BRISBANE archdiocese’s deacons and their wives focused on the teachings of Pope Francis at their annual retreat recently.
The retreat, led by Columban Father Trevor Trotter, was held at the Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre, Ormiston.
Fr Trotter gave six guided reflections on key themes emerging from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).
Deacon Gary Stone said, although members of the group were familiar with aspects of the document from earlier clergy reflections, “the depth and significance of this teaching is such that it invites detailed reflection with a view to implementation in our daily lives”.
“It is particularly significant for deacons and others challenged to bring the Gospel to those not in regular communion with the Church,” Deacon Stone said.
“Pope Francis gives specific suggestions on how we can carry out this mission, through immersing ourselves in the lives of others, accompanying them in their joys and sorrows, and encouraging us to be mindful that the Lord accompanies us in this mission, and indeed has gone on before us to prepare the hearts and minds of those we come in contact with.”
Deacon Stone said Fr Trotter’s “gentle inclusive style and missionary perspective were greatly appreciated”.
He said the deacons commended all Catholics in the archdiocese to obtain copies of The Joy of the Gospel.
“It uplifts us in so many ways, and moves us from realising not just what Joy there is in the Gospel, but more significantly guides us in how we can be joyful, and bring the Joy of the Gospel to those around us,” he said.
Three NSW deacons and their wives joined the Brisbane group for this year’s retreat.