Australia has made the first comprehensive response worldwide to the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, with a new book which was released online yesterday by Catholic Mission and Catholic Religious Australia.
The two organisations brought together 12 prominent Catholic leaders to share their insights from the document, highlighting some of the challenges and the inspiration needed to fully live the joy of the Gospel in their varied Australian ministries.
With a foreword by famed mission theologian Father Stephen Bevans SVD, The Francis Effect: Living the Joy of the Gospel is an opportunity to engage with Evangelii Gaudium in an active and practical way. Fr Bevans writes, 'the twelve Australian Catholic leaders who have written these essays rather spontaneously in the days after the release of the Exhortation, are women and men who also "smell like the sheep".'
In a perspective titled The Risk of Loving Asylum Seekers, Mr Joe Maloney, Research Officer for Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee writes of the perpetuated fears across much of our society towards those seeking asylum manifested from self-centeredness.
Maloney’s question: 'How to get our community leaders and parishioners to recognise the face of Jesus in those seeking refuge?' is a direct challenge to us all. How are we to recognise that 'every personal encounter has the power to transform lives for both asylum seekers and those who receive them?'
Mr Graeme Mundine, Executive Officer, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in the Archdiocese of Sydney, writes a poignant reflection highlighting some of the continuing struggle Aboriginal people face even in the most basic traditions of prayer.
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