New Women's Discernment Group

New Women's Discernment Group

Coinciding with International Women's Day, Sr Mel Dwyer (the newest member of the Vocation Brisbane team) met with eight young women to discuss vocation and the call to religious life. This monthly gathering will continue on the first Wednesday of each month.

You can read more about Sr Mel's story, and Gratia, online at the Catholic Leader:

http://catholicleader.com.au/news/international-womens-day-how-a-javelin-star-turned-nun-is-empowering-women-around-the-globe

For more information about Gratia, please contact Sr Mel at srmelissafdcc@gmail.com.

 

 

Dining and Discerning with the Archbishop

Dining and Discerning with the Archbishop

Each year a highlight on the Vocation Brisbane calendar is the Archbishop's Annual Vocations Dinner. The Dinner draws young men from parishes, schools, movements and communities around the Archdiocese. Gathered around the dinner table, the men had the unique opportunity to hear from those further along the vocation path.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge shared insights from his many years of ministry as priest and bishop. He shared candidly with the men about the importance of prayer in his daily routine. The Dinner allows each man to meet and interact with the Archbishop, beginning the ongoing relationship between bishop and discerner.

Seminarian Thomas Zaranski was also on hand to share insight about seminary life and the four pillars of formation. Currently own his fifth year at the seminary and on pastoral internship at Camp Hill, Tom's presence was relevant and insightful as he approaches ordination.

For many of the men, the evening is their first interaction with Vocation Brisbane. During the Dinner the men were introduced to the team and the discernment resources and opportunities made available through the office. In presenting his own experiences as a priest for 25 years, Fr Morgan offered support and direction to the men as they begin their own discernment journeys.

Held annually at the Archbishop's residence Wynberg, the Dinner is a significant vocations promotional event. The Dinner is by invite-only. To register interest in the next Archbishop's Vocations Dinner, please contact the Vocation Brisbane office.

Couples Twilight Retreat a Success

When Pope Francis called for a Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy for this year, he invited reflection upon what is the heart of mercy. The Heart of Mercy has been a theme Vocation Brisbane has connected with this year, especially with our giant Heart sculpture in the Cathedral precinct.

In essence, the Heart of Mercy is the same as the heart of Vocation, in fact, it is the heart of the Christian journey: love. In vocation love is expressed in life commitment, to God, community and other. That's why this year our office has had a special focus on marriage and exploring how married couples tangibly express the Heart of Mercy in our world.

This was the underlying vision for our Couple's Twilight Retreat last Tuesday, 12th April. The evening invited nine young dating, engaged and married couples to reflect on the Heart of Mercy in the context of relationship. Presented by Mike and Lisa Humphrys, the couples were led through some of the material of the Smart Loving Engaged course. As well as deepening their understanding of the married vocation, the couples were equipped with tools from the program to enable them to be the sign of God's Heart of Mercy in the world.

"I came away with a lot of really insightful, really relevant tools that are going to impact in a real way how I relate with my partner," one participant said. "It was amazing too to reflect on how our relationship can be an image of God's love, of God's heart for mercy!"

The night finished with the couples participating in the Heart of Mercy ritual, praying and attaching locks to the sculpture in a sign of their commitment to each other and reflection on Mercy.

Future Couples events are still to be confirmed later in the year. Be sure to connect with Vocation Brisbane on facebook and here on our website for future event announcements.

Pope Francis Releases Post-Synodal Exhortation

Pope Francis Releases Post-Synodal Exhortation

Pope Francis has released his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, entitled "Amoris Laetitia" or "The Joy of Love". Following from the Synod on the Family, the Pope addresses the themes of family and the Gospel, marriage, relationship and the Church's response in his trademark relevant and accessible manner.

We will post a fuller-insight into the Exhortation soon, but until then check out the document here: Amoris Laetitia.

Also, read some some of the reviews and synopsis of the Exhortation:

Heart of Mercy featured in The Catholic Leader

Heart of Mercy featured in The Catholic Leader

Vocation Brisbane's Heart of Mercy recently featured in The Catholic Leader:

Individuals searching for answers to their future can clip a padlock to the giant heart sculpture as a sign of prayer and discernment for their vocation.
Vocation Brisbane officer Patrick Ransom said the sculpture was also a practical way to consider God’s merciful heart in the jubilee Year of Mercy.
“During this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis encourages us to encounter the Mercy of God,” he said.
“The sculpture itself serves as a visual reminder of the merciful Sacred Heart of Jesus, standing visible to church-goers and passers-by alike.

You can read the rest of The Catholic Leader article here. 

Vocation Brisbane is inviting all people to mark the commitments they are making by attaching a lock to the Heart of Mercy, as a reflection of the call to be merciful like the Father. Heart Padlocks and a simple prayer ritual are available from St Stephen's Cathedral office or the Vocation Brisbane office. Read more about the Heart of Mercy and ritual here.

Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Pope Francis has charged the whole Church with the responsibility of caring and praying for vocations. The World Day of Prayer for Vocations is observed on April 17th, with the theme "The Church, Mother of Vocations". In his message for the Day of Prayer, Pope Francis reminds us that all vocations are born in the Church, and that a calling is not "for a particular region, or for a group or for an ecclesial movement, but rather for the Church and for the world.”

The Pope's full message is below.

 

World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2016

MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER

The Church, Mother of Vocations

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is my great hope that, during the course of this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, all the baptized may experience the joy of belonging to the Church and rediscover that the Christian vocation, just like every particular vocation, is born from within the People of God, and is a gift of divine mercy. The Church is the house of mercy, and it is the “soil” where vocations take root, mature and bear fruit.

On this day dedicated to prayer for vocations, I urge all the faithful to assume their responsibility for the care and discernment of vocations.

For this reason, on the occasion of the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I invite all of you to reflect upon the apostolic community, and to give thanks for the role of the community in each person’s vocational journey. In the Bull of Indiction for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I recalled the words of the venerable Saint Bede, describing the call of Saint Matthew: “Miserando atque eligendo” (Misericordiae Vultus, 8). The Lord’s merciful action forgives our sins and opens us to the new life which takes shape in the call to discipleship and mission. Each vocation in the Church has its origin in the compassionate gaze of Jesus. Conversion and vocation are two sides of the same coin, and continually remain interconnected throughout the whole of the missionary disciple’s life.

Blessed Paul VI, in his exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, described various steps in the process of evangelisation. One of these steps is belonging to the Christian community (cf. no. 23), that community from which we first received the witness of faith and the clear proclamation of the Lord’s mercy. This incorporation into the Christian community brings with it all the richness of ecclesial life, particularly the sacraments. Indeed, the Church is not only a place in which we believe, but it is also an object of our faith; it is for this reason that we profess in the Credo: “I believe in the Church”. 

The call of God comes to us by means of a mediation which is communal. God calls us to become a part of the Church and, after we have reached a certain maturity within it, he bestows on us a specific vocation. The vocational journey is undertaken together with the brothers and sisters whom the Lord has given to us: it is a con-vocation. The ecclesial dynamism of the call is an antidote to indifference and to individualism. It establishes the communion in which indifference is vanquished by love, because it demands that we go beyond ourselves and place our lives at the service of God’s plan, embracing the historical circumstances of his holy people.  

Vocations are born within the Church.

On this day dedicated to prayer for vocations, I urge all the faithful to assume their responsibility for the care and discernment of vocations. When the Apostles sought someone to take the place of Judas Iscariot, Saint Peter brought together one hundred and twenty of the brethren (cf. Acts 1:15); and in order to chose seven deacons, a group of disciples was gathered (cf. 6:2). Saint Paul gave Titus specific criteria for the selection of presbyters (cf. Titus 1:5-9). Still today, the Christian community is always present in the discernment of vocations, in their formation and in their perseverance (cf. Apost. Ex. Evangelii Gaudium, 107). 

Vocations are born within the Church. From the moment a vocation begins to become evident, it is necessary to have an adequate “sense” of the Church. No one is called exclusively for a particular region, or for a group or for an ecclesial movement, but rather for the Church and for the world. “A sure sign of the authenticity of a charism is its ecclesial character, its ability to be integrated harmoniously into the life of God’s holy and faithful people for the good of all” (ibid., 130). In responding to God’s call, young people see their own ecclesial horizon expand; they are able to consider various charisms and to undertake a more objective discernment. In this way, the community becomes the home and the family where vocations are born. Candidates gratefully contemplate this mediation of the community as an essential element for their future. They learn to know and to love their brothers and sisters who pursue paths different from their own; and these bonds strengthen in everyone the communion which they share.  

Vocations grow within the Church. In the course of formation, candidates for various vocations need to grow in their knowledge of the ecclesial community, overcoming the limited perspectives that we all have at the beginning. To that end, it is helpful to undertake some apostolic experience together with other members of the community, for example: in the company of a good catechist, to communicate the Christian message; together with a religious community, to experience the evangelisation of the peripheries sharing in the life of the cloister, to discover the treasure of contemplation; in contact with missionaries, to know more closely the mission ad gentes; and in the company of diocesan priests, to deepen one’s experience of pastoral life in the parish and in the diocese. For those who are already in formation, the ecclesial community always remains the fundamental formational environment, towards which one should feel a sense of gratitude.

Vocations are sustained by the Church. After definitive commitment, our vocational journey within the Church does not come to an end, but it continues in our willingness to serve, our perseverance and our ongoing formation. The one who has consecrated his life to the Lord is willing to serve the Church wherever it has need. The mission of Paul and Barnabas is a good example of this readiness to serve the Church. Sent on mission by the Holy Spirit and by the community of Antioch (cf. Acts 13, 1-4), they returned to that same community and described what the Lord had worked through them (cf. 14: 27). Missionaries are accompanied and sustained by the Christian community, which always remains a vital point of reference, just as a visible homeland offers security to all who are on pilgrimage towards eternal life.

the Church is the mother of vocations in her continual support of those who have dedicated their lives to the service of others.

Among those involved in pastoral activity, priests are especially important. In their ministry, they fulfil the words of Jesus, who said: “I am the gate of the sheepfold […] I am the good shepherd” (Jn 10: 7, 11). The pastoral care of vocations is a fundamental part of their ministry. Priests accompany those who are discerning a vocation, as well as those who have already dedicated their lives to the service of God and of the community.

All the faithful are called to appreciate the ecclesial dynamism of vocations, so that communities of faith can become, after the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, like a mother’s womb which welcomes the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1: 35-38). The motherhood of the Church finds expression in constant prayer for vocations and in the work of educating and accompanying all those who perceive God’s call. This motherhood is also expressed through a careful selection of candidates for the ordained ministry and for the consecrated life. Finally, the Church is the mother of vocations in her continual support of those who have dedicated their lives to the service of others.

We ask the Lord to grant to all those who are on a vocational journey a deep sense of belonging to the Church; and that the Holy Spirit may strengthen among Pastors, and all of the faithful, a deeper sense of communion, discernment and spiritual fatherhood and motherhood.

Father of mercy, who gave your Son for our salvation and who strengthens us always with the gifts of your Spirit, grant us Christian communities which are alive, fervent and joyous, which are fonts of fraternal life, and which nurture in the young the desire to consecrate themselves to you and to the work of evangelisation. Sustain these communities in their commitment to offer appropriate vocational catechesis and ways of proceeding towards each one’s particular consecration. Grant the wisdom needed for vocational discernment, so that in all things the greatness of your merciful love may shine forth. May Mary, Mother and guide of Jesus, intercede for each Christian community, so that, made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, it may be a source of true vocations for the service of the holy People of God.

From the Vatican, 29 November 2015

First Sunday of Advent

(from Vatican Radio)

Synod on the Family

Synod on the Family

One of the fundamental experiences of every human being is that we come from a family. Indeed, the Church recognises families as the basic building blocks of society and the Church itself. Yet, all of us have different experiences of what family is. Furthermore, many challenges have arisen in society as to what family is or should be. In recognising both the importance of families and the numerous issues that challenge the very real, lived experience of families, Pope Francis called for a Synod on the Family.

The Synod process involves an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops taking place next month (Oct. 4-25), which follows from the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which met last October. The Extraordinary Assembly addressed the "Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelisation". This October's gathering will have the theme "the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world". 

It's tempting to expect big changes in light of many of the issues debated in society, but the Synod reminds us of the sacredness of the family and the need for concrete pastoral solutions for many families who face struggles. It's important that we interact and engage with what the Synod and it's documents actually present. It's also important that we pray for the Synod as it gathers and discusses these important topics.

Below are links to the "Lineamenta" and "Instrumentum Laboris" which will guide the discussions this October; as well as the message that came from last October's gathering.

Quo Vadis Weekend

Quo Vadis Weekend

Vocation Brisbane’s recent Quo Vadis Weekend gathered eleven young men to discern and reflect on the call to priesthood. Held on the 28th to the 30th of August at Holy Spirit Seminary, the men were immersed into different aspects of priestly life and formation by Vocations Director Fr Morgan Batt and the Vocation Brisbane team. The weekend involved an introduction to praying the Divine Office, a session on sexuality and celibacy presented by Real Talk ministries, interaction with the seminary community and one-to-one vocational direction. Quo Vadis follows the four areas of priestly formation: human, academic, spiritual and pastoral. The participants ranged between 16-25 years old, with some joining the weekend from NET teams, others from parishes and some from Canali House. Based on their feedback many of the participants came away from the weekend with a deeper understanding of priesthood and a deeper sense of their own calling.

Vocation Brisbane offers the Quo Vadis weekend and many other events and discernment resources. To find out more about your call, contact the Vocation Brisbane team on 1300 133 544 or vocation@bne.catholic.net.au or on facebook (search “Vocation Brisbane”).

National Vocations Awareness Week

National Vocations Awareness Week

National Vocations Awareness Week is a specific time for the Church in Australia to pray for vocations and reflect on our own individual callings. Calling begins with baptism. Since we are baptised into the Body of Christ, we are responsible to that Body - to serve it. The experience of our Church is that serving the Body of Christ means that each individual will identify with one of four "States of Life": ordained ministry (deacons and priests), consecrated or religious life (sisters, brothers and nuns), marriage and single life. Within that State of Life we may find a further sense of calling - a vocation within a vocation, or our individual vocation. So, for example we can understand teaching as a vocation. Each of us has a calling, National Vocations Awareness Week reminds us of this. We're encouraged to pray for others, especially young people still discerning their call; and to live our call fully and generously.

 

Antiphonal Prayer for Vocations

A: At the sight of the crowds Jesus heart was moved

B: For they were like sheep without a shepherd

A: "Jesus said: "the harvest is ready"

B: "But the labourers are few"

A: Ask the Lord to send out labourers for the harvest

B: O Lord we pray that young people will answer the call to become servants in Your harvest

A: And shepherds for Your people.

B: Amen.

 

Where are you going?

Where are you going?

The phrase "Quo Vadis" comes from an Apocryphal tale of St Peter. In the midst of the persecutions in Rome, Peter attempted escape from the city via the Appian Way.  As he was fleeing, Peter encountered Jesus who was walking back towards the city. Peter asked "Quo vadis Domine?" which means "Where are you going, Lord?". Jesus replied "To Rome to be crucified again!" At this Peter turned around and returned to Rome, inspired to lay his life down for Christ and his Christian brothers and sisters.

Quo Vadis thus is not simply a question about where are you going physically; it is a question about how we follow Christ with our lives. As it did with Peter, that question might require us to turn ourselves around, to look at our world and our lives differently. The response may not be as dramatic as St Peter's, we don't have turn to face impending death; but we might have to make sacrifices in the service of God, the Church and the world.


The upcoming Quo Vadis discernment weekend invites young men to ask the question "where are you going?" Held at Holy Spirit Seminary, participants learn about the life and ministry of a priest, are immersed in the seminary community and formation program and receive guidance and direction. The weekend is shaped around four pillars - physical, emotional, mental and pastoral - allowing men to consider fully the call to Diocesan Priesthood.

 

DETAILS:

Date: 28th - 30th August

Cost: $50 donation

Venue: Holy Spirit Seminary, Brisbane

To register interest in the weekend, or to request more information,  please contact the Vocations team: vocations@bne.catholic.net.au or 1300 133 544.

Priesthood 101 according to Francis

Priesthood 101 according to Francis

This past Sunday (26/4) was Good Shepherd Sunday, a day that has also been reserved in the Church as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. At the Vatican, Pope Francis presided over the ordination of twenty men and he offered the ordinands this advice: don't be a peacock!



18th Annual Archbishop's Vocations Dinner

18th Annual Archbishop's Vocations Dinner

Last night, 40 young men gathered at Wynberg, the Archbishop's residence, for the 18th Annual Archbishop's Vocations Dinner. Generously hosted by Archbishop Mark Coleridge and facilitated by the Vocation Brisbane team, the night provided young men with fellowship and formation. In sharing about his own vocation, Archbishop Mark offered the men a glimpse of the joy and fulfillment of following God's call in one's life. The dinner is offered each year to men as an opportunity to learn about priesthood and the discernment process to enter the seminary.

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

This Sunday marks the 52nd Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We encourage parishes and communities to join with us in praying for vocations this weekend. We pray for the ministry of priests and religious and for young people discerning their vocations.

The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission “ad gentes”

Resources

Antiphonal Prayer for Vocations

A: At the sight of the crowds Jesus heart was moved

B: For they were like sheep without a shepherd

A: "Jesus said: "the harvest is ready"

B: "But the labourers are few"

A: Ask the Lord to send out labourers for the harvest

B: O Lord we pray that young people will answer the call to become servants in Your harvest

A: And shepherds for Your people.

B: Amen.

 

 

Anzac Day Centenary

Anzac Day Centenary

This Saturday 25th of April, Australia and New Zealand will commemorate the 100th Anzac Day. The Australian Bishops Conference have released resources to help remember this moment liturgically.

 

PRAYER FOR ANZAC CENTENARY
Gracious and loving God,
As we mark the ANZAC Centenary, we remember all who lost their lives through Australia’s involvement in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. On ANZAC Day, we especially remember the courageous actions undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the First World War. On this national day of commemoration, we pray for the airmen, sailors and soldiers who died in battle, sacrificing their lives while on duty. We commemorate their bravery and pray for the families who lost loved ones. As we strive for peace in our country and world, help us to become instruments of your peace.
We ask this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen

 

More liturgy resources from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference can be found by clicking the link below. Also available is an interview with Fr Morgan Batt, a chaplain with the Australian Defence Force.


Message for the 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Message for the 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations

The Exodus story is one most of us are familiar with. But have you ever thought about the exodus that occurs in your own life? Such an exodus, the going forward from our comfort zones into life with God, is at the heart of our missionary calling:

"This exodus towards God and others fills our lives with joy and meaning. I wish to state this clearly to the young, whose youth and openness to the future makes them open-hearted and generous. At times uncertainty, worries about the future and the problems they daily encounter can risk paralyzing their youthful enthusiasm and shattering their dreams, to the point where they can think that it is not worth the effort to get involved, that the God of the Christian faith is somehow a limit on their freedom. Dear young friends, never be afraid to go out from yourselves and begin the journey! The Gospel is the message which brings freedom to our lives; it transforms them and makes them all the more beautiful. How wonderful it is to be surprised by God’s call, to embrace his word, and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, in adoration of the divine mystery and in generous service to our neighbours! Your life will become richer and more joyful each day!"

Read more here.

Discere Vocations Weekend

Discere Vocations Weekend

Discere is a Latin phrase which means “to discern” or “to separate apart”. Discernment means to consider an option so that you can pursue it or cut it away. Too often discernment can become fluffy or distant. Sometimes we use discernment as an excuse not to make a decision. Let's get real about discernment!

The Discere weekend will be offered to young adults as an intensive discernment experience. It will feature challenges, fellowship and input from the Vocation Brisbane team. Participants will be offered a realistic and grounded discernment retreat. 

The 2015 Discere Weekend will be held on the 12th-13th June. Please contact Adam Burns for more information about the weekend by mobile (0405 810 256) or email (burnsa@bne.catholic.net.au).

 

Archbishop's Annual Vocations Dinner

Archbishop's Annual Vocations Dinner

A highlight on the Vocation Brisbane calendar is the Archbishop’s Annual Vocations Dinner. Each year, men from around the Archdiocese of Brisbane gather for dinner and a discussion hosted by Archbishop Mark Coleridge at his residence, Wynberg. The evening provides young men with the opportunity to meet the Archbishop, to meet Vocation Director Fr Morgan Batt and the Vocation Brisbane team and to meet other young men of faith.

The 2015 Dinner will be held on Thursday 23 April 2015. To be a part of this evening please email your name and address to the Vocation Brisbane team at vocations@bne.catholic.net.au or post to GPO Box 282 Brisbane QLD 4001.

 

Discernment Opportunities for Women

Discernment Opportunities for Women

The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN) in Sydney offer weekend retreats for women (aged 18-35) to discern their vocation to religious life.

The retreats are a one-to-one encounter; including time for prayer, mentoring and direction. These weekends provide a great opportunity to have a living experience with the sisters.

When: Last weekend of every month (RSVP a week before the weekend)

Location: 116 Quakers Rd, Marayong NSW

Cost: Donation

Contact:

Sr Margaret

margaretcsfn@gmail.com

(02) 9626 9200

0420 754 727

http://csfn.org.au/