Diocese of Parramatta’s new mission team introduced on HOME Ground

By Mary Brazell, 30 July 2021
Participants at the first "BE MET" Night, as part of the Diocese of Parramatta's HOME Ground Program. Image: Diocese of Parramatta


The Diocese of Parramatta has had the opportunity to meet the faces of the brand new Mission Enhancement Team (MET).

During the first-ever “Be MET Night”, as part of the HOME Ground program, over 30 participants from around the Diocese gathered on Zoom for an evening of prayer, fun and conversation, with hundreds more tuning in via Facebook.

“We’re calling this the premiere night of the week, it’s the one to really get us all together and catch up,” James Camden, Head: Mission Engagement, explained.

Sr Grace Roclawska csfn, Head: Formation for Mission, added, “I hope that by the end of the cycle of our MET Nights, you will be able to say, ‘I know everyone in the Mission Enhancement Team, what MET stands for, and if I need them or they need me, there is a point of connection.’

“We want to learn who you are and how our gifts can complement each other in our Diocese of Parramatta.”

The MET Night kicked off with music and prayer, before participants were asked which person, alive or dead, present or historic, that they would want to spend lockdown with.

People nominated their spouses, but also some inspirational figures such as St Catherine of Siena, Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela.

How Bishop Vincent is spending lockdown

Special guest Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, then spoke to the group about his own experiences in lockdown.

“Like everyone else, I have found it very challenging to live under lockdown conditions, but you have to make the most of what life throws at you,” Bishop Vincent said.

“I’ve been doing lots of Zoom meetings, I try to ring at least five people each day, and some of them I have long conversations with, which is one way to stay connected and to maintain that level of connection with people.”

Bishop Vincent also shared how he was able to pray with an elderly woman who was in a nursing home and was able to be with her before her passing.

Maintaining our spiritual and mental health

As our mental health is an area of concern during the extended lockdown, Anoushka Houseman from Santa Sophia Catholic College, Box Hill, was invited to share her 10 tips on surviving lockdown, which are:

  1. Gratitude
  2. Routine
  3. Acts of Kindness
  4. Quality Sleep
  5. Try to learn something new
  6. Try and find ways to relax and unwind
  7. Exercise and getting fresh air
  8. Healthy eating
  9. Connecting with others
  10. Prayer

Blake Bano, Youth Coordinator at Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown, then shared a way for people to come together in prayer during lockdown by showcasing the parish’s Rosary to Recovery sessions, which they have been running for four weeks.

Sr Grace concluded the session by inviting people to take some individual time and pray before going to bed.

“Let this prayer be your personal encounter with God. Let this prayer be a moment where you and God can be on your own,” Sr Grace said.

“Use this prayer to make you feel that God is with you, because He always is.

“Remember to stay COVID negative, but spiritually positive.”

Tonight at 7.30pm, HOME Ground will host its first FaithFeed Conversations evening, a gathering for open and honest conversations about our life and faith journey, using story prompts of people’s journey from our Diocesan family.

Email met@parracatholic.org for the Zoom link. To view the whole schedule of events, visit parracatholic.org/homeground.

Watch the first “BE MET” session in full below:


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