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Broken Bay Institue  Mission & Spirituality E-News
www.bbi.catholic.edu.au No. 13 | 11 December 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

What rituals of Advent and Christmas should be kept and what jettisoned?

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Feature Article
Box Seats for the Second Coming

By Fr Geoffrey Plant

When anyone seeks a God walking upon the water, they will invariably miss the God who comes daily into their lives, unheralded and unannounced. So let us stand ready.

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The Company of Saints

By Fr Garry Walker

The 'People of God' never stand still; as each generation comes to faith, or is challenged not to come to faith, as the Church is wracked by sinfulness and hypocrisy, other people are examples of holiness and honesty. There is always the tension between failure and forgiveness. What the cathedral in Los Angeles tells me is that we do not walk alone, we walk together.

The inspiration to live hopefully and humanly

By Fr Noel Connolly

Advent is a time of waiting and preparing to appreciate and celebrate the Christmas message that God became man. Here in Australia it also coincides with the end of our academic year, the start of the summer holiday season and a time of parties and buying presents. So if we are not careful Christmas can come and go without our being able to really enjoy it spiritually.

Miracle of light: A Northern Take on Advent

By Veronica Rosier op


I could not help but be amazed at the strong reactions of those who witnessed the total solar eclipse in Northern Australia and the Pacific…This ‘mysterium tremendum et fascinans’ ( fearful and fascinating mystery) caused by the deepening darkness followed by the return of the sun’s light evoked a sense of the numinous common to religious experience.

Waiting for God or someone else

By Matt Ryan

The story around Jesus’ birth is as remarkable as it is entertaining and the season provides an opportunity for dramatists to perform nativity plays throughout the world celebrating the event. Like all literature, the story can be interpreted and appreciated on so many levels.

Jacaranda and Advent

By Angela Grant

Do I welcome the recurring Church seasons? Each year I surprise myself by relishing again the familiar Scripture texts: Drop down dew; Maranatha; Prepare the way of the Lord. These speak of longing and I enter again into the ancient stories and the ancient yearnings.

A Christmas Message

By Jim Quillinan

That is the challenge of Christmas-what do we see when we look at the Christmas scene, what do we hear when we listen to the ever-so-familiar Christmas story.

The Ps and Qs of Advent

Contributed by Fr John Frauenfelder

Mind your Ps and Qs…whatever its origin, the phrase may come in handy as an Advent reminder. With this in mind, here’s a brief list of Advent Ps and Qs.

Can You Spot Yourself at the Manger?

Contributed by Fr John Frauenfelder

Maybe there is an invitation here to embrace the beauty and simplicity of the nativity scene. Which of the characters depicts us as we prepare for Christmas?

Subanen Christmas Cards

By Fr Vincent Busch SSC

Subanen Crafts is a livelihood project for Subanen women who live in the rugged mountains of Northwest Mindanao in the Philippines. This focus honours the deep spiritual bond that the Subanen people have with their habitat.

Vatican News

Pope Benedict XVI said at his Oct. 24 general audience that the world’s “spiritual desert” must be transformed into “fertile soil” by Christians who live their faith to its fullest.

What's On

Title for event: Special Christmas fundraiser for Bridge for Assylum Seekers Foundation

Title of Event: The Messiah

Title for Event : HANDEL'S MESSIAH

Book Review

Bonheoffer Down Under: Australian and South African Essays Celebrating the Centenary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Birth.

Poetry and Prose

Angela Grant rsj

Pregnant now beyond doubt
Reconciled with Joseph, accepting his confusion
and his loyalty

Christmas Carol

This night is the long night,
It will snow and it will drift,
Alexander Carmichael Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations. Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1992.p223.
(Collected in the Highland and Islands of Scotland in the last Century)

O Love

By Leonard Feeney

O Love and have you come to share
Our bones, our breath, our lungs, our air?

Featured Websites

Title of website: BASF - Bridge For Asylum Seekers Foundation

Description: as its name implies this group of volunteers try to create a bridge between Australian citizens and asylum seekers.

Title of website : Do Something

Rather than talk about the problems, we seek to "do something" by building alliances between businesses, government and the community. We identify problems and then find answers that achieve measurable benefits for the environment and our community.

Title of website: Planet Ark

Description Planet Ark supports individuals and businesses that want to reduce their day-to-day impact on the environment. Our current campaigns include...
National Recycling Week
National Recycling Week campaign promotes the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling! Find out how you can get involved at home, at school and at work...

Title of website: Oz harvest

We have 2 new vans on the road in Sydney! The have already had the Ozharvest makeover - a coat of bright yellow paint! These vehicles were donated by the generous people of the Rotary Club of North Sydney. Give them a wave if you see them out and about rescuing food!


Title of website: World Vision

Gifts that mean more. By selecting a gift from this site we can make a world of difference for children, families and communities in need.

Title of websiste: Oxfam
Be a Christmas star by giving hand-crafted unique gifts that are a joy to receive.


God Comes- An Advent Reflection

By Fr John Frauenfelder

Pope Benedict XVI, in a homily during First vespers for First Sunday of Advent, said, “At the beginning of a new yearly cycle, the liturgy invites the Church to renew her proclamation to all the peoples and sums it up in two words, ‘God comes’. These words, so concise, contain an ever new evocative power.


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