BLESSING OF THE MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD HOUSEHOLD IN SHEPPARTON
On 7th April Archbishop Philip Freier and Bishop John Parkes blessed the newly formed Melanesian Brotherhood Household now established at St. Augustine’s Church Shepparton. The day started with Bp. John celebrating the Eucharist and licensing our two newest Brothers, Matthias (priest) and Augustine, who join Kelliot (priest) and Abaijah; Abp. Philip preached. Both morning and afternoon services were attended by senior Brothers from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and enhanced by their wonderful à cappella singing.
The afternoon blessing of the household included circumambulation of the house and the blessing of each room with incense and holy water, as well as an address by Abp. Philip outlining the origins of the Melanesian Brotherhood. Guests from other local churches and the community and as far away as Queensland joined parishioners at the service.
The mission of the Brotherhood is to reach people with the good news of the love of God – the main strand of their work in the parish. The second strand is the establishment of a religious community, strengthening their commitment to and living out their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. This will enhance the parish’s spiritual environment. The third strand is their overlap and involvement with the activities of the parish – services and other events.
The Aim and Purpose of the Brotherhood (based on the Six Marks of Mission):
- To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of Christ to those who have not heard it, both in the Pacific and beyond.
- To prepare new believers for baptism and to strengthen Christians in their faith through example, teaching and pastoral care.
- To reach out in love to the poor, the marginalized, the sick, the young, the aged, and the Companions.
- To strive for peace and reconciliation between people of different cultures, races, islands and countries.
- To work with others to protect the environment and to proclaim that we are responsible to God for the care of the land, the sea, the people and all God’s creatures.
- To celebrate God’s mission with joy through worship, song, dance, drama and loving service.