The Catalyst President has issued the following message to all Catalyst supporters, summarizing the year and offering best wishes for the new year:
With 2022 rapidly drawing to a close, we are writing to provide a brief update and to offer our best wishes for the Christmas season and the New Year to come.
Despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic, now in its third year, Catalyst for Renewal has enjoyed a very good year.
We have again presented a diverse and stimulating program. The highlight was of course our forum with Joan Chittister osb, attended by 850 people in the splendid hall at Monte Sant’ Angelo College, to whose principal and staff we remain so grateful.
For the first time since 2019, we were able to run a full program of reflection mornings at Hunters Hill. The program at Lawson continued to be impacted by Covid and other setbacks but we anticipate a full program being delivered there next year. Our thanks to Carol and Len for their commitment and perseverance. We held an outstanding series of Q and A forums at St Patrick’s Church, featuring David Ranson from the Diocese of Broken Bay, Josephite sister Monica Cavanagh, Jesuit Fathers Frank Brennan and Richard Leonard, social scientist Hugh Mackay and Sandurst bishop Shane Mackinlay. Teams convened by Carole Wilson produce both the Hunters Hill Reflection Mornings and the Q and A Forums and we thank them for their considerable efforts. Our new program, The Call To Be, made a smooth and impactful start due to the outstanding organisational efforts of Pauline, Leanne and Greg. This program presents short courses of similar form and content to those previously offered by Aquinas Academy.
The Spirituality in the Pub movement had a mixed year. SIP continues to engage its diverse audience in a number of regional centres, but in the face of the pandemic it has not been possible to continue the program in Melbourne and Sydney. We are hopeful that some metropolitan venues may return in 2023. In the meantime, Spirituality on the Sofa (SIP in online form) has been presented each month, superbly facilitated by Susan and organised by Marea and her committed team.
Following our annual Eucharistic reflection in November, we acknowledged and celebrated Father Michael Whelan’s Jubilee of ordination – fifty years a Marist priest this year. Michael continues to be our pastor and our inspiring teacher and we thank him for his leadership of Catalyst for 27 years and ongoing. God bless you, Michael.
Our program for 2023 is taking shape. A full program of reflection mornings will be offered at both Hunters Hill and Lawson. The Call To Be will be back for its second year with another enticing program. Our forums series will again seek to present national and overseas thought leaders. SOS will continue, as will SIP where conditions allow. Whilst our popular dinners have been impossible to mount during the pandemic, we hope to offer a luncheon alternative at Hunters Hill in March. Planning for this is well advanced.
Also in 2023 we anticipate delivering a major upgrade of our website. This will enable us to present a lot of material not currently available, particularly in the area of spirituality. Remember the Mix? Catalyst published the Mix from 1996 until 2007. We have commenced to digitise the complete series and will add issues to our website as they become available. The Catalyst Reflection Sheets are also being digitised and some are already available.
We thank you for your interest and support, especially over the last three very challenging years. Our mission is to promote conversation for renewal in church and society. It seems the world has never been more fragile and Christ’s promise of justice and peace never more needed. We will continue in 2023 to provide the forums that enable you to grapple with the important issues facing our church and our world. Please visit our website at https://catalystforrenewal.org.au or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you use Instagram, follow us at #catalystforrenewalaustralia.
We wish you and your loved ones a very happy and holy Christmas and peace and fulfilment in 2023. May the Lord God live in each of us and bring to us the fullness of life.