Welcome to a new year of Faith Circles resources, made available here for free by the Office of Renewal and Evangelisation in the Diocese of Wollongong. Advent 2022 saw the commencement of Year A of the cycle of readings and, as we enter 2023, we are beginning our Faith Circles journey afresh.
We are very excited to let you know of three significant changes to the Faith Circles resources, which we will outline here below.
Faith Circles Online Firstly, Faith Circles will now be available here at faithcircles.dow.org.au in a blog format. It will be the same great small group resource you are used to but, in the spirit of Laudato Si, we are now giving you an easy way to access the resource without printing, if you so desire. This version will adapt to whatever device you are viewing it on, whether that be on a computer or laptop, mobile phone, or tablet.
Of course, the PDF version will still be available and will continue to be the preeminent way to use Faith Circles. After all, don’t we all spend a little too much time staring at screens?
New Old Voices
Secondly, along with the voice of Pope Francis, we have now included homilies and reflections from Pope St John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Many of these writings have been translated from their original Italian and German. Pope Francis remains our main contributor each week but with the addition of two of his predecessors, we feel it adds a depth to our discussions that might not be there otherwise. It is always confronting to realise that the human issues of the 70s remain relevant today!
New Discussion Questions Finally, we have refined the discussion portion of Faith Circles. We begin with a general invitation to circle members to share what stood out most from the Gospel or Homily/Reflection and why. This then leads to our three questions for each week:
Head – Some aspect of theology, teaching, understanding (What do you think?)
Heart – Our own experiences, feelings, relationship with God or others (What do you feel?)
Hands – How will we put this in action, virtue and habit, life and vision (What will you do?)
The Faith Circles resource for the month of January will be sent out via email shortly and will be available here weekly, beginning December 25th (for 1 January 2023, Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God).
We hope you are as excited to experience the new resource as we are to share it with you and we would love to hear how it goes in your Faith Circle. If you want to contact us to give feedback or to ask for assistance, please see email [email protected].
God bless and kind regards,
Coordinator of Evangelisation and Renewal
Diocese of Wollongong
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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.