Launch of the Year of Grace in Parramatta
|Sudanese musicians headed the Pentecost entry procession, which included representatives from 26 countries in national dress bearing flags.|
Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu
|Diocesan Business Manager Michael Digges lights Parramatta’s Year of Grace candle.|
Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu
Australia’s Catholic Bishops have invited the Church to a Year of Grace, which begins on Pentecost this year and goes through to Pentecost 19 May 2013.
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, inaugurated the Year of Grace in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta at the 11am Mass on Sunday 27 May in St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Mass was concelebrated by Fr Richard Umbers, Fr Suresh Kumar MSFS and Fr Phil Medlin CSsR.
Everyone who attended the Mass is able to receive a plenary indulgence. In addition to attending the Mass, they need to make their confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the intentions of the Pope and for the Bishop.
The Cathedral was filled with colour and singing as a group of Sudanese musicians headed the entry procession, which included representatives from 26 countries in national dress bearing flags.
Reflecting the diversity of the Diocese, these representatives assisted in the liturgy through Proclaiming the Word, leading the Prayers of the Faithful in Cantonese, Spanish, Arabic, Burmese and French, and bringing the gifts to the altar.
In his homily the Bishop said: “Today the Church in Australia launches a Year of Grace. We celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council that Blessed John Paul II called the greatest single grace of the 20th Century.
“We build on the more local graces of World Youth Day 2008 and the canonisation of Mary MacKillop in 2010. We are encouraged in various ways to contemplate the face of Christ and start afresh from Him, charged with the graces of Pentecost.”
The graces that re-create and save
The day was a grace-filled occasion for a member of the Chancery.
“Just before Mass I had the privilege of baptising Kieran, one of my own Chancery staff,” Bishop Anthony said.
“In a few moments I will confirm him. This is his Pentecost, on which like those first Christians he will receive graces that re-create and save, that fit him for relationship with God and others. Our country needs such graces too. Our Church in Australia today needs such graces. We all do.”
Each diocese has a Year of Grace candle, which was given to the diocesan coordinators by the Bishops of Australia to be brought back to their dioceses.
During the Mass, Parramatta’s Year of Grace candle was lit from the paschal candle by Michael Digges, Diocesan Business Manager.
In the Cathedral hall after Mass everyone gathered for a food festa, which featured an array of dishes provided by national representatives and their friends.
Download an audio file of Bishop Anthony's homily
Listen to this homily at Bishop Anthony's iTunes podcasts
Read Bishop Anthony's Homily
Year of Grace Sessions at IFM
In coming weeks, two sessions on the Year of Grace will be offered at the Parramatta Institute for Mission (IFM) in Blacktown.
Monday 18 June
Jim Eves, Diocesan Year of Grace Coordinator, will present an Introductory session, ‘Stand still and I will find you.’
Monday 2 July
Fr Peter Brock, Project Officer of the Year of Grace national committee, will give a talk entitled, ‘New Ways of Living the Gospel – What Mary MacKillop may be able to say to us during the Year of Grace.’
Institute for Mission. Ph: 02 9831 4911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support for parishes celebrating the Year of Grace
The Diocese of Parramatta has produced a number of resources to assist parishes in celebrating the Year of Grace.
These materials are available through your parish and on the Diocesan Year of Grace website where you will find information, videos, and a photo gallery from the Pentecost Mass: www.parrayearofgrace.org.auThe Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has developed a website with national resources, including reflections and a subscription e-bulletin: www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au
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