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    The Advent of Grace

    A range of resources to assist parishes during the Season of Advent, including weekly reflections, prayer card templates and more. 
News and Resources

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Preparing for the Season of Advent

Over two nights in October, parish liturgy teams and school teachers from across Melbourne gathered at the Catholic Leadership Centre to begin their preparations for Advent and for a new liturgical year. Guest speaker Ria Greene explained that the centrality of the kingdom of God is a particular feature of Matthew’s gospel, emphasising the teaching of Jesus rather than his actions. This results in a more ‘reflective and didactic account’, designed to keep its audience focused on the kingdom at a time when evidence of God’s reign was often hard to discern—an emphasis that is still relevant today, particularly in a climate that is often hostile to the church. Read more >
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Celebrating the Extraordinary Month of Mission

This October, the Universal Church is celebrating an Extraordinary Missionary Month, whose theme is ‘Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World’. The month coincides with the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter ‘Maximum Illud' and Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of October, which is for a ‘Missionary Spring’ in the Church. The initiative aims to awaken the awareness of the meaning of mission and reinvigorate the sense of responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel with new enthusiasm. View the resources available for parishes >

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Accreditation

Lay Ecclesial Ministers need and deserve formation of high standards that will provide them with the necessary skills and resources to adequately minister to the community they serve within. Accreditation is both a recognition and affirmation of the professionalism that is required by ministers in contemporary ministry. If you have been thinking about seeking accreditation for the first time, gaining accreditation at a higher grade or re-accrediting your current level, please contact our Office and we can guide you through the application process. Submissions for the next round of accreditation are due 20 September.
 

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Plenary2020: Exploring communal discernment

Over 100 parish priests and parish representatives from across the Archdiocese (and beyond) recently gathered for an opportunity to learn about the next phase of the Plenary Council process. On hand to present were Rev. Dr Kevin Lenehan (Associate Dean, Catholic Theological College) and Lana Turvey-Collins (Facilitator for the Plenary Council). Lana said that this next phase invites communities to enter into the practice of ‘spiritual conversations’. “This is not meant to be a debate of ideas but a prayerful, spiritual conversation ... It’s a process that involves prayer, listening, discernment, and having our minds and hearts moved,” she said.
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Articles from The Summit Online:

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Prayers of blessing and healing in the RCIA: a pocket guide

As catechumens grow in awareness of God's transforming presence in their lives, and of the ways they continue to make themselves absent from God, the prayers of blessing and healing in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults offer them a powerful way of bringing their joys and sorrows before God and of inviting God into the tender places of their lives. Here Fr Elio Capra provides a useful ‘pocket guide’ for catechists on how to use these beautiful prayers.

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The hand examen: a prayer for all

Sister Kathryn Kingsley believes that St Ignatius’ examen isn’t just a prayer for every day; it’s a prayer for everybody, helping us to hear God’s voice in the small everyday things, so that we will be more attuned to it when we seek it in the larger decisions of life. Our hands go with us wherever we go, so she has developed this simple ‘hand examen’ to take with us on our journey, each finger representing a movement of the examen.

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Promise and mission: an overview of the Gospel of Matthew

This Advent, we embark on a new liturgical cycle and return to Year A of the church’s Lectionary, focusing on the Gospel of Matthew. As part of this year’s ‘Advent of Grace’ liturgy preparation workshops, Ria Greene expertly led participants through an overview of a gospel that points us unswervingly in the direction of the kingdom, and which speaks powerfully into many of the challenges facing the church today.
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Prayer and conversion

‘Conversion is at the heart of all authentic religious experience,’ writes Fr Laurence Freeman, Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation. Here he reflects on what it means to be truly converted, to conform oneself to ‘the true nature of one’s soul—to oneself as a child of God, not merely as a product of our culture’—and on the vital role of prayer and contemplation in this process.

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Sparks of Beauty: Sacred Spaces

The final Sparks of Beauty event for 2020 took place in the award-winning ‘sacred space’ of the St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Chapel at ACU. Fr Laurence Freeman, Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, joined AOFE’s Cathy Jenkins and Tiffany Davis to explore the ways in which the sacred can intersect with the everyday in the physical and relational spaces of our lives. Lucy Davison reflects here on this thoughtful and wide-ranging conversation, and on the experience of being surprised and refreshed by a moment of sacred delight.
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Opening to the sacred in presence and absence

In this month of remembrance, Bishop Shane Mackinlay reflects on the powerful connection between absence and presence in our lives, the liturgy and the church.

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