Reflection by Australian delegates Monica and Kevin Chahoud
Walking into the Vatican yesterday we were overcome by emotion, not just by its grandeur and beauty, but its significance to our faith. It was a privilege to be able to attend Mass there.
The sessions today reflected the diversity of our Church. What struck me most was how similar these stories were to what we are seeing in our Church in Australia. The difference in culture and the distance didn’t seem to change the issues, but highlighted the strength of faith that people actively choose to include into their everyday lives.
The speakers were honest, many speaking of their own personal battles in order to highlight the importance of going back to basics, stopping to evaluate and being brutally honest with ourselves, our loved ones, and our church community in order to reset our lives.
The session about the domestic church and the importance of faith starting in the family home was one that we could all implement with small changes to our everyday lives, and then expanding it to the domestic church and its connection to community and Church showed our need to make a conscious decision every day to actively change, in order to let Jesus into our lives and families.
Monica and Kevin were invited by Bishop Robert Rabbat to represent the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Australia. They have been married for 28 years and have three children.
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Changes by you
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If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
you or your account may be charged a fee and/or interest by your financial institution;
you or your account may be charged a fee to reimburse us for charges we have incurred for the failed transaction;
you must arrange for the payment to be made by another method
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You should check:
with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
your account details which you have provided to us are correct by checking them against a recent account statement; and
with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
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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.