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Broken Bay Institue  Mission & Spirituality E-News
www.bbi.catholic.edu.au No. 9 | 04 May 2012

The Broken Bay Institute strives to respond to the faith education and ministry formation needs of individuals, parishes, schools and ministry groups within the local Church.


By Dr. Catherine Thom 

Friends and readers, the topic for the May edition of Mission and Spirituality eNewsletter is vocation but not in the narrow sense of a calling to Religious commitment.Vocation in its narrowest meaning was described in The Code of Canon Law of 1983 this way: ‘Life consecrated through profession of the evangelical counsels is a stable form of living, in which the faithful follow Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, and are totally dedicated to God, who is supremely loved.

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Feature Article
Leadership As Discipleship In Action

 By Dr Anne Benjamin

A few months ago, I gave myself the challenge of exploring the lives of four Australian Catholic men and women to learn what their exercise of leadership could say to us, now, about being leaders. The women and men I selected came from different times in our church’s history: from its institutional foundation (Archbishop Bede Polding and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop) through the nineteenth century lay apostolate (Annie Golding) and contemporary overseas missionary work (Sr Theodore).

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Art, History and Spirituality

 By: Dr Claire Renkin

Dr Claire Renkin has lectured in art history and spirituality at Yarra Theological Union in Box Hill for the past 11 years.Kairos Catholic Journal's Fiona Basile took time out with Claire to glean an insight into the importance of art history and spirituality.

Called to Explore and Understand: The Vocation of the Scientist

 By Gerry Wake and Dan Fleming

The relationship between faith and science has not always been a happy one and for many today it continues to cause angst. At one point in time referring to the discipline of scientific investigation as a Christian vocation would have raised more than a few eyebrows (and perhaps sparked off some more dramatic responses as well). Thankfully, however, there is a growing appreciation for the role that scientists have, and are, playing in assisting us to understand and relate to the remarkable world and universe in which we live. In the Christian theological world, for example, authors such as Denis Edwards and Alister McGrath have written extensively on how Christian theology can dialogue with the insights of modern science.

Intuition and the Discovery of Truth

By Matt Ryan 

Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea, puts to Jesus a tantalizing question recorded in the enigmatic Gospel of John that must play on the mind of every thinking person at some stage during their life. The scene is played out only a few metres from the modern Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. The Jews had brought Jesus before Pilate demanding the death penalty.

Quest For Perfection

 By JoanneMcRae

My family home at Picton had a beautiful Camellia shrub in the front yard. At about age twelve I decided that my life would be like one of its perfect blooms which, when I died, could be given to God. Being inculturated in a little country Catholic school I knew the way to perfection was through religious life. Little did I understand then that I was a child who “thought as a child, felt as a child and reasoned as a child”.

Reflections on the ministry of Preaching: Telling the Story in Cyberspace

 By: Geoffrey Plant


“What’s it all about” is a question that refuses to go away. As Stephen Hawking observes in A Brief History of Time, “We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is?” The first words that Jesus speaks in the Gospel of St John are addressed to two of John the Baptist’s disciples: “What do you seek?”

The vocation of Leadership in teaching

 By: Katherine Xavier

My name is Katherine and my vocation is teaching. I am currently a Religious Education teacher working at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield. All of my leadership experience has been working with youth both in schools and within the community. Leadership is something that I think is essential for all people, in all aspects of their daily lives. We need leadership skills to make good decisions, manage difficult situations, guide people and bring out the best in ourselves and the people around us. Good leadership was once something I associated with people in more senior positions than mine until I had the opportunity to step up and be a good leader myself.

Vocational insight from a surprising place

 By Teresa Pirola

If you opened your bible seeking spiritual insight concerning ‘vocation’ and ‘God’s call’, where would you look? The call of the apostles in the Gospels? Mary’s fiat?The Spirit-filled gifts of 1 Corinthians 12?The prophet Jeremiah? Moses at the burning bush? What if you knew there was a whole book in the bible with the title ‘He called’ (i.e., ‘the Lord called’)?

Bishop of Rome - Easter message


Easter Sunday, 8 April 2012

Vatican News

 Rowen Williams and Benedict have the vocation of world-wide leadership in common. Rowen, however, having just resigned as Archbishop of Canterbury to take up an academic position at Magdalen College Oxford, feels free to hand over the leadership of the world-wide communion of Anglicanism where Benedict, nearly thirty years older feels he has to stay at his post till death. The fact that none of the major issues between the two Christian leaders were discussed will be seen, as a sign by many of just how entrenched those differences have become.

What's On

Theology between Religion and Politics: 
Dr. Timothy Stanley, Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle, will speak on theology's place in current debates about the resurgence of religion in contemporary political life.

Title of Event: Columban Centre of Peace
Topic: Formation Programme for Educators: Making the Connections between Peace, Ecology and Justice
When: May 8, 29
When: Centre for Peace, Strathfield 02 9352 8021
Cost: $230

Title of Event: Gifts of the Universe: Living into Gratefulness
When: Friday-Sunday June 1-3
Venue: Mt St Benedict Centre, Pennant Hills
Cost: $300

Title of Event: A Journey through the Book of Ruth
When: 22-24 June
Venue: St Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre, Baulkham Hills
Cost: $250.00 includes accommodation, meals and weekend retreat

Title of Event: ANZATS conference
When 1-4 July
Venue: Emmanual College, St Lucia Brisbane

Book Reviews

Vocation and workplace
Heather Lang

Poetry: Convergence of the Twain on the loss of the Titanic
Thomas Hardy

Forming Vocation in the Heart

By David Ranson

 The gospel teaches us Christian discipleship is not so much about having a set of answers but, rather, a set of questions. Jesus calls us into discipleship by putting a question in front of us, and asking us to answer it. It’s not that we put a question to him in order to be given an answer. He is the one, rather, who gives us a question with the invitation to us to answer.


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