THE PARISH OF Warrnambool West & Dennington
- St Pius X
80 Morriss Road, Warrnambool West
- St John the Baptist
263 Russell Street, Dennington
C/- Post Office
Dennington VIC 3280
76 Morriss Road
Warrnambool VIC 3280
|Phone (03) 5562 5033
Mrs Louise Dryburgh is usually available in the parish office from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Phone (03) 5562 5033.
For weekday Mass times please see the Weekly Bulletin
- 4 Lent 2017 - 26 Mar 2017
- 3 Lent 2017 - 19 Mar 2017
- 2 Lent 2017 - 12 Mar 2017
- 1 Lent 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
- 8 A 2017 - 26 Feb 2017
- 7 A 2017 - 19 Feb 2017
- 6 A 2017 - 12 Feb 2017
- 5 A 2017 - 5 Feb 2017
- 2nd A 2017 - 15 Jan 2017
- Epiphany 2017 - 8 Jan 2017
St Pius X Parish was established in 1970. Its first Parish Priest was the late Father P.M. Bohan and it was then the only totally urban parish in the Diocese of Ballarat. Previously, the area was part of St Joseph's Parish, Warrnambool, as was St Pius X School which had opened in 1962.
The neighbouring parish of St John the Baptist at Dennington was also part of the Warrnambool parish until 1965 when the late Father G.G. Payne became its first Parish Priest. (His name is commemorated at Dennington's G.G. Payne Reserve.) The Dennington parish school, now at 263 Russell Street, was established in the 1920s adjacent to the former church in Tylden Street.
The two parishes currently share one priest, but the involvement of an active laity enables them to continue to fulfil the hopes and dreams of their earliest days, as they endeavour to respond creatively to the challenges and opportunities of contemporary society.
3 Lent A 2017
There’s no need to remind anyone here that the Palm Sunday Gospel is always a long one, but the truth is that between now and then the Sunday Gospels, just like today’s, are pretty long too. Today, the missal offers a shorter version, but I just thought there may be someone in the church who remembers what they have heard in earlier years when today’s Gospel was read, and would like to be reminded of it this morning.
The thing about today’s Gospel is that it’s a story of development or movement in faith – in this case a story of growth from no faith (as exemplified in the woman at the beginning of the story) to complete faith (in the case of the Samaritan villagers at the story’s end).
The great thing is that such movement or development is possible. It may even be the case (“Who am I to judge?” as Pope Francis would say) it may even be the case that some people who would describe themselves as St Pius X people, St Pius X Catholics, when you get down to it, have no faith (or not much faith) while some have faith that is real enough, but incomplete, while others – groups of others, one would hope – like the Samaritan villagers at story’s end have complete faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World.
The suggestion today, especially to those of us whose faith could do with some renovation, or a lick of paint, quite clearly is that progress is possible, development is possible, even or even especially in matters of faith. Today’s Gospel story is not just about a chance encounter at Jacob’s Well between Jesus and a rather colourful woman; it is a reflection on faith and the stages of faith and an invitation to all of us to aim high.
In the beginning of the story, when Jesus asks the woman for a drink, she just says, “What? You are a Jew, and you ask me, a Samaritan for a drink?” And when Jesus says that if she only knew whom she was talking to, she would have asked him for living water, she finds that incomprehensible, because Jesus hasn’t got a bucket. At this stage, all the woman knows about Jesus is that he is a thirsty Jew who hasn’t got a bucket, and that’s not a statement of faith. At this stage, the woman demonstrates no faith whatsoever.
It’s only when Jesus invites the woman to bring her husband to the well and responds to her claim that she has no husband with the comment that although she has already had five husbands, her present partner is indeed not her husband, that she infers that Jesus is a prophet and later wonders whether he may even be the Christ – the long-awaited Messiah. Passing from thinking of Jesus simply as a thirsty Jew without a bucket to recognising him as a prophet who may even be the Messiah, she has passed from having no faith at all to having some sort of faith of a kind, or what you might call partial faith: this thirsty Jew is a prophet; I wonder could he be the Messiah.
It’s only when she goes home to the village and shares her mind with the other townspeople that they too go out to meet Jesus and invite him to stay in their village. As you know, he accepts the invitation, stays with them for two days and speaks to them, as a result of which they are able to say to the woman who had first met Jesus at the well, “Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the saviour of the world.”
In their encounter with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour, they have come to complete faith, so far from the woman’s first concerns about a Jew without a bucket. And as we are reminded by the story that true faith is possible, we might pray today that we may be granted true faith ourselves, even if at the moment (or at any moment) our faith is only partial, or even absent altogether.