Australian Bishops Offer Online Lenten Reflections

UK Catholics Prepare Resources to Study Creed

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SYDNEY, Australia, FEB. 9, 2010 ( As Catholics worldwide are preparing to begin Lent next week, Church leaders are offering resources to deepen their faith through reflections on the Gospel and the Creed.

The Australian bishops’ conference is offering «an innovative online experience» called «The Reflection.»

In a press release announcing the initiative, Archbishop John Bathersby, chair of the conference’s Commission for Mission and Faith Formation, said, «Instead of just giving up something for Lent, why not take up something as well?»

«This year we are asking that you consider spending time with friends and family reflecting on the Scriptures that lead us to this joyous celebration of the Church,» he added.

This Internet-based formation program follows on the successful e-conferences organized by the bishops last year.

Archbishop Bathersby stated that some 20,000 participants from across the globe joined in these two online conferences, demonstrating «a hunger in people to deepen their faith.»

The Lenten series will include the contribution of 12 prelates, and will feature the Sunday Gospel readings with extra resources for deeper reflection.

The first episode will begin on Sunday, but the reflections will be available on the Web site at any time for people to join in at their own pace.

Living as one

Across the globe, Catholics in the Diocese of Westminster, in England, are also preparing Lenten reflection materials that will be launched in several countries.

The «Living as One» resource offers a means for Catholics, as individuals and as small groups, to explore the words and meaning of the creed.

In a communiqué, Mark Nash, organizer of Small Communities for the diocese, stated that this program will help people «explore what we understand by ‘the Church’ in its broadest sense.»

He continued, «In the creed, we recite the words ‘one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church’ every week but do we know what they really mean?»

The director of the diocesan Agency for Evangelisation, Father Michael O’Boy, affirmed, «Throughout the season of Lent, ‘Living as One’ will help us toward a deeper appreciation of the Church and a more heartfelt proclamation of the creed we recite week by week.»

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the diocese, said, «This Lent, as you journey with Christ through the desert, may you hear more clearly Christ’s call for the unity of the Church, and may you be drawn into a deeper communion with him whose body, the Church on earth, we are.»

The press release noted that the program booklet will be distributed to dioceses throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

The resource is also being offered for ordering from other countries. The communiqué reported that the Diocese of Stockholm in Sweden has previously ordered and translated the small community resources for distribution.

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On the Net:

The Reflection:

Living as One:

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