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Issue 39 :: February 2015

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Issue 39 • February 2014

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From the NOE

Dear Friends in Christ,
As I write there are a good number of Australians progressing in the Australian Open in Melbourne, the Socceroos are doing the nation proud in the Asian Cup and Australian Cricket is in a very healthy state. When Australians do well in something we all share in something of the glory. The Christmas-New Year period however has not been all success, sunshine, sea and sand. A young cricketer was killed in a tragic accident and our largest city Sydney was shut down through the actions of a fanatical gunman.

Overseas the Pope is continuing to grab headlines, firstly by influencing a thaw in relations between Cuba and the USA and more recently celebrating a Mass with 6 million participants. With this there was also the shocking news of people shot at work followed by international outrage.

John  June 2014
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From the Bishops
On a morning in early December 1531, at the Hill of Tepeyac, near Mexico City, Juan Diego, a local indigenous Indian, came across a young woman. Speaking to him in his native tongue, the woman asked that a church be built there in her honour. Even though Juan Diego was a recent convert to the Christian faith, he immediately recognised this young woman: it was the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
  Mary appeared to Juan Diego only a few times, culminating in the healing of his dying uncle and the appearance of her image on his peasant’s cloak or ‘tilma’. She identified herself as the Mother of the True God, and let Juan know of her compassionate presence among his own people, telling him: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?” Yet, there is one crucial thing that Mary did not do at Tepeyac: she did not appear to the city authorities, nor the important dignitaries, nor even to the bishop! Instead, our Lady of Guadalupe, as she became known, visited a simple family man, from a local indigenous neighbourhood, living among his own people.
  This event marks the true beginning of Christian evangelisation in the Americas: not as something imposed by a foreign culture, but as someone who could speak to people in their language, understand their culture, and thereby illumine their lives. Through Mary, Jesus first made his home among the indigenous people of Mexico, bringing to their local communities a reason for hope in their radically unfamiliar New World. At St Juan’s canonisation, Pope St John Paul II declared: “Guadalupe and Juan Diego are a model of perfectly inculturated evangelisation.”
  Our Blessed Mother seems to have learnt this little evangelising strategy from God himself. After all, the visit from the angel Gabriel to her family home in Nazareth, where she was preparing for her marriage to Joseph, was a most remarkable moment. Beyond all expectations, a young girl, entirely insignificant by worldly standards, from an unremarkable town, ends up being central to the most pivotal event in human history. How unsurprising that Gabriel had to begin by reassuring Mary: Don’t be afraid! Through his angel, God came to Mary in this great act of evangelisation. And it has been God’s way ever since. Jesus still says: I am standing at your door, knocking; will you open the door and welcome me?
  At its heart, ‘evangelisation’ is a big, complicated word for a small, simple thing. To evangelise is simply to tell someone something good. In our Christian context, evangelising is nothing more – or less – than me telling someone the story of the value and significance of my friendship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Another word for it is ‘proclamation’. Hence, St Paul’s pithy definition: “we proclaim a crucified Christ” (1Cor1.23), foolishness to some and a scandal to others, but for us who believe in this Good News, the telling of it comes with the power and strength of God.
  The elements that shape true evangelisation are equally uncomplicated: a simple message of mercy, forgiveness and trust, told to ordinary persons in search of faith, hope and love, in a way that fits in with their circumstances. Good evangelisation is domestic, not institutional; it is family oriented. God was not acting on a whim when the Annunciation took place at the door of Mary’s home. The individual, the family, the local neighbourhood: these are the best settings for effectively proclaiming the Good News about Jesus Christ. 
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What's Working in Evangelisation

The Alpha Course | David and Janette Willson, Diocses of Port Pirie

n August 2012 two couples from Port Pirie attended the first Proclaim Conference.  The Conference challenged us to respond to the mandate to our baptismal call and to become evangelisers of our faith.  We decided to use the Alpha Course to help aid us in this role as evangelisers.  
  Alpha over the next two years became a household name within the St. Marks Parish, and later within parts of the Port Pirie Diocese.
Our first step was to pray, we spent time together praying about Alpha, time praying in groups and quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament saturating this whole venture in prayer.

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Testimony of Faith

Milkshakes, Mass and Moving Mountains | Ellen Ryan

I was brought up in a Catholic family and we attended church every week, but that’s all my faith really was growing up. And I suspect that the only reason anyone in my family went to church is because my mother joyfully went. As a child I happily went to church but I have to admit that is was because my family always went out for milkshakes afterwards. When we grew out of the milkshakes there was nothing to keep me happily going to church and it turned into a slow hour I dreaded on a Sunday morning.
  When I was thirteen I started to altar serve and attend youth groups and I really enjoyed the more active side of faith, but more importantly I enjoyed being around other people who were faithful. We had a group of young people who ran our youth group for a while; they were called Trojan (now called U-Turn). I loved them so much. They sang songs and got us moving, they told us stories of how they found God in their life and it was fascinating and inspiring and I knew that God was real in these people’s lives. I remember thinking that that could never be me; I could never amount to something as incredible as that. Faith really was starting to become a bigger part of my life, I would turn to God in prayer when I least expected it.

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Lent Programs

Rich in Mercy
Archdiocese of Brisbane


At the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus asks the lawyer: ‘Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ The lawyer replied, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise’ (Luke 10:36-37).
  The mercy of God is a constant theme of the Covenant with Israel in the Old Testament. Jesus, as the New Covenant, gives God’s mercy flesh and bones through his actions and words.
  These Lenten reflections for individuals and groups are focused on the second readings for the Sundays of Lent. On the Fourth Sunday of Lent we hear of God’s great love – ‘rich in mercy’! Through this abundant and ever-flowing mercy we have been made ‘alive together with Christ’ (Eph2:5).
  The six scripture reflections in the book have been written by Archbishop Mark Coleridge. These eloquent and insightful commentaries emphasise ‘the power of mercy that leads us out of a merciless world into a world where mercy has the last word’.


Diocese of Wollongong

AriseBy unpacking the Sunday Gospels during Lent, Sr Moya Hanlen OLSH has written six beautiful Gospel Reflections that invite us to deepen our understanding of Jesus’ love for us unto death and to grasp anew the hope his Resurrection brings us. We are challenged to “arise” from our torpor, grasp his out-stretched hand and accompany him on his journey through passion to death and resurrection.
The teachings are omplimented by Sr Hilda Scott OSB Guided Meditation and Fr Michael Fallon MSC’s Spiritual Direction.
ARISE is accompanied by a Triple CD Box Set containing six weekly Responsorial Psalms written and performed by Tracey Coombes and the book contains the amazing artwork of Nelson Colo Matoma.




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Feb 3 to Apr 28

Love and Responsibility - ACU Fitzroy, Melbourne VIC

6 - 8 Rest, Pray and Recreate Weekend
Pallotti College, McNamaras Road, Millgrove, Victoria, Australia
7 Taize Melbourne Young Adult Pilgrimage

Register: http://www.taizemelbourne2015.com


LiturgyHelp Workshop
10-1pm, The Entrance NSW

8 Taize: Towards a New Solidarity

Where: Cathedral of St Stephen, 249 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, QLD

14 LiturgyHelp Workshop

Pennant Hills, NSW

15 2015 Ozanam Lecture

Fitzroy VIC


Vocation Brisbane: Our Shout



21 With Burning Hearts - Liturgy Conference

John XXIII College WA

21 Rally for Life

Queens Park, QLD

25 until Mar 18

Short Course in Jesus' Passion, Death and Resurrection


Christ Lecture Theatre, Australian Catholic University, 115 Victoria Pde, Fitzroy

26 MenAlive in the City


27 Funeral and Vigil Liturgies


Today we choose you Mary,
Standing before all the saints,
To be our Mother and our Queen.
We dedicate ourselves to you,
in humility and love,
Our bodies and our souls,
Our gifts and our possessions,
The merit of good deeds,
Both present, past and still to come.
We freely give you the right to deal with us
And everything we have as you see fit,
For the greater glory of God,
Both now and for eternity.




National Office for Evangelisation | PO Box 415, Crows Nest NSW 1585
1300 4 FAITH (1300 432 484) | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Office for Evangelisation is an Agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference




More in this category: « Issue 38 :: December 2014

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