Honouring our Volunteers.
Our volunteers are vital, vibrant and valued.
At masses on 27/28 May we honoured and celebrated our volunteers.
A Prayer for our Volunteers
We give thanks for the Spirit of care blowing gently
through the hearts of our volunteers,
as they contribute their time, their gifts,
their skills and their friendship
across the vast array of ministries in our Parish.
Through their generous hearts, we are able to
create and maintain a safe and inclusive place of belonging
that welcomes, enables, befriends, and accompanies those in need.
We honour their life-giving service with our
gratitude and respect.
We ask your blessing upon them as they continue
to witness through the compassionate heart of
your Son, Jesus.
Literacy Open Morning at St Columba Primary School
On Friday 26 May, St Columba held a Literacy Open Morning. Parents and grandparents joined the children in their classrooms.
Annie, a delightful new student, laughed at knowing more about spelling than her mum.
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and to the students and staff.
Celebrating Mother's Day at St Columba Primary School
A very special day in our school calendar.
Mothers and special friends were treated to a beautiful breakfast hosted by one of the wonderful school families. We were all then treated to a brilliant assembly filled with beautiful, poignant and funny messages from the children, a beautiful blessing and two wonderful singing / dancing performances, one organised for the Gr 1-6s by our Performing Arts teacher, Steph, who attended on her day off with her gorgeous baby Rosie.
Thank you everyone involved.
A Blessing for our Mothers
May your heart be filled with boundless love and unwavering strength,
As you navigate the beautiful journey of motherhood.
May you find comfort and support in the community of mothers and women around you,
Sharing stories, laughter and tears knowing you are never alone.
May your days be filled with joyous moments and treasured memories,
As you nurture and guide your children, shaping their lives with love and care.
May you find balance amongst the chaos, embracing both
the challenges and triumphs.
And may you always trust in your intuition.
May you find time for self care, honoring the woman within the mother,
Knowing that your wellbeing is the foundation on which
your family thrives.
May you be a source of inspiration and empowerment,
Teaching your children kindness, compassion and the
courage to chase their dreams.
May your resilience shine through in the hard times
And may you be appreciated, celebrated and loved.
Today and always may you be blessed,
For the immeasurable impact you have on the world,
through the love you give.
Easter Triduum 2023
Holy Thursday at Sacred Heart Church this year was an intimate and solemn celebration of Christ's last supper. It was wonderful that we were able to once again return to the symbolic ritual of the washing of the feet. It is the first time we have been able to practise this beautiful action of service since the pandemic. Lovely that Christine thought to provide individual towels so we could do this in a Covid safe way. The washing of the feet is a very real reminder of Jesus's humanity and his humility before his disciples who he was entrusting with carrying on his ministry well after he was gone. We also returned to our tradition of turning down the lights of the church at the end of mass and lighting candles. We processed down the main aisle following Fr John carrying Jesus's body, symbolically represented in the bread which he placed on the cross. During the singing of Bless the Lord, Ubi Caritas and O Christe Domine Jesu, we brought our candles to the cross and stayed for the watch. This moving reflection is reminiscent of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane.
Indeed, it was a wonderful evocation of the beginning of the Triduum - the major feast days which lead up to the celebration of Easter. As always, I was thankful to be present for the very devotional way in which our parish remembers Jesus's last evening with his disciples.
Antonietta (Toni Vatta)
Friendship Fair at St Columba Primary School
On Thursday 6 April, St Columba held their Friendship Fair. It is one of the most popular events of the year. Each class organised or made something to sell to the other students. Think cupcakes, books, lemonade, a lucky dip, fun games or getting your hair sprayed in a bright colour. All of the money raised goes towards Caritas Australia. Congratulations to our wonderful children and the hardworking staff. We wish them all a safe and peaceful Easter and school holidays.
St Columba Primary School Marqt
Every year on the Sunday before the Easter holiday we organise a market & fair especially for children, age 0-12Y.
Last Sunday 2 April, 600 people joined in the fun! The sun was shining and our school community put on a wonderful event.
Activities for the children (young and old) included:
Children's Flea Market, by and for children
The free Easter Egg hunt and special guest, the Easter Bunny
Becky Bubble - she made giant bubbles and taught the children how to make their own.
Congratulations to the organising committee, to all the volunteers and a special thank you to Bendigo Elwood Community Bank who sponsored the Marqt.
Free Easter Egg hunt with special guest, The Easter Bunny
Parish Ten Pin Bowling
On Sunday 26th March, twelve of our parishioners headed down to Zone Bowling in Moorabbin for a fun afternoon of ten pin bowling. Whilst we had a few seasoned players (not looking at you, Dom and Lina), some were complete novices and then some of us had only played a handful of times or were a bit on the, shall we say, "rusty" side. Nonetheless, we didn't shame ourselves. In fact all of us improved our scores by the second game. We had a lot of laughs. All in all, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.
This was the first activity of the year organised by the Parish Social Committee. We have more events planned for the year if you were unable to come to bowling and we would love to see you come along. Our next event is on Sunday the 28th May at 12.30pm. It will be our Dine with Heart luncheon . This is our annual fundraiser in support of both The Sacred Heart Mission and our parish. More details to come. In the meantime, please save the date!
Antonietta (Toni) Vatta on behalf of the Parish Social Committee.
Bowling Team 1
Bowling Team 2
Bowling Team 3
Cathie in action
Harmony Week at St Columba Primary School
Harmony Week is the celebration that recognises our diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds.
It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.
The children celebrated Harmony Day on 21 March 2023 by wearing orange or clothing from their culture. They also bought in food from their different backgrounds and celebrated with delicious morning tea.
Morning tea from around the globe
Special guest, Bishop Tony Ireland
St Columba Church gets a Spring clean in Autumn
Thank you to Mahtab, Lou and our Brazilian Crew, comprising Jeferson, Lucas, Mizela, Cesar and Carla for the three hours they spent giving St Columba Church a deep clean last Saturday. We searched and eliminated dust from the top of the statutes to the skirting boards and everywhere in-between. We sneezed, laughed and sang along to hymns (Brazilians always insist on music!) and by 6.00 p.m. everyone had washed up, ready for Mass. Not content to sit back on his laurels, Jeferson gave the Lenten presentation on what quenches his thirst for faith, in-between playing the piano! Mahtab, Mizela, Carla and Cesar also took on some Mass ministry roles. Rumour has it that after Mass, the Brazilians went on to an ‘after party’, at which a lot of wine was consumed!
Thank you to all who have been speaking at the Masses, we will have a little round up of their presentations when all are done.
18 February 2023
How wonderful it was to gather once again as a community for a parish retreat on Saturday 18 February. This is something we have not been able to do since the Covid pandemic hit us with a mighty thud in 2020. Some 26 people from the parish came to St Joseph’s Conference Centre in Port Melbourne to participate and what a heart-warming experience! Fr John welcomed us with his usual warmth and fervour for what was to be a restorative day. He noted that in some ways calling it a “retreat” was a misnomer as really it was a way for us to come together, to share our gifts, our thoughts and our ideas communally rather than in an individual, introspective way. Indeed, that was certainly the spirit of the day. Jane Sims led the Welcome to Country. Sisters Karen and Emily soon had us singing along to “This is the Day” accompanied by their valiant efforts on the guitar. It set the tone for the spirit of thankfulness that we felt for the blessing of being able to share this day. In prayer, we called on the Holy Spirit to renew us, to “help us to relish what is right” and “always rejoice in the Lord’s consolation.”
Excerpt of a Reflection by Antoinetta (Toni) Vatta. You can read the full reflection here.
Our resident harpist, Katia.
Beginning of School Year Mass 10 February 2023
Our beautiful school community gathered together to celebrate the beginning of the 2023 school year and to warmly welcome the new children and staff who have joined St Columba this year, especially the wonderful new Preps.
The Grade 6 children were presented with their leadership badges and the staff were commissioned with a special prayer.
Entrance procession with representatives of each class.
Fr John welcomes the school community
Grade Six children being presented with leadership roles and badges
11 February 2023
Friends of parishioners, Cynthia Joseph and Noreen Dempsey, and former Pastoral Associate Maria George gathered to attend a memorial Mass for them at Sacred Heart Church. The memorial was at the instigation of Cynthia’s mother, Rose who has been a regular visitor to the parish from Malaysia over several years, where many parishioners welcomed and befriended her during those times.
A ‘pot luck’ lunch followed the memorial, and was a chance to share food from around the world and share memories about three amazing women.