Bishop Terence Brady visiting St Vincent’s

The Church Mouse has been in a state of hibernation since last October, largely as a consequence of recognising the need to remain silent and give the parish priest and the community space to build a meaningful relationship.

Since Hope for St Vincent’s was posted, Fr Melvin and the community have continued to reach out to each other. Melvin actively interacts with the community, engages in conversation, joins in with and supports various of its activities; he has even been seen sharing a cup of coffee up the road with a few stalwarts after Sunday Mass. The community encourages this novel behaviour, which has tempted a number of long absent members to return and see if things really have changed for the better.

In the Sydney Morning Herald on January 17, 2012 Leesha McKenny wrote:

Long-term indigenous parishioner Ralph Townsend described the new Filipino-born parish priest, Father Melvin Llabanes, as ”a top bloke as a priest and a gentleman”.
”He’s fair to us and we’re fair to him, so there’s no drama no more,” he said.

Sadly, the Neocat laity at Redfern have yet to show anything like the same signs of engagement, and the parish remains divided.

So it is hardly surprising that alarm bells rang when a preliminary timetable in last Sunday’s parish bulletin for Bishop Terence Brady’s visit this weekend showed that he would be celebrating two masses on Saturday evening: the normal 6pm parish mass and a Neocat Mass at 8pm. Brady’s official diary on the archdiocese website makes no specific reference to Saturday masses.

Why jeopardise the beginnings of harmony in the parish by participating in this divisive behaviour?

Is neither Brady nor the archdiocese aware of B16’s recent ruling on neocatechumenal celebrations?


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