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HOW IS GOD CALLING US TO BE A CHRIST-CENTRED CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA THAT IS Missionary & Evangelising?

‘Mission’ is God's initiative and proceeds from the Trinity, whose love overflows in creation and redemption. The Word and Spirit are present and active in the unfolding of the universe and in all human history, as evidenced in the goodness and truth found in all cultures and societies. The incarnate Son of God through his life, ministry, death and resurrection revealed God to us and redeemed us in a unique and unsurpassable way through his paschal sacrifice. His evangelising activity gave birth to the Church which is the visible manifestation of the Gospel command to "Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19).

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HOW IS GOD CALLING US TO BE A CHRIST-CENTRED CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA THAT IS Inclusive, Participatory & Synodal?

The Church, founded by Jesus Christ, is a forum of welcome to “the great multitude from every tribe, tongue and nation”. This biblical image invites us to imagine anew the ways in which the diversity of unique gifts can contribute to an organic and authentic common building of the Church. This is especially crucial in Australia, where the Church is manifest in the great multitude of ecclesial expressions from East and West. The words that St John Paul II spoke particularly to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may be applied to all Catholics in Australia: “the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others.”

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HOW IS GOD CALLING US TO BE A CHRIST-CENTRED CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA THAT IS Prayerful & Eucharistic?

The Listening and Dialogue responses revealed the deep faith, integrity and sincerity of all the people who gave of themselves in their offerings. The responses included divergent opinions on various topics. At the same time, they showed a common faith in Christ and a common desire to follow his teaching in love of God and love of neighbour. They demonstrated a commitment to living the gospel of Christ and sharing the gospel with others, even in the midst of a largely secular culture. They expressed a love for the community of the Church, despite the well-documented failings of members of the community. They showed a desire to be a Christ-centred Church that is prayerful and Eucharistic.

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HOW IS GOD CALLING US TO BE A CHRIST-CENTRED CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA THAT IS Humble, Healing and Merciful?

On Holy Thursday 2018, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of the Last Supper in the Regina Coeli Prison in Rome. During the Mass, the Holy Father washed the feet of 12 prison inmates from different cultural and faith backgrounds. Pope Francis was not concerned with their crimes, their religion, their race or their sexual orientation. After kneeling before each one, washing and kissing their feet, Pope Francis said to them, “I am a sinner like you. But I represent Jesus today…This is service. This is Jesus. Before giving us himself in his body and blood, Jesus risked himself for each one of us – risked himself in service – because he loves us so much.”

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HOW IS GOD CALLING US TO BE A CHRIST-CENTRED CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA THAT IS A Joyful, Hope-Filled & Servant Community?

Australia has been blessed with great natural beauty, an abundance of resources, democracy, peace and prosperity. It is a land that prizes freedom, equality and egalitarianism, a ‘fair go’ and mateship. However, mental illness, sickness, loneliness, family or financial pressures afflict many Australians. Many lack the hope and joy that are features of a good life. Fear of the future and a distrust of institutional authority are part of the social reality for significant numbers. Climate change is making extreme the Australian cycles of drought, fire and flood, threatening lives, homes and livelihoods.

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HOW IS GOD CALLING US TO BE A CHRIST-CENTRED CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA THAT IS Open to Conversion, Renewal and Reform?

The “call to conversion” is “the indispensable condition of Christian love.” (TMA 50) Christians respond to this call when they openly acknowledge personal and communal failings and experience the joy of reconciliation shaped by renewed relationship with the Trinitarian God. Ongoing conversion is the source of renewal and of authentic reform. Catholics in Australia experience the riches of the Church’s traditions, through liturgy, parish life and the Church’s contributions to welfare, education and healthcare. At the same time, they acknowledge hindrances to personal and institutional conversion toward Christ. The Report repeatedly refers to the Church’s rites of reconciliation (particularly the Third Rite), indicating that the Church in Australia needs to respond to this desire for formation in, and access to, sacramental reconciliation.

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