On the first Friday of each month we have Mass at 12 noon at our Katoomba church (St Canice’s) followed by silent adoration until 5pm and then prayers and benediction until 6pm. This day is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
When our Lord appeared to Visitation sister, St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), he gave her the task of spreading devotion to his most Sacred Heart.
“Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Holy Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.”
“I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavour, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.”
To receive the promise, one must receive Holy Communion in a state of grace (sacramental confession beforehand if not) on nine consecutive first Fridays of the month. One must also have the intention, implicitly at least, of honouring and making reparation to the Heart of Jesus for the sins and ingratitude of men.
On top of this, of course, one must continue to lead a holy and virtuous life. The purpose of this devotion is to draw us closer to the Heart of Jesus, to rest in his Heart, placing our joys and sorrows and all our cares, and to deepen our love for him.
Note: the number nine is associated with a novena (nine days, weeks, months) with its origin in the nine days the apostles spent in prayer before Pentecost. It helps to give us tome for greater preparation and interior renewal.
On the first Saturday of each month we have Mass at 9:30am at our Katoomba church (St Canice’s) with a special blessing (distinct from the Sacrament of Anointing) for those who are sick. This is followed by Eucharistic adoration, with the Sacrament of Confession and the Holy Rosary, until 10:30am. This day is devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In 1917 our Lady first appeared to three shepherded children in Fatima, Portugal. To the oldest child, Lucia, she asked that Communions of reparation be made in attornment for the sins of the world on the first Saturday of each month. She would later repeat the request.
"Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me, and say [announce] that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
To receive the promise, one must sacramentally confess their sins, receive Holy Communion, pray five decades of the Rosary, and keep her company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. One must also have the intention, implicitly at least, of consoling the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in a spirit of reparation.
Note: the five, relates to the five types of blasphemies/offences committed against the Immaculate Heart. Our Lord told Sr Lucia that these are against the immaculate conception, perpetual virginity, and divine maternity (men not recognising her as their mother) of our Lady. As well as the sowing of indifference or even scorn and hatred to our Lady in the hearts of children and those the outrages against her in her holy images.
Our Lord appeared to Sr Faustina with a message of his Divine Mercy out of his great love for us. We should call on him, trust in him, and allow his mercy to flow on through to others, as together we share in this joy. God, after all, as scripture tells us, is love (charity), and he became man to reveal to us his eternal plan of salvation.
A specific devotion, known as the Divine Mercy chaplet, is prayed each day in our parish before Mass. On Fridays in our Leura church (St Bonaventure’s) the chaplet is prayed with additional prayers, songs and petitions at 5:15pm. Note: on the first Friday, the chaplet is prayed at Katoomba instead of Leura, during adoration, with the Holy Rosary, from 5pm.
The Rosary is prayed before each Mass in our churches (after Mass on Monday). On Saturday a special Cenacle Rosary is prayed for the intentions of our Lady.
A cenacle of the Marian Movement of Priests consists of the following:
- Invocation to the Holy Spirit
- Recitation of the Holy Rosary
- Prayers for the Pope
- Reading and meditation on one of the messages given in the book, “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”
- The Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A prayer for Priests and a hymn concludes. The cenacle group then retires to a local café for a cuppa.
The messages in the book trace out a simple and luminous way which we are to travel in order to grow in Mary’s love and in life with her through the consecration to her Immaculate Heart.In the cenacle of her Immaculate Heart, Mary will nourish, form, and help us to grow in perfect consecration to her as she takes up her motherly dwelling among us, guiding us along the way that Jesus has traced out for us: the way of love, of goodness and of sanctity.
Note: The word cenacle comes from the word for the upper room in Jerusalem where the apostles gathered to pray with our Lady as they awaited the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
One of the most touching scenes in the gospels shows Jesus welcoming little children and blessing them (Mk 10: 13-16). As he is ascending into heaven, he raises his hands and blesses his disciples (Lk 24: 50-51). He blesses food before it was eaten (Mk 6: 41). At other times, we see him blessing and praising God, and thanking him for his many gifts to his beloved people. Examples of these prayers are given in Mt 11: 25 and Jn 12.
The word Blessing has two distinct and related meanings: it refers to our praise of God, and to our requests for his loving care for us (Ps 134; Ps 115). As we praise God over people and things, they are blessed for his service. In seeking God’s blessing for the house he has provided for us, we praise him for his goodness, and seek his continued loving care for all who share our homes.
House Blessings can be arranged by calling the parish office, (02) 4782 2894.