SPIRITUAL GROUPS further descriptions
Rosary & Liturgy of the Hours
Before Mass each day we pray the Rosary led
by one of the parishioners. We celebrate the Morning Liturgy of the Hours on Saturday mornings. The Prayer of the Church unites us to the Universal Church as a continuing circle of prayer all over the world. Throughout the world, every hour somewhere, the Divine Office is being chanted or prayed. Our Saturday morning group continues that universal tradition.
We have one Novena each year following the Tuesday morning Mass, in preparation for the Feast of the Assumption. This great Marian feast is celebrated with great devotion following the tradition of our Parish Patron - Our Lady of the Rosary. Each day the Novena concludes with Benediction, reminding us that Jesus is the very centre of our life and Mary, the one who brought him to us.
Anointing of the Sick
A First Friday event is our ‘Anointing Mass’ for the sick of the Parish. Thanks to several visiting Priests, this Mass, which attracts 300+ people is a beautiful opportunity for us to pray together for those who are ill. In the past we have had the valued help of Msgr Marley, Fr Michael Kelly and Fr Ted Shepherd each month. While Msgr Marley has passed away and Fr Shepherd is no longer able, Fr Kelly has been joined by Fr Kevin O’Grady and Fr Ed Sedevic. Without their help it would not be possible to offer this Sacramental assistance to our older and ill parishioners. The monthly Mass reminds us of the Sacramental character of our Church so essential to our ongoing journey of faith. The Sacrament of the Sick is also brought to those in danger of death whenever called for, but our monthly Mass affords us a community experience of this faith filled Sacrament.
Communion to the Sick
In our parish, we have sixteen Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who take Holy Communion to the homes of approximately twenty-three parishioners who are unable to come to Mass.
In addition, another five Extraordinary Ministers visit five aged care facilities in the parish. Approximately forty residents receive the Eucharist at least monthly and in some cases weekly. Communion is given to these people either at a central Communion Service or individually in their own rooms.
Mass is also celebrated at these hostels and nursing homes several times a year, and Fr Bill and Fr Shaju are able to provide the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick regularly.
The appreciation expressed by those to whom we are privileged to take the Blessed Eucharist is both humbling and rewarding.
The Ministry of Acolyte
Our Lady of the Rosary Parish The Entrance was one of the first parishes to install Acolytes in the Archdiocese of Sydney in 1976. Fr Bede Heather (now retired Bishop Bede Heather) was relieving here at the time while our parish priest, Fr Bob Brogan, was on sick leave.
Fr Bede trained four men in the parish and they were installed at St Patrick’s Church East Gosford by Bishop Dogget together with four men from East Gosford parish.
They immediately commenced, together with Fr Bede, to distribute Holy Communion each first Saturday to sick and housebound parishioners, and to assist at every Mass, which was quite demanding over Christmas.
A regular retreat day was held in private homes to pray and refresh. The work these few men undertook brought much needed help to the parish.
Through the years the numbers were increased. The original four were Joe Bond, Tony Sheridan, Peter O’Connor and Peter Connolly. Tony is the only one still with us today. Joe died in 1992.
Currently we have ten Acolytes but sadly they are a dying breed.
Their service to our parish since their introduction in 1976 has been invaluable. Acolytes are no longer being installed in our Diocese.
Senior Servers are replacing this ministry and we have some wonderful Senior and Junior Servers working alongside our Acolytes.
Christian meditation is based on the teachings of Father John Main O.S.B.and the work has been continued by Father Laurence Freeman O.S.B.
The Meditation Group in The Entrance Parish has met regularly for the past fifteen years. We meet each week on Friday at 10:30am in the Muldoon Room.
Each meeting consists of an Opening Prayer followed by a talk averaging fifteen minutes in length given by various spiritual teachers associated with the World Community for Christian Meditation. The talk is usually followed by a discussion among the group members. A meditation follows this talk and keeps in mind the three principles of
( a ) stillness
( b ) silence and
( c ) simplicity.
The period of meditation is followed by a group discussion on the issues raised in the talk. The meeting then closes with a prayer.
We feel that all members benefit from the self-discipline required in their commitment to the daily twenty to thirty minute meditation.
The Entrance Group was started by Ernest Lindfield and his wife Mary (now deceased). Both were Oblates of the Order of Saint Benedict having made their final professions at the monastery of Monte Oliveto in Tuscany near the city of Siena. The spiritual life of the parish has been enriched through the introduction of this form of prayer.
Singing is praying twice
The choir at Our Lady of the Rosary has been in its current form for the past 13 years and started soon after Fr Bill Stevens arrived at The Entrance. We have 3 separate groups which provide the music for our Sunday Masses.
1) David Harris provides the music for the 3rd Saturday of the month Mass. David is a talented guitarist/singer whose children support him in singing the hymns for this Mass.
2) Main choir with 20 members including 3 organists - Colleen Donkin (main music coordinator) and Anne-Maree James-Yates (Choir director) and Mary Curney. Our cantor is Peter Gaughan. The Hymns are chosen on a monthly rotation basis by Colleen and Anne-Maree from a range of Taize, Chants, old and new hymns appropriate to the Liturgy of the day and within the guidelines of our Copyright agreements.
3) Our newly formed Men's Choir who will be singing at one Mass per month which will rotate between each of the weekend Masses. 14 men responded to this new group, some coming from our main choir and the rest all new recruits for our parish music ministry team. The debut was a great success.
The Main Choir sings as a total group twice a month (and for special feasts) the 1st Saturday and 3rd Sunday. The rest of the Masses are covered by split groups from the choir, so there is singing and music at every Mass.
We have only lost 3 members in the time our choir has been together, Ron who passed away and 2 others who have moved out of the area. We are a very close knit, supportive group who are always willing to learn. We meet each Tuesday evening for 1 1/2 hours to prepare for the weekend Masses, and for special occasions. We have attended/performed at the Diocese Choral Festivals and were asked to assist Parramatta Cathedral choir and joined in their Palm Sunday TV Mass. Colleen and Anne-Maree attend any workshops that are available to gain knowledge and learn new hymns to be passed on to the choir.
Only 2 of our members are currently having singing lessons but all have a God given talent that they use to praise and thank God for His many blessings. As St Augustine said, "Singing is praying twice". Our goal is to sing with joy and enthusiasm, and I truly feel blest to be part of such a caring, positive and supportive "family" whose Parish supports them unconditionally.