Spirituality Groups

Friends of Mary Immaculate (in the Spirit of St. Bernadette)

The Friend of Mary Immaculate were founded in 2011 (Golden Jubilee Year), in response to the members of the Legion of Mary. The foundation members wanted to develop a Marian spirituality for both men and women, that was connected to the Patron Saint of the parish. The name that was chosen was drawn from St Bernadette’s question to the Blessed Virgin Mary, during one of her apparitions. St Bernadette asked Mary “What is your name?” Our Lady replied “I am the Immaculate Conception”. The monthly meeting includes the following elements: devotional prayers, rosary, bible study or theological reflection related to Marian spirituality and shared meal. The meeting concludes with the members praying the special prayers honouring the Immaculate Conception.

Schoenstatt Mothers Group

Schoenstatt is a movement within the Catholic Church that lives the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a movement of renewal, a place of grace and a unique but everyday spirituality within the Church. It is designed to suit people in all walks of life, and a number of separate groups can meet under the banner of Schoenstatt. At St Bernadette’s we have a Schoenstatt Mothers’ group which meets once a month to pray and share their faith journey using appropriate materials. They also participate in a Mothers’ retreat and reflection days each year to which all mothers are invited.

Associates of the Sisters of St Joseph

The Associate Movement stemmed from the Second Vatican Council. Its basic hope was to “enter into a spirit of communion between the Associates and the Sisters by love, simplicity, homeliness and generosity, with St Joseph as a model in his caring for Jesus and Mary and the universal Church in the modern world” (the Associates Handbook, 2000). Anyone can be a Josephite Associate and have the opportunities to learn more about Saint Mary MacKillop and the Josephite Associates Movement. As members they receive a newsletter four times a year which includes a prayer sheet for meetings or use at home and also a handbook as a personal resource. Local groups meet on a regular basis to foster growth and friendship and provide opportunities for formation. They meet after morning mass in the Parish Centre for light refreshments, prayer and discussion. They pray for and with the Sisters of St Joseph who brought the Catholic faith to our schoolchildren as our educators. They are always grateful to the Sisters who have shared their faith with us all and with the whole Parish community.

Lenten Groups

The Season of Lent provides an ideal time to focus again on the person who is at the heart of our Christian faith – Jesus. St Bernadette’s Parish offers the opportunity to gather in groups formally, as a faith community to pray, share personal insights into faith, grow in understanding of the Scriptures, and relate faith to life. The Lenten program provides many opportunities for individual and groups to reflect on their mission, to bring the Gospel values of peace, justice, forgiveness and love to our individual lives, homes and community. All participants in the program are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to evangelise others, as well as to renew their own spiritual life during Lent.

Bible Study

The Bible Study group runs along similar lines to the Lenten groups, but carries on throughout the year. The Bible Study group follows a program involving prayer, discussion and fellowship.

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