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Bishop Nicholas Encourages Australian Proclaim Delegates to Imagine the Possibilities

In a homily given at the Proclaim2016 Conference Mass in Broken Bay Diocese, Australia, Bishop Nicholas encouraged delegates to use the conference to imagine the possibilities for evangelisation.

Taking the example of the 'motley group of disciples' that Jesus leaves behind after his Ascension, Bishop Nicholas explained that they learned their need to trust the Lord as the 'awesome reality' that they were his plan to evangelise the world dawned on them.

He said that we too need to pray and place our trust in the Lord as his stewards who carry out his work.

Referring to Jesus' words about placing new wine into new wineskins, echoing Pope Francis, he said: 'we need to allow time-honoured habits to be renewed by the Holy Spirit'.

By virtue of being gathered together for Proclaim 16, he continued, 'what we're about is nothing if not inviting the Holy Spirit to renew our way of being Church; letting the new wine of the Holy Spirit course once more through our veins so as to help us find new ways of bringing people to Christ.'

He encouraged the delegates to think of all the time-honoured ways of being parish. 'They don't necessarily need changing; but they may need developing,' he said.

'The message we need to hear,' he continued 'is that we must let [our evangelising activity] be renewed, developed, revivified, magnified by the Spirit' and he invited the delegates to imagine the possibilities. 

Turning back to the example of the Apostles, he said, 'now, mysteriously, in these first decades of the third millennium, we find we have received something of the responsibility which they shouldered so effectively'.

The full text of Bishop Nicholas' homily can be found here.