Broken Bay (Agenzia Fides) - New religious and lay communities are springing up in the Australian Church; evidence of this is the new community of lay consecrated women that has been officially announced in the Diocese of Broken Bay, by Bishop David Walker. The community, which is named “Mary Star of the Sea,” will assist the Bishop in pastoral care and will be recognized as a public association of lay ecclesial women.
The Bishop explained that his intention was to introduce a program that would enable women to participate more fully in the life and leadership of the diocese and to foster the feminine dimension of the faith. The diocese also wanted to provide a new ministry for women “based on a deep and personal commitment to Jesus and the Church.”
A group of women has been meeting for over a year to reflect and determine a “Way of Life” for the new community. The heart of their Rule is “to be at the service of God’s people,” in any way they can, with a specific focus on lay ministry, that distinguishes them from the other forms of consecrated life.
The community has begun with the commitment of four women, who will begin basic theology studies, community life, filling their days with prayer and pastoral service. There are already other women who have shown interest in joining the new community and who will begin a time of discernment and trial period with the community. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 2/4/2008; righe 20, parole 243)