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One of the most fundamental ways that we proclaim the Good News of Jesus is by worshipping together. We are a Eucharistic community.
Every Sunday, from the Northern Beaches, to the North Shore and up to the Central Coast, about 25,000 people gather together in 26 parishes to celebrate Mass (2012 figures).
These tens of thousands of people who come together every weekend in the Diocese of Broken Bay to proclaim their Catholic faith in Jesus Christ are a powerful witness to the community in which we live.
Of course, we would dearly love to have all of the 218,407 people who identify as Catholic in the population of the Broken Bay Diocese joining us in the celebration of the Eucharist. We miss their presence as part of the Body of Christ and are poorer for their absence. This is an area for action for all of us. We can redouble our efforts to personally invite people to Mass; we can make our parishes places of genuine warmth and welcome; and we can each proclaim the Good News of Jesus in our words and actions, making our lives a Gospel for the people around us to read and to be drawn into.
The Diocese now extends its proclamation of the Good News by streaming daily Mass live on the Diocesan website, especially for those who are sick or housebound. It is also our hope that others, who tune into Mass on the web and hear the Word of God and see the sacred mystery of the Eucharist before them, might be encouraged to visit their local parish and experience the Mass first hand.
But Sunday worship is not the only way we proclaim the Good News in the Diocese of Broken Bay. Each week when we leave Mass we are commissioned to love and serve the Lord in all that we do. The people of Broken Bay are constantly proclaiming the Good News in our daily words and actions. Whether it is families committing to send their children to one of the 44 Catholic schools in our Diocese, to be taught and nurtured by nearly 1900 dedicated and highly professional teachers; or aged care professionals caring for the elderly in Catholic-operated aged care centres; agencies such as CatholicCare and the St Vincent de Paul Society strengthening families and caring for people in need – we all proclaim the Good News in our own way. Many of our parishes are active in social justice initiatives and the people of our Diocese are engaged in countless hours of volunteer work to help strengthen the community in which we live.
Ultimately, we all proclaim the Good News of Jesus in our families, our workplaces, our social engagements, by our words and actions and the way we live our lives.