LITURGY MATTERS: Opportunities to Refresh!

Jesus has a lot to teach us about taking opportunities to be refreshed.

He often withdrew for a while to pray and rest with God. He also took the disciples away to pray and rest, and also to teach them. We heard about one of those times in last Sunday’s Gospel when during a time away, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. He taught them the prayer we call the Our Father.

What is good and necessary for Jesus is good and necessary for us. We all need time apart to be refreshed by opportunities to rest and pray, and to reflect on our experience of ministry and learn more about it.

I don’t know about you, but I can get so lost in the functional doing of ministry that I lose sight of the bigger vision of God’s Kingdom and how that is revealed in the documents, Rites and pastoral ministry of the Church. As the scriptures remind me so often, ‘my ways are not God’s ways’ and I have a constant need to be re-oriented into the Mystery of Christ and the wisdom of God revealed there. I have many ‘Oops’ moments when I am reminded of some aspect of ministry I have forgotten, or that I didn’t know.      

Pope Francis is taking his lead from Jesus in his recent letter to all the People of God on the critical importance of liturgical formation; code language for ‘opportunities to refresh.’ We began to reflect on it in the last Liturgy Matters.

The Diocesan Christian Initiation Forum is conscious of the many parishioners – which include school staff – who pour themselves out passionately and generously, in the ministry of Christian Initiation with adults, and children and their families.   

As a sign of appreciation and in an effort to support you in this important ministry, we are hosting two opportunities for you to come and be refreshed:

Come rest a while is a reflection day at Morpeth on Saturday 10 September. This is an opportunity to be still with God; to listen to and reflect on God’s Word, the liturgy and our Catholic life; to share your experience and to get to know ministers from other communities. View the flyer for all details including registration. The day will be fully catered.

Go Make disciples is a formation opportunity that invites participants to explore the entire Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) over six sessions. Because the RCIA is the template for all initiation, including children, this is an important formation opportunity for all Christian Initiation ministers. View the flyer for all details including dates, times, venue and registration.

Parishes who are looking to establish an RCIA team for the first time, or who would like to introduce new members to an existing team, might seize ‘Go Make disciples’ as an opportunity to ensure members of your teams are immersed in the vision, principles and processes of the RCIA.  

The ministry of Christian Initiation, with adults and children and their families, belongs to all the baptised. So, everyone is invited to participate in these two opportunities to be refreshed: all parishioners including teachers, experienced and new ministers, those who have an interest in discovering more about this ministry and would love to come rest a while. Such diversity will provide a rich formation space.

Please help spread the word about these two opportunities to be refreshed. There’s nothing better than a personal invitation.

An additional opportunity is available courtesy of the Christian Initiation Australia Network. They are hosting  a webinar titled ‘Ways to get your parish involved in your RCIA process’ on Monday 8 August at 7.00pm. View the flyer for all details including registration. The Christian Initiation Australia Network provides a range of excellent resources and formation opportunities. If you are involved in the ministry of Christian Initiation and are not a member of this network, I recommend you join. Go to the website and click the ‘Join CIAN’ button on the top right of the screen.

The members of our Diocesan Christian Initiation Forum are looking forward to meeting up with you at the two diocesan opportunities outlined above. ‘Come rest a while’ so we can continue to ‘Go make disciples’.


Image: Godsgirl_madi from Pixabay 

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Louise Gannon rsj Image
Louise Gannon rsj

Louise Gannon rsj is the Diocesan Manager of Worship and Prayer.