PARISHES across Australia could believe Christmas is coming early after packages of a newly relaunched resource for catechumens hit the post last week.
At Home with God’s People – Our Catholic Faith is the revised edition of a popular resource created to guide the thousands of Australians who prepare for Baptism every Easter.
Relaunched last week by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, the book contains reflections, prayers, scripture references and information on 25 topics covering the Catholic faith.
More than 1500 copies have already been sold to parishes across Australia.
Since its original release in 1982, it has helped 35,000 people with their initiation into the Church.
Editor Rob Cosgrove, a project officer for Evangelisation Brisbane, said the launch of the new edition of the book in 2016 honoured several “gentle giants” who contributed to the original 1982 version of the book.
These included the writer of the first draft Fr Bill O’Shea, who spent hours poring over material by hand, and Peter Gagen.
“When Bill wrote the first draft there were no computers, no smart phones and Paul VI was our pope,” Mr Cosgrove said at the launch.
“He would sit in his lounge chair, TV playing in the background, and write page after page.
“Sometimes I would collect the pages from the presbytery.
“I would be amazed to see these perfect lines of words, nothing altered or crossed out.”
Since the 1982 edition was released, there have been three revisions of the book.
The latest now includes the writings of the three successive popes, St John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
Archbishop Coleridge hoped the new edition would be “a powerful resource within the journey of faith that we call the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults”.
“It is used nationally and internationally, which is again a tribute to the quality of what is on offer,” the Archbishop said.
“I hope it serves Church communities at a time when we need to be strengthened as we move into a future, the shape of which is not clear.”
For more information on the At Home with God’s People resource, visit www.ahwgp.com.
By Emilie Ng