News from Bundaberg15 February, 2022
A safe and happy new year to all our friends across the diocese! At this time, we rejoice that the school children have returned to their halls of learning and the staff are able to get on with what they do best.
The day began for many of us with Mass. In the past, a cuppa and entertainment would follow, but not so this year. Still, the Mass with its appropriate texts, readings, and songs was joyful and well-attended. Community singing before Mass of Australiana songs and hymns began our time of thanks and praise together. Beautiful music, good singing and accompaniment always guarantees a good liturgy.
Lay Presiders of Liturgy Training
While the Covid virus continues to be with us we pray that we remain healthy and unaffected. However, I am sure there are many across our diocese who have felt the ferocity of this virus. One such group of people whom we wish to stay protected are our priests who lead us in Sunday Eucharist. With the worst-case scenario in mind, we recently held a training session for our Sunday Mass Assistants, the title we give to those who ensure all ministers are present for the Mass, welcome and introduce the Sunday liturgy, and read the Universal Prayer.
Anne Sheehan, parish Liturgy and Sacraments Co-ordinator, led this group of 25 ministers through the origins of the Sunday Celebration of Word and Communion, the documents that guide the use and structure of these liturgies, the liturgical principles behind them, the elements and ministers required, the principles of good presiding, and a practical walk-through of a Liturgy of Word and Communion. We realise how extremely blessed we are on the coast to have Eucharist every Sunday. Should the need arise, however, we need to prepare, just in case.
Recently our Youth Ministry co-ordinator, Lizzie Kelly, spent ten glorious days at Perigian Beach with Net Ministries Australia. Here she interacted with like-minded, young leaders to develop her ministry skills, spirituality, and sense of community. Led by NET Ministries staff, including Shane Bennett, they spent their days in work and play including Temple Night, Eucharistic Adoration and, for fun, NET-Factor a spin-off of the X-Factor. Lizzie now looks forward to implementing her new skills in the parish youth groups which began with the students’ return to school.
The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens
This was held in January for a number of candidates preparing for the Easter sacraments. Two families were represented: Emma Johnson and her children Charlotte, Emily and Joshua, and the Faupula family of Nevaeh, Roman, Hudson and Arizona. With their sponsors and parents they were welcomed at the doors of the church and signed by the Sign of the Cross, symbol of their desire to follow Christ. We look forward to welcoming them into the faith community of the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil.
Fr Sijo has come to Bundaberg and to the Parish Team. Arriving on Friday, 4th February, Fr Sijo spent his first weekend travelling with Fr Peter to three Masses, finding the churches and meeting the locals. His first week began with a Team meeting and orientation into the life of the office. We are very pleased to welcome Fr Sijo to Bundaberg.
Our gatherings resumed for the year on Monday, 7th February, with the 10-week video program “Catholicism”, produced by Word on Fire Institute and presented by Bishop Robert Barron. Judith Renshaw with Fr Peter are leading us through each session. Thirty people attended the first session which opened the mystery of our faith: The Revelation of God Become Man. In the weeks ahead we will look at the teachings of Jesus, Mary, the Apostles Peter and Paul, the Church, the Liturgy and the Eucharist, the communion of Saints, the Holy Spirit, and the Last Things.