Let us come together in 2015
01 February 2015
Dear friends in Christ Jesus,
“Embrace” and “Year of Consecrated Life” – two invitations.
Please God, we have started 2015 in joyful hope! May all respond with generous hearts to all that the Lord Jesus is to offer us this year. In our joys and sufferings during 2015 we implore his many blessings upon us. We ask Mary, our heavenly mother, to intercede for us.
May I bring to your attention two significant celebrations this year:
There is the upcoming Archdiocesan Assembly. We will reflect on the vitally important topic of marriage and family life in our localities. The Assembly will be held at St Clare’s College, McMillan Crescent, Griffith, ACT, on Saturday, March 21, 2015, commencing with Mass at St Christopher’s Cathedral on Friday night, March 20. The Assembly is called ‘Embrace’.
I am asking all of us to reflect with the universal Church on these topics. As you know, the two Synods in Rome called by Pope Francis are centred on these themes. We need to make our local contribution to these discussions held worldwide.
Three topics are to be discussed. First, there is to be a general consideration of the “lights and shadows” of marriage and family life actually lived out today. What are strengths and challenges faced on a daily basis? In your own family? In Australia?
Secondly, we need to reprise the beauty and radiance of marriage and family life in our Catholic teaching. Both the Scripture and Tradition need to be examined with fresh eyes!
Thirdly, we need to discuss particular pastoral issues in marriage and family life today. We are all aware of problems confronting our families (eg. separation, divorce, poverty, cohabitation). How are we to respond as Catholics?
No doubt, there will be much information about “Embrace” in these coming weeks. Please read it. Please join us for ‘Embrace’. See you there!
Year of Consecrated Life – 2015
We all know of truly dedicated priests, nuns, brothers and consecrated people in our Archdiocese in the past or present who live out their service of the Church in consecrated life.
The invitation from Pope Francis is to join him during 2015 to deepen our appreciation of their gifts to the Church. We also wish to pray for an increase in vocations to consecrated life.
I propose we gather, with our religious, for a Diocesan Mass on Sunday, June 7, 2015, at 11am at St Christopher’s Cathedral, to thank those living out the consecrated life. There will be an opportunity for those present to renew publicly their religious vows in the grateful presence of all gathered. I hope that this Mass will encourage other such Masses in the various parishes of the Archdiocese.
To be encouraged, also, are published testimonies or stories of our religious in their own words, in our local newspapers and bulletins. Why did they become a religious? What has been their faith journey?
There are so many truly wonderful testimonies of faith to be shared so we can give thanks to the Lord’s “calling power” alive among us. Please try to make these “faith stories” known in any way you can in your communities. Let us all show some imagination here!
As we launch into 2015, let us trust Jesus more than ever! Let him lead the Archdiocese with the guiding power of the Holy Spirit.
With Lent approaching (Ash Wednesday, February 18) we do this in faith and repentance.
May the Lord bless you and your loved ones always.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn