This Sunday we celebrate World Day of Mission—an opportunity to think more deeply about the ways we share the Good News of God’s love with other people. In his prayer intention for October, Pope Francis prays for a Church that is ‘ever faithful to, and courageous in preaching the Gospel ... a community of solidarity, fraternity and welcome’.
In this spirit of Gospel boldness, we’ve compiled a list of five great reads—perfect for anyone seeking to renew their understanding of what it means to be missionary disciples, and to engage with others in truly meaningful ways.
And since our families are so central to the Church’s mission—ideally the place where we first experience and begin to understand the depth of God’s love for us—we hear from Matt MacDonald, a counsellor and psychotherapist who has worked closely with couples and families over many years to help them become the ‘masterpieces’ that God made them to be. We hear Matt’s thoughts on the connections between theology and psychotherapy, especially in relation to the thought of St Pope John Paul II, whose feast day we celebrate on Saturday.
In recognition of this feast day, and also of next week’s 125th anniversary celebrations of the consecration of St Patrick’s Cathedral, we also revisit the story of Pope John Paul II's visit to our beautiful Cathedral during his Australian tour in 1986.
Last Thursday at the Cathedral, a Pontifical Requiem Mass was held for Bishop Hilton Deakin, a man who dedicated his life to the mission of the Church. Mourners gathered from across Melbourne and beyond, representing many of the communities with which Bishop Deakin had formed special bonds over his years of ministry, to participate in a beautiful liturgy and to remember a singular man of God.
This week is also Anti-Poverty Week, an opportunity to deepen our understanding of poverty and to think about the ways we might respond—another important aspect of our mission to proclaim God's love. We share the story of Tony Huang, an older migrant who arrived in Australia from China in 2014 and soon found himself living in a tiny room in an overcrowded share home. He was isolated, in poor health and struggling financially. Then he met case manager Amy Yuen from VMCH, and his life turned around.
May the Spirit guide and inspire you this week to pursue God's mission of love in your own families, communities and neighbourhoods.