Stained Glass Windows

John 13:34

love one another as I have loved you

John 13:34

Sunday, May 28, 2017

FAITH CIRCLES June 2017 | Free weekly small group resource

Faith Circles

Available for Download Now!

We are pleased to provide you with your monthly batch of Faith Circles for June 2017 spanning Pentecost Sunday to the
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A).

We are blessed this month with the wisdom of Fr Graham Schmitzer PP (Parish Priest of Immaculate Conception Parish, Unanderra NSW) who has provided the Gospel Reflections. Fr Graham is a widely acclaimed writer, renowned for his beautiful artwork reflections in our Advent and Lenten programs. Fr Graham is also a regular presenter on Journey Catholic Radio.

As usual, we also are blessed in Faith Circles with the wonderful words of Pope Francis as well as insightful reflection questions written by our own Darren McDowell.

If you know someone who would like to receive Faith Circles, ask that they sign up at

Download here:

Feast of Pentecost (Yr A) - Giving of the Holy Spirit
Feast of the Most Holy Trinity (Yr A) - Our Triune God
Feast of the Most Holy Body & Bloody of Christ (Yr A) - Receiving Jesus
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Yr A) - Do not be Afraid


We usually attend church in rows, often with limited interaction with our sisters and brothers in Christ. As the name suggests, Faith Circles aims to turn these rows into circles, bringing about:

  • A sense of belonging and sharing of life through the lens of faith
  • A growing knowledge of faith
  • Group and personal prayerfulness and encounter with the risen Lord
  • Growing confidence to share faith with others
  • A place to invite people who are not attending church but who want to grow in faith.


We've all heard the saying three's a crowd. When Catholics come together in faith there is always an additional presence, as the Lord is true to his promise that, "For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them." (Matthew 18:20) For this reason we are encouraging people to form Faith Circles in their church community.


Faith Circles are easy to start. Just get two or more people keen to share faith and life and pick a time and a place to regularly meet. Sign up for our emails and we will send it to you, for free! You can then print the handout or maybe just read it straight off a smart-phone or tablet!

We are meant to be a growing Church! Faith Circles isn't meant to be a closed club! Yes, it is a great resource to nurture those who come to Mass, but more importantly, Faith Circles provides a forum to draw back people disconnected from Church because of the welcome and care of a small group and an encounter with Jesus through prayer.

In other words, if your group isn't growing over time, you are doing it wrong! When groups get to 6-8 people it is time to start talking about splitting, and figure out as a group, who you are going to invite to join you next?

You might start Faith Circles with members of your Lenten or Advent group. You might kick it off with three or four people you have coffee with. You may have some friends who love a morning walk, or a group of teachers who want to come together for prayer, well Faith Circles can be the catalyst for sharing life and faith together, and a deepening walk with Jesus. It doesn't matter if you go for five minutes or an hour, the Holy Spirit turns up when we come together!


We have published a great resource giving tips on how to start and run a Faith Circles small group in your community setting. Click here to download the resource.

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong · PO Box 1239 · Wollongong, Nsw 2500 · Australia

Your Weekly Journey Catholic Radio Podcast | Episode 199

Journey Catholic Radio Podcast
This week on The Journey (Ep199)

This week, as we approach our 200th episode of The Journey, we have a great show for you! Fr Stephen Varney (Shellharbour, NSW) is back to reflect on this week's Gospel, from Matthew 28. Sr Hilda Scott OSB joins us as always, we have Bruce Downes The Catholic Guy with a great segment, as well as Sam Clear with Walking the Walk, the Pirolas with Smart Loving, and Pete Gilmore with Living the Gospel. Sit back and enjoy!

Visit or where you can listen anytime and subscribe to weekly shows by email. Got friends or family who you'd like to hear this show ever week? All you've got to do is send them this email and they can subscribe by clicking here.

The Journey is a weekly program developed by the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong and is the only Catholic radio program in Australia aired on general Christian radio.

Listen to the presenter inputs this week below:

MATTHEW 28 16-20 - Gospel Reflection with Fr Stephen Varney
ALL IS GIFT - Wisdom From The Abbey with Sr Hilda Scott OSB
PATIENCE - The Catholic Guy with Bruce Downes
FAITH IN ACTION - Living The Gospel with Peter Gilmore
INTERPRETATION & AUTHORITY - Walking The Walk with Sam Clear
SPIRITUAL INTIMACY - Smart Loving with the Pirolas

Or listen to the full shows (click the below graphic):

You can also listen to all our past shows at

You can also subsribe to the Journey Catholic Radio Podcast on iTunes and have it automatically downloaded onto your iOS Podcast app or your iTunes Store. Click the following link to subscribe via iTunes:

We love to hear feedback and comments on the show too, so drop us an email at or call (02) 4222 2407.

Yours in Christ

Jude Hennessy
Program Director

As heard on:





Catholic Diocese of Wollongong · PO Box 1239 · Wollongong, Nsw 2500 · Australia

Youth Synod 2018 Survey

Young people across Australia! 
YOU are being called to share your views about life, faith, and their experience of Church through an online survey published by the Australian Bishops.

Australians aged between 16 and 29 years are encouraged to complete the survey. The questions cover a range of topics including: the experience of being listened to, using social media and technology, friendships and influences in today's world, opportunities for engagement with Church activities such as, outreach programs, youth masses, community leadership or parish events. This is a unique opportunity for young people to have their voice heard on a range of topics. The Australian bishops see the potential of young people; they seek to listen to young people and they recognise that sometimes young people struggle to find their sense of place and purpose.

To complete the survey, follow the link below - 
Copyright © 2017 Catholic Youth Services, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you were part of one of our events, or, you opted into our newsletter list via our website or a sign-up sheet.

Our mailing address is:
Catholic Youth Services
108 The Crescent
Homebush West
Sydney, Nsw 2140

Add us to your address book

National redress, new cardinals, Frankly Speaking and more

Welcome to the Truth, Justice and Healing Council eNewsletter

May 2017
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Redress scheme hard work beginning

Survivors of child sexual assault are watching with familiar trepidation the making of an unprecedented national redress scheme.

Despite not yet knowing who will become part of its proposed model the Government has now started the hard work of bringing all jurisdictions and institutions into the scheme.

Its no wonder abuse survivors are anxious about a national redress scheme
ABC Online - 25 May 2017 (including interview with Minister Porter on the Government's proposed redress scheme)

States open to national abuse redress plan
AAP - 19 May 2017

Government's redress scheme will not meet ongoing needs of trauma survivors
ABC The World Today - 22 May 2017


Frankly speaking...

Last week in Melbourne I met with the Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter and people from other non-government organisations to start to flesh out the process and workings of the national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors. It was made very clear that unless the states cooperate, and we know that SA and WA are dragging their feet, then the entire process might collapse and abuse survivors, who are all getting older, will again be left to fend for themselves. In the same way that churches and NGOs must step up, so too must the governments who had oversight of the child based institutions, that they ran and were responsible for, in which children were abused.

Latest from the Council

Catholic citizens needed within the church

Catholics must stand up and become active citizens, not loyal subjects, within their own church community, says John Warhurst Emeritus Professor Political Science ANU and Chair of Concerned Catholics a recently established group in the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn.

Catholic citizens needed withing the church
Eureka Street - 23 May 2017


Ballarat Loud Fence March

Two years to the day after the Loud Fence movement first took to Ballarat's streets, community members returned to make a stand and keep the issue at the forefront of public debate.

Victims and their supporters made their voices heard in the fight against sexual abuse during a march on Sturt Street in Ballarat last Sunday afternoon.

Loud Fence march 2017: Victims, supporters march against abuse
Ballarat Courier - 21 May 2017

Pope adds five new cardinals

In a surprise announcement at his weekly address last Sunday, Pope Francis announced five new cardinals from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos and El Salvador would be installed on 28 June this year. The move underscores Francis's position that the Church is a global institution that should become increasingly less Italian-centric. Francis, the former cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected on 13 March, 2013 as the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.

Pope adds five new cardinals, all from outside Italy and the Vatican
RNS - 21 May 2017

New Cardinals: What the Pope is saying
UCA News - Robert Mickens - 23 May 2017

Coming up

May 31, Marist Brothers Project Roundtable, Sydney
June 6, Keynote address to Wollongong Diocesan Assembly, Wollongong
June 28, Spirituality in the Pub, The Sandy, Sandringham Victoria
July 4, Address to Clergy Life and Ministry National Directors Annual Conference, North Sydney
July 18, Address to University of Third Age, Canberra
July 19, Address to Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Conference, Melbourne
August 24, Address biennial National Catholic Education Media, Marketing and Communications Conference, Surfers Paradise
August 25, Address to South Australian Catholic Principals, Adelaide
October 19, Address to Catholic Community of Geelong, Geelong
November 4, Address to Catholic School Parents Australia, Hobart
November 13 Address to Catholic Secondary Principals Australia, Adelaide

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