From:                              Australian Catholics <>

Sent:                               Wednesday, 14 February 2018 8:02 AM

To:                                   Chris Raisin

Subject:                          Parish Life: First Sunday of Lent




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First Sunday of Lent

This week's articles and resources below


Dear Chris

We awake this morning to Ash Wednesday – very early in the year and maybe unprepared. The entrance antiphon for Ash Wednesday is from the book of Wisdom simply pleads:

You are merciful to all, O Lord,and despise nothing that you have made.
You overlook people’s sins, to bring them to repentance,
and you spare them, for you are the Lord our God.

What a mighty, loving and merciful God that we walk with especially during Lent.:

Our Work Matters:

More than 220,000 people work in Catholic organisations across the country; a new report has found, confirming the Catholic Church’s place as one of the largest employers in Australia. The new report, Our Work Matters, was launched on November 29 at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney. The document, produced by the Pastoral Research Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, is the most comprehensive report of its kind.

Bishop Holohan wrote in the publication’s foreword that the new research confirms the Church’s vast contribution to Australian society.

“We now have a clearer understanding of when and where Church organisations operate and what impact they have on systems and services, communities and individuals,”

Bishop Holohan said lay people are now overwhelmingly leading the way in Catholic health and aged care, education, social services and other organisations are carrying on the work of religious women and men and clergy.

“The survey findings help us see how notions of the common good, human dignity, solidarity and a preferential option for the poor can be made real through our people and organisations.”

The report found that 77 percent of those who work for the Catholic Church are women and that education, health and aged care account for 84 percent of those working on behalf of the Church.

“As we face the challenges of this new millennium, the survey provides encouraging data about thriving Catholic organisations that work at both the centre and margins of a rapidly changing society,” Bishop Holohan said. “Knowing who we are and what we do is essential to growing and renewing Catholic organisations.”

You can access the report here.

Truth Justice and Healing Council nears completion. 

The Trust Justice and Healing Council is undertaking a detailed response to the Royal Commission final report. We pray for them in their onerous task.  We also pray  for the Bishops and Religious leaders who will have the task of dealing with  openness and courage to those so deeply scarred by the scandal  of sexual abuse.  

One of the central recommendations for all organisations involved with vulnerable people focuses on an ongoing  review and modernisation  of  Governance. Without  transparency and accountability at every level of the Church, failure will most certainly be repeated. 

Women in the Catholic Church in the USA:

Our fellow Jesuit ministry at America Magazine last year commissioned a very detailed survey on Catholic women in the United States – their beliefs, practices, experiences, and attitudes. It provides some deep insights into the diverse views held by Catholics.

You can read about the survey here and the full report is available for download here.

Until next week,

Damien Nolan
Jesuit Communications



BBI - The Australian Institute of Teological Education


Reflection: Your ways are faithfulness and love

Reflection: Your ways are faithfulness and love


As we begin Lent, we are invited to follow Jesus into the silence of the wilderness and join with him in prayer and fasting. Throughout Lent, the Old Testament readings guide us through the history of our salvation. This Sunday we begin with God’s Covenant with Noah and his descendants (First Reading).




Feature: The Gift of God's Self

Feature: The Gift of God's Self


Lent is a reminder that Jesus is the dearest gift that God can give us. Lent is a reminder that Jesus is the dearest gift that God can give us. Lent’s most vivid memories are often of the things we have given up. But Lent is not only, or even mostly, about giving up things. It invites many other kinds of giving.






Prayers of the people

Prayers of the people


When the community gathers for the first Lord’s Day of Lent, it hears the story of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness from one of the synoptic gospels. Mark’s account, heard this year, is uniquely concise, as is his description of Jesus’ baptism. But in common with his fellow evangelists, he insists that Jesus’ time of trial is the work of the Spirit.




Homilist notes

Homilist notes


At first glance, a rather odd collection of readings for this First Sunday in Lent. A common reference to the tradition of the Flood links the First and Second Readings, while the brief Markan account of Christ’s Temptation in the desert has been expanded in the Gospel to include the summary of Jesus’ inaugural preaching (vv. 14-15).






Music: Suggestions for Sunday

Music: Suggestions for Sunday


This week's music suggestion comes from Music Ministry which provides parish music ministers (and others) with a comprehensive list of music suitable for the feasts and seasons. Click to see suggestions for sacred music for this Sunday.




Slow Lent Week 1 – In the desert with Jesus

Slow Lent Week 1 – In the desert with Jesus


And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels waited on him - Mark 1:12-15.





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