Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
16 Feb 2010
Taking its cue from the current Year for Priests, the 2010 Lenten Program for the Archdiocese of Sydney will present "Christ Our Priest" studies from the Gospels.
This year's program which is now available from the Catholic Adult Education Centre (CAEC) will not only focus on the priesthood with Christ as our first and greatest priest, but will include a section on the writings and life of St John Vianney, the Cure d'Ars and patron saint for priests.
In addition the program will use an exhortation to priestly holiness by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and give accounts of the life of this saintly mother The 40 days of Lent with its penitential fasting and prayer begin tomorrow with Ash Wednesday.
"We are all aware of the important ministry performed by our priests and we are grateful to them for their dedicated service to the People of God," says the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell. "At the same time we are called to help them in their commitment to interior renewal, especially through our prayers for them, and to prayer for an abundance of vocations to the priesthood."
These, he says, are sorely needed.
"For these reasons, I am very happy to know the Archdiocesan Lenten Program, Christ Our Priest' is dedicated to the theme of the priesthood, and that it considers both the ministerial priesthood and the priesthood of the faithful."
The Lenten program for 2010 has been written by Fr John Flader, the director of the Catholic Adult Education Service who divides the program into five sessions, each based on the Gospels beginning with the readings for the Second Sunday of Lent.
Fr Flader says it is hoped each Lenten group will commence its meetings in the first week of Lent to consider each week's readings in advance.
"The program is intended to draw participants into a prayerful and reflective spirit, charactistic of the season of Lent with ample time allowed for personal prayer, reflection and discussion," he says.
In addition to each Sunday's readings, there are suggested prayers, discussion questions and guided meditations as part of the Lenten program.
In addition to the program which can be obtained from the Catholic Adult Education Centre at Lidcome, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference (ACBC) are also offering prayers and support during this year's Lenten journey.
In a turn around, rather than merely giving up something for Lent, Australia's Catholic bishops are asking everyone to take up something as well.
"We are asking that this year everyone consider spending time with friends and family reflecting on the Scriptures that lead us to this joyous celebration of the Church," says Archbishop Bathersby, Chair of the ACBC's Commission for Mission and Faith Formation.
Putting out a call for people to share their Easter journey with family and friends, the ACBC has launched an innovative online experience, called "The Reflection."
The Reflection which launched on the ACBC site at 7 pm on 15 February, builds on last year's successful eConferences and in the pilot series will have 12 Australian bishops exploring the Sunday Gospels of Lent.
Comprising seven short weekly episodes, "The Reflection" will be archived on the site so that the faithful can participate in this ground-breaking idea at their own time and at their own pace.
Among the 12 bishops taking part are the Most Rev Philip Wilson from Adelaide, Most Rev John Bathersby from Brisbane, Most Rev Christopher Saunders from Broome, Most Rev Mark Coleridge from Canberra-Goulburn and Most Rev Adrian L. Doyle from Hobart.
To find out how to obtain the Archdiocese of Sydney's 2010 Lenten "Christ Our Priest," log on to www.caec.com.au. To access "The Reflection" and participate in this innovative program, log on http://thereflection.vividas.com