As we awoke this week to the devastating images of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France being razed to the ground, engulfed in flames, my heart sank. But, what also struck me was that the grief did not extend to just the Catholic community. The whole world seemed to be mourning the loss of such an important piece of our history and culture—indeed our humanity. It was like the loss of a beautiful perfumed oil that once anointed the world.
I was then taken back to the Gospel of Monday of Holy Week where, at Bethany, Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with expensive ointment that would later be used for the day of his burial. Judas admonished Mary for such excess, claiming that the oil could have been sold and given to the poor. Yet, Jesus rebuked Judas saying that Mary had done the right thing. He said, “You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me” (John 12:8).
Who are the poor that Jesus is talking about here? We are the poor. We are the ones in need of his anointing—his grace. The anointing of Jesus at Bethany strengthened Jesus’ human nature for the struggle that was to lie ahead of him—that he must die, be brought to a tomb and buried.
And, herein lies the deepest mystery for us this Easter. Christ himself is the perfume, the oil of anointing from heaven that brings us our salvation. It was necessary that the vessel—Jesus’ human body—be broken in death so that the perfume of heaven may be poured out and reach the whole body of the Church, and the scent penetrate the whole house, enriching us—Christ’s poor.
The oil of anointing which Judas saw to be wasted on Jesus, was shown to be the real riches of the poor. It was poured out first on the Son, and then through his death on the cross, Jesus poured himself out as the most beautiful perfumed oil for us. We are no longer poor. The oil of grace has made us richer than we could ever imagine. We are now acknowledged as children of God.
My prayer for you this Easter is that you will experience the anointing of grace that has been poured upon you through Christ’s death and resurrection, and that this will cause you to fall to your knees in tears of joy, joining in the words of the apostle John: “Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are” (1 John 3:1).
Account means the account held at your financial institution from which we are authorised to arrange for funds to be debited.
Agreement means this Direct Debit Request Service Agreement between you and us, including the direct debit request.
Business day means a day other than a Saturday or a Sunday or a listed public holiday.
Debit day means the day that payment is due.
Debit payment means a particular transaction where a debit is made, according to your direct debit request.
Direct debit request means the Direct Debit Request between us and you.
Us and we and our means the Catholic Development Fund.
You means the customer(s) who signed the direct debit request. Your financial institution is the financial institution where you hold the account that you have authorised us to arrange to debit.
Debiting your account
By submitting a direct debit request, you have authorised us to arrange for funds to be debited from your account according to the agreement we have with you.
We will only arrange for funds to be debited from your account:
As authorised in the direct debit request; if the debit day falls on a day that is not a business day, we may direct your financial institution to debit your account on the following or previous business day. If you are unsure about which day your account has or will be debited, please check with your financial
Changes by you
If you wish to stop or defer a debit payment you must write to us at least 5 business days before the next debit day.
This notice should be given to us in the first instance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient clear funds available in your account to allow a debit payment to be made.
If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
you or your account may be charged a fee and/or interest by your financial institution;
you or your account may be charged a fee to reimburse us for charges we have incurred for the failed transaction;
you must arrange for the payment to be made by another method
Please check your account statement to verify that the amounts debited from your account are correct.
If you believe that there has been an error in debiting your account you should call us on 1800 047 703 and confirm the details in writing with us as soon as possible so that we can resolve your query quickly.
You should check:
with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
your account details which you have provided to us are correct by checking them against a recent account statement; and
with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
Warning: if the account number you have quoted is incorrect, you may be charged a fee to reimburse our costs in correcting any deductions from:
an account you do not have authority to operate; or
an account you do not
We will keep any information (including your account details) in your direct debit request confidential.
We will make reasonable efforts to keep any such information that we have about you secure and to ensure that any of our employees or agents who have access to information about you, do not make any unauthorised use, modification, reproduction or disclosure of that information.
However, we may use your contact details to provide information about the fund. Should you wish this not to be the case, please advise the fund in writing.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.