Summer Reading Challenge

By Lisa Bright, 2 January 2020
Image: Ben White/Unsplash.


The summer break is a great time to do all those things that you have set aside and said, “I’ll get to that in the summer break.” It is also a great time not to do all those things and to sit, relax in the sun (with a hat and lots of sunscreen of course) and read some great books.

Among the books I am looking forward to reading, I have set myself a challenge to read Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. I was recently asked if I had read it. I had read excerpts but never the whole thing. I think it is time that I did.

My challenge this summer, like I do with the Gospels each morning, is to read a short piece of The Joy of the Gospel each day and reflect on it. The document is broken into paragraphs, so it is very easy to focus on one paragraph at a time and take a few minutes to think about what is being said.

Like I do with the Gospels, when something speaks strongly to me, I comment on the Diocese of Parramatta Facebook page and sometimes an exchange takes place with others also sharing their perspectives. It is so enlightening to hear the viewpoints of others. I find so much richness and growth in the exchange.

There may be an opportunity for others who would like to join me on my summer challenge to connect via the comments section underneath this story on the Catholic Outlook website or via the Diocesan Facebook page.

I hope that I can continue with other writings from Pope Francis after I finish Joy of the Gospel, reading and understanding in short reflections. Of course, the challenge can continue beyond summer; go beyond recent writings of Pope Francis. Because growing and sharing our faith is something that we can do every day of our lives.

“Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel” can be found at

Lisa Bright is the Project Officer in the Pastoral Planning Office, Diocese of Parramatta.


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