28 College Street Caroline Springs, VIC, 3023 | Phone: 03 8361 9822 | carolinesprings@cam.org.au

top

PARISH RENEWAL BY NATASHA BERCHY, EVANGELISATION CO-ORDINATOR

Friday 5th August 2022

Dear fellow parishioners,

In Father Richard’s absence, I have hijacked this spot in the bulletin in order to talk a little about parish renewal which you have been hearing so much about within our community! In the next few weeks I will share a little about renewal in a few different facets, including both personal and communal.

Firstly, why must there be renewal?
Everything fades and deteriorates over time unless intentional inspection, maintenance and upgrades are carried out. Think about your cars and your homes. If they hadn’t been serviced regularly, or general upkeep carried out, they would fall apart or not function at their fullest capability. The same is true for our personal faith lives and community.
In the case of parish renewal, we must first and foremost look at our personal faith lives in order to effectively revitalise our community.

So I ask this question. What does your faith mean to you?
We live in a busy world. There are so many distractions and I know that as a working mother with 3 little ones (and one on the way), I can easily be overwhelmed with the demands that society places upon me. It is when I am overwhelmed that I am reminded to stop and reprioritise things as we cannot possibly give all that we have to everything, and if we try, we either burn out or don’t really have an impact anywhere. It is in this chaos that I am reminded to re-evaluate the priority faith has in my life.

Our ideas of what faith is can vary between each of us depending on our cultural background, upbringing, exposure to the faith and personal life experiences. However, we must be able to define it in order for us to be able to work towards strengthening it, deepening it and then sharing it.

One of my favourite definitions of the faith comes from Pope Benedict XVI who states that:

“Christian faith is not only a matter of believing that certain things are true, but above all a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an encounter with the Son of God that gives new energy to the whole of our existence. When we enter into a personal relationship with him, Christ reveals our true identity and, in friendship with him, our life grows towards complete fulfilment.”

There is so much to unpack from this statement. Yes, faith is a belief in something, and that belief may be expressed in things we ‘do’ such as going to Mass etc. but it goes much further beyond that. To have a true Christian faith, there needs to be a personal encounter with the person of Jesus, and from that, a relationship is formed that needs to be nurtured and grown, just as with any other relationship. It is from this relationship with Jesus that everything flows out from and back into, the celebration of Sacraments, acts of service in the community, our interactions with other people etc. And the deeper in love we fall with Jesus, the more time we would want to spend with him, and serve him. Should we not pursue our faith in this way, then we will never really discover our true identity and not find fulfilment. Instead we will probably seek it in the world and that pursuit will always disappoint.

So how is your personal faith linked to parish renewal? Well, we can’t give what we don’t have. And in order to share the joy and love of our faith with others, we need to have experienced it first and then continually work on growing and developing it. So this week, I invite you to have a think about what your faith means to you? Is it an add-on to your life or core to everything you are and do? Have you encountered the person of Jesus? Do you have a personal relationship with our God?

Natasha Berchy
Evangelisation Co-ordinator

St Catherine Of Siena Parish Mass Schedule

Mass Schedule

Monday:  9:30am

Tuesday: 7:00pm
Wednesday:  9:30am
Thursday:  9:30am
Friday:  9:30am

Saturday: 9:30am & 6:00pm
Sunday:  9:00am, 10:30am & 12:00pm

Reconciliation

Tuesday: 6:00 pm

Saturday:  8:45 am, 10:00 am and 5:00 pm or by appointment if these times don’t suit.