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Broken Bay Institue  Mission & Spirituality E-News
www.bbi.catholic.edu.au No. 27 | 01 December 2015

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

Catherine reflects on Advent as a time of waiting; she also poses a challenge to herself and us all about how refugees spend their time waiting, (is it an Advent waiting?)  and what welcome we will give them when they arrive in Australia. She concludes with a reflection on the poem by Leonard Feeney, O Love, on the limitations the Son of God took upon Himself when He became Incarnate.

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Feature Article
Becoming Painfully Yet Joyfully Aware During A Time of Waiting

By Dr Dan Fleming

Dan Fleming, a first time contributor, also uses the theme of waiting. He claims that our waiting is, like the whole of creation, one of groaning but uniquely so because of our humanity, ‘with some knowledge of what we can do to help the birthing process.’ 

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Box Seats for the Second Coming

By Geoffrey Plant

Geoffrey Plant recalls the background to the Christmas celebrations and reminds readers of the futility of predicting the time and place of the advent of God among us. He reminds us of an instance of such futility in the amphitheatre at Balmoral beach built in the 1920s. He concludes with the statement ‘when anyone seeks God walking upon the water, they will invariably miss the God who comes daily into their lives, unheralded and unannounced.

Light & hope begin in darkness

By Noel Connolly

Noel Connolly reminds us of the difference between celebrations in the northern and southern hemispheres and how they influence us. In particular he highlights the differences between the darkness of the advent/Christmas season in Ireland and the light in Australia. However, ‘we face the same fundamental problems’, realising that Christmas is not magical but part of the human search for light and hope wherever we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

What is Advent About?

By Joan Chittister

Joan Chittister, that much loved Benedictine Sister reflects on Advent in The Liturgical Year. She tells us that waiting for the reign of God, year after year, sharpens or dims our own commitment to do our part in bringing it about.

Advent: Time to dust off the Wreath

By Veronica Rosier OP

Veronica Rosier, gives us some important background information for our preparation during the period of Advent. There are interesting liturgical points made about the significance of often misunderstood. It is helpful for all of us occasionally to be reminded of these points so that we can more fittingly prepare for, and celebrate, the wonderful feast of God among us.

Can You Spot Yourself at the Manger?

By Fr John Frauenfelder

Fr John Frauenfelderasks two pertinent questions: Can you spot yourself at the Manger? Which of the many characters associated with the crib scene depicts us as we prepare for Christmas? Another reminder to prepare for the feast with more intention and forethought.

Advent Longing

By Ron Rohleiser

Ron Rohleiser poses a chemistry metaphor for advent: ‘sometimes two elements will simply lie side by side inside a test-tube and not unite until sufficient heat is applied so as to bring them to a high enough temperature where unity can take place’. He names longing and loneliness as two elements which take us beyond ourselves.

Vatican News

Advent Reflections by Pope Francis.

What's On

New Year - New You, Study at BBI in the New Year! Come and see What's On and happening around Sydney with the Mosman Village Markets, Uniting or Dividing? Event and Lights of Christmas by PAYCE in Sydney City.

Book Reviews

Read some lovely Christmas books this season, 'Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Pope Francis by John J. Clearly', 'Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent by Richard Rohr' and for the kids 'Welcome Baby Jesus by Sarah Reinhard.' 

Poetry & Prayer

Come and read some beautiful poems and prayers to reflect upon and inspire you this festive season.

Featured Websites

Come and explore our featured websites: Do you take your values Christmas Shopping? Ten gift ideas for ethical, socially responsible shoppers, and gifts globally sourced and artisan made. Also read up on anti-slavery and forced marriages in Australia.

Reflection: “What is our philosophy of marriage?”

By Fr Paul McCabe

This reflection from Fr Paul, does not necessarily fit into the theme. It was shared with co-editors. Eventually I chose to use it because I felt that the points Paul makes about the philosophy of marriage might give us some background information for decisions we might be making in the not too distant future.


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