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Hunger for Scripture

Young minds: (Above) Bernadette Tomlin, Helen Doneley, Sarah Gray and Melinda Henry at the lecture series.

Young minds: (Above) Bernadette Tomlin, Helen Doneley, Sarah Gray and Melinda Henry at the lecture series.

By Paul Dobbyn

BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s first talk in a series on Scripture led to an exodus.

More than 430 people overflowed the Francis Rush Centre’s Hanly Room where the Living Biblically in a Secular World lecture series was to be held.

“This meant we all had to move to St Stephen’s Cathedral as space had run out at the planned venue,” Archbishop Coleridge said.

“The large attendance showed a real hunger for Scripture, which has been very striking among Catholics since the Second Vatican Council.”

Archbishop Coleridge, who studied in Rome and received a doctorate in Sacred Scripture, offered some basic perspectives on the Bible as a whole, stressing mainly that it begins with the Exodus.

Waving a Bible, the Archbishop declared to the gathering: “This is your life”.

“If Scripture starts with the liberations of slaves, it says that we are somehow slaves in need of a liberation we can’t provide for ourselves,” he said.

“It can only come from the God who is defined by this fundamental act of liberation.

“In other words, the liberation of slaves is the key to the whole Bible.

“It’s not just the historic event of liberation from Egypt but ultimately a liberation from the Egypt of death once Jesus rises from the tomb.”

Archdiocesan agency Evangelisation Brisbane has prepared the nine-part lecture series, Living Biblically in a Secular World, following a review into parish formation needs last year.

Series co-ordinator and EB project officer Mike Humphrys said people from parishes, schools, youth movements, religious and clergy had attended the event.

“Members of various youth ministry groups comprised about 40 per cent of those attending,” he said.

Archbishop Coleridge’s “ability to connect with and inspire an incredibly diverse group of people” was also evident.

“He did a wonderful job at making Scripture come alive for all who attended, especially those who have limited background in biblical studies,” Mr Humphrys said.

“Amongst feedback I received from some of the young people attending was the sheer joy in seeing Archbishop Mark come so fully alive in his element teaching sacred scripture.”

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