Home' Aurora : Aurora December 2015 Contents www.mnnews.today/aurora-magazine Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
A few year s ago we celebr ated the Year of
Grace. When I read this, I kept it for 'First
Word' : "Grace has another side. It's mercy. If
grace is getting what you don't deser ve, mercy
is not getting what you do deser ve." (Brian
Stewart in The Maitland Mercury, 9 September
Pope Francis is inviting not only church folk,
but all people, to choose to be merciful. In the
official proclamation of the Jubilee, Pope Fr ancis
writes, "In the par ables devoted to mercy....
God is always presented as full of joy, especially
when he pardons....mercy is pr esented as
a force that overcomes everything, filling
the hear t with love and bringing consolation
through pardon." Mercy is a real option for
each of us.
As well as the Year of Mercy and the
celebration of 150 years of diocesan life, the
Dominican Order is celebrating 800 year s
of preaching the gospel. In aler ting me to a
Dominican reunion, cor respondent Ann Jeffries
wrote, "It is so important to have positive
stories showing people wanting to come
together to remember and acknowledge those
who showed us the way..."
On a practical note, as cards begin to ar rive,
you can contribute to Dominican works by
saving used postage stamps and dropping them
in to the diocesan offices .
In our living of Advent and Christmas, may
there be room for open hear ts and homes, and
oppor tunities to give, and receive, mercy.
Es Collins, Lily Stevens (front) and Aaron Moon
cutting the centenary cake at St Joseph's Denman.
See story page 5.
Recently the members of the Aurora editorial
team shared our different approaches to
inter viewing and story writing. We are all
people who enjoy meeting people and telling
Regular writer and wise man, Michael
O'Connor, reflected in a later email, "My
guiding principle is always, 'what is the hear t
of this story, and -- almost invariably the same
thing ! -- what is the good news contained in it? '
These considerations shape the questions I seek
to answer, and these answer s seem to stick in
my mind even when details do not."
As always, you will find stories with hear t in this
edition, as we make our way, as it were, toward
I am reminded of TS Eliot's "The Journey of the
A cold coming we had of it,
Just the wor st time of the year
For a jour ney, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
At the time of writing, while our temperatures
rise, winter is approaching in the nor thern
hemisphere, the world is reeling from the Paris
tr agedy and refugees from Syria continue to
seek solace, security and a viable future. And
as the gospel reminds us, "The poor you will
always have with you..." (Mt 26:11).
All these challenging realities, I believe, sharpen
our celebr ation of Christmas, and invite us to
open our border s and our hear ts. Pope Francis
has declared an Ex traordinary Jubilee of Mercy,
the opening of which will be celebr ated in the
diocese on Sunday, 13 December at Sacred
Hear t Cathedr al. This will also be the launch of
the celebr ation of 150 year s since Bishop James
Mur r ay claimed St John's Church, Maitland, as
his cathedral. Everyone is welcome ! See page 7
for more details.
100 YEARS OF ST JOSEPH'S
DO WE HAVE A RICH
BLESSED ARE THE
WHERE DID ALL THE
YOUNG MEN GO?
ONE BY ONE
MARRIAGE: IT'S ALL IN THE
MY FAMILY VISITS THE
COOL POPE RESPONDS TO
THE CATHOLIC THING
SEASONS OF GRACE
EMBRACE THE SPIRIT OF
BRIGHT SPARKS LIGHT UP
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
FOOD'S LONG SHADOW
Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Editor or Publisher. Acceptance of advertisements does not necessarily indicate endorsement of the product or
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