Last week I indicated to you that I would attempt to cover some of what we have been discovering during the Plenary Council Animator Training sessions, which have been held around the diocese over the past few weeks. The Core Team, consisting of people from the Catholic Schools Office, Religious Education and Spirituality Team and from our Pastoral Ministries Team have just completed 15 sessions of training and formation. About 150 people have participated in this formation from across our parishes, schools, and hospitals. I am thrilled that so many have come along to seek out ways to be engaged in this critical invitation to be involved and to respond.
Once again, I am at my desk on a Sunday evening, and like many of you, finding the past week in the political context disturbing. I saw one headline refer to it as chaos and that is indeed what it has been. In an article written in Eureka Street on 24th August, by Frank Brennan, Consolations from the Liberal Party mess, he notes:
During our Sunday liturgies over the past six weeks, we have been listening to the Second Readings from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians. Paul, in writing to the Church in Ephesus, was providing them with the instruction on living the way of life as followers of Jesus Christ.
Speak boldly and with passion, but also listen with an open and humble heart! ~Pope Francis
We have been very blessed over the past few weeks to have had a theological feast in our diocese, courtesy of the Adult Faith Formation Office and Council, as well as the Catholic Schools Office. We have been visited and theologically nourished by James McEvoy, Richard Lennan, Richard Gaillardetz and then by all of the presenters who spoke at the BBI e-conference. All of these speakers and events have drawn good numbers, but of course, there are very few new faces who come along to listen to, and to be engaged in, amazing faith formation and conversation. It has been an absolute delight to be with good people of faith, and to engage with them in deep listening and conversation.
It is Sunday evening and I have just come in from the Hiroshima Day Service at the Adamstown Uniting Church which was coordinated by an ecumenical group of people known as ‘Christians for Peace’. They have been gathering to mark this day for the past 30 years in order to highlight our need to work together for peace and justice in Australia and the world. I felt very much at home, because to my surprise, I knew a lot of people there and our prayer was heartfelt. Many of those who gathered for this prayer are part of my network of Ecumenical, Social Justice and Interfaith friends.
As I look out from my desk at home, I find myself gazing at our beautiful Magnolia tree which is in full bloom. When I see this, I sense the change of seasons has begun and that feels good because the sun is ‘starting to get warmer’ and winter is beginning to fade. The changes of seasons are like life, some I find more pleasing, while others are challenging and yet we must get through them. In many ways we are blest to live in a part of the world that does have four seasons to experience and celebrate, and to provide us with a corollary for life.
Why do some students perform better than others even when they have the same ability?