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27 May 2021
Every year people from the Diocese of Broken Bay together with the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Diocese of Parramatta gather to reflect on the Social Justice Statement issued by the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference. The Tri-Diocesan Social Justice Twilight Reflection Evening, to be held at 6.00pm on 30 June at Pennant Hills Bowling Club, is an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the work of social justice ministries across the dioceses and to consider how we as a church can respond to the issues addressed in the Statement.
This year we are fortunate to be able to meet in person, with last year’s get together being held over zoom due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. The theme for this year’s Statement is mental health. Although chosen by the Bishop’s Conference before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theme has proved to be a fitting subject for reflection. The Catholic Bishops have urged us to see mental health as a continuum and recognise that most of us will struggle with mental unwellness at various times in our life. Understanding mental health can raise our awareness of people in our families, faith communities, workplaces and society who need our support. Mental health is more than simply the absence of illness but about human flourishing and living the fullness of life that Jesus calls us to in the Gospel. As faith communities we can do much to support the vulnerable as crucial to human flourishing is a sense of belonging and connectedness.
The keynote speakers for the evening, Bishop Anthony Randazzo, Dr. Robbie Lloyd, and Ms Ashleigh Donnelly will each share insights around the topic. Bishop Randazzo will offer a reflection on mental health from a Gospel perspective and examine how Jesus responded to the challenges of mental unwellness in his time. Dr. Robbie Lloyd will draw on his experience of working in mental health for over 30 years and offer a reflection on how we can support the mentally unwell in our communities. Dr. Lloyd has a doctorate in community mental health and disability support reform and has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and our First Nations people for over 25 years. He is passionate about seeing new models emerge to help people empower their own recovery journeys and strongly believes we need each other to realise our best selves. Ms Ashleigh Donnelly will offer her insights around mental wellness and young people. With experience working as a social worker in CatholicCare, Ashleigh is currently a member of the Vatican’s International Youth Advisory Body. She was the Australian delegate to Rome for pre-Synod meetings in the lead up to the 2018 Synod on Youth and co-ordinated the inaugural Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions) in 2015, which has now become Australia’s largest interfaith youth gathering.
If you would like more information about the event or would like to attend, please contact Emma Baker on 8379 1630 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP by 16 June 2021 is essential due to catering and COVID-19 requirements.