Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

GOD SPEAKS IN SO MANY WAYS…

May 17, 2015

commOn the last two Sundays I attended two very different celebrations of the Eucharist.  The first was in a Trappist Monastery and the liturgy was rich and solemn.  The Eucharist was truly beautiful and the welcome and hospitality of the sisters made the day absolutely perfect!  Today I was at the monthly Mass for children and young people with special educational needs.  The liturgy was less formal and from time to time a child would surprise us and go a for a walk around the chapel.  The tea and snacks after the service were a lively affair!  God was tangibly present in both places.  Thinking about today “Communications Sunday” I give thanks for the many amazing ways that God speaks to us.

AN HONORARY “CATHOLIC YOUTH”!

May 13, 2014

Our two novices were away last weekend at a vocations event in a nearby City and I offered to replace them at a regular meeting: Catholic Youth Fellowship.  I could only smile to myself as I took my place in the circle and danced to the tune of “Train of Love”!  Actually, it could be said that the term “Youth” was broadly applied…the youngest little fellow in front of me looked about 2 and the oldest members were in their late teens!  I had a great evening.  The members didn’t seem to mind that I was way past their age – and the leaders were pleased that the FCJs (well one of them) were present to support them.  Later that evening I was interested to hear the story behind the founding of this brave little youth group.  When their teenage children started to complain that they no longer found church interesting a set of parents decided to do something about it and founded CYF and to bring more life and energy into their faith life.  Those parents started the group and ran it and funded it – and they are still the main supports of it.  Several years later the group is still going.  Meetings are held every two weeks.  What makes this story even more amazing to me is that the family concerned lost their entire business in the terrible earthquake of 2006 – yet they picked themselves up restarted a new business and have even found the energy to spend the last few years creating a lively “space” where Catholic youth can meet and pray together.  I really enjoyed my time as an honorary youth – and what’s more – I’ll be back again!

Saints and saints!

April 28, 2014

How amazing that the Church has just canonised two men who were each great and saintly characters and how very interesting that they were so very different!  However, it is not only John  XXIII or John Paul II who captures my imagination right now. I find myself thinking of the women, men and children beyond number who are “saints” of the quiet type. They may never be known outside their own context and never receive public acclaim and yet they are just as saintly as those officially identified as such.  Today I want to give thanks for all those who do their best to bring a little more love into this world of ours…Thank you to the kind, the gentle, the thoughtful.  Thank you to peacemakers and to those who work for justice.  Thank you to those who tend to nature and who work to keep our world beautiful and fruitful.  Thank you to good neighbours, friends and relatives.  Thank you to those who pray and reflect, to those who dance and sing, to those who stop and smile..Thank you to all those of good heart and good will.  How good to know that our world is full of saints and will continue to be so…Look around and be glad of heart – there are saints all around you and you may well be one yourself!

THE PROVINCE ASSEMBLY ASIA-AUSTRALIA (DAYS 5-6)

January 5, 2014

The last two days of our Assembly continued in the same vein as the first four – being times of deep sharing, great interaction and producing some creative thinking.  Day Five was entitled “The Call to Inclusion”. On that day we welcomed some of our Companions in Mission and other colleagues from a number of our ministries.  We formed new groups  for both faith sharing and discussion. I was touched at the quality of our faith sharing and as we worked to unpack our Chapter Directions together I was amazed at the number of suggestions that were made!  There is no shortage of ways forward!  That evening we had a vigil Mass for the feast of The Holy Name of Jesus followed by dinner and a great “quiz night”.  Day Six was our “Call to Commitment”.  We moved into “country groups” and began to turn our ideas into workable strategies.  We ended the Assembly by committing ourselves to our Chapter Directions.  We blessed each other and were missioned out – to live what we had promised.

THE PROVINCE ASSEMBLY ASIA-AUSTRALIA (DAYS 2-4)

January 1, 2014

We have had a busy few days here in Melbourne.  We moved from the first day: The Gift of the Chapter to successive themes: The Call of the Chapter, The Call to the Province and The Call of Now. The group has been hard at work discussing and sharing on our new Chapter Directions.  Today we were working on some ways to bring our Chapter Directions alive in our Province – and in the process re-energising ourselves! We still have two more days in which to work.  Tomorrow we will welcome some of our Companions in Mission and other colleagues to as we continue to “unpack” the Chapter Directions.  On the third of January we will respond to “The Call to Commit” as we commit ourselves to fully living out the call from our Chapter to “Re-imagine” our life for the sake of the Reign of God.  It has been a great process so far.  One of the special joys of this time has been the way we work and interact so easily together despite our vast age range and our diverse cultures.  What delight to be a group of loving companions.

Pope Francis “My joy is much greater than my exhaustion!”

August 2, 2013

When Pope Francis arrived home from Rio and World Youth Day he tweeted the following words: “I am back home, and I assure you that my joy is much greater than my exhaustion!”  What a wonderful testimony to the Pope’s joy at being among people and in this case spending time with millions of young people.   I think we can all take note of the Pope’s words to young people:  “Show, by your life, that it is worth giving your time and talents in order to attain high ideals, it is worth recognizing the dignity of each human person, and it is worth taking risks for Christ and the Gospel”.  Hopefully, we too can say at the end of each day of serving Christ “My joy is much greater than my exhaustion!”

WORLD YOUTH DAY…CELEBRATING YOUTH…IN RIO AND AT HOME…

July 24, 2013

Imagine the scene in Rio these days as so many of our young people gather to pray, to share and to grow in their faith.  How lovely to know that all those attending World Youth Day will have the opportunity to meet the Pope and to be sent forth to witness to the Gospel – wherever they go.  It is equally lovely to stop and think about all of those young people who are at home in their own churches…They too witness to the Gospel.  Thank God for all of our young people.  Let us keep our young people in our hearts and prayer…

TYAS’ VOWS – A GREAT DAY!

July 8, 2013

By 10.55am we were lined up in the entrance procession and enjoying the choir as they sang a few hymns to set the atmosphere.  To our relief nearly all of our guests were in their seats.  Our main room was looking nicely filled with a few empty seats wisely placed for latecomers.  Tyas’ family and friends were seated in the front left rows and FCJs to the right with FCJ Companions in Mission, friends and colleagues taking up most of the other available seating. As the choir sang out the first words of the Entrance Hymn we began to process in and we were drawn into the ceremony moment by beautiful moment.  Tyas looked lovely.  She was so composed and sure of herself.  As Tyas pronounced her vows her voice resounded loud and clear.  There was a glow of joy about her – which is still with her!  The ceremony was followed by a delicious lunch.  The food was just right, it tasted good and there was plenty of it without it being too luxurious.  At 6pm the FCJs gathered together for Tyas’ missioning.  We had a simple meal together as we shared our memories of the day.  It was lovely to be FCJs together at the end of such a special day for all of us – and especially for Tyas.  Thank you for keeping us in your prayer…I assure you of ours…

EARLY MORNING ON THE DAY OF TYAS’ VOWS…

July 7, 2013

At 5am this morning I walked around our house enjoying the cool air and the silence that pervaded everything.  The main room of our house looked lovely – like a chapel – all set up for the vows.  Gradually other FCJs appeared and continued their part of the final preparations.  At this stage no further instructions are needed – we work as one body with one heart and one mind – helping each other in a true experience of companionship.  Tyas meanwhile – is radiant – she’s ready…This is a happy day for all  – for FCJs, for Tyas’ family and friends, for our Church and World…You all are included in our prayers of intercession…Thank you for your prayers…

TYAS’ RECEPTION….

July 6, 2013

This evening – the “eve” of her first vows – Tyas was welcomed into the FCJ Society. We had a a beautiful prayer service during which we all blessed  Tyas and her future life as a professed FCJ.  The prayer was followed by a lovely meal together.  We then all changed into “work clothes” and finished preparing our house for the actual vows.  The vows take place at 11am tomorrow…Please keep on praying…We pray for you too…