What’s Been Happening in Religious Education

Carols by Candlelight at Rockdale

re1On Saturday evening, St Joseph’s, Rockdale hosted carols by candlelight for the primary schools of the parish.  Students from both Bethany and Kogarah Marist generously offered their time to assist with the mass, the cooking of the bbq and the general running of the evening.  It was a great success and much fun was had by all.  I would like to thank Nova Gomes and Dakota Martin for generously offering their time to assist the Parish and to help make the evening a great success.





Lights of Christmas – St Mary’s Cathedral

If you have not already had an opportunity to see St Mary’s Cathedral lit up for Christmas, I would certainly encourage you to attend.  This has become part of my family’s Christmas preparations and is an event that my now teenage children, still look forward to attending as a family.

The theme for the 2016 Lights of Christmas presented by PAYCE is Joy to the World . The show that will adorn Sydney’s grandest cathedral, St Mary’s will feature animation interpreting the timeless Christmas tale of the Nutcracker Suite along with a glorious selection of Madonna and Child images painted by some of the great Masters.

Lights of Christmas presented by PAYCE will run from 8-25 December 2016 – including Christmas Night. Starting each evening at 7:30pm with a choir performance – the light show will commence at 8.30pm and continue through until midnight.


Twelve Days of Christmas

An Underground Catechism (http://www.cin.org/twelvday.html)

I came across this reflection on the Christmas Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas and thought I would share this with you as it is interesting how what seems to be something very secular actually has a very Catholic message behind it.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written in England as one of the “Catechism songs” to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith – a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in writing indicating reference to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged or shortened by a head – or hanged, drawn and quartered.

The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The “true love” mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself.  The “me” who receives the presents refers to every baptised person.  The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ’s sadness over the fate of Jerusalem.


The other symbols mean the following:

Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

Three French Hens = Faith, Hope and Love, the Theological Virtues

Four Calling Birds = The Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

Five Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.

Six Geese A-laying = six days of creation

Seven Swans a-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments

Eight Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

Nine Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Ten Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments

Eleven Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

Twelve Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of the doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed.


I wish you all the very best for a holy and happy Christmas season and pray that it will be one filled with all of the graces that God can bestow upon you.

God bless.


Mrs Diane Kennaugh

Leader of Religious Education and Mission