The highly acclaimed evangelist Bishop Robert Barron will personally kick off a new series of talks to inspire people and parishes across Sydney and beyond in a major coup for the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation.
Based in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Barron is an author, speaker, theologian, and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, a non-profit global media ministry with several millions of followers on social media.
He is well-known for his acclaimed book Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith and the award-winning TV series of the same name, his weekly podcasts and his many video commentaries and weekly podcast The Word on Fire Show.
“…it can feel as if there is a certain pressure not to share your experience as a Catholic…but the human heart hungers for god” – Elizabeth Arblaster
Ordained in 1986 and appointed a bishop in 2015, Bishop Barron has been described as one of the most compelling and extraordinary Catholic evangelists in the world today.
For the SCE, the Bishop will give a talk on Saturday 13 November via zoom titled ‘Why Make Disciples? The case for the evangelising mission of the Church’.
His talk will kick off an exciting new monthly talk series called ‘Reclaiming Evangelisation: How Jesus’ Great Commission Will Renew Our Parishes’, in support of the archdiocesan mission plan Go Make Disciples. It will feature eminent international Catholics who will make the case that that Catholic communities are renewed when we seek to live more fully the mission given to us by our Lord to call disciples, baptise them, and teach them.
Each talk will be followed by Q&A with the speakers as well as the opportunity for small group discussions. Bishop Barron’s talk will be followed after the Christmas break with a talk by Dr Mary Healy, an international speaker and a professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
SCE Parish Renewal Manager Elizabeth Arblaster said she was grateful that Bishop Barron had accepted the invitation to launch the new series and said that Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP would also be present online for the opening talk.
“We are praying that through this series the Lord will inspire the people and parishes of Sydney to find ways to live more fully our identity and vocation, to worship God, to care for His poor, and to share the Good News in the many ways Our Lord has given us to be a means of grace to others,” she said.
“In Australia I think culturally it can feel as if there is a certain pressure not to share your experience as a Catholic with others or invite them to encounter the Lord. But studies have shown that a lot of people are spiritually curious and our Christian anthropology tells us that this is because the human heart hungers for God.
“In this series our speakers will delve into Scripture, tradition, the lives of the saints, and the experiences of converts to renew and inspire us to live to the full our great tradition of sharing with others what we have received from the Lord, both as individuals and as communities. In the second part of the series we will look at how this can be lived more fully in our parish communities.”
SCE Director, Daniel Ang, said he hoped many Sydney Catholics will benefit greatly through Bishop Barron’s upcoming visit.
“It is an honour to have Bishop Barron join us and speak to this call at the heart of the Gospel, at the heart of the mission that Jesus gives us: to make disciples”, Mr Ang explained.
“It could be said that we have in the past relied on cultural momentum in the Church to do the work of evangelisation and disciple-making for us. However, now more than ever, we see that discipleship needs to be intentionally and actively reclaimed as the basis of parish renewal and the renewal of the Church in all of its communities, agencies and commitments. Bishop Barron’s insights will assist Sydney Catholics and many beyond to receive this call to discipleship which has been the focus of our Archdiocesan Mission Plan, Go Make Disciples, a plan which is only beginning as we look to support the renewal of our communities post-lockdown.”
For updates about Reclaiming Evangelisation sign up for the e-newsletter at gomakedisciples.org.au