• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 19 December 2013 17:29

Cana Communities Christmas Eve gathering - a celebration of shared humanity

 

Cana-Communities-Christmas-Eve---Anne-with-peopleOn Christmas Eve in Redfern Park, Sydney, a group of people – some of whom live with mental or physical illness or are at risk, with nowhere to go, and others who are volunteers - will gather to share the Eucharist and a meal together.

The Cana Communities Christmas Eve gathering brings people together in a celebration of shared humanity.

“The experience of the Eucharist in the group and the singing of carols all combine to remind us that there is something bigger than us in the world,” says Cana Communities coordinator, Sr Anne Jordan PBVM (pictured right).

“It reminds us that there is darkness and light to be celebrated.”

Outgoing SVD Provincial Fr Tim Norton will celebrate the Eucharist, as he has done for many years.

“It’s beautiful really,” says Sr Anne. “People pray for what they want, for somebody they love or for their football team and it all gets expressed in colourful and simple ways. It’s very lovely.”

Cana-Communities-Christmas-Eve-crowdA highlight of the evening is the meal, where volunteers not only help serve the meal, but sit down and share it with those attending.

“That is the clearest example for me of the link between the meal, the sharing and gifting of each other, and the Eucharist,” Sr Anne says. “It’s such a night of oneness, of bringing life to each other as we celebrate new life.”

Despite the beauty of the gathering, Sr Anne says that with up to 300 people attending, it can have its moments of drama.

“Christmas always brings out the best and the worst in us all, doesn’t it?” she says. “We’re often exhausted and less tolerant. We’re both at our best and our worst and we see that in each other.

“But vulnerable people, whose emotional life and the limitations of mental health or physical disability are more publicly exposed than people who are healthy, well-educated and able to deal with things, their vulnerability is more obvious to everybody.

“We also have people who are disconnected from their family and friends for whatever reason and are in a much more vulnerable state so that their pain becomes very raw at Christmas time.

“So having a gathering like this, with lots of volunteers and people from all walks of life gathering to share a meal is wonderful, because it is just as difficult for the best educated and most socially adept people to share a meal with strangers.

“Helping people to find a way to do this is at the heart of what Cana is really about. It’s about sharing the meal, not serving it. And that difference is profound.”

Anne-Jordan-and-Tim-NortonFr Tim, pictured with Sr Anne, right, says he is looking forward to being a part of the Cana Communities Christmas Eve Eucharist and Meal again this year.

“I understand Christmas to be a time when God in the Christ child recognised the stranger (Magii) and the poor (shepherds),” he says.

“The Christmas Eve Mass in Redfern Park is all about being together in celebration of Christ’s birth with those who are often rejected and/or misunderstood by society.

“The shepherds and magii in Redfern Park bring the presence of Christ to me in ways that I don’t find in other parts of my life. That presence can sometimes be joyful and sometimes be hard – but it is always real! Christmas really becomes Christmas for me in that park.”

Cana Communities relies on volunteers. If you would like to enquire about volunteering please visit http://www.cana.org.au/.