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Monday, July 22, 2024
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Thousands answer the call to mission

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The Archbishop gathered with the newly-commissioned pilgrims and leaders whose joyful spirits made for an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
The Archbishop gathered with the newly-commissioned pilgrims and leaders whose joyful spirits made for an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

A passion for evangelisation is the “very oxygen” of Christian life—given by Pope Francis, this image seeks to capture the way in which the desire to reach others with the Gospel is not only expressive of our relationship with Jesus but capable of animating and invigorating our spiritual life and our life together as Christian communities.

Breathing in the life and power of the Holy Spirit, the disciple has the courage to announce Jesus as Lord (1 Cor 12:3), breathing out his truth and love as a witness to those who are near and far from Christ and his Gospel.

In this spiritual exercise there is no distinction between the disciple and the missionary: only missionary disciples.

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Over the past year, we have been blessed by the many thousands of Sydney Catholics who have taken up opportunities to enter more deeply into this missionary call, possibilities opened by Archbishop Anthony’s vision for our parishes and communities as shared in Go Make Disciples.

Whether it has been taking part in formation courses, joining our men’s and women’s networks, discerning gifts and charisms, completing training for parish ministries, attending conferences on parish renewal and Christian anthropology, undertaking a pilgrimage in Sydney or else Lisbon, or sitting at the feet of our international speakers or at our inaugural “Purpose” Conference for youth, Sydney Catholics have been eager to be equipped, encouraged and to assume their roles as leading missionaries in their local parishes, communities and families.

As announced in the vision of Go Make Disciples, a renewed Catholic culture—one transformed by God’s Eucharistic love in the communion of the church, wider participation by all the faithful, and a courageous mission to “all the nations”—means cultivating a living and personal faith in the very midst of the church.

It is the personal encounter with the Lord and the conversion of life that following Jesus involves that leads to fruitful and lasting renewal in the church. It is this hope that motivates the works and witness shared on these pages.

As the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation, we have been richly blessed by the testimonies of faith and the stories of grace that have been shared by Sydney Catholics over this past year, and we look forward to sharing more good news in 2024.

This includes plans for our biennial Parish Renewal Conference, for adult faith formation, youth hubs in the archdiocese, and fresh initiatives to open opportunities for the encounter with Jesus Christ and to support our parishes in their caring, worshipping and evangelising mission.

As we anticipate the year to come and give thanks for the year that has been, we wish you, your families and communities a most Blessed Christmas. We pray that the peace of Christ, born of divine love, may enter our lives, our homes and our nations in this change of era.

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