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Feed My Sheep


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 31/03/2013

The fishing boat is bobbing gently on the lake, a hundred yards offshore. Occasionally a wave slaps against its side though the lake is surprisingly still this morning. They labour all night to earn a living. But not this night. This night they haven’t netted a single fish. On shore, the sleepy village of Capernaum is beginning to stir. On its rocky beach the fishermen can see the glow of a small fire. Occasionally a breeze brings them the aroma of fish cooking. Peter’s stomach remembers its hunger, and his mouth can almost taste the savoury fish. Who’s tending the fire? It’s a man. Peter can see that much. He looks familiar, but Peter can’t place him.Now the man brings up his hands and cups them about his mouth. A moment later his voice reaches the boat: “Boys,” he shouts. “Put your nets out on the right side of the boat and you’ll find some fish” “Every landlubber thinks he’s an expert fisherman!” fumes Peter. But they are ready to put out the net again. Why not the right side this time? What do they have to lose? All of a sudden the stillness of morning is broken by the writhing of trapped fish and a tremendous tug on the net that, for a moment, threatens to capsize the boat. The men are instantly alert and position themselves to pull in the thrashing net. They must have caught a whole school of fish — on the right side of the boat! Peter looks up from his exertion to the man on the shore. John, too, is straining to see him. “It’s the Lord!” shouts John. “It’s Jesus!” The others are struggling with the net, but Peter doesn’t care. He grabs his clothes, dives into the lake, and swims with powerful strokes until the water is shallow enough for him to run splashing the rest of the way. Dripping, he drops to his knees before Jesus — the risen Lord, the man he has spent three years following, emulating, serving. Jesus calls to the men — disciples with whom he has shared many meals. “Come, have some breakfast!” Jesus, the great Feeder of men is feeding them again this morning. Now Jesus calls him aside. “Do you love me Peter?” With pain, Peter remembers how three times he had vehemently denied Jesus just before his crucifixion. He can hardly look Jesus in the eye. He mumbles, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” “Peter, feed my sheep,” says Jesus. Three times Jesus asked Peter to reaffirm his love — once for each time Peter had denied him. Three times Jesus reaffirms Peter’s call to ministry. Jesus not only forgives Peter, he restores him fully to his confidence. Jesus is talking about spiritual food — teaching, praying, leading, exhorting, serving. Jesus is asking for Peter’s love, but with that love, obedience too. “Yes, I love you, Jesus,” says Peter clearly, lifting his eyes to meet the Master’s. “Then feed my sheep,” says the great Feeder of men. “Peter, I need you to feed my sheep for me.” “Yes, Lord, of course I will,” whispers Peter, as his eyes flood with tears. “You can count on me.”

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Requiem for Cecilia DeMink


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 26/03/2013

 

Please remember in your prayer Avril’s mother, Cecilia de Mink, widow of Deacon Edward de Mink who passed away peacefully on Friday 22nd March at Huis Luckhoff in Rosebank. Cecilia’s Requiem Mass will be at St Michael’s Church, Rondebosch tomorrow,  Wednesday 27th March at 10.30am (8.30am British Time). Avril’s mum will be remembered as a long time member of the Family League in Cape Town in a group with Dolf and Beaulah de Smidt and others.Some of you may remember when Cecilia visited us here.  Our sympathies go out to Avril and all her family members May Cecilia rest in peace and rise in glory.


 

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Ten Little Catholics


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 25/03/2013

Ten Little Catholics came to church all the time; One fell out with the priest, then there were nine.

Nine Little Catholics stayed up late; One overslept on Sunday, then there were eight.

Eight Little Catholics on their way to Heaven; One took the low road, then there were seven.

Seven Little Catholics, chirping like chicks; One didn’t like the singing, then there were six.

Six Little Catholics seemed very much alive; One took a holiday, then there were five.

Five Little Catholics pulling for Heaven’s shore; One stopped to take a rest, then there were four.

Four Little Catholics each as busy as a bee; One had his feelings hurt, then there were three.

Three little Catholics knew what to do, One joined the sports fans, then there were two.

Two Little Catholics each won one more; Now don’t you see, two plus two equals four.

Four Little Catholics worked early and late; Each brought one, now there were eight.

Eight Little Catholics if they double as before; In just seven Sundays, we have 1024!

In this little ditty there is a lesson true; You belong either to the building, or to the wrecking crew!

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Annie Ostmeier has passed away today


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 24/03/2013

Konrad’s mum, Annie Ostmeier has passed away today, Palm Sunday.Many of you will remember Annie as the “Queen” of our Family Week last year! Annie had taken ill while here in England and was with Maria and Ken in Milton Keynes. Only last week she had the long journey back to Germany where she was admitted to hospital in Hanover where her son Hermann is a Consultant. The plan was that she would have eventually gone to Hubert and Brigit’s to rest a while. We want to pray for the repose of the soul of Annie and to remember Konrad , Maria, Hermann and Hubert and their families in this time of grief. May she rest in peace.

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The Church “on new shores”


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 22/03/2013

Concern for the renewal of the Christian message has always been central to Schoenstatt’s history. Father Kentenich’s two audiences with the Holy Fathers, Pio XII (1947) and Paul VI (1965) became opportunities to renew this commitment. In his audience with Pope Pio XII, shortly after the proclamation of the Encyclical “Provida Mater Ecclesia” on secular institutes, Fr. Kentenich promised his collaboration so that today, secular institutes hold the same importance for religious and moral renewal as did the religious orders of his day. In his second audience, immediately following the conclusion to the Second Vatican Council, the Schoenstatt Founder promised to concentrate all of his efforts in applying the letter and spirit of the Council. Father Kentenich had an image to describe the aspirations of the Council: the Church “on new shores.” This vision presupposes a form of Christianity based on individual choice,  the reality of love and evangelical victory. Such Christianity has the ability to energise the least enthusiastic and most apathetic of people and inspires spiritual leaders for whom religion is a vital, meaningful and active prat of their daily lives: “There is an irreversible process that is inclined towards secularism and pluralism. The cogwheels of history will not turn back. It is a waste of time to form our life and action with ‘medieval’ customs and practices. We need forward-looking practices; otherwise our efforts will disintegrate; our battle will be utopian and we will hand over present and future ‘battlefields’ to enemy forces without even a fight.” (Father Kentenich, 1961) This vision of the Church coincides with the wish of Pope John Paul II who highlighted the responsibility of the Church “in the newest of times,” that is, a Church that takes up the challenges of the 21st century. The Church on “new shores” has specific characteristics: (more…)

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Humility, Reform and Evangelisation


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 18/03/2013

Habemus Papam – we have a Pope! I have just watched the new pope come out on the loggia. Eyes teared up at the announcement of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. I would like to offer some quick insight. The three keys to his pontificate will be humility, reform and evangelization. Humility: You saw it. His first act as Pope, before blessing his people, was to pray for his predecessor and then to bow down before his flock and ask for their prayers, just as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Juan Mario Bergoglio lived in a small dwelling, not a palace, cooked for himself, and often took public transportation. He is a Latin American Jesuit with a huge heart for Social Justice, and yet distanced himself early on from currents of “Liberation Theology,” which would have us practice the Gospel seen through a Marxist prism. Such a stance may have made him unpopular in his seminary days. It takes humility to buck trends and stick to the truth. It takes humility to recognize your own weakness and ask for prayers. It takes humility to live humbly as a prince of the Church. Reform: Pope Francis has worked with the Curia, but he is an outsider, not an insider. He said the cardinals went to the “end of the earth” to find him. And he picks a name not ever used before. This marks something new. Francis of Assisi was asked by God to rebuild his Church. He at first thought it was the run-down church of San Damiano. He soon learned it was the whole Church, through a humble living of the Gospel.  Pope Francis will be a man of reform. He has an Italian last name but a new fresh perspective. It will not be business as usual in Rome for long. Evangelization: For a Jesuit, the first Francis that comes to mind would not be the “Poverello” of Assisi, but St. Francis Xavier, one of St. Ignatius’ first “Company of Jesus,” whose native language, Spanish, Jorge Bergoglio shares. Converted as a young man in college, St. Francis Xavier went to the ends of the earth to preach the Gospel, including Japan, before dying on his way to China. At the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, you will hear the new Pope tell the youth of the world that story and challenge them to be like Francis Xavier. Bet on it. This will be a pontificate that is marked by a reinvigorated New Evangelization. The world press has spent weeks speaking of scandal and troubles in the Church. I watched hundreds of college students start to cry because they have a new Father in the Faith. We are not seeing the same reality. The Holy Father, stunned as any humble man would be by such a weight, is not blind to Church problems, but sees the Church as it is in so many places: young, faithful, vibrant. He is the man the Holy Spirit has chosen to lead this young Church through troubled seas with humility, reform and above all evangelization!  [Dr. Edward Mulholland]


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Tree Planting at the Shrine


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 17/03/2013

Group planting trees at the Shrine March 2013Group 2 Tree planting at the Shrine March 2013What a great response we had for planting trees at the Shrine. Dennis Shevlan had received 105 trees including a ‘royal oak’ to be planted in the grounds of the Shrine and many came to help with the work. Thankfully  we had good rain on the Friday and so the digging was easier. Many came and wanted to plant their tree. It is one of the things the wise say about life – among other things we should plant a tree! Almost all the 105 trees were planted so we look forward to the sign of growth in and around our Shrine. Our faith should be like the tree planted by the riverside. Thanks to Dennis and to all who helped in this project.

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