Easter Greeting 2017

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Welcome to the season of Easte
r. Yes, it runs much longer than tomorrow’s public holiday and the end of Easter specials on offer.

Thanks to joy filled Christianity there are 50 days for the greetings, the chocolate, the hot cross buns, and the ‘Alleluia” refrain that will echo with hope in worshipping communities.

As we Christians complete our Easter celebrations on June 4th we will join our sisters and brothers of Islam who will commence their holy season of Ramadam on May 27 .

Truly this is a season of new life, peace among peoples and universal hope for the future of our planet, May this time of renewal and f33cf-fullsizerenderpeace find a home in our hearts.

The tee-shirt I wore to services on Good Friday and for the Easter Vigil. Alongside the First eoples image of the cross is the sticker placed on each of us who attended the Lamentations at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, Mt Gravatt

The Easter spirit is captured in the burst of light across the top of the tee.

Easter Feasting

Maquette for tapestry 'Resurrection' 1986 John Coburn

Maquette for tapestry ‘Resurrection’ 1986 John Coburn

There  are no eggs in this post. However you will  find a feast of  images, text and music  that I am mulling on during the great season of Easter.  This is  a post that will be added to and developed as we explore the themes, the stories and the  mystery of this celebration.

On Easter Sunday my Facebook feed included this beautiful set of images of the L’Arche Community in Syria:

فإن كنت وانا السيد والمعلم قد غسلت ارجلكم ، فأنتم يجب عليكم أن يغسل بعضكم أرجل بعض . يوحنا 13:14 غسيل الأرجل في السفي…

Posted by Alsafina – L’Arche Syria on Saturday, 26 March 2016

Jean Vanier has written a  text  on the washing of  feet that invites us into the sacrament of touch.

 

 

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Image above: Mikhail Nesterov “The Empty Tomb,” 1889

Eastertide Reflection (Mk 15:40-16:2): The Women’s Witness of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection by Ched Myers

Welcome to Easter Monday, one of the strangest public holidays we claim in the land of the long weekend. In fact Tasmania even gets to have a holiday tomorrow for Easter Tuesday.
It doesn’t quite have the feel of Boxing Day with the sales and family BBQs. There are no Myer windows to watch a diorama. In fact whereas Christmas has a bit of cuteness with the Bethlehem creche., Easter is a bit hard to market with the image of an empty tomb. The Myer window in Brisbane that usually hosts a Nativity setting is plastered with an Easter sales poster this week.
Even the music is muted. Bing Crosby put “White Christmas” into the standard repertoire for December but his rendition of Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade is now just a curiosity. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir have outviewed him with their rousing rendition of Christ the Lord is Risen Today, but you won’t hear it at your local shopping centre.
The eggs and chocolates will be half priced today and will drop off the shelves by the end of the week to make way for the next eye catching marketing ploy for our holy dollar. Pity really that those advertising gurus don’t realise that there are 50 days of Easter and a pretty sizable market of Greeks, Russians,Serbs and assorted Orthodox will be doing it all over gain on May 1 without the advantage of aisles of edible bunnies.
So, the challenge is to baffle friends by wishing them a “Happy Easter” over the next 49 days as you catch up at the footy, the pub and the supermarket. You can really cause chaos by wishing the staff at checkouts a “Happy Easter’ as they have probably been re wired to chant “Have a nice day” for the rest of the year.
Today’s reading: The Challenge of Easter James Martin SJ The Wall Street Journal
Easter Glory 2016

Easter Glory 2016 St John’s Cathedral Brisbane

Lament My Country

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Department of Immigration ends ‘inappropriate’ outings for children in detention run by nuns

 

Lament my country for you are no longer the land of the young and the free.
Lament my country for your silence will not drown out the cries of those in detention for no crime other than seeking asylum.
Lament my country for this Christmas the songs of angels have been deemed not appropriate by the powers of the empire.
Lament my country for you are no longer governed by integrity or justice
Lament my country for your heart is bleeding with grief and fear of what you have become
Lament my country.
‪#‎refugees‬ ‪#‎childrenindetention‬ ‪#‎asylumseekers‬

Australian Catholics For Equality

I have recently accepted an invitation to join the advisory board of Australian Catholics for Equality.

This new role provides guidance to the Council of Moderators on issues affecting LGBTIQ Catholic persons, their family, friends and allies. The Advisory Board provides practical and strategic advice to support the total work of the organising community, improving the lives of LGBTIQ Catholics, their families, friends and allies to promote a just and inclusive church and society.

I look forward to the challenge and the opportunities of this new and exciting project.

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Tony Robertson, Advisory Board Member
Tony is a Brisbane based social worker, who also uses his skills as a photographer to promote social change and equity in the community. He spent six years with the Capuchin Friars as a young adult and has been involved in various public ministries of the Church as a speaker, educator and retreat leader. Tony is an occasional commentator on LGBTI issues for the ABC and has extensive media experience writing press releases and responding to interview requests. He is currently the Spiritual Life facilitator for the L’Arche community in Brisbane. Tony is a member of the Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group and supports Gar’ban’djee’lum Network an independent social network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, sistergirls and brotherboys (GLBTSB) in and around Brisbane.

Celebrating Anthony

Celebrating Anthony

One of the significant days of this month is June 13th, my name  day. My parents made sure I would spend my life gaining easy and instant recognition as a good Catholic boy by naming me after St Anthony of Padua whose feast-day falls on this day

Now this boy should not be confused with the many other holy Anthonys who have front row seats in the celestial realm:St. Anthony / Anthony / St. Anthony the Abbot / Bl. Anthony Baldinucci / St. Anthony Dainan St. Anthony Daniel / Bl. Anthony della Chiesa / Bl. Anthony Fantosat / Bl. Anthony Francisco / St. Anthony the Hermit / St. Anthony Ishida / St. Anthony Kauleas / Bl. Anthony Kimura / Bl. Anthony Kiun / Bl. Anthony Manzi / St. Anthony Mary Claret / St. Anthony Mary Gianelli / St. Anthony Mary Pucci / St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria Bl. Anthony Middleton /St. Anthony Nam-Quynh / Bl. Anthony Neyrot / Bl. Anthony of Korea / St. Anthony of Saxony /Bl. Anthony of St. Bonaventure / Bl. Anthony of Tuy / St. Anthony Pechersky / St. Anthony Peter Dich / St. Anthony Primaldi / Bl. Anthony Sanga / Bl. Anthony Turner / Bl. Anthony Vom

My “Anthony” is a one of Catholicism’s pin-up boys. He is patron for a number of a eternal chores including: against shipwrecks, against starvation, against starving, American Indians, amputeesanimalsassesbarrennessboatmenBrazildomestic animalselderly peopleexpectant mothersfaith in the Blessed Sacrament,  fishermen, harvestshorseslost articles,  lower  animals,  mail,  mariners, oppressed people, pauperspoor peoplePortugalpregnant womensailors, seekers of lost articles, shipwrecks, starvation, starving people, sterility, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travellerswatermen In his spare time he poses for thousand of popular images and statues that adorn churches homes and religious houses.

Somewhere along the timeline he also featured in his own movie:

It’s always good to remember that saints are often given to us to admire rather than imitate.Anthony was part of the weird and wonderful world of medieval Catholicism  in the early 13th century. He died at 36 in 1231 and never had an intimate relationship. So far I’ve outlived him and have not found the queue for the call to lifelong chastity.

Anthony was a great public speaker and had a pretty sharp intellect. Catholicism has a quaint practice of awarding posthumous PhDs to smart cookies and Anthony eventually got his in 1946.

Iconography of the saints is a big business as Churches, Monasteries, Convents,Schools, Oratories, Retreat Centres,Presbyteries and the humble domestic house have all gone shopping for their heavenly personalities to decorate walls.Anthony has quite large choice for the buyer although these days the neighbours might raise their eyebrows at an image of a grown man swooning with a near naked boy. Despite an attempt to theologise the image I suggest it is one that has well passed its use by date. The icon used in this blog is from the work of Robert Lentz OFM.

Tourism is also part of every saints working life after death. Anthony has inspired a series ofChurches and Basilicas. In Melbourne the local Capuchins applied for an extension of their friary chapel back in the 1950s..By the time they finished Power Street Hawthorn was adorned with its very own Italianate Shrine to St Anthony.

I have also discovered that Anthony himself is on tour for special events. He last appeared in 2010when his less than attractive remains were taken for a lap of honour around his home base Basilica. Close up pic here.

Behind the saccherine hagiography lies the story of a man of faith and service, a man of his time with passion for truth, people and the needs of his era. Yeh, I still invoke him when things go missing and he has been part of my community of faith since my childhood days when his pic used to hang in my parents house over the bathroom door!!!.

So here’s a call out to all those who share variants of the name Anthony! Celebrate, eat some good bread, indulge in some Italian or Portugese wine and make a public statement about  your passions

An Online Prayer Vigil for Those Facing Execution in Indonesia.

This week begins with the news that the Indonesian Government intends to proceed with theexecution by firing squad of ten people convicted of drug offenses.

As part of the global movement for the abolition of the death penalty I invite you to join me in vigil for these people.

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso;
Serge Areski Atlaoui;
Myuran Sukumaran;
Andrew Chan;
Rodrigo Gularte;
Raheem Agbaje Salami; 
Martin Anderson; 
Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise; 
Okwudili Oyatanze; 
Zainal Abidin.

–Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Used with permission
God of Compassion,
You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.
Expand and deepen our hearts
so that we may love as You love,
even those among us
who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.
For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance
as we fill up death rows and kill the killers
in the name of justice, in the name of peace.
Jesus, our brother,
you suffered execution at the hands of the state
but you did not let hatred overcome you.
Help us to reach out to victims of violence
so that our enduing love may help them heal.
Holy Spirit of God,
You strengthen us in the struggle for justice.
Help us to work tirelessly
for the abolition of state-sanctioned death
and to renew our society in its very heart
so that violence will be no more. Amen.