Jesus does not relegate his grace to Church activities only. He follows us into work, into school, into our homes and into the rest of our world.
If we are to live spiritually, we must be aware of God in all of these places. Each of us is called to a deeper relationship with God—to develop our spirituality. As God calls us to an intimate friendship and we respond to God’s presence with a vibrant, dynamic faith, we increase in grace (the relationship between us and God).
Prayer is the most direct way to communicate with God. Catholics have two kinds of prayer—formal and informal. Included in formal prayer are the Mass and other liturgical celebrations, the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office), the rosary, novenas and other devotions. Among informal prayer are meditation, contemplation, personal reflection, centering oneself in the presence of God, and silence. There are a number of groups in the diocese that can help you nurture your spiritual life—allowing you to talk and to listen to God.
Other prayer and spirituality ministries
Catholic Charistmatic Renewal Prayer Groups
Prayer groups characterised by expressive, joyful praise, an openness to the spiritual gifts including prophecy and healing. There is also music, talks, testimonies and prayer.
Lay women and men sharing in the life and commitments of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan by meeting monthly to study the rule of St Benedict, the Psalms and the Scriptures and to pray for the needs of the Diocese.
Lay men and women who form an integral part of the Carmelite family and try to live out the Carmelite way of life in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life. Communities meet at least once a month for prayer and formation in Carmelite Spirituality.
A spiritual society that participates in home visitation, reciting the rosary before funerals, bringing Holy Communion to the sick, and supporting parish life through many other activities. Members participate in weekly meetings of prayer, reports and discussion.
Order of the Secular Franciscans—Illawarra and Macarthur
Founded by St Francis of Assisi in the early 13th century. Members are lay men and women who gather regularly in fraternity professing to live the Gospel in the manner of St Francis of Assisi by following the Rule of Life.
Lay men and women (and diocesan clergy) who share the same charism as the Discalced Carmelite Friars and Sisters—the same traditions, the same call to holiness and the same apostolic mission—not in a monastic community but in the world.
Forum for conversation held in local venues providing interesting speakers on topical and sometimes challenging subjects. Input from speakers is followed by conversation in which all present are encouraged to participate.
Held at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Albion Park, these ecumenical, meditative prayer evenings draw inspiration from the prayers and music of the Taizé Community in France. They are an opportunity to quietly gather together in the spirit of the Risen Lord.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.