Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary time. Year A. 30 July 2017


It is fifty years since the death of Joseph Cardinal Cardijn the founder of the Y.C.W., who not only began a movement among the youth initially in Belgium and gave new insights to the role of people in our Church, but also opened a new chapter in the debate.

The source of the ‘power’, the ‘responsibility’, the ‘obligation’, the ‘duty’, and the ‘right’ for participation by the people, shifted under his gentle prodding from delegation by the Bishop to serious consideration of the gift of Baptism. The implications of this shift still reverberate today and the implementation of the shift varies. But the shift is on! Not all those who have heard have realised that the shift indeed is a “pearl of great price” nor have they realised that it is worth selling all that we have and purchasing it. Our man in Rome is on the path however, and it is worth keeping an eye on that space.

Solomon, on the other hand, found himself in a space that had been created by his father. In Solomon’s time, it needed to be administered, he did not have to begin. He did need “a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil”. It is indeed a great gift to know what is expected of myself and to be able to petition for that gift. We have been given the Holy Spirit to enable us to petition with greater assurance, but do we call upon that gift?

The many events around our nation and elsewhere this week and, in particular, the Cardijn Symposium in Melbourne this past Saturday, helped the participants, each striving to be a disciple of the kingdom, to recall that we have a storeroom and that good leaders should often open the doors of that storeroom and bring out things both new and old.

Open the door!

Mons Frank


Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary time. Year A. 23 July 2017

We read of the commitment and the joy of the early Christians who “received the word in good soil.”  In time, the same people and their descendants were asking the question: “Why are my neighbours not accepting the same Good News?” Today’s reading attempts to answer that question.

The current environment of endless questions, seemingly wanton violence, ferocious drug taking, scorn for moral codes, constant support of individual rights and blatant refusal to contribute to the community that seems to be highlighted in the media, both public and social, can weigh us down and we may consider that the weeds have all the fun…and no responsibility for the welfare of society. Weeds often hide the wheat! There are still wonderful acts of heroism and of selfless contribution to our society.

The new Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm puts the dilemma in this fashion (incidentally, he is the first Cardinal in Northern Europe, even in the Middle Ages when all Europe was Catholic…says something, does it not): “We have to try to bring in our values, but we have to accept that somehow we live in a dialogue with a surrounding culture that is not totally how we want it to be, yet we still accept it.”

The Gospel message of patient tolerance and leaving to God the settling of scores is worth placing on the table for discussion. But let us add another word from Paul working the same dilemma in another culture…

“Creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us from its slavery to decadence” and “All of us who possess the first fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free.” (Romans 8:18-23)

Wheat and weeds!

Maybe a word from the Book of Wisdom will help…

“God, you govern us with great lenience.

By acting thus, you have taught a lesson to your people.”

Once again may we LISTEN and then ACT.

Mons Frank.

P.S. I have been AWOL for a few weeks after the TEAMS conference in Brisbane (very positive) and exploring some of our northern Lands around warm Darwin. Monday is the 50th anniversary of the death of Cardijn. He and Caffarel worked together at the Second Vatican Council and had similar concepts about the role of the laity and clergy in the church: “accompany them let’s journey together.” The causes for both men for canonisation are being actively pursued.


Newsletter 7th edition – July 2017

Newsletter 7th edition – July 2017

  • Cover Story – Formation / Gathering Day Feb 2017
  • Discernment Process for next Vic-East Regional Couple
  • Teams history – Team 22 & Churchill
  • Gippsland Crossroads gathering with the Sale Diocese Bishop
  • Personal experience of praying the Magnificat
  • Notice of the next Married Spirituality function
  • Vale Carmel Brennan
  • Oceania Teams Conference – Brisbane 2017

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A. 2 July 2017


The Australian Press have had a field day this week. I enjoyed the headline ‘Australian Church in Crisis’. Not to my mind in Pyramid Hill or Moama, let alone Ashgrove in Queensland where over one hundred married people, a number of Catholic Priests from most states in Australia and delegates from England and the Philippines have been meeting to discuss ‘Marriage beyond the Wedding’… a far more important topic for Australia than a matter to come before the Victorian Magistrates Court later this month.

An aspect of marriage is raised in the reading from the second book of the Kings today.

“I live with my own people about me.”

The volatility of our communities is disrupting our sense of belonging and contributing to the lack of support for those contemplating marriage, let alone wondering if it’s worthwhile. We heard of instances in which the local community was united in presenting to those preparing for marriage a series of steps which, when implemented by all marriage celebrants with the backing of the community, surprise, surprise, the rate of marriage breakdown was diminished.

The reading also illustrates the value of hospitality and the meal. So dear and important in all Christian and other faith-based marriages.

“Well, she has no son…”

In their world, no insurance or social service provision for old age. Not the most important reason for having a son/daughter, but…?

The joy of all our weekend is summarised in the Psalm:

“Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”

Dr Ryan Messmore took us on a memorable journey back to the original depts of the Covenant story and the reminder that Covenant was about relationships and contract was about chattels. We are on about Covenant in an increasingly mercenary economic profit driven society; the challenge to reorient our people to take hold of the goodness of the Lord who instigated the Covenant and who will not go away and will remain faithful are immense, and much more important than football and the big boxing match this Sunday.

The question remains: ‘who’ and ‘how’?  We did take a few steps and we must be some of the agents of regaining the positive ground.  Somehow, we must bring the Son to the table. In a sense, we may only be able to give ‘a cup of cold water’ to the little ones embarking on the great and beautiful journey of marriage, but we do so because we are disciples, alive for God in Christ Jesus our Lord, and alive and standing in the bright light of Truth.

The census data was not all doom and gloom, but did present us with a picture of what needs to be done. Pope Francis reminds us that getting our feet dirty on the streets is more important today than more proclamations of deep unintelligible pronouncements.

Go…and get your feet dirty!


Mons Frank

Teams Conference Mass

Brisbane   02-07-2017