‘Come and See’ resources highlight Church’s impact

A series of resources highlighting the Church’s ministries in Australia was inspired by Pope Francis’ World Communications Day message for 2021, which invites people to “Come and See”.

Marked towards the end of the seven-week Easter season each year, World Communications Day celebrates the achievements of the communications media and considers how it can best use them to promote Gospel values.

Australian Catholic Media Council chair Debra Vermeer said the theme for this year’s message offered an opportunity for the Church to feature the myriad ways in which it interacts with people.

“In the Gospels, Jesus invites his followers to ‘Come and See’ where he was staying,” Mrs Vermeer said.

“Today, Jesus is living, healing, praying, serving and teaching through the various ministries of the Catholic Church, which impact millions of people every year.”

That number includes the hundreds of thousands of people who attend Mass each week, children in Catholic schools, people supported by social service agencies and those being assisted in Catholic hospitals or aged care services.

It also reflect the Church’s status as one of the country’s largest employers, with more than 220,000 people working in various capacities.

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, the Bishop Delegate for Media for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the Church’s reach and positive impact are often unknown.

“Whether you’re working in a Catholic hospital, volunteering at a homeless shelter or quietly attending Mass in the back pew, you are part of a large, national network of people inspired by the life, mission and teachings of Jesus,” he said.

“There is the famous prayer from St Teresa of Avila that speaks of Jesus having no hands, no feet, no eyes but ours. In our work, our ministry and our mission, we can be those hands, those feet, those eyes.”

Mrs Vermeer said in addition to dozens of resources already created, material will continue to be added to the Come and See page on the Bishops Conference website.

“We hope the material might find its way onto parish noticeboards or into staff rooms, helping people sense in their own lives that they are walking with many others who carry forward Jesus’ mission,” she said.

“As an employer, an educator, a service and care provider, a healer and a home, the Church can and does transform society. These resources help paint a picture of the impact the Church and its people have.”

The Come and See resources can be found and downloaded at: www.catholic.org.au/comeandsee