapse of the very Church to which the liberals claim to belong.

Fr Longnecker believes that the current turmoil is due to the fact that the messy truce between liberal and conservative Catholics has broken down. He says that the deliberations of Vatican II have been misinterpreted by the liberals and the ‘breath of fresh air’ that was hoped for by the Synod Fathers has become toxic. Put plainly, the ways of being Catholic since Vatican II don’t work anymore. The parish system has broken down, some Catholic institutions are hardly Catholic and so the ‘die-hards’ from both camps have retreated into the bunkers of factional fundamentalism as they die out.

The younger generation of lay, seminarian, ordained, Religious Catholics are not liberal because they have seen what the liberal embrace of secular values has done to the Church’s worship and social teaching. They want no part of it. They are looking for a balanced Catholic faith with worship through which they can experience God as transcendent as well as imminent, and which offers care and leadership to the faithful in social and justice issues. In Longnecker’s words, “they are, for the most part, simple, by the book, faithful Catholics.”

The realignment within the Catholic Church is going on, and while this is exciting it is also daunting because to journey into the unknown is an act of faith known to our forebears in their own age as God led them forward. Think of the patriarchs, prophets and saints of the Church who said ‘Yes’ to God, and allowed God to lead them into the unknown. Would we be people of faith today if they had not done so?

In Vive radio broadcasts in 1969, the then Professor Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, described his vision for the future of humanity and the Church. He compared the present age as being worse than the 18th century when the Church was fighting against the French republic that was intent on destroying the Catholic Church and confiscating its properties.

We too are living in a Western secularist culture that is intent on driving the Church out of having any influence in society and stripping it of all privileges in society. Given this onslaught, some priests are tempted to become social workers and reduce the work of the Church to one of community welfare.

Out of this crisis, Pope Emeritus Benedict predicted that a Church would emerge that has lost a great deal.

It will be small and will start all over again. The reduction in the number of the faithful will lead to its losing an important part in its social privileges. It will start off with small groups and movements and a ministry that will make the faith central to their life experience. It will be a more spiritual Church and will not claim a political mandate flirting with the Right one minute and the Left the next. It will be poor and will become the Church of the destitute. Faith and the Future (Ignatius Press)

The Ordinariates have been erected during the early period of this realignment in the Catholic Church, and its first members have come into full communion out of a similar realignment within the Anglican Communion. The Ordinariates are the consequence of another of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s visions for the Church. This time it is a vision for the Church’ unity. Is it too bold to pose the question whether in God’s inVinite wisdom, there is a link between the Church’s realignment and the erection of the Ordinariate? We have already witnessed the emergence of new Evangelistic Movements within the Church and new Religious communities and groups. Is the Ordinariate being called to show how it is possible to be faithful to the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’ defended by the Holy Father and the Magisterium, through our liturgy, prayerfulness, preaching and pastoral care, during this period of realignment?

These may be outrageous thoughts, but then, they may not be?

Jesus’ Church teaches everything that He taught with no omissions or alternations to suit the moods of differing times and places. No cafeteria picking and choosing. (P.18 Deep Conversion, Deep Faith)

In Christ

Monsignor Harry

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