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Why have young people stopped going to church? Marist Laity Australia
23 October 2021
Leaders of the church have been asking for about 40 years “why is it that young people have stop going to church”. This question has now become “why is it that nearly everyone has stopped going to church”?
 
How should parents teach their children about sex and sexuality? Marist Laity Australia
17 October 2021
In Western culture there is a conundrum. By late teens or early young adulthood when a person is becoming more sexually active the question arises “how do we teach our children about sex and sexuality?” This question, may have been ignored by the parent as the child has grown through childhood and teenage years. The parent may seem lost in an array of questions such as “What do I teach my child?”
 
Blog - Stop the Violence Marist Laity Australia
09 October 2021
In 2020 there are estimates that people world-wide spent $152 billion on computer games. Most of these computer games promote violence. Some of these top games include Hitman 3, Resident Evil Village and Deathloop 2021. These games simulate killing where users glorify murder.
 
Praying with Sarge 2 - Social leaning Marist Laity Australia
20 August 2021
Guided meditation and a reflection on Social leaning. Meditation is a form of prayer. Focus on your breathing. Breath in and breath out. Breath deeply. Focus on the prayer word Maranatha or Come Lord Jesus
 
Having fun with our children Marist Laity Australia
01 August 2021
My children have been on school holidays. Always, entertaining kids can be quite difficult. Take yesterday. My wife had to work leaving me, dad, to look after the kids. We had planned to go to the skate park.
 
Blog - A case for Women in leadership in the Church Marist Laity Australia
15 July 2021
If we are to truly reflect the divine feminine and masculine image, we must consider women in leadership. Yet, our culture and our Catholic tradition choses to say “this is not our practise”. This is not just about who is right and who is wrong, but rather, if we do not embrace more women in leadership, what will that do? I can see what it has done, and this has been devastating.
 
Blog - 5 minute Reflection on Simplicity Marist Laity Australia
29 June 2021
Simplicity is a very important for both Christians and Marists. It asks the question - 'What is the most important thing in our lives'? We are called to let go of what is not as important. Yet, this is very hard. Especially in our culture and society that encourages the opposite.
 
Blog - Are you really Christian? Marist Laity Australia
23 June 2021
As we enter July here in Australia we enter one of the coldest months of the year. One of the saddest memories I have of volunteering for St Vincent De Paul Night Patrol is arriving at Central Station park on a -1 degree July Night many years ago. The wind was blowing, and it was freezing. At 11.30 pm we were to pack up and go home to a warm bed and shower. But one of the last visitors was a couple with a stroller. They had a young child pushing her along. Maybe 2 years old. After a hot milo and some fruit which we had left, they decided to spend the night in the park in freezing conditions. A family of 3. My heart when out to them.
 
Blog - ‘Who do you say I am’ is transformational Marist Laity Australia
19 June 2021
Jesus poses the question to his followers “Who do you say I am?” in Matthew 16:13-16, Mark 8:27-29, and Luke 9:18-20. When we listen to the question, we hear a surface level answer “some say John the Baptist, still others Elijah, while others one of the prophets”. But Jesus is looking for a deeper answer “who do you say I am?” Simon responds, “You are the Messiah”. But in in effect the Messiah was something they did not expect. Jesus was not a political Messiah who would free Jews from the Romans. But are we today to answer also with surface level answers? Jesus’ is someone far beyond our words or labels. In effect, the question is an existential question. A question which could have an infinite ending. When Moses asks the burning bush for a name God answers, “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14).
 
Feast of Pentecost Marist Laity Australia
23 May 2021
In ancient times in Judaism, The Jewish feast of Pentecost (Shavuot) was primarily a thanksgiving for the first fruits of the wheat harvest (from Wikipedia). Pentecost celebrated the many fruits and gifts which God would provide.
 
200 Years of Catholic Schools amongst the persecuted Marist Laity Australia
22 May 2021
On Monday May 24, we will celebrate 200 years of Catholic schools in Australia. Most schools will celebrate with a mass. Yet, in this moment, do we remember the first 40 years of British settlement (From 1788 to 1820), where the Catholic church, many other churches, religions and Aboriginal customs were outlawed. Thus, many religions, and many churches began in Australia like the early Christian church, with oppression. Where the government of the day sought to stop their practise. With many lay people hidden in homes continuing religious traditions. Do we celebrate with the 200 years anniversary the many people who risked their lives for their religious faiths and traditions? This causes us to think, where in the world today are religious groups oppressed? As Catholics and people of religion, are we not called to identify and help the oppressed groups?
 
Just Mass and Liturgy are not working Marist Laity Australia
16 May 2021
Recently I was having a conversation with another parent whose daughter finished school 3 years prior. She commented that during her daughters schooling religion and spirituality focused on academic and priority on thinking. Sadly, since leaving school, her daughter has completely abandoned religion. I thought to myself, this is typical for most young people in Australia. Someone in the teenage years, faith, religion and spirituality do not grow up.
 
Blog - People of the Resurrection Marist Laity Australia
07 April 2021
We have gone away for a break. This reminds me of how Jesus would go off often by himself for some rest. Into the wilderness. By himself. After such as a crazy year of uncertainty, of Covid, of my mum being in hospital 3 times, changing jobs, of many fires in Australia and recently floods. It is good to step away from craziness. To find a space to rest.
 
How can lay people model Mary and Joseph? Marist Laity Australia
21 March 2021
We live almost 2000 years later, in a very different culture, religion, and country than Mary and Joseph. Yet, Mary and Joseph’s life has something very deep to say to us about the loving way they had with God. But in the busyness of our world today, taking care of our own children, going to sport, housework, work, or even watching Netflix or Disney online we can lose a sense of the connections that Mary and Joseph modelled.
 
BLOG - Why do I need to go to church? Marist Laity Australia
16 March 2021
Yesterday it was raining very heavy in Sydney. I thought it would be a good chance for my family to go to church on Sunday morning. Since COVID 19 our regular Sunday mass attendance, as a family, had almost disappeared. Instead, when it is sunny my family goes and spends 2 or 3 hours skateboarding at the local park, whilst, I would take my mum to church. It was hard because the local church, up until recently would only accept 100 people total. Thus, having a family of 7 (with grandma) is much harder than just mum and me (2).
 
a Jewish Sabbath Marist Laity Australia
07 March 2021
On Saturday. For Jewish people, Friday Sundown to Saturday sundown is the time of Sabbath. The Sabbath was a time to stop and reflect. It is not just simply because God commanded the Sabbath (Exodus 20:11), on the seventh day, to rest. But on the seventh day God rested. Thus, to rest is to follow God’s own example when God created the world.
 
Laudatio Si the Big Furry Spider Marist Laity Australia
15 February 2021
On the weekend I was blessed to participate in the “Laudatio Si Action Platform” Zoom conversation with Father Joshtrom Kureethdam and Father Bernard McKenna and 90 other Marists lay people and religious. As I listened, in my heart I pondered “are these just words?” Sure, I agree with the philosophy and rationale behind climate science, but how does this change me? How does this change my own community? How does this change my family?
 
Nazareth Renovation Marist Laity Australia
31 January 2021
Recently, my family visited some friends and relatives and their home. It was a very friendly household. We spent much of the time speaking about their home renovations. Painting the all the walls. Installing a new kitchen. A new bathroom. A large TV. Inside of me there was a temptation saying, “I want this too”. A perfect home with nothing out of place.
 
How old are you? Marist Laity Australia
29 January 2021
This question was raised by a colleague at work yesterday. We responded 44, 47, 34 and then my colleague answered “I turn 60 this year”. She said it as if there was something wrong. I pondered to my self, “why is it our western culture devalues our older generations?”
 
It is too hard to pray Marist Laity Australia
14 January 2021
At times I find it hard to pray in my family. A few days ago, I posted the “Retreat in the life for couples” with every intention to pray and reflect each day with my wife and partner. But. This has not happened.
 
Contemplation on the New Year Father Ben McKenna SM
05 January 2021
Christmas and New Year have provided us with the opportunity to pause, to watch, and to wonder at the event of the Word continuing to be made Flesh in our time. Perhaps we have found ourselves pondering with Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Magi at the unfolding of a Revelation among us that draws us to wonder, to encounter, to hope, and to be replenished with a new Divine-given energy.
 
A New Year’s Resolution Andrew Dumas
31 December 2020
Watch this 5-minute video from Marist Laity Australia. Download the Prayer sheet. Pray the prayer individually or share with your family or community.
 
How can the church evolve? Andrew Dumas
28 December 2020
I would like to propose a reason for the rapid decline of church participation in Australia. From the 2011 to the 2016 Australian National Census Christianity declined to 52.1%. From the percentage 90% of whom do not regularly practice their faith. I propose that these two percentages are actually linked. They show the devolving nature of Christian participation. This is not just a decline in numbers, what individuals can be we’re engaged simply by attending, but reflected that the reason than simply being upset or displaced from the disillusionment of the church. Some reasons may include the lack of women in leadership positions, the royal commission into the sexual abuse of children, or the treatment of the LGBTi Community. These are important issues, but the devolving nature of the church goes to a deeper reality...
 
Being Rejected at Christmas Andrew Dumas
24 December 2020
On Wednesday, my own home church contacted me and, asked “Can you give up coming to church on Christmas day this year because the government had just halved the numbers of people who can attend church?” When I told my mum of eighty, she was quiet upset. All her life she has gone to church on Christmas day.
 
The enemy this Christmas Father Michael Whelan SM
22 December 2020
In our search for possible factors within the Catholic system that might have had some bearing on the incidence of sexual abuse and the poor way it was handling, we turn now to the question of belief and, more specifically, how we think of Jesus Christ.
 
A Climate Emergency Father Ben McKenna SM
22 December 2020
Yesterday, 12 December, on the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, called on the leaders of the world's nations to declare states of 'climate emergency' in their countries to spur action to avoid 'catastrophic' global warming.
 
Screens zap imagination and ideas Manoush Zomorodi
20 December 2020
Neuroscientists show that when you get bored, this can be the most productive and creative time of your day. Yet with social media and smart phones we have removed this time. When we are folding the laundry or walking to work, but that is when our brain gets really busy. Once you start daydreaming your brain moves from the conscience to the sub-conscience and this allows different connections. In boring time, you can solve some of the most nagging problems. But now, we chill out on the couch, watching TV while replying to email at the same time. Neuroscientists tell us when we multitask, doing 4 or 5 things at once, we are not multi-tasking, but using more energy to shift between different tasks and we have a limited supply of energy. Dr Gloria Mark says when people are stressed, people shift their attention more often. As people get less sleep, the more likely they are to check Facebook. We are in a habitual cycle.
 
A Christmas Reflection for 2020 Andrew Dumas
18 December 2020
As we conclude 2020, this year will be forever marked as the Covid year. Where many parts of the world have struggled and continue to struggle to contain the Covid virus. As Marists, we feel called to go out into the community. To care for the poor, the outcast and to the edges of our society. There is a certain level of guilt not to have done some of the things we could do to work to care for others. The question, “Where would Christ and Mary be amongst this”? Who are the good angels?
 





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