The Missionaries of God’s Love were commissioned by the Archbishop to build a Eucharistic Centre at St. Benedict’s Narrabundah on 1 August 1998. The Eucharistic Centre is a work distinct from the Parish, but in some aspects overlaps with Parish activities.
The vision of St Benedict’s Eucharistic Centre is to facilitate a missionaryEucharistic communion under the grace of the New Pentecost.
“A Missionary Eucharistic Communion under the Grace of the Holy Spirit”
The spirit of the Centre is to celebratethe mystery of the merciful love of Jesus, our Redeemer. We invite people to enter the mystery through adoration, spiritual renewal, and Eucharistic celebration. We encourage people to share the mystery through works of evangelization. We seek to live the mystery in communion with one another, and by reaching out to the disadvantaged and marginalised with welcome and hospitality. We foster trust in the mystery by ministry of healing in various forms.
The Centre is missionary. We trust that the missionary communion of the Centre has a deep commitment to hospitality for the poor and marginalised. We want to foster a sense of welcome to all who come. We want the Centre to provide a gathering place for young people, to be formed around Jesus in the word and the Eucharist, from where they can go forward to evangelise other young people.
We want to draw people of every age and background to a place where they can hear the word of God preached with the fire of the Spirit, and respond with repentance and conversion.
We also want to offer the baptism in the Holy Spirit to as many people as possible, and find ways for them to become followers of Jesus in a full sense. We want to be able to use the full range of the charismatic gifts in this work of evangelization.
The 7.00pm Mass is itself an evangelizing event. Maybe this dimension needs to be further advanced. The present congregation, while lively and populous, needs to grow in a deeper conviction about outreach. One practical factor is that the Church building is relatively small in size, and is already quite full, which in itself limits further growth.
The Eucharistic centre and Disciples of Jesus act in partnership to conduct Life in the Spirit seminars at the Eucharistic Centre. A team of people from Disciples and the Eucharistic Centre prepare and implement the seminars. At the end of the seminars people are presented with the various options open to them for further growth in the Spirit.
The missionary dimension of the Centre includes a strong emphasis on praying for healing. This happens with prayer teams at every 7.00pm charismatic Mass. In addition, the Friday evening 5.30pm Healing Mass remains quite popular. While being officially a parish Mass, it has more and more taken on ‘charismatic flavour’, with the use of the gifts of prophecy, words of knowledge, and healing. Every first Friday there is a celebration of the Sacrament of Anointing.
After the third Friday Mass of the month a Padre Pio healing group meets. In addition to this, in 2007 we are going to introduce the Celebrate Recovery program , and link it with the Friday healing Mass. This program combines the 12 step approach for healing of bad habits and addictions with the gospel proclamation of the Beatitudes. This should be an effective outreach, not only to those already attending Eucharistic Centre events, but also to those who are alienated or unchurched, offering healing through the word of God, testimony, and sharing. Since the Centre began, certain individuals have been devoted to the healing ministry around the Centre. This has happened through the Victorious Ministries in Christ, as well as in more informal ways of praying over people for healing.
The Centre is Eucharistic. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is held in the church for 60 hours each week. We have been gradually increasing the times of adoration. The aim is to keep expanding the times for as long as it is sustainable and viable.
The vision is to build a powerhouse of prayer for the new evangelisation. The Divine Mercy image has been installed to emphasise that we are celebrating the Mystery of the merciful love of Jesus, our Redeemer and the icon of Our Lady of Tenderness emphasises that we are devoted to the Eucharistic heart of Jesus, through the heart of Mary, our Mother.
The Retreat days offer a time of reflection, Eucharistic adoration, reconciliation, quiet prayer, etc. These have been well attended. The vision is for St. Benedict’s to be a source of spiritual renewal, a place of refreshment and spiritual growth. The church is more like a “chapel” and lends itself to being a place of prayer, an oasis in the wilderness, a spring in the desert of modern urban life.
The Prayer of the Church is celebrated in song on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. The MGL Sisters have been carrying this responsibility. It is meant to be the prayer of the whole Church, not just for priests and religious. Hopefully, this will be expressed more fully and we can be more creative in adapting it to the needs of the laity.