The Order of Preachers founded by St. Dominic "is known from the beginning to have been instituted especially for preaching and the salvation of souls." Our life is focused around Liturgical prayer and therefore we undertake to say parts of the Divine Office every day. Meetings are held at St Michael's Convent on the third Saturday of each month led by our Spiritual Director Sr Justina. Although most of our members have had contact with Dominicans - priests or nuns, there is no prerequisite and you would be most welcome to join our group.
There are currently no Alpha courses scheduled.
A Small Faith-Sharing Group is a gathering together to strengthen faith, offer prayer or study our faith, the Bible or any activity which is faith-enriching. Generally, these groups do not number more than 10 or 12 persons although there are no set rules.
To sit in the presence of Christ, is a privilege deeply felt by many St. Michael's parishioners since the Adoration Chapel was consecrated on 25th March 2001.
Eucharistic Adoration is one of the highest forms of prayer and earnestly recommended by the Holy Father. So important is it, that despite the demands of each day, Mother Theresa set aside a Holy Hour every day for her Sisters.
Renata Puccini 021 685-1297
Experiences by our St Michael's community who have dedicated time each week to our Adoration Chapel have generously been shared with us:
"I have never found waking up and starting the day a very easy thing to do so I chose an hour which was a bit too early - knowing it would in itself be a devotion to achieve. However, it was not a problem, even in the darkest rainiest days of winter. The strangest thing too, is that I wake just a few seconds before my alarm goes off. Ten years later I am still astounded by it, it is so unlike me. I humbly praise You my Lord and my God."
"Since devoting an hour a week to the Adoration Chapel, I have found my spiritual needs growing and awakening in me a communion with God that weaves more into my daily life now than ever before. I am changing too. Areas that I have struggled with in myself no longer consume and take over leaving me feeling really down the next day. Situations have arisen which I am fully aware would freak me out, blood would rise to my head and I would be pure reaction. I am now able to be fully in control of myself and to respond calmly while in my head I am thinking “I can't believe this, thank You for being here with me my Lord” "
When I first started coming to Adoration, I was unemployed - today I am a foreman. - Gained employment shortly after beginning Adoration.
My Adoration hour is, next to Holy mass, the most important appointment of the week. How could it be otherwise for a Catholic? As Ghandi reportedly said: "If you Catholics truly believe that Jesus Christ is really present in your Chapels and Churches, why is it that they stand empty most of the time?" Jesus waits patiently for me to visit and rewards me with overwhelming graces that inform every aspect of my life. When I am down, He uplifts me, when I am happy, he lifts me even higher... For over three years Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Real Presence, has shown me that He is fundamental to my existence - all else is merely transitional.
"Miracle Through Prayer" My husband Chris and I have been keen adorers since the opening of the adoration chapel at St Michaels. We saw the adoration chapel as an opportunity to spend valuable time together as a couple, in God's presence. Having been married for almost four years at the time, we thought of asking God to bless us with a family of our own. I thought that by simply asking God would make the process of falling pregnant quick and easy and because we asked God I simply expected it to happen in a flash.
I quickly realised that God and I were not on the same page because after a year of trying I was still not pregnant. Tragedy struck when we were diagnosed with infertility, which was very hard to cope with. I spent many hours in the chapel bitter and angry with God asking how He could be so cruel to us? How could He be so mean when we were good Catholics who went to Mass every Sunday and on top of that we spent a whole hour in the adoration chapel, surely that would warrant God favouring our request?
After numerous failed fertility treatments I became very angry and resentful towards God; drifting away from him even further. My time in the adoration chapel was consumed by bitter and angry thoughts and most of the time I just sat there staring at the burning candles asking the same question over and over again, WHY? At some point I even contemplated cancelling our adoration hour as I saw it as a wasted hour of my precious time and why should I continue when God was clearly not listening to me. Through all this Chris remained strong in faith and persuaded me to keep going back week after week even if it meant me just staring into nothingness.
During another treacherous hour I picked up a little blue book called "St Philomena" and started reading about this amazing little Saint whom, through God's intercession, was able to perform the most amazing miracles of which one was blessing numerous childless couples with a baby of their own. Through her I found my long lost faith and started praying to God, Mary and my newfound friend, St Philomena. Every day I would recite three Hail Mary's, one Our Father and the prayer of St Philomena asking her to graciously hear my plea and to obtain from God a favourable answer to the request which I humbly laid before her every day, namely the miracle of a normal, healthy baby.
In August last year we decided to give another fertility treatment cycle a try and for the first time I placed all my hoped and fears in God's able and capable hands. Whenever I felt overwhelmed or anxious I would find peace and comfort in the adoration chapel, knowing that God would carry me whenever I lacked strength and courage. One thing I never sacrificed was my prayer time, which kept me strong in faith and hope.
I am now pregnant and expecting our little miracle to make an appearance in May.
Dear Lord thank you for granting Chris and me the miracle of a baby and Lord thank you for giving me the patience and knowledge that you make everything beautiful in YOUR time, not mine.
Your humble servants
Claudia and Chris Sobolewski.
"Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven"
Catechism facilitators support Father Harrie and the parents in bringing children to a real encounter with Christ through their faith formation. St Michaels offers the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Group St Michael, (1) Group St Gabriel (2) Group St Raphael (3) Group 4 (year of receiving the Sacraments) and Group 5.
There is a bridging program in grades 6 and 7 and Lifeteen in high school (see below). The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is supported by the Archdiocese.
"Help me to fall in love with God"
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in a room prepared for them, the Atrium of St Michael, which contains simple yet beautiful materials which they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Catholic faith.
"It is a sensorially rich experience for children from the ages of 3 to 12 years that gives children the opportunity to grow in love and knowledge of God”
The atrium is a place of prayer in which work and study spontaneously become meditation, contemplation and prayer. (Characteristics of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, #3)
We believe that God and the child have a unique relationship with one another and that the growth of this relationship should be assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child. Children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship.
"When something takes you where you do not know and yet, all along the way, God continues to provide, it is an adventure. And there is nothing more beautiful."
Perhaps you have a calling to minister to our children either by becoming a catechist or assisting in some way? Let us know if you would like to offer either your time, talent or treasure.
FAMILY MASS TIMES. SUNDAYS AT 9am.
We invite all families to attend these special masses for the children.
Should you or your child want to participate in reading and taking up the offertory and the collection, please contact me.
3 JUNE FIRST HOLY COMMUNION.
BEHAVIOUR IN THE ATRIUM.
We have needed to remind the children that the Atrium is a quiet space where each child has the opportunity to wonder, explore and discover God. If a child does not respect this, his/her behavior affects the experience of others. If a Catechist has, repeatedly, to remind a child who is disturbing others of this, her parent will need to attend with the child until this behavior is corrected. We, as Catechists respect each child’s individuality and do our best to provide freedom for each to journey at their own pace, however this can only happen within a ﬁrm framework of discipline. Otherwise we are not positively serving the child’s development. We ask you as parents to understand and cooperate with us in the best interests of all the children.
You and your children are kept always in the prayers of the St Michaels community. May all families at this time of Lent, deepen their Faith and pass on the rich traditions of the Church to their children.
Please contact me should you have any suggestions, ideas, questions or concerns.
God’s Blessings, Joy
Group 4 Catechist
Sunday School takes place during the 9 am Mass: in the Gill Room for 2 to 4-year-olds and in the Kelly Room for 5 to 7-year-olds. Children from both classes return to Mass at the Offertory.
A twelve-month programme is followed, aimed at simplifying and teaching an understanding of Old and New Testament readings by way of prayer, Bible stories and a related activity. If you would like to assist, no special qualifications are necessary.
The process of becoming a Catholic takes place in various stages and involves certain ceremonies called “rites”. The groups involved are very interactive and experiential.