This message, written on Sunday 4 April, is special to me in many ways – it is Easter Sunday, it is Allen and my wedding anniversary, and it is also our son’s 40th birthday. So much of this is about new life, new beginnings and about faith, hope and love. This is what Easter stands for and I am glad to have been brought up in a faith-filled Christian Catholic family which provided me with a meaningful life and a reason to serve.
I hope that you were able to experience the exhilaration of being able to sing as a whole community on Sunday. For me, this began on Thursday, as I joined in our choir practice for the Holy Week ceremonies at the Cathedral. I realised that without this community singing, I had not woken up during the past year with hymns being ‘played’ in my head - a whole year without that sound of joy to greet my days. I was thrilled to be able to sing the parts of the Mass tonight (Sunday) and to hear the voices of those gathered. The other aspect of Mass at the Cathedral this Sunday evening was the swelling of the numbers of those who attended. It was awesome to have something near normal for the first time in over a year.
During this past wet week, I trust you have taken time to reflect on the Mission and Outreach section of our contemplative dialogue – Building the Kingdom of God Together – Our Journey, in preparation for our diocesan synod.
I trust you continue to be inspired by the Lenten contemplative dialogue program, which has been created to assist all of us in preparing for our diocesan synod on Saturday 22 May. If you open this message on Tuesday 16 March, there remains 100 days before we gather for Session Two of our Synod.
I am writing this message on the eve of International Women’s Day, having attended Mass for this occasion at the Cathedral this morning which involved listening to the reflection given by Dr Anne Millard. It was good to hear the feminine voice/context reflect on the scriptures and the experiences of life.
The end of summer, the beginning of March and this is my first message for the year. Some of you may be wondering where I have been since the beginning of February. I have been fulfilling my role as mother and grandmother. One of our daughters, Angela, gave birth to Levi Arnold on 15 January.
2021 has the makings of a huge year in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. There is the Synod, Lenten, and Advent programs, the return of parish sacramental programs, a Safeguarding audit and the list goes on. However, already one giant step for women has been achieved with Bishop Bill giving his blessing to the formation of the Council for Women.
The DCMYP serves as an advisory body to the Bishop to foster a passionate, imaginative and vibrant community of faith-filled people. The Council seeks to provide initiatives within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle that give young people opportunities to experience, explore and grow in their faith with other like-minded young people.