Prayer and Formation community resources

We all have our favourite ‘go to’ resources that nurture and sustain our faith during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While we are making available a range of resources that we hope will go some way to responding to our diverse needs, the most important call in this experience is to focus our prayer on the Word of God from each Sunday and the Prayer of the Church.  There is opportunity within crisis and we encourage you to seize it. 

This is a time to revel in and deepen our appreciation of the great gift, as Christians and Catholics, of being in communion with each other as baptised members of the Body of Christ, brothers and sisters in life and prayer.  We are not alone.

It is also a time for patience and grace in our response to our isolation from the ordinary experiences of daily life and the liturgy of the Church.  As someone said one recent Sunday, this is the time for us to ‘Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord’ in supermarkets and the Church community.

Please keep your eye on this section of the website for further updates as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold.  More importantly, let us keep our eye on each other.

Louise Gannon rsj, Diocesan Manager Worship and Prayer. 25 March 2020

Resources listed below are in relation to COVID-19 communication of temporary changes to liturgy celebrations and can be shared amongst our own circles.

GENERAL RESOURCES
  • Liturgical and scripture resources from the Australian Catholic Bishops website
  • Liturgist Diana Macalintal from Liturgy.Life in the US offers a range of great free resources, especially about praying the Liturgy of the Hours as a way to sustain common prayer in this time of isolation
  • Also from the United States, the One Call Institute has created a resource hub for parishes and schools.  Some people may find this interesting.  Access is free, and the site is regularly updated
  • Liturgy Brisbane online newsletter is a regular publication that contains a range of resources
  • Free Film Streaming is currently available from The Work of the People, a subscription based community offering a safe place to discover our humanity and divinity
  • Easter Hope & Pentecost Expectation Resource Kit is available through Emmaus Productions who are offering video and music resources to support families and communities during this extraordinary time.
  • Experiencing Transitions is Emmaus Productions’ latest video series, featuring Joyce Rupp, internationally acclaimed poet and spiritual guide, in a 10-episodes programme.
  • Journey is a weekly Catholic radio program developed by the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong. You can listen anytime and subscribe to weekly shows by email. 
FAITH FORMATION ONLINE

The suspension of normal, physical activity invites an opportunity to engage in faith formation. You will find some wonderful online opportunities listed in the Adult Faith Formation section of our diocesan website. Find something and enjoy it.

Additional resources from external providers include:

  • Boston College’s Faith Feeds program offers packaged guides to help anyone facilitate faith sharing groups around different themes
  • Heart to Heart eSeminar each Tuesday and Thursday at 2.00 pm. Join Archbishop Prowse from the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn as he reflects on Psalm 42 verse 7, "deep calling unto deep" and explores "the depths of God speaking to the depths of humanity" especially during this time.
  • Join people across the globe for the Pentecost Pilgrimage, a 6-week virtual pilgrimage, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Sydney. It features new videos released each Sunday and Wednesday, focusing on who the Spirit is and how the Spirit works in our lives and the world. Pilgrimage is currently underway so join today!
  • Metanoia: A Journey with Christ into Conversion is a 10-part documentary series produced by The Ministry of the Wild Goose and 4PM Media. Each episode is 30 minutes long and accessible to everyone online at no cost
  • Evangelisation Brisbane has made available a free download of a wonderful document by renowned scripture scholar, Fr Bill O’Shea, titled The Mind and Message of Mark
FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
  • Children's Liturgy Co-ordinators and Family Educators may like to use the following Google Slide Prayer Presentations provided by Sydney Catholic Schools for upcoming feasts. They are appropriate for K-6 and Years 7-8:
  • CathKids provides many resources to help engage children
  • Liturgy of the Word for Children can be found on the Melbourne website
  • Magnifikid provides downloadable resources, particularly for children aged 6-12
  • Sunday Gospel Reflections are available from Loyola Press in a range of formats suitable for families and various age groups
  • Liturgy Brisbane, in collaboration with Evangelisation Brisbane, provides family prayer resources which are updated weekly. From September 2020 the following resources are available via subscription.
    • Sunday Readings and Family Prayer
    • Praying with Children
  • Evangelisation Brisbane has a range of resources
  • Family Fun from Loyola Press
  • Making Jesus Real is an engaging process that some of our schools have been using for some time.  Isolation might be an opportunity to have a look and explore all that is on offer. Parents may find the following episodes made by our very own Natasha Brotherton valuable: 12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27. Once you’ve found these you will no doubt discover more.
LITURGY

Liturgy of the Hours

  • If you are interested in learning how to pray the ‘Liturgy of the Hours’ click here
  • Celebrating The Liturgy of the Hours includes a range of resources from Liturgy Training Publications
  • We recommend the Universalis App which includes far more than the Prayer of the Church

Mass

MUSIC
  • The Blessing Australia video is a combined churches initiative which involves people from over 300 churches across Australia singing a blessing over Australia. If you haven't watched it ... see who you might recognise.
  • A virtual choir rendition of The Lord Keep You And Bless You is performed by the Batavia Madrigal Singers of Indonesia
  • Peter Kearney, Australian Catholic songwriter, is offering weekly Song-Posts including audio, lyrics and information on his songs/hymns. Opt-in is easy via online form
  • Fr J. Michael Joncas (composer of On Eagles Wings), has released a new song titled Shelter Me to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.
    • Watch Shelter Me performance by members of Spiritu who recorded the song during lock-down
    • The score to Shelter Me is available at OneLicense.net for free download until March 31, 2021 and the copyright notice must remain on the score. The link bit.ly/2V9gxFG is an alternative for a free download
    • An interview with Fr Michael includes a video recording of the song and link to the sheet music
  • From J. Michael McMahon: The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada has compiled several free downloadable collections to address various needs and pastoral situations. The first of these collections was Hymns in Times of Crisis, which provides some useful resources for the current coronavirus crisis. The copyright holders of these texts have graciously agreed to allow limited use of these hymns.
  • Listen to a free Spotify playlist, Psallite Music for Consolation, Hope and Healing, provided by Liturgical Press.
PRAYER
  • Mask Prayer, by an anonymous author, invites us to see and be Christ to each other during pandemic restrictions
  • Trees in Solitude by Michael McGirr is a gentle pilgrimage of prayer and imagery for Pentecost and Laudato Si'
  • 2020 Earth Day Prayer "Defending the Beauty of Life”
  • Waiting for the Spirit free online retreat from May 22 – 30. Spend the days between Ascension and Pentecost in prayer with the Ignatian Spirituality community. Follow the above link for more information.
  • The Redemptorist's prayer community, Bread4Today, offers coronavirus prayers throughout each week. Join them in prayer by downloading the app for free at www.bread4today.com
  • Strong in the Face of Tribulation is a Vatican publication for the use of the faithful in this time of pandemic
  • A Litany of Blessing in Time of Grief by Diana Macalintal, who has kindly given permission for downloading and sharing.
  • Liturgical Press has made the following resources freely available during physical distancing:
  • Recommended in Living Liturgy from the Diocese of Sale are:
  • The month of May is traditionally devoted to Mary and praying the Rosary. The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart have produced a set of beautiful Rosary Reflections.
  • Sacred Space Daily Prayer is a ministry of the Irish Jesuits
  • Audio Divina is a podcast inspired by Lectio Divina, the ancient way of praying with the scripture. Podcasts are provided by world-renowned biblical scholar Rev. Professor Francis J. Moloney SDB AM and available on iTunes, Spotify and Facebook.
  • The Examen
    • Reimagining the Examen app offers a modern take on The Examen, another ancient form of prayer. It is available on iTunes or Google Play. You can learn more about the app here.
    • The Lunchtime Examen is a great way to make time for prayer and reflection in our busy days. A six-session prayer series created by Loyola Press is available to stop, pray and reflect for 8-9 minutes in the presence of God. The first session gives a brief introduction to what the Examen is, how to use it and the benefits of it. This series is led by Jim Manney, author of A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer: Discovering the Power of St Ignatius Loyola's Examen.
  • Two free download resources have been made available by Evangelisation Brisbane: God’s Love Poured Out – A series of Prayers and Reflections and God’s Love Poured Out – Themes for Discussion
REFLECTION
  • Ignatian First Spiritual Exercises Retreat: August 2020 Tap into the deeper graces of tender love, hope, faith and inner peace in the Service of God. Online guidance provided through a series of prayer exercises created by St Ignatius of Loyola. RSVP for Zoom meeting details. 
  • Brendan McManus SJ and Jim Deeds have written a 14-day Isolation Retreat for Sacred Space specifically for this time we find ourselves in. The retreat is drawn from meditations used in their two books and the themes are loosely based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Each day focuses on a specific theme and includes prayer, scripture and reflective questions.
  • Mindful Moments A collection of visual prayers which celebrate God’s presence in nature, created by Rose McAllister and friends
  • Pope Francis recent reflection and blessing for the world
  • Along the Track: What is happening? by Jim Quillinan
  • Ten Ignatian Tips for Coping with Coronavirus: A spirituality for strange times by Fr Brendan McManus SJ
  • At the Centre for Action and Contemplation sign up for emails with Richard Rohr’s Reflections
  • Earth as Art. When you no longer want to hear or read any more about COVID-19, enjoy the beauty of your home planet. Watch stunning satellite images in a 4-minute video
  • Landcare resource forwarded by the Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar. Hunter Region Landcare Network has a beautifully illustrated audio recording of local bird calls, to enjoy in this time of seclusion. Sr Patricia Egan’s niece, Henrietta Mooney who works for Hunter Landcare, is the illustrator.
  • Pope Francis Earth Day reflection
  • Earth Beat focuses on stories of climate crisis, faith and action and contains a range of resources and the possibility of receiving a weekly update