Last Saturday I was part of a Mass celebrating 40 years of one our Diocesan Movements.
It was celebrating the mission of the ‘Neo Catechumenal Way’ here in the NT. Bishop O’Loughlin invited this movement to minister in Darwin forty years ago.
I was surrounded by people of all ages. Whole families, elderly people, young people. They were a very diverse group of people representing many nationalities and interest groups. However, they were all united by a deep faith in Jesus Christ. There was a positive energy present; there was much love present.
The Catholic family has many charisms, many spiritualities. It is a bit like an orchestra, so many instruments, so many skills, so many gifts.
I have no doubt that every organisation within the Church, no matter who founded it, needs continued evolution and growth. Once an organisation becomes fossilised, it becomes a ‘sect’.
Every single organisation needs to keep reviewing itself:
Are our original aims still being fulfilled?
Are we reaching out to the ones we were founded to reach out to?
How efficient are we in what we do?
Is Jesus Christ still the real centre of what we are about?
What else do we need to do, to review?
The word Catholic means for all times and for all people.
I remember Pope Francis saying that it is sinful to always keep telling each other what was wrong with the other!!
How important it is that we all treat each other with great respect. This is, of course, true of how we respond to those who have a spirituality different from ours.
So, going back to last Sunday. I felt myself thanking God for all the good that the members of this organisation have done over the last forty years.
I look forward to continuing walking with them in the service of God and God’s people. I will continue reflecting with them on how like all of us in the Church they will continue to grow so as to be true to their God-given mission.
I thank God for them, and for all the other charism that are part of the Divine orchestra that we call the Church, the body of Christ composed of so many men and women of all ages.