Vocations to the permanent diaconate are growing faster than any other vocation in the Church.
There is no doubt we are living in unprecedented times, where the new ‘normal’ encompasses social distancing, hand washing and Zoom meetings, not to mention the need to get tested as soon as you have a sniffle.
In his first major statement, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis spoke bluntly about the challenges facing Catholic parishes: ‘We must admit … that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented.’
Natural Fertility Awareness Week
This year we acknowledge the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and climate.
Eleven-year-old Mustafa is a beautifully-spoken, polite boy with an infectious smile. His older brother Mohammad is articulate and engaging but when you look closely at his big brown eyes there is a seriousness and sense of responsibility that no 15-year-old kid should be burdened with.
As I enter Mariam’s house I’m greeted with the familiar smell of baked goods cooking in the kitchen mixed with the fresh scent of a house just cleaned. She steers me into our usual meeting place, her front lounge room where the sun shines through large open windows that look out onto the shopping centre across the road.
My dear sisters and brothers, it is just over two months now since I was installed as Archbishop and I am still in the process of learning about the Archdiocese. I hope that I shall always be doing so.
Sickness and death are often hidden or denied in contemporary culture yet everyone encounters ill health at some time in their lives, whether in short-term conditions such as appendicitis and the common cold or chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis and mental illness.
He taught us how to pray while not knowing how to pray. That’s a comment sometimes made about Dutch theologian Henri Nouwen.