Sunday of the previous week we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, or the birth of the Church. The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31). At Pentecost, the Apostles with Peter as their leader, and their followers, gathered in a room with other pilgrims from all over the world. We are told at this time, a great wind blew, and a flame appeared as a tongue of fire, which split itself into many individual flames above the heads of all those present. The Holy Spirit came upon these people and each began to speak in tongues. Despite the fact many had no common language, they were perfectly able to understand one another. Others who were not so blessed, accused those speaking in tongues of being drunk, but Peter arose and addressed the crowd, explaining that it was only 9 o'clock, and that this phenomenon was not intoxication, but rather this was the work of the Holy Spirit, prophesized in the scripture. Peter then called all those present to be baptised and about three thousand people were baptised that day.
This beautiful narrative can speak to us in many ways. Richly symbolic, a stark reminder of the humble beginnings of our Church, the ever-abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, and at a very simplistic level, it is the story of our faith. The feast of Pentecost celebrates a key moment of the Spirit's ever-renewing presence in our lives. But it is lives that are intrinsically linked to being part of a community of faith, just like the Pentecost story tells us.
One of the great foundations of our faith is this sense of community. Church as we know it by any other context. But not Church as in a physical building. Church as in a community of believers, united, sharing and celebrating faith together. We should not have to look to hard to find evidence of “church” around us. We can see it here at the college, in the local community, in the Archdiocese and at national and global levels.
As the Church is about to enter into a period of examination in 2020 with the Plenary Council here in Australia, the sense of community becomes a timely reminder.
Since the beginning of the year, earnest preparations have been undertaken throughout the various diocese of Australia for the gathering of the Plenary Council next year. Many parishes including the OLMC parish here in Sunbury, have been doing a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes dialoguing with parishioners and other key stakeholders. You may remember the team had a display and information booth at our Parent-Teacher interviews late last year.
The Sunbury Parish Team, working with the Plenary Council and the Parish Survey Initiative, have approached us seeking our assistance. As a part of the initiative they will be conducting their Parish Survey from 25 May through to 17 June. They would like to offer our college community the opportunity to contribute either through the Parish Website or via written survey available through both churches (OLMC and St Anne’s), the Parish office or directly through here at the college
They are seeking the thoughts and feelings from us through 3 questions:
Below is the request they have sent me:
Our School – Our Sunbury Parish: “What do you think God is asking of us in our Parish at this time?” – As Sunbury Parish we would like to hear what you think and feel through our Sunbury Parish Survey. What should we START Doing; STOP Doing; and What do you like about our Parish?. All contributions are confidential. The information gained will be used by the Parish Team and Parish Groups in their planning of activities and liturgies. You can contribute on line through the Parish website or through the Paper Survey that can be picked up and lodged at both churches, the Parish Office or through Stephen. “What do you think God is asking of us in our Parish at this time?” Your voice is the future – Our School – Our Parish.
You can complete the survey on line or collect a paper copy at one of the places outlined above.
Here is a real example of community!
Read an update from Acting Principal, Mrs Angela Romano
An update from our Principal, Mr Mark Brockhus, as we prepare to commence the 2019 school year.
Cricket great, Darren Lehmann, visited last week as part of our Ashes Oval Redevelopment Project and our Father's Day Breakfast