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Dies Domini

Armidale Diocese promotes Sunday observance

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 Contents - Oct 2005AD2000 October 2005 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Health of Church and health of family connect - Michael Gilchrist
Benedict XVI speaks out on the crisis of faith in Australia - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Books: The Incredible Da Vinci Code falsehoods exposed - Frank Mobbs
Juventutem: Young Latin Mass Catholics attend World Youth Day - Fr Glen Tattersall
Youth: The lasting impact of World Youth Day - Sannon Donahoo
Society: The latest marriage statistics: implications - Zenit News Agency
Dies Domini: Armidale Diocese promotes Sunday observance - Bishop Luc Matthys
Conference: C.S. Lewis: defender of objective truth - Adam Glyn Cooper
Culture: How the Catholic Church built Western civilisation - Thomas E. Woods Jr
Priesthood: Christ's call to priestly celibacy - Fr Thaddeus Doyle
Letters: Reverence? - P.R. Smith
Letters: Blasphemy - Alan Onraet
Letters: A sense of sin - Henk Verhoeven
Letters: Contraception - Anne Lastman
Letters: Watered-down faith - Paula Gartland
Letters: A treasured priest: Fr William Ross - Tom King
Letters: Anti-Christian media - Frank Bellet
Letters: Sacrifice of the Mass - A. Bono
Letters: New hymn lyrics for Come As You Are
Books: Your Life is Worth Living: The Christian Philosophy of Life, by Fulton J. Sheen - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: What is Opus Dei?, by Dominique le Tourneau - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: A Beautiful Story to be Told: The Legion of Mary in Oceania 1932-2005 - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Events: Who's Afraid of Vatican II? Seminars October-December 2005
Books: More good reading from AD Books
Reflection: What the early Church tells us about the celebration of Mass - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM

The restoration of Sunday as the Lord's Day needs the attention and involvement of all Catholics as well as of other Christians. In our Australian society the importance of Sunday as the Lord's Day tends to be diminished if not altogether ignored. The "weekend" culture needs to be re-Christianised, with its God-given prominence restored.

In order to make Sunday central again to our religious practices I have asked the Religious Education personnel of both the Catholic Schools Office and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine to prepare a four-week course for use in Catholic schools' Religious Education lessons and in Special Religious Education classes in State schools across the diocese.

Homilies and sermons on the Sundays within the four weeks will reinforce what is being offered in the school-based program.

The program is based on John Paul II's Apostolic Letter (31 May 1998), Dies Domini, "On Keeping the Lord 's Day Holy".

While participating in Mass and receiving Holy Communion is the high point of every Sunday, keeping the Lord's Day holy entails more than this, e.g., resting from servile work.

The program focuses on the four main points taken from the document, Dies Domini.

The Day of the Lord

This focuses on the celebration of the Creator's work. Sunday is "time out" to remember that God is God - creator of all and that we are his special creation. To put it another way, God loves all of his creation with infinite love and desires all creation to come to fulfilment in Him.

The Day of Christ

This section focusses on the eschatological aspect of the Eucharist. Eschatology refers to the "Last Things" - the fulfilment of all things in Christ at the end of time. At the celebration of the Eucharist the whole Christ's salvific role is remembered: his coming into the world, his life, passion, death and resurrection, and his coming again in glory. In the celebration of the Eucharist "we receive the pledge of the glory to come".

The Day of the Church

This section focuses on the Eucharistic Assembly as part of the life and mission of the Church. Jesus Christ established his Church on Peter and the Apostles to continue his mission of bringing people to the Kingdom of God.

The Day of Man

This section focuses on Sunday as a celebration of God's gift of creation. It leads us into a prayerful reflection of the importance of Sunday as a day of re-creation and rejoicing in all of God's bountiful blessings.

As more and more people are required by their occupations to work on the Lord's Day the importance of Sunday grows daily. This program is a step towards reclaiming Sunday as a day set aside by God for the beneft of the human person so that all people may grow in faith, hope, and love; and achieve their maximum potential for the greater glory of God. The wisdom of God is clearly visible in asking his human creatures to rest of the seventh day of the week.

It is my wish and I direct that every parish, and school offering religious instruction in the Diocese of Armidale adopt this program. I ask that every effort be made to promote this program in a positive way among the faithful.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 9 (October 2005), p. 9

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