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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Articles and resources below

 

Dear Friend

Seeing the Church in the 21st century for those of us who came from pre Vatican 2 is a challenging image. We grew up with relatively few lay people in the classroom in the 50’s.

Last week we linked to the paper on Vocations in Australia. The figures are stark. In 1901 there were 4,205 religious in Australia. By 1966 there were 19,413 and in 2017 we are at 5,918. However the age of our religious is creeping up – with 76% of religious women over 68 and 61% of men over 68.

More challenging is the figures that only 4% of religious women (about 110) and 10% of men 118 are under 48.

La Croix International has published an equally challenging report on  the Vocation crisis in Rome which you can read here.

Pope Francis last weekend ordained eleven new priests for the Diocese of Rome. At a Mass in St Peter’s Basilica to celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter, otherwise known as “Good Shepherd Sunday,” the pope also ordained five other men for two different religious orders.

But only five of Rome’s 11 new priests are Italians, having done their formation at the diocese’s major seminary. The other six who will be incardinated into the pope’s diocese are non-Italians. They are members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.

Coinciding with the 55th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations in earlier-released message for the occasion, Francis said:

“Each one of us is called – whether to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in the ordained ministry, or to a life of special consecration – in order to become a witness of the Lord, here and now.”

Next week the Australian Bishops meet in Sydney for their Plenary meeting. There is a busy agenda including consideration by the Bishops to the Truth Justice and Healing response to the Royal Commission final report. Other matters will include the election of a new President to replace Archbishop Denis Hart.

Hopefully this report on vocations, will lead to a statement on the inclusive role of laity in the Church particularly in the light of employment survey published last year the Church agencies employ 219,734 full, part time and casual employees with the largest sectors being education and health.

With every blessing,

Damien Nolan
Director
Jesuit Communications

 

 

Daily Prayer e-calendar

 

Reflection: One who lives in me bears much fruit

Reflection: One who lives in me bears much fruit

 

Today’s readings remind us of the amazing intimacy that God offers us. Jesus himself invites us to make our home within him – for if we can allow him to live within our hearts, God will make us truly fruitful. St John’s Gospel shows us this closeness through the wonderful image of the vine and branches.

 

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Feature: Brevity is the soul of Christ

Feature: Brevity is the soul of Christ

 

We live in an age of near-absolute double-talk. Those having to wade through the swamps of bureaucratic red tape may be comforted by returning to the simplicity of the words of Christ. Jesus was the artist of the aphorism. He was not verbose. He might have liked Twitter and, if he had used it, he’d have made it worth reading.

 

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Prayers of the people

Prayers of the people

 

The holy grail of science is the “theory of everything” – a single unified theory to explain and inter-relate every physical phenomenon in the universe, from the smallest quantum of energy to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. The Easter season offers us a glimpse of a unifying principle that pervades the whole of creation: the Spirit of God.

 

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Homilist notes

Homilist notes

 

The 1st reading takes us to the immediate aftermath of the conversion of St. Paul. So fearsome had been his reputation as a Church persecutor that it took a long process of introduction from his respected mentor Barnabas before his vigour and enthusiasm, previously bent in a persecuting direction, could be accepted into the mission of the Church.

 

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Music: Suggestions for Sunday

Music: Suggestions for Sunday

 

The liturgy team in Wollongong have developed an excellent site for music liturgy. Click to see suggestions for sacred music for this Sunday and beyond.

 

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Madonna: Our Homing Instinct

Madonna: Our Homing Instinct

 

British poet T.S. Eliot once said that ‘home is where we start from.’ What an interesting idea! We ourselves say constantly that ‘home is where the heart is.’ 

 

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Digest of Catholic News

 

 

 

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