Welcome to St Charles Borromeo & Our Lady Queen of Peace Ryde-Gladesville Parish
Birth of a new Parish
On 24 May 2015, we celebrated the birth of our new Parish of St Charles Borromeo and Our Lady Queen of Peace Ryde-Gladesville. It is also the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, Patron of Australia.
It begins a new chapter in the sacred story of St Charles Borromeo and Our Lady Queen of Peace communities, which cease to be separate and individual parishes. The futures of our communities are now intimately linked as in a marriage. We are supported by our new parish priest Fr Richard Gates who will take up this new appointment on 24 May 2016 and Fr Daniel McCaughan our assistant priest.
Do not be afraid because you are not alone
As the Easter Season begins to draw to a close Jesus in today’s Gospel speaks to His disciples about His impending departure from them. As the Apostles come to grips with this particular absence of Jesus, as He will no longer be with them as He was in Galilee and Jerusalem, He speaks to them about their fears. But as He speaks to them He commands them to “not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” Be not afraid! This simple instruction is the most repeated of Our Lord’s in the New Testament.
Jesus can seem distant, absent and silent in our lives. In this absence Christ’s command to not be afraid and to not let our hearts be troubled can seem extremely demanding. Life’s burdens can easily get the better of us. So many people deal with the pain of wounded relationships as well as loneliness. Others live with immense physical suffering. Still others carry the burden of anxiety and depression. Questions about the unknown future of our lives can be a troubling thought. A perceived absence and silence of God in all of these situations can make it very difficult to not be afraid and not be troubled.
Nevertheless Christ commands us today, as he did to the Apostles, amidst all of the life’s suffering and His apparent absence, “do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” We can only follow His command because He does not leave us desolate, or alone or as orphans. By virtue of our Baptism Jesus has come to dwell in our hearts and He is as close to us as Jesus was to the Apostles. Through our Confirmation the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete and Helper, works in our lives accompanying us in all our difficulties.
This presence of Jesus in our hearts through our Baptism is not a band-aid solution. It does not mean that all our sufferings and worries disappear. It is also not some nice imagery to give us temporary comfort. God is REALLY present in our hearts. But we can only live this reality of God’s presence through deep and constant prayer. Through faithfulness to prayer, through sharing all of our lives with Him and giving Him room to speak to us, we come to a greater faith and awareness of God’s presence with us and we also give God the opportunity to work in our lives. When this becomes part of our life we can choose not be afraid and we can choose for our hearts not to be troubled because we know that God is with us.
Through God’s presence in our lives we will discover peace; the peace that cannot be found in any person, place or thing in the world but can be found in Jesus Christ alone.
Seminarian Ronnie Maree