CCR Diocese of Parramatta
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Pentecost Sunday is always a joyous occasion and it was no different this year On a sunny Sunday morning of the 4th June 2017 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Greystanes, a joyful celebration of the Feast of Pentecost was enjoyed by Prayer and Covenant Communities from the Diocese of Parramatta, Broken Bay Wollongong and the Archdiocese of Sydney to celebrate the birthday of the Church. This celebration has been held in this church for many years and is always a time of grace and renewal.

The day commenced with Intercessory Prayer and Praise led by the Holy Family Fellowship.  Prayer and Praise before Mass was led by a joint Music Ministry comprising communities of John 23rd PG, Risen Lord and Living Word Servant Communities. Setting the scene the music ministry was excellent, singing such rousing and sometimes reverent hymns that we were mostly familiar with putting us all into the spirit of the occasion. The entrance of priests and ministers was preceded by colourful waving banners along with the principal celebrant for Mass Fr. Jack Soulsby SM. Concelebrating with him was Fr Paul Marshall, Fr. Matthew Digges from OLQP Greystanes Parish, Fr.

Kene Onwukwe, Fr. Zakaria Gayed and Deacon Giovanni Tabone. Reflecting the diversity of the Renewal, representatives from various Charismatic Renewal groups and Communities assisted in the liturgy though proclaiming the Word, leading the Prayers of the Faithful in Italian, Spanish, Nigerian, Korean, Sinhalese, Malaya, Indonesian, Malayalam, and Croatian and in bringing the gifts to the altar.

In his homily, Fr Jack Soulsby in his usual inimitable way spoke of the power of the Holy Spirit, the message of Pentecost – the spiritual birthday of the church and our call to evangelization and renewal. He said the Catholic Charismatic Renewal needs passion, needs to be more enthusiastic, be a typhoon, a tsunami and teach what we have learned and bring the church alive. Everybody is meant to be a hero and heroine, and a genius, no more spoon feeding, teach yourself, we have all been commissioned to be an instrument of the spirit.

At the conclusion of Mass, Fr. Jack stated that we are all “married” to Jesus – all of us – even the priests! The relationship we have with Jesus is like a marriage. A spiritual marriage. We promise to honour and obey Him all the days of our lives and He promises to protect and provide for us. There can be no closer relationship than the one we have with our God. Jesus is faithful even when we are not faithful and when we stray from Him, he will call us to Him – if our ears are open and our hearts are willing. Jesus

called me from across the city to be there in His presence and renew our marriage vows together. He is always calling us. Calling us into a closer and more intimate relationship with Him. He is our Home. He is our God and our rest – our meaning and security are found within Him.

So “if today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts” (Psalm 95) but listen, ask the Holy Spirit to tell you what is happening and “whatever He (Jesus) tells you to do, do it” (John 2:5). We need to be attentive and willing to respond when Jesus is calling us: “Have courage. Get up. He is calling for you”. (Mark 10:49)

Jesus takes our marriage with Him very seriously

After Mass there was a delicious barbecue lunch of sausages, sandwiches, tasty home cooked soup, tea and coffee hosted by the Youth Group from the Community of the Risen Lord, and it was a time to recoup and socialize with old friends and members of other prayer groups and communities.

After lunch some 400 people adjourned to the school hall for a time of prayer and praise led by the music ministry from Korean Prayer Group. In this session Fr. Jack Soulsby spoke about Michael Angelo who painted the Sistine Chapel probably with many many tattered and broken brushes, but see what he created using

them. So with all us, a broken sinful people God can achieve and create wonderful things, so never despair at your sinfulness. God loves you, you are his creation broken, bad or not, he can achieve wonderful things because he created you,

The afternoon concluded with a time of prayer ministry and gentle music. All in all another fabulous Pentecost celebration, leaving us all recharged in Spirit.

Thanks to the Emmaus Prayer Community along with Holy Family PG, St. John XXIII PG, Living Word Servant Community, Community of the Risen Lord Youth Group, Korean PG, United in Love PG, True Vine PG, Spiritual Renewal Ministry PG, Mount Tabor PG, Beloved Disciple PG, Good Shepherd PG, OLQP PG, Ascension PG, Epiphany PG, CCR NSW and Parramatta for the preparation and hosting of this annual event for the past 40 + years.


Kathy Lyons, Michael Hayes & Susan Dcruz


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