An event reflection by Judy Brown.
Some months ago, I attended an Adult Education evening at Grovely Parish. The guest speaker was Bishop Bill Morris. His talk was entitled “The Mission has a Church”. Two messages came through to me that both shocked and delighted me, more than just a little.
The first was a deepened realisation of the absolute gift of Baptism. The second was a reinvigorated enthusiasm for the direction and spirit of Vatican II.
In the sixties, as a Josephite, we had studied a new Document every weekend for months. We were alive with excitement for the possibilities ahead! Our sadness at what never actually eventuated knew no bounds. It was so wonderful to hear someone who still believed in its potential and relayed its spirit.
As I drove home, I kept asking myself if I had ever really appreciated the Mission that baptism gave me to “Go out to all the world…”. On reflection, I saw myself as a somewhat immature catholic, dependent more on what the institutional Church told me to do, rather than being lead by the Holy Spirit. The newness of this reflection left me ever so grateful for the awakening from Bishop Morris’ talk. I felt a deep need to share what I had received.
I spoke about my experience to Ann Aboud of the Brisbane Grail, which organisation she felt sure would back me in putting together an event where others might be reminded of the two messages that came to me and thereby deepen their realisations. Consequently, I located six people with commitment, knowledge and expertise to refresh our faith awareness.
Our event, which took place on Saturday 28 September, was named New Wineskins - Reshaping Our Responses to the Faith Challenges of Today. Our speakers were Kevin Treston, Alison Healey, Fr Bill O'Shea, Janet Galos, Fr Orm Rush and Lyn Horner with Gary Everett as our moderator.
As well as our speakers we were fortunate enough to have Brother Bart Sinclair play the harp and Margaret Clifford from St Mary’s In Exile Community perform poetry. Dr Jenny Close also provided us with a banner depicting Baptism, which artistically incorporated a photo of the waters of the Brisbane River over which hovered the dove and symbols of Baptism.