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Parishes are local neighbourhoods of grace, communities of the faithful where the life and mystery of God is encountered through Word and sacrament. Our parishes invite and support people to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to share their faith and God-given gifts with others, to develop a love and knowledge of the Scriptures, to develop a daily prayer life and experience real and welcoming Christian community. It is in the parish where Christians are initiated into the faith by baptism and other sacraments of initiation, where the gift of the Eucharist is offered, where liturgies are celebrated in worship of God, and where the baptised serve in ministry and are sent to evangelise others as missionary disciples.
As Pope Francis has shared, “The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelisers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach” (Evangelii Gaudium 28). It is for this personal and spiritual growth and the mission of evangelisation that our parishes exist. There are a total of 26 parishes in the Diocese of Broken Bay.