By Isaac Murphy
THERE have been ups, downs, joys and sorrows, but through it all Brisbane’s Emmanuel Community has stayed strong as a family.
Last Sunday it celebrated its 40th anniversary in St Mary Magdalene Church, Bardon, the same parish where the mission was born.
The covenant community was born from the vision of Brian Smith, leader of The Catholic Charismatic Renewal from 1972-1975, when he founded the first Emmanuel Community.
The idea of a Catholic community drew scepticism from the public throughout the early years of the venture.
The idea was untested and Emmanuel Community members were trailblazers, forced to move forward without a blueprint to reach their goal.
Emmanuel Community endured, striving to bring together all Christian denominations to share their motto of “God With Us”.
“You have to live the message; you can’t talk the talk without action,” Emmanuel Covenant Community moderator and foundation member Shayne Bennett said.
Mr Bennett credits the support of the late Bishop Michael Putney of Townsville and former Brisbane Archbishop Francis Rush, as guiding forces and pillars of strength, through times of doubt.
“We are not about the legacy of Emmanuel, but want to support, encourage and strengthen the wider Church,” he said.
The anniversary Mass marked the Emmanuel Community book release, “which is much less a history, but a collection of memories”.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge celebrated the Mass and rejoiced with community members.