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Any ordinary day

Director's message (November 2018): "November calls Catholics to remember. Throughout the world, parish communities are setting about the wonderfully sacred task of remembering and praying for the dead. It can be painful to remember. Our thoughts may return to those first awful days after the death of a loved one—they can be days filled with a terrible silence. ... The ordinariness of our life has been disrupted. In the face of death and tragedy, we look for ways to make sense of what has happened. We lay our flowers, light our candles and call upon our God. And we remember. This is the gift that November offers Catholics. We remember that our God is a God of presence, blessing and goodness." 
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November: The Remembrance Month

In the Catholic tradition, November is traditionally a month of remembrance of the dead. The Church has consistently encouraged prayers for the faithful departed and, in the early years, a list of the names of the dead was placed in the church so that the community would remember them in prayer. November begins with the Solemnity of All Saints on Thursday 1 November and the Commemoration of the All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day), on Friday 2 November. 

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Betwixt and Between

Director's message (Oct 2018): "We may sometimes feel that we’re living in a betwixt and between time. Something we have longed for may come to fruition but end up being mildly disappointing, forcing us to do more soul-searching. As one family member rejoices in a life event or achievement, another family member may be struggling with disappointment and heartache—why is it that we are not all happy at the same time? ... Some of us may feel that we are in an in-between time in the church at the moment. As we work towards shaping the Plenary Council agenda, it can be frustrating for some, worried that the ‘wrong views’ will be listened to, or apprehensive about what lies ahead. ... it is at times like this, I think, that we can look to spring for inspiration. Spring shows us that everything blossoms in its own time, at its own pace and after the necessary work has been done.

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The weight of it all

Director's message (September 2018): "Along with our joyous memories, all of us carry some heavy memories in our hearts. There is a heaviness that is reshaping the collective Catholic memory at the moment, I suspect. ... And some mornings, after reading about the latest revelations, I wonder if the weight of this painful time is going to break the spirits of the people of God. How will they hold the weight of these shameful memories and continue the work of proclaiming the good news? Because when we use the word ‘church’, we are talking about people—all the baptised in whatever role they may hold in this institution that began with a man who was one with God and whose every action sprang from this relationship. But then I remember that we are not alone. This church is built upon the shoulders of the generations of God’s people who have gone before us. The prayers of their experience pave the way for ours." 
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2019 Planning Calendars

To assist parishes in planning and promoting formation in their communities, we have prepared a '2019 calendar planning tool' which can be downloaded and adapted by month (MS Word). These templates have been prepared as a free, editable resource and are pre-designed and populated with the liturgical calendar dates, such as liturgical seasons, memorials and major feast days; national programs/events, Victorian public holidays.

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VIDEO: Creating inclusive environments for people with disability

In 2017, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, through the Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Life released a document providing Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with People with Disability. The guidelines draw upon the Church’s rituals and experience in ministering to or with people with a disability. To help unpack and implement the Principles, a number of practitioners working in parish, school, healthcare and pastoral care networks across the Archdiocese of Melbourne were invited to reflect on how parishes and workplaces can work towards creating more inclusive environments for people with disability. 

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A Change of Heart

Director's message (August 2018): "Disruption is a term that is being increasingly used by sociologists and analysts to describe what is happening in the world. We may feel this way about the church. And yet. Our hearts would have been touched, I’m sure, by the stories of suffering and loss as a result of the recent bushfires in Greece and California. Or by the stories of heroism that emerged from the Thai cave rescue. The human capacity for empathy, awe and wonder has not really changed. And when we enter into the texts of the ancient peoples we realise that the universal questions about life remain." 
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Leaning Into...

Director's message (July 2018): "The Israeli museum holds in their permanent collection the hauntingly beautiful painting by Rembrandt van Rijn of St. Peter in Prison (or St. Peter Kneeling). St Peter has been arrested and is painted in a prison cell in Jerusalem. The figure of St Peter is bathed in soft light although his surroundings are in darkness. ... All is not dark; all is not lost. There is a potential for transformation." 
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The presence of grace

Director's message (June 2018): "And now it is Ordinary Time. A time when, for those with the imagination to see and the ears to hear, God continues to be revealed in the events of daily life. The faithful imagination has this capacity, I suspect. A capacity to be inspired by the Word of God that is daily offered to us and to see how it forms our work in the world. To not just read the words of Scripture but to hear them. To listen. To be formed by them and to act."

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The face of good news

Director's message (May 2018): "As we journey through this Easter Season time we have the opportunity to take into our minds and hearts the stories of the very earliest Christians. And how dramatic they are! Saul the persecutor of the followers of Jesus becomes Paul the messenger of the Good News, his life forever altered as a result of his encounter with Jesus. His travel was rigorous and the invitation he offered into the world of the Good News came at great cost. ... I wonder if Paul might have been the earliest person accused of perpetuating fake news!"
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Resurrection Thinking

Director's message (April 2018): "This is a sacred story that ends with us moving on. This is a story of an empty tomb, a story that tells us not to remain with the death and darkness but to look toward life. And so, on Easter night, we lit our candles from the Paschal candle and gradually filled our darkened church with light; where we had brought our lives to the cross, we now brought our lives to the font of blessed water and we moved back into life as Easter people."
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The Autumn Heart

Director's reflection (March 2018): "So as we continue on our Lenten ways perhaps we can take a cue from the physical world around us. Perhaps it is time to think about what it is that we need to let go of, confident that in the letting go we are preparing the way for something new. Perhaps it is a time to sit with this in-between time, this liminal space time, and allow God to work in the hidden depths of our hearts."
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