This webpage has been developed by CatholicLIFE to inform you of Year of Grace happenings at the National and Archdiocesan level over the next 12 months.
Introducing the Year of Grace
Very few of us have any doubt that we, the Church, have much to do to respond to our vocation to bring Jesus Christ to the world. Our Pope and our Bishops regularly remind us that we are to be as the first apostles, completely given over to communicating the Christian message to the world in which we live. And yet we all acknowledge that it is impossible to carry out this mission well without the spiritual energy that God provides. To carry out our mission, given to us at baptism, we must learn to be ‘as Christ’. This will involve an ongoing process of deep spiritual conversion.
This is the context for ‘the Year of Grace’ commenced at Pentecost (May 27) this year. What will the Year of Grace mean for you?
Our Bishops have described this as a ‘yearlong retreat’. They are inviting us to take the opportunity to focus even more explicitly on the person of Jesus Christ than we normally do.
Why are the Bishops asking us to do this? They speak of a growing awareness that there is much happening in and around the Church that requires their (and our) ongoing attention. However, instead of rushing headlong into dealing with these things, we need to ensure that our plans and responses to these events and circumstances are inspired by and directed towards our deepening relationship with God.
For this reason every Catholic individual, family, parish, school, and agency has been asked to regularly stop and contemplate ‘the face of Christ’ throughout the next twelve months. The focus on ‘the face of Christ’ is deliberate. In the person of Jesus the inner life of God and the world that we know and experience, meet. To contemplate his ‘face’ is to reflect on the love that God has for us, shown in his desire to become one us, and in his desire to become the centre of our lives. There is no going forward in our faith without an ever-deepening relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Without that, all our intentions and plans as a Christian people are a waste of time.
The Year of Grace is a wonderful opportunity for spiritual renewal across this great country. Our Christian lives depend on grace, but what exactly is it? The quick answer begins by noting what grace is not: grace is not a thing. Grace is God’s gift of himself as God touches our lives. We might experience grace as receiving something from God, but what is actually happening is that we are being brought evermore closely into the very life of God. As God’s people, we can only live in response to the vocation God has given us to the degree that we are united with God.
I have no idea how the Year of Grace will impact on you and your parish over the coming twelve months. What each community does in response to this initiative will be particular to that community. What I do know is that it is a wonderful opportunity and that many faithful and creative people will do their best to respond to it. To assist in this there are a variety of national and local resources and initiatives on offer. See below for further details.
Archdiocesan Coordinator, Faith Formation and Spirituality
The Year of Grace was launched at the Pentecost Masses held on the weekend of 27 May 2012. To familiarise yourself with the the Year of Grace and liturgical resources for the Pentecost Mass please visit the national website www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au . Once there, simply click on the 'resources' tab at the top and scroll down to "liturgical celebrations". Options are provided for use during Mass and for those communities where a Liturgy of the Word will be celebrated that day instead.
The National Year of Grace committee provides resources to be of assistance to parishes etc. They are not mandatory and a parish may use as much or as little of what's provided depending on need and circumstances.
Some may find it useful to view a video that introduces the Year of Grace and what is intended by it. It might be useful for members of Parish councils to view this video, for example. Some have already found it useful to show it to the whole congregation as part of the lead up to the Year of Grace. You will find this resource on the homepage of the Year of Grace website.
All parishes and schools have received deliveries of the national Year of Grace prayer cards. However, if you require more prayer cards, please contact Phil Letki on email; firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 6163 4336.
Banners: Contact Phil Murphy at Great Though Art Graphic Design on mobile 0421 457 313
Candles: Contact Abbey Candles http://www.jamberooabbey.org.au/html/candles/candles_yearofgrace.htm
Posters: Contact Parramatta Diocese http://www.parra.catholic.org.au/year-of-grace/year-of-grace.aspx
There are many other activities and opportunities planned for the Year of Grace. What follows is information sent to Priests and School Principals earlier this year. It is included here for your information.
'30 Days of Grace ...in a Year of Faith'
“30 Days of Grace…in a Year of Faith” is a
prayer and reflection resource launched at the recent Archdiocesan Assembly. It
is primarily a series of daily Scripturally based reflections connecting the
Australian Church’s Year of Grace (Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013) with the
Year of Faith called by the Vatican to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of the 2nd Vatican Council (October 11 2012 – November
24 2013). A free Lenten supplement, to use in conjunction with the "30 Days of grace...in a Year of Faith", is available on the www.faithresources.org.au
website. This supplement will provide a structure for Lenten group meetings,
ideas for individual preparation for group meetings and additional reflections
based on the Gospel readings for the Sundays of Lent.
free Lenten supplement, to use in conjunction with the "30 Days of grace...in a Year of Faith", is available on the www.faithresources.org.au website. This supplement will provide a structure for Lenten group meetings, ideas for individual preparation for group meetings and additional reflections based on the Gospel readings for the Sundays of Lent.
This booklet contains daily reflections, Scripture and prayer for 30 days. It can be used at any time, including Lent 2013. Cost $2.20 (inc. GST) Purchase via www.faithresources.org.au
National Year of Grace Website
You can find further information at www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au
Faith Formation Seminars
Over the last couple of months you may have received information on monthly Saturday Catholic Spirituality Seminars provided by Shane Dwyer, the Archdiocesan Coordinator for Faith Education and Spirituality Formation. The seminars are from 10am-12pm (9.45am for registration). Where: Rheinberger Centre, Cnr of Weston and Loch Sts, Yarralumla. To register go to http://www.faithresources.org.au/, and go to ‘Events’ page, or contact email@example.com or call 02 6163 4336. The 2012 seminars are finished; however, the seminars will continue next year in a similar format. The 2013 dates are as follows: February 23, March 23, May 11, June 22, August 3, September 14, November 2 and December 14.
Having one or more of these seminars repeated in your parish or deanery is an option as part of this period of spiritual renewal. Please contact Shane to discuss options: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Parish response to “Contemplating the Face of Christ”
The hope is to have representatives from every parish in the Archdiocese at the Assembly, who will go on to have a role in facilitating the contemplation of the face of Christ in their parishes throughout the remainder of the Year of Grace and beyond. While the focus of the Assembly will be on contemplating the person of Jesus, it is intended that during the Assembly participants will be given some simple ideas on how to invite their fellow parishioners into a similar experience. For those who would find it useful, the CatholicLIFE staff will offer resources and assistance.
A Year of Grace Renewal Resource
The Archdiocese will be producing a Year of Grace resource that will present material to help with prayer and reflection. At this stage it is envisaged as a four-week program that can be used over any four-week period of a parish’s choosing. Traditionally such resources are linked to a specific Liturgical season (e.g. Lent or Advent). So as to make the program more flexible, the reflections, discussion questions and prayer exercises will not be linked to particular Sunday readings. It will be written in such a way as to be of use to both individuals and groups. The focus will be on contemplating the face of Christ. It is intended that the resource will be launched at the November Archdiocesan Assembly.
Parish Year of Grace Coordinators
Year of Grace Coordinator
St Bede’s, Braidwood
Br Brian Berg
St Michael's, Kaleen
St Vincent's Aranda
St Matthew’s Page
St Thomas the Apostle, Kambah
St Mary’s, West Wyalong
Fr Mick MacAndrew
St Anthony of Padua, Wanniassa
Transfiguration Parish, North Woden
Holy Rosary, Dickson
St Patrick's, Bega
St Mary’s Parish, Bombala
Holy Spirit, Gungahlin
St Thomas Aquinas, Charnwood
Youth Ministry Initiatives
The Year of Grace will have a direct influence on Archdiocesan Youth and Young Adult ministry over the next twelve months. Guinness and God, run by the Archdiocesan Office for Youth in collaboration with ACU Campus Ministry, will continue to foster a sense of a grace-filled community in an everyday environment; an Irish pub in the middle of the city. In our high school aged ministry, the Canberra-Goulburn NET Team will facilitate the upcoming ReFresh camp which will be themed “Grace”, encouraging students to see how God is part of their everyday lives.
The Youth Leaders’ Forum was held on June 29 & 30 and brought together youth and young adult representatives from across the Archdiocese to explore ways in which Grace can be infused throughout the ministries of our various groups and movements.
Dates: Guinness and God the first Tuesday of every month. 6:30pm at King O’Malley’s Irish Pub, Canberra.
For more information contact Daniela, Archdiocesan Youth and Young Adults Coordinator – email@example.com
Disciples of Jesus Community Initiative
As the Canberra-Goulburn diocese enters the "Year of Grace", the Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community (DOJ Community), including the Missionaries of God's Love Priests, Brothers and Sisters, wishes to support the parishes of the diocese by offering a series of parish missions. The DOJ Community has served the diocese for the last 30 years, running outreach events and training Catholic lay people in mission, especially youth, to serve locally and overseas. It is our desire during this year of grace to offer ourselves to serve your parish. We are offering a range of possible options through which we can assist in the mission of your parish.
Events Offered to Parishes
Mercy Night: Worship before the Blessed Sacrament with music, short inspirational talks, Benediction and the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Weekend Parish Mission: A time of renewal for your parish, with a weekend of talks and prayer. Themes include: Encountering God in prayer; God's Love; The mystery of salvation; The role of laity in the church; and Evangelisation. With a ‘Mercy Night’ in the evening.
Outreach Mission: Empower your parishioners to share their faith with those who are on the fringes. Based around a weekend mission, designed to bring renewal to your parishioners while also providing events specifically for those who aresearching for God. Training provided in evangelisation followed a month later by a weekend mission, so that they can work to draw people to the outreach events. The Mercy Night would become a central focus of the mission to bring people into an encounter with the mercy of God.
We are happy to adapt these options to meet the specific needs of your parish. We are also able to adapt these programs to include events for the youth of your parish.
Year of Grace possibilities must not be thought of as being restricted to the initiatives outlined above. The focus is not on particular events and resources: it is on contemplating the person of Jesus Christ. With this in mind parishes, schools, Catholic agencies and individuals are all encouraged to plan their own response to this opportunity.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if either Phil Letki firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 02 6163 4336, or I can be of any assistance.
Archdiocesan Coordinator, Faith Formation and Spirituality