Publication shows how to gather to make season of preparation more meaningful
This year’s Advent resource offered by the Archdiocese of Sydney is perfect for anyone who wants to invite fellow parishioners, friends or neighbours to pray and reflect with them over this powerful season in the Church’s year.
The Sydney Centre for Evangelisation will again offer simple online training sessions on how to lead an Advent group using Stay Awake! Prepare for the Coming of Christ.
A 45-minute session will run on Tuesday 8 November at 10am and be repeated on Thursday 10 November at 2pm, and Wednesday 16 November at 11am and 7.30pm (details below).
Contributors include Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Bishop Daniel Meagher, Parish Evangelisation and Formation Coordinator Tania Rimac, Sr Mary Julian Ekman RSM, Director of the PM Glynn Institute Dr Michael Casey, and St Jerome Punchbowl assistant priest Fr Benjamin Saliba.
Following a similar format to last year’s successful companion, it includes reflections on the Gospels for the four Sundays of Advent and Christmas Day, a guide for an examination of conscience, ideas for celebrating Christmas in parishes, and other resources for meditation.
The online training sessions will cover the basic principles of organising and leading a small group, covering both in-person and online delivery.
Training includes tips for practical preparation, invitation, promotion and leading people in prayer. All are welcome and no experience is required.
“It’s our hope that individuals and communities in Sydney will take the opportunity to pray together in this season of expectation, and this companion is an offering to support that prayer,” said Daniel Ang, the Director of the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation.
“Especially after the events of these past years, there is a need to constantly nourish and refresh ourselves in our desire for and response to God in deliberate and structured ways.
“We’ve been blessed to have wise spiritual guides who have offered reflections for our parishes, homes and families, to help us approach the grace of Jesus Christ this Christmas with a new heart”.
Helen Wagner, Parish Evangelisation Officer at the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation, invited Catholics to either join or start their own small group, even if they had never led others in prayer.
“Unlike the Season of Lent – where the Church prescribes our means of preparation with prayer, fasting and almsgiving – we are encouraged during Advent to discover our own path of conversion,” she said.
“My hope is that people will gather to pray with this Advent Companion to prepare their hearts to receive the gift of Jesus at Christmas.
“For anyone who has never led others in prayer before and would welcome some support, our training is very simple and easy to follow.”
Registrations for information sessions can be made at: gomakedisciples.org.au/cas-events.
Stay Awake! Prepare for the Coming of Christ is available online at gomakedisciples.com.au/resources from 3 November and will also be available in hard copy form at parishes.