Monday, November 27, 2006

Following is a letter from the Juventutem Acting President and Secretary encouraging all youth to support this Traditional event to form part of World Youth Day 2008 held in Sydney. For more information, please contact myself or the committee direct at:
Juventutem Australia Inc
PO Box 54
Caulfield South VIC 3162
Tel: (0404) 140 662
God Bless,

Dear Friend in Christ,

We are writing to inform you of a recent initiative within the traditional Latin Mass Community around the world, including Australia, called Juventutem. The name ‘Juventutem’ comes from Ps.42 in the opening prayers of the Roman Missal, “Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meum”, and was formed in France in 2004 in response to our late Holy Father John Paul II’s call to youth ” the Church needs genuine witnesses for the new evangelisation…the Church needs saints”, so that young people devoted to the Sacred Liturgy and the traditions of the Church could attend World Youth Day (WYD) as traditional pilgrims as well as being a daily and ongoing movement within the Church for the sanctification of our youth. This initiative calls us to be witnesses of the great heritage of our Faith, and the treasure that is the Latin liturgy, spreading this Faith and form of worship to our fellow young Catholics.

The first Juventutem delegation to attend WYD occurred last year in Cologne, Germany, where over 1,000 young people from France, Germany, England, Ireland, Spain, the United States and Australia gathered together at St. Antonius’ church in Dusseldorf, along with Cardinals and Bishops from many countries, including our own Cardinal Pell, to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Vespers and the Divine Office over a week. It was an outstanding success, the event receiving media attention, as well as new devotees to the Sacred Liturgy. We believe that the same response can occur here in Australia, in Sydney in 2008, which is also the year of the 20th anniversary of the Motu Proprio ‘Ecclesia Dei’. In the last year, we have received enthusiastic feedback from young people internationally, some of whom attended WYD with Juventutem last year, and many others who have heard about its successes from various sources; the internet, newspapers, religious journals and from their own parishes. Juventutem aims to foster a “new awareness” amongst these youth of the spiritual and liturgical heritage of the Church.

In order to achieve this, Juventutem Australia has been formed in the last year from pilgrims returning from WYD 2005 and is responsible for organizing the traditional Catholic programme in both Melbourne and Sydney in 2008. This event (Juventutem 2008) will be the largest gathering of young traditional Catholics in our nation’s history, and as you would expect significant costs are involved in it’s organization and planning. These include defraying travel and accommodation expenses of the many visiting clergy from overseas, providing transport, accommodation and catering for hundreds of young pilgrims, arranging support for each of the many language groups attending, as well as daily administration and communication expenses related to the project.

Juventutem Australia receives no funding from within Australia or internationally and is entirely dependant on the Latin Mass community for any financial support. We now require urgent assistance from our own community if we are to achieve any goals for WYD 2008 - primarily the organization of a full liturgical and pastoral programme comprising daily Solemn Mass, Divine Office and catechesis as well as workshops in Latin, Gregorian chant, and cultural excursions. Without such assistance, it will be impossible to stage this event in 2008 which young people from at least 20 countries are looking forward to attending.

Although we have made progress this year in promoting Juventutem within Australia and overseas, setting up a website, conducting surveys, obtaining support from Ecclesia Dei organizations, it is imperative we find funds to not only continue the complex preparations for 2008, but to continue to exist as a viable ongoing movement within the Australian community.

The Juventutem Australia Committee believe that such an important occasion will not only directly benefit Australia’s Catholic community, but also the communities of all those countries taking part. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Australia in May this year:

“More than an event, World Youth Day is a time of deep ecclesial renewal, especially among the young, the fruits of which will benefit the whole of your society”

Please visit
to make a donation. We are very grateful for any contribution you are able to make.

Please keep all the young people involved in Juventutem here and overseas in your prayers, as we will keep you in ours.

Thanking you in advance for your support, and with every good wish,

In Christo,

Miss Eve Woolven
Secretary, Juventutem Australia

Dr Chris Steward
Acting President, Juventutem Australia

Sermon for Last Sunday after Pentecost 26.11.06

Last Sunday of the year 26.11.06 (with First Communion)

Today we have the last and the first. The last Sunday of the year, and the first Holy Communion for seven children.

Understanding where we are supposed to finish is always a good place to start.

The last Sunday plus the season of Advent, with its emphasis on repentance and judgment, is a time of reminder for us to keep the last things in view. We are reminded that life is short, that the world is passing away, that we should be ready like wakeful bridesmaids or watchful servants to meet the Lord when He returns.

This is how we are supposed to be when we finish our lives. So how can we reach and maintain such a state?

By taking advantage of every source of grace we can receive in this earthly pilgrimage.

And the greatest source of grace we have available to us in this life is Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

This Sacrament is so important because it is no less than Jesus Christ Himself.

To receive Holy Communion is to receive all-of-God. We receive Him and everything good about Him.

If we receive Him worthily and as fully as we are able then we will be ready to die, and to live, ready to end our lives or continue them, ready for anything and everything.

To receive Him as fully as we are able. At the physical level it is easy to receive Our Lord in this Sacrament.

It is easy to digest one small host, and it may seem like no big deal. To those with little or no faith that is how it will appear.

But with the eyes of faith this small host is bigger than the whole universe. Because it contains what cannot be contained – the Mystery of God Himself, the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.

Infinite reality packed into a very small space. How precious is one of these hosts.

To some it means nothing, to us everything.

But if what we receive is so great, how can we take it in? How can we grasp so much goodness in a way that we can translate into our everyday lives?

This is food that we enter, rather than food that enters us.

We enter the Mystery of God. We cannot contain Him, but He can easily contain us.

So we enter the goodness of God, like going into a large room, or an ocean and being immersed in that goodness.

It expresses itself in different ways at different times.

So Holy Communion might one time bring you comfort in a time of fear, or consolation in a time of grief, or wisdom in a time of searching, or love for your neighbour in a time of need.

Anything that is good might flow from this Sacrament when it is received worthily and with at least some amount of faith in the recipient.

Children, who are receiving Him for the first time today, you will enter the Mystery again and again. Like a room full of good things, you cannot take them all out with you at any one time, but you can go back for more each time.

So we need to receive the Lord repeatedly, because He is bigger than we are.

And for the adults, who have received Him many times – realize the momentousness of each Holy Communion – treat it like it is your First and your Last.

And doing this as often as we can through our lives, we are far more likely to be awake and watching when the Lord returns, or when our life ends.

We will have nourished ourselves on His goodness, having learned to live in communion with Him. Death and the end of the world will be no more than a change of address for us because we are already close to Him, and will rejoice to see Him face to face.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sermon for 24th Sunday after Pentecost 19.11.06

24th Sunday after Pentecost 19.11.06 Leaven in the bread

We are to be the leaven in society.

If we cannot convert people directly we can at least influence the kind of world we have. We are helping to civilise and direct the world to the right end.

It is not easy to convert people, but we can at least put the truth in front of them by the way we speak and act.

A lot of our present struggle is whether the Church is leavening the world or the other way round.

Much of worldly thinking has infected the Church, eg feminism, syncretism of religions.

We have to be very clear that the Church is teacher of the world, and not the other way round.

Yes, we can learn from the world sometimes, but only as to detail, never as to basic belief and policy.

So, for example, if we have an atheist neighbour who is generous with his time and possessions, we can learn from him to be generous, but not to be an atheist.

So the Church beckons the world to come to Christ, come to the water and be saved.

The world says it doesn’t need to come anywhere. The Church in fact should move, relax its standards and apologize for past wrongs.

Then, with a vague blend of spiritual values all the world will live in peace.

But you can’t be in peace if you don’t have the basic link with truth.

Only Christ can save. There is only one God and only one Saviour.

This is the stunning simplicity of our belief.

So much more fashionable to believe in many gods without taking any of them very seriously.

This throws us back onto humanism. We decide for ourselves what is right - and we get it wrong.

If we don’t make Christ known the whole world will drown in its own ignorance. Darkness will prevail.

We must give the world what it needs. To know Christ; to come to full faith, baptism, eucharist, eternal life.

General goodwill is not enough. Tolerance is definitely not enough.

We ourselves have a lot to learn as we seek to be leaven.

In this sense the growth of the Church is in two ways: in holiness and in numbers.

We want to get bigger and we want to get better.

Certainly if we get the holiness right the numbers will rocket. It is only our lack of holiness that impedes our growth.

As the Church has always produced saints in every generation so there has been growth.
Imagine how much more that growth would be if more rank and file Catholics took the faith seriously.

If saints, instead of being one in a million, were one one in a hundred.

Why not? The grace is there; the truth is there.

Without holiness our growth in numbers will be just nominal (like higher population), but no real life.

We must get both right – be what we are supposed to be and we cannot help but get bigger.

The birds will fly to the tree when they see how safe and strong it is.

Or the nations will flock to Zion when they see how tall it is.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tradelaide in Rex Magazine

Tradelaide blog has been featured in the new issue of Rex Magazine. If you would like to have a look, visit:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sermon for 23rd Sunday after Pentecost 12.11.06

23rd Sunday after Pentecost 12.11.06 Total trust

The Gospel presents us with two different ways of asking Our Lord for help. One man insists on His personal attendance at the scene of the trouble; one woman is content to pray just by touching, without saying a word.

Both receive what they want. We sense that the woman’s faith is stronger than the man’s, but from both we learn again that Our Lord is willing to hear our prayers, and we should keep them coming.

Our Lord is pleased whenever He encounters above average faith. He commends this woman who touched His garment. He commends the centurion who trusted that Our Lord could heal from a distance. He commends the Canaanite woman who persisted in her prayers despite apparent rejection.

He tells us to be like the importunate widow who would not give up until the unjust judge gave her what she needed.

O we of little faith are more likely to give up too soon, or expect too little of Our Lord.

We can be too tentative in our prayer, not really expecting anything good to happen.

Why do we give up so easily? There are a couple of major barriers we need to get across.

1) Lack of trust. We are not convinced enough of God’s love for us, His closeness to us, or even (sometimes) His existence.

We allow our experience of suffering and disappointment to dent our trust in God. If He would allow me to go through suffering then is He really my friend?

So we either stop praying altogether or pray only half-heartedly and sporadically.

This does not express or engender faith. If we do not ask we do not receive, or not as much anyway.

2) Lack of knowledge of God’s will. Supposing we do still trust Him to a fairly high degree. The problem can then be that we do not know what He is planning; what is His will for the particular problem we confront.

We believe He has the power to do anything; we are just not sure what He wants to do in this case. For example, a prayer for the healing of someone with a terminal illness.

So we tend to be less forthright in asking than we would like – out of a kind of deference to God’s will. Yet He does want us to ask for things. Ask and you shall receive.

He wants us to discern His will and approach Him with confidence.

It is all a matter of trust. He wants us to get so close to Him that when we pray we are not shouting across a great canyon in the hope that He might hear us, but rather whispering in intimate confidence, knowing that He does hear us.

Look at Our Lady at Cana, and how she made that prayer. She approached Jesus quietly and confidently. She did not have to shout the prayer. She did not have to explain what she meant. She just put it before Him knowing that He would be in sympathy with her feelings on the matter.

So the miracle was worked. If we need a miracle this is how to ask for it. We don’t have to make a lot of noise, but just develop an enduring sense of trust.

Come close to Him every day, and every day closer than the one before.

We do not always know what He is going to do, but we do know that it will be something good.

In many ways the state of perfect trust in God is itself the answer to the prayer. When we love Him that much we are filled with His grace and that is really better than any earthly advantage we might otherwise be seeking.

Also when we do trust Him that much our prayer is going to work much better because it will be prayed in strong faith (like the woman, the centurion, Our Lady etc).

So to advance in trust, until we reach total trust. Any lack of trust can be part of our prayer: Lord, help my unbelief.

Any previous disappointment or disenchantment with Him: ask Him to heal it, to reassure us that He has never been absent from our sides.

Then, together, we draw close, and miracles will happen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sermon for wedding Steven and Louise 4.11.06

Steven Zollo and Louise Donohue 4.11.06

It is good to marry in the Church because here we are able to get to the source and meaning of what marriage really is.

In this place we are acknowledging that it is God Himself who has invented, established marriage.

Only if we go back to Him can we get the full picture, can we understand exactly what marriage is and what it requires.

Why did God invent marriage? To make His own love visible and tangible.

Being creatures of flesh we need physical reassurance. To be told that ‘God loves us’ is good, but it may seem a bit abstract or remote.

He knows that so He gives us love in forms we can understand and appreciate.

He uses human love to mediate His divine love.

There are many forms of human love but of them all marriage is the most intimate and the most intense.

So especially in marriage does Almighty God mediate His divine love to the couple, through each other.

The couple’s love for each other becomes a sign and a sharing in God’s love for each of them.

Their love and fidelity would demonstrate God’s much greater love and fidelity.

As well God has instituted marriage for new life. In this way new children will be born for His kingdom. He claims the children as His own.

Steven and Louise can do all this – with His help.

They know their need for His help and have committed themselves to seeking Him in preparation for this marriage.

They know also that it is not only today they must pray but every day. And we, as we pray for them, must not end the prayer with this wedding, but keep them in continuous prayer.

We pray for good fruit to come from this marriage.

The most obvious fruit of marriage is children, and we pray that they come.

Other fruits are things like stability for society, hospitality, service to the Church and community.

Steven and Louise, if you succeed you will be doing us all a favour. You will be establishing one place in this world where there is love and peace.

In a world where there is so much trouble and alienation, we will be able to point to your house and say, There is one place where love can be found, where God is enthroned.

So we pray that it be so, and God will bless you in every way.

We take the chance to pray for all marriages, for all who are married or who will marry, that they will grasp the plan of God in establishing marriage and will live by His will.

Marriage will make sense only when we include God in the picture.

May He continue to show His divine love through human love.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sermon for 22nd Sunday after Pentecost 5.11.06

22nd Sunday after Pentecost 5.11.06 Purgatory

If a disaster struck and we were surrounded on all sides by sick and dying people, we would try to look after them, would we not?

The motivation in such a case would be the highly visible and audible suffering which we could not escape even if we wanted to.

We just could not ignore people lying all about us and moaning in pain.

What we are doing on All Souls Day, and whenever we pray for the dead, is precisely the same thing.

We are helping people who are helpless; people who are moaning in pain and in dire need of whatever help we can give.

It is not so easy to maintain the motivation in this case because we cannot see or hear their distress.

It is so easy to forget the dead – forget at least their distress . We remember those we love, but even then do we think to pray for them?

We might be more conscious of our own pain in missing them, but what of their pain as they experience the purifying fire of purgatory?

Part of the problem today is the assumption that many make of instant entry to heaven.

Read the funeral notices or go to a funeral and there will always be a very clear statement that the deceased person has gone to heaven and is already enjoying eternal bliss.

It may be so, but it is likely that most people would spend some time in Purgatory before they move on to Heaven.

And Purgatory, by all the teachings of the Church and the witness of the saints and mystics – is a painful place.

Yes there is the joy of knowing that salvation is assured, but there is also the intense pain of being purified from every sin and every kind of sin we have committed in life.

We see in all its clarity our own grubbiness in the light of God’s glory. It is, we can imagine, like being embarrassed or humiliated, only a hundred times worse than we have experienced on earth.

So there is pain in purgatory. We might think the dead do not need to worry because they will be released. But think if you were trapped in a ditch and people were passing by. You know eventually you will be released, but you are still suffering while you are in that position.

What if everyone said to you: Don’t worry, pal, someone will get you out one day – but noone actually did get you out and you were still there a hundred years later.

Some of the suffering souls must feel like that.

In the Church there has been a marked decrease in prayer for the dead – due in part to the assumption of an easy heaven, and in part due to a decline in any sort of prayer.

We must do our bit. We are surrounded on all sides by people in distress. It’s bad enough on earth but we have this other world where there may be millions of people trapped in the state of sin in which they died and they need us to pull them out of the ‘ditch’.

We don’t know who is in purgatory, and we are not sure whom we are helping with our prayers, but we do know we are helping someone, and that is enough motivation.

It is a work of mercy to pray for the dead and we may need someone to do the same for us.

(Though in our case we will take the lesson that we will try to be purified before we die, not after).

To keep the motivation just see in your mind that people are being relieved and released from pain when you pray for them, and the more you pray the more this is happening.

We can forget them because we cannot hear their cries, so we make a special effort to keep them always in mind.