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.
On the feast of St Mary MacKillop, 8 August 2019, Bishop Bill convoked our diocesan synod, to be held over three sessions in November 2019, November 2020 and November 2021. It would take place in association with our National Plenary Council 2020-2022.
Here is my last message for this year, a year that has challenged us in ways we could not have conceived a year ago. I am very conscious of how weary people are feeling, and hoping and praying that the year ahead will see a reprieve from the pandemic.