Parishes get ready for the Year of the Holy Spirit

Young Mission

Carmel Barnes. (left) with parishioners from Young Mission

THERE has never been a better time to embrace the future under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, according to Carmel Barnes.

The Boorowa Parish Finance Committee Secretary was delighted to hear Archbishop Christopher Prowse announce the Year of the Holy Spirit recently, and noted she often turns to Him when she has to make decisions.

“I’m a bit of a fan of the Holy Spirit – He is my favorite,” she laughed.

“I think we could do so much if we are just open to Him.”

Mrs. Barnes said the Year of the Holy Spirit is a continuation of the Year of Walking Together.

“We learned to walk together more, and now we are more comfortable with each other we can be open to receive the Holy Spirit and move on together to grow as a church and parish community,” she said.

“There are just no boundaries if we are open to the Holy Spirit. I have had some difficult times, but I have come through it because of the Holy Spirit. It is a bit hard to understand, but that is where faith comes in.”

As the parish continues to recover from the disruption of covid restrictions, Mrs. Barnes said the sense of community was being rebuilt.    

“We are still in a time of flux, really, and I think people find that difficult,” she said.

“So, I think we need to embrace the Holy Spirit and look for his guidance as we are moving forward to create a spirit of growth in the community.”

St Joseph’s already has plans to make the most of the upcoming year, including establishing the Alpha program in the parish.

The free program offers a series of interactive sessions that provide a safe and honest place to explore life, faith, and meaning with people from all walks of life.

“It is a way of community and developing friendships both within the church and without. I think once we get that established here we could end up with a wonderfully vibrant parish.”

Mrs. Barnes said with the approval of several new housing developments in the area, the parish would be ready to incorporate new parishioners.

“This parish has a wonderful history, but we have to keep making history as we go, to move forward and involve more people, and make everyone feel welcome,” she said.

Welcome to the Year of the Holy Spirit 2023– a remarkable period of spiritual enrichment and transformation! This year presents a unique opportunity for all of us to deepen our connection with the divine and embrace the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As we embark on this journey of faith, we invite you to be a part of this inspiring and transformative experience.

The Year of the Holy Spirit 2023-2024 builds upon the foundation laid during the previous Year of Walking Together, emphasizing the significance of unity and community in our spiritual endeavors. It is a time to open our hearts and minds, to be receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and to grow together as a vibrant and connected church community.

In this year, we are called to nurture a more profound relationship with the Holy Spirit – the divine source of inspiration, guidance, and strength. The Holy Spirit has been described as the Advocate, the Comforter, and the Counselor. It is through the Holy Spirit that we receive wisdom, discernment, and the grace to navigate the challenges and decisions of our lives. As we align ourselves with the Spirit, we find ourselves on a path of greater understanding, purpose, and peace.

We invite you to explore the abundant resources, events, and reflections available at the Canberra and Goulburn Year of the Holy Spirit webpage. Join us on this remarkable journey by visiting this link and delve into a wealth of spiritual insights, guidance, and inspiration. Let’s come together as a community, driven by faith, to create an atmosphere of growth and connection. This is your invitation to be part of an extraordinary year of faith, hope, and renewal.

Access videos and key documents via

St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Kambah

Fr Praveen Paul with parishioners from Kambah

At St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Kambah, Fr Praveen Paul is eager to welcome in the Year of the Holy Spirit.

“It may well be a good time to walk together in the spirit,” he said.

Fr Praveen said the year, announced by Archbishop Christopher Prowse, was a chance for the parish to celebrate a renewal.

“It is sometimes easy to forget about the power of the Holy Spirit, so we can use this time to think how we can remind people that the Holy Spirit is a real power source,” he said. “When the spirit starts to work, things will get changed.”

Fr Praveen said the parish would have a focus on confession during the following year.

“Once we encourage people to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, they can easily receive the fruits of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

“Home visits have been well received in the past, and it seems a good time to bring those back in,” he said.

“This year is a good time to focus on caring for the people and the parish community.”

The parish itself has some big events coming up over the next 12 months.

“The first upcoming event we have is the Youth Festival at the end of October,” Fr Praveen said.

“That will start with a rally, then holy Mass, and then maybe a cultural night and sharing food. It will be a chance for young people from all different walks of life to come together.”

“This year, because of the Year of the Holy Spirit, we will invite more of an ecumenical group and that will make a real community spirit,” he said.