A Thriving Catholic Community: Explaining the symbol
‘A Thriving Catholic Community’ – a picture of what a renewed, fully alive and functioning local Church might look like. Some of the characteristics on the symbol refer to the ways we worship and pray; others are about the ways we relate to each other and support our brothers and sisters in our communities; and others still refer to ways that we might reach out to others who are in need or who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.
It is recognised that no single parish or worshipping community can develop fully all these dimensions. However, for a Catholic Community to be vibrant we need to meet together to celebrate at the twin tables of the Word and the Eucharist – the centre of our Sunday liturgy; a liturgy in which our presence is a celebration and commemoration of God’s love of us through his Son. As the symbol of A Thriving Catholic Community was developed it was obvious that at its centre would be the Word and Eucharist, from which flows the sense of being Christ-centred in all we do.
Throughout our groups, communities, parishes and the diocese, we rely on the leadership of the Spirit. For the power, strength, charisms and gifts that energise our worship, care, ministry and love come to us through the gift of the Spirit. In conversing with many friends and fellow parishioners we know that is by being Spirit-led that we are confident in our faith.
Yet we are called to be disciples of Christ, a role that demands that we are more than an inwardly focussed worshipping community. Around the core of our community we are called to a special commission – through Baptism and through the Word – to carry the good news to all people. This is our Mission, as individuals and as a community, to make God’s Kingdom a reality in the life around us.
The foundation of the Mission we are called to fulfill is the Community into which we are initiated in Baptism and strengthened through the Eucharist and our Confirmation. Without the Community that assembles around the table of the Word and the Eucharist we would be isolated and powerless to act.