Bishop McKenna's Lenten Message 2018

Dear Friends in Christ,

The season of Lent is about to begin, and with it the opportunity to renew our faith together.

The Christian journey is not a road that we walk alone. We travel with one another, receiving and giving support and encouragement, held together in the love of Christ.

The readings for Ash Wednesday remind us of the complementarity of the individual and the communal in our relationships with God. In what Jesus calls that ‘secret place’ we meet with only God in prayer. However, we do not stay there all the time. The love of God urges us out to meet all the others whom God loves too.

The prophet Joel calls for a solemn assembly, a common fast and the intercession of the priests for God’s People. I invite you to take every opportunity provided in your parish to ponder the Word of God together, to meet for prayer and sacrament together, to join with others in works of service.

This year, we join all Catholics in Australia by beginning Lent with four days of prayer, fasting and reparation for those who have suffered childhood sexual abuse, especially in our own church family. Each parish will observe this together in its own way, and each of us can join his or her prayer and penance to this common intention.

Finally, St Paul’s words express the radical message of the Gospel we proclaim and seek in Lent to understand more truly: “For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.”


+Michael McKenna

Bishop of Bathurst