December 2018 – February 2019
From the Rector
The last few months have seen a variety of activities in the parish. On 11 November we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, with a special mass for peace. Our guest preacher that day was Deacon Joe Johns from Willochra Diocese, and a former army chaplain. We concluded with a touching service at the War Shrine at 11 am, joined by Fr Michael Brennan from Holy Cross Catholic Parish and sundry parishioners. I was touched by family members of those who had died who joined for the prayers. It may be a 100 years, but they were remembered.
During November we also hosted the Benedictine Oblates Conference. We had oblates from not only South Australia, but Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. Oblates are lay people who although they live in the world, try and follow the rule for living given by St Benedict over 1000 years ago. For many years I was a chaplain to a community of Benedictine nuns near Wangaratta, Victoria, and we set up this support group when I moved to St George’s. Now we only have one nun, Sr Patience, left and our oblates are transitioning into a group of mutual support without a core monastic community. To help this we will continue with our monthly meetings and have appointed a local visitor, Fr David McDougall, to help guide us. Fr David is the Rector of St Saviour’s Glen Osmond and involved with the Society of the Sacred Mission (SSM) who older members will remember for their college at St Michael’s. Many a student there was also feted at St George’s and we are proud to renew a link with SSM.
Then for Christ the King we had Deacon Wendy Morecroft join us to preach. Wendy was a former weekday communicant who will be ordained on 8 December. It’s been a year for deacons: we have had visiting deacons from all three dioceses in South Australia: The Murray, Willochra and now Adelaide. Our parish has had long connections with many people throughout the state and even though we may have difficulties at times with Adelaide Diocese we occupy a valuable place in the wider church.
I also celebrated my silver jubilee as a priest in November. When a priest vests in the traditional form he crosses the stole over his chest to signify the cross of Jesus. Well, I certainly have had my crosses to bear over the years! I have made no secret how difficult things have been with Adelaide Diocese over the last few years, but the great support has been the parishioners and their prayers, and I thank you for those myriad intercessions to the throne of God.
We have now entered the season of Advent with its theme of preparation and waiting for the Lord. Traditionally we also contemplate the four last things of death, judgement, heaven and hell, as ways to face our own mortality. Our Lord Jesus has come to us to set us free from the burdens and worries of the world, and we can only do that when we step back and get a perspective of what the world offers and what God offers. The realisation that life here has a use by date is an important part of that process.
But getting back to things of the world, as a parish we give thanks also for those who remember us in their wills. We received a bequest for $200,000 from Mary Lawrence as a thank offering to the parish. St George’s depends on our endowment in the form of the Coulthard Fund to support our work here.
I was fortunate in September to take some leave and spend as part of that time a week with my family in Ireland and a week in Rome, a city I had never spent any time in.
We now look forward to Christmas. A reminder that our popular Children’s service is on Christmas eve at 6 pm, the midnight mass starts at 11 pm and we have one mass on Tuesday, Christmas Day, at 9 am.
In the north aisle of St George’s is an altar upon which stands a finely carved statue of Mary with the Christchild on her lap – the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Walsingham is a little village far away in Norfolk in England, so how does St George’s come to have such a shrine?
The answer to this question begins long ago. In the Year of Our Lord, 1061, an event occurred that was to put the village of Walsingham in Norfolk “on the map” for many centuries. According to tradition, in that year Richeldis de Faverches, the lady of the manor of Walsingham, saw a vision of Mary in which she was told to build a shrine in honour of the Holy House of Nazareth near a spring of water that had miraculously appeared. Later other stories arose as to the origins of the shrine, but what is certain is that in response to the vision Richeldis built a small wooden shrine and pilgrims began to come to Walsingham.
The Shrine as a place of pilgrimage began to attract pilgrims from not only around England but also from the continent of Europe. The idea of pilgrimage was popular and, unlike places in the far away Holy Land, Walsingham was within easy reach. The village, with its Holy House, became known as “England’s Nazareth” and its Marian Shrine the most visited of all such shrines in Christendom.
Not only ordinary folk came to Walsingham seeking the blessing of Mary and healing at the waters of the holy well (healings that are well-attested by present-day pilgrims). King Henry VIII was the last in a long line of royal pilgrims to visit the Shrine, but in 1538 the Shrine fell victim to Henry’s need of money. It was destroyed, its riches seized, and the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was taken to London and burnt.
Gradually the buildings, together with those of the nearby Augustinian Priory, fell into ruin. For three and a half centuries the Shrine, and all that it had stood for, was almost forgotten. But there was one tangible reminder. Converted for use as a farm building, the little Chapel of St Catherine (the Slipper Chapel*) still stood to mark the last stage of the Walsingham Way. Following a revival of interest in Walsingham at the end of the 19thcentury the Chapel was eventually restored in the 1930’s as a centre for Roman Catholic pilgrimage.
Earlier in 1922 the parish priest at Walsingham, Fr Hope Patten, had taken steps to revive “England’s Nazareth”. A statue of the Blessed Virgin was carved, based on the only existing representation of the original statue (found on a small seal). It was placed in the parish church and pilgrims started coming again. In time a new Holy House of Nazareth was built and on 15thOctober 1931 the statue was placed there. Our Lady of Walsingham had come home at last and today Walsingham is once more a place of prayer, peace and healing where all, regardless of age or background, are welcomed. Special programs encourage a steady flow of young people.
St George’s link with Our Lady of Walsingham began in the 1940’s when two sisters of the Community of the Servants of the Holy Cross, Mother Monica Mary and Sister Janet Mary, were invited to come to St George’s to run the day school. The Community had commenced work in Australia in 1922 helping with schools and homes for children, mainly in outback New South Wales. The Community had close links with the Shrine at Walsingham and in the early 1930’s, while at Gilgandra, they were presented by a well-wisher with a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. When Mother Monica Mary died in 1944 Sister Janet Mary, the sole remaining member of the Community, gave the statue to St George’s. It is dedicated to the memory of Mother Monica Mary.
Our statue is copied from the one at Walsingham and we are indeed blessed at St George’s to have such a beautiful Shrine in honour of Mary. A few of us at St George’s are members of a cell of Our Lady of Walsingham. A cell provides an opportunity to be more closely associated with the Shrine in England and its rich devotional life centred around Our Lady. We meet every three months on a Saturday morning for mass followed by a shared breakfast. Members also receive the Walsingham magazine. If you are interested in becoming a member of our cell and would like more information, please contact Fr Scott.
*So-called because pilgrims would remove their footwear there and walk the last mile barefoot.
Christmas is coming…
And we are entering the season of Advent, that time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ. When this season of preparation was first instituted is lost in the mists of time but it has to post-date the fixing of the date of Christmas that in the Western church took place in early to mid-4thcentury.
Numerous customs grew up around the season of Advent. In one custom observed in England poor women carried around “Advent images”, two dolls dressed to represent Mary and her Son. A halfpenny coin was expected from everyone to whom these dolls were exhibited and woe-betide the household that was not visited by the doll-bearers before Christmas Eve. In Italy today, Advent celebrations include the entry into Rome in the last days of Advent of Calabrian bagpipe players who play before the shrines of Mary. In Italian tradition, the shepherds played these pipes when they came to pay homage to the infant Jesus.
A custom with which we are familiar is the Advent wreath. The small wreath with five candles that we know today evolved from a cartwheel! In the 19thcentury a Lutheran pastor ran a school for poor children in Hamburg. The children would ask him daily if Christmas had arrived, so in 1839 he took an old cartwheel and made a large wooden ring with twenty small red and four large white candles. A small candle was lit successively every weekday and Saturday during Advent, with the large white candle being lit on Sunday.
Our word “Advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “coming”. In Roman times an Adventus was the formal welcome of the emperor into a city. After much careful preparation the civic authorities would come out from the city as the emperor approached to meet him and pay him homage. In the church’s year we have a kind of Adventus. We begin with preparing to welcome Christ into our midst and end with celebrating the great feast of Christ the King.
6 pm Monday 24thDecember
Starting 11 pm 24thDecember
Solemn Sung Mass
9 am Tuesday 25 December
A German Shepherd, a Doberman and a cat have died and all three are faced with God who wants to know what they believe in. The German Shepherd says, “I believe in discipline, training and loyalty to my master.” “Good,” says God “then sit down on my right-side. Doberman, what do you believe in?” asks God. The Doberman answers, “I believe in the love, care and protection of my master.” “Aha,” said God, “you may sit to my left then. He looks at the cat and asks, “and what do you believe in?” The cat then answers, “I believe you’re sitting in my seat.”
All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish capitalism, all the false successes of life will pass with the world’s form. All of that passes away. What does not pass away is love. When one has turned money, property, work in one’s calling into service of others, then the joy of sharing and the feeling that all are one’s family does not pass away. In the evening of life you will be judged on love.
St Oscar Romero
Oscar Romero was murdered at mass in 1980 and canonised last October.
Help for the Needy
My thanks for little donations of cash to help those in need. The rectory has many in need who call looking for food and help. We have been fortunate that some are blessed with skills of gardening or cleaning and have been willing to work for a small reward. But we depend on cash donations for this ministry.
New Year’s Eve
4 pm Monday 31 December
A short service of evening prayer to give thanks to the year and to pray for the year ahead.
The parish has received a Christmas Card from John Morrison of Simbai, PNG. We support the diocese of Aipo Rongo, based in the highlands of PNG, every year with our Lenten offering. As ever, there are major problems with lack of equipment and the embezzlement of funds by corruption within the government. The church there, dedicated to St Lawrence, is being rebuilt at the moment. We received some pictures of the new church and new stations of the cross.
At long last the majority of the church lighting is now complete. It has been a massive job, but the interior of the church is now complete. We still need to work on the lighting of the exterior of the building (it helps to advertise our presence in the wider city) and perhaps the grounds as well. Parish council is now looking at polishing the floor of the nave and possible new carpets and other maintenance improvements, such as solar power. One of the great improvements is to have ambient light on for the different masses; we need only have strong light around the altars, on weekdays, and just highlight the other features of the church.
The Unley Council has also finally finished the outside lighting on the War Shrine: it was a year late, but we now have new lighting to highlight it on Goodwood Road.
1 Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, Servant of the Poor, 1916
2 ADVENT 1
3 Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies, missionary, 1552
4 John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher of the Faith, c749
4 Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637
6 Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c326
7 Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Teacher of the Faith, 397
8 The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8 Richard Baxter, Pastor and Spiritual Writer, 1691
9 ADVENT 2
13 Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304
13 Samuel Johnson, Moralist, 1784
14 John of the Cross, Poet, Teacher of the Faith, 1591
16 ADVENT 3
17 O Sapientia
17 Eglantine Jebb, Social Reformer, Founder of “Save the Children”, 1928
21 THOMAS, APOSTLE AND MARTYR
23 ADVENT 4
25 THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD; CHRISTMAS DAY
26 STEPHEN, DEACON AND FIRST MARTYR
27 JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST
28 HOLY INNOCENTS
29 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1170
30 HOLY FAMILY
31 John Wyclif, Reformer, 1384
1 THE NAMING AND CIRCUMCISION OF JESUS: Solemnity of MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
2 Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishops, Teachers of the Faith, 379 & 389
2 Eliza Hassall, CMS Missionary in the Middle East, 1917
2 Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Spiritual Guide, 1833
2 Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945
6 THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD
10 William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645
12 Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
12 Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689
12 Dedication of 1stChurch, 1882
13 BAPTISM OF CHRIST
17 Antony of Egypt, Hermit, Abbot, 356
17 Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932
18 CONFESSION OF PETER
19 Wulfstan, Bishop of Worchester, 1095
20 EPIPHANY 3
21 Mt Lamington Memorial Day (1951)
22 Agnes, Child-Martyr of Rome, 304 (from 21)
22 Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon, First Martyr of Spain, 304
24 Companions of Paul, including Timothy, Titus and Silas
24 Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622
25 CONVERSION OF PAUL
26 Australia Day
27 EPIPHANY 4
28 Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Teacher, 1274
30 Charles, King and Martyr, 1649
30 Laying of Foundation Stone of Oratory 1915
1 Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, c525
3 THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE (Candlemas) (from 2)
3 First Anglican Service in Australia, 1788
5 Paul Miki and the Martyrs of Japan, 1597
10 4THSUNDAY BEFORE LENT
12 Scholastica, sister of Benedict, Abbess of Plombariola, c543 (from 10)
14 Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 & 885
15 Thomas Bray, Priest, missionary, Founder of SPCK and the SPG, 1730
17 SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY
20 William Grant Broughton, first Bishop of Australia, 1853
23 Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop of Smyrna, c155
24 MATTHIAS, APOSTLE AND MARTYR
27 George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633
1 David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c601
2 Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
3 QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY
6 ASH WEDNESDAY
7 Perpetua and her Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
8 Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, 1910
8 John of God, Worker among the Sick and poor, Spain, 1550
8 Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
9 Sister Emma SSA, Superior of the Society of the Sacred Advent, Queensland, 1939
10 LENT 1
13 Ember Wednesday
15 Ember Friday
16 Ember Saturday
17 LENT 2
18 Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, Teacher of the Faith, 386
19 JOSEPH OF NAZARETH
20 Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, Bishop and missionary (d. 687) or 4thSept.
21 Transitus of Benedict, Abbot of Monte Casino, Father of Western Monasticism, patron of Europe, c550
21 Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1556
24 LENT 3
26 THE ANNUNCIATION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (FROM 25)
26 Harriet Monsell, Founder of the Community of St John the Baptist, Clewer, 1883
31 LENT 4 MOTHERING SUNDAY
8.00 am Mass
9.30 am Solemn Sung Mass, followed by morning tea
4.00 pm Evensong (BCP)
Monday Fr Scott’s Day Off
Tuesday 10.00 am Mass, followed by morning tea
Wednesday 7.30 am Matins
8.00 am Mass
Thursday 12 noon Mass
Friday 4.45 pm Evensong
5.15 pm Mass English Missal
Saturday 7.30 am Matins
8.00 am Mass
A monthly requiem is held on the first free Friday of the month, when all whose year’s mind falls in that month and the recently departed are remembered and prayed for.
Confessions are heard by appointment.