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Archbishop calls on Sydney Catholics to share their stories

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP tells how God has led him in his life in ‘strange and wonderful ways’ in a new video message. He encouraged Sydney Catholics to prepare for a new archdiocesan mission plan by deepening their faith and sharing their own stories. IMAGE: screenshot/Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Challenge as Go Make Disciples launch draws near

A month out from the launch of the new Archdiocesan Mission Plan, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has spoken of his life-long passion to help ensure every person has the opportunity “to be all they can be” and challenged Catholics to be more powerful witnesses of God’s love.

In a video message released on 12 November, the Archbishop revealed new details of his own life and faith journey, his passion as a leading bioethicist for protecting human life, and what he learned from months of severe pain and disability due to Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

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“On 12 December, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I will be launching a new Archdiocesan Mission Plan, Go Make Disciples, aimed at making our parishes and other Eucharistic communities true centres of the new evangelisation,” the Archbishop said in a separate statement.

“To complement that mission, we all have a responsibility to share our faith stories with others, to help bring others into a closer encounter with Christ.”

Since his installation as the Archbishop of Sydney in 2014, Archbishop Fisher said he had witnessed the “many strengths” of the Catholic Church across the city including its scale, its cultural diversity, and the piety and zeal of its pastors and people.

“But Our Lord is calling us to become more powerful witnesses to God’s saving love, so that our outreach can continue to nurture the faith of future generations of Catholics,” he said.

‘God leads us in strange ways, and wonderful ways’

In the video Archbishop Fisher traces his own journey from serving as an altar boy at St Michael’s parish in Lane Cove to backpacking as a young adult, the moment he knew he was destined to be a priest, and the unexpected paths that led him to becoming a respected bioethicist and an archbishop.

He speaks of lessons learned after he was struck ill with Guillain-Barré Syndrome in late 2015.

Initially paralysed from the neck down, he spent five months in hospital undergoing intense rehabilitation therapy. He says he was deeply inspired by the courage of other patients.

“What I hope Go Make Disciples is going to be for our Archdiocese is a challenge to each one of us to deepen our own faith, to really deepen our own relationship with God, with Jesus Christ, with the Church, with the communion of saints,” says Archbishop Fisher in the video.

“To get to know it better, to love it better, to be really more deeply and fully Christians, but then not to store that up like grain in a granary.

“Then get out there and share that with others – go, make disciples.”

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