New Emmanuel Community Moderator and Council elected

From Sunday 22nd July until Friday 27th July, the college of 157 members of the Emmanuel Community met at Notre-Dame de l’Ouÿe (France) for 6 days of prayer, exchanges, discernment and for the election. These members were asked to elect for a period of 5 years a new International Council of the Emmanuel Community and a new Moderator General. The elections have taken place in the presence of father Frédéric Louzeau who represented the archbishop of Paris ; Monsignor Michel Aupetit, ecclesiastical assistant to the Emmanuel Community.

Michel-Bernard and Catherine de VregilleWhile waiting for confirmation by the Dicastery for Lay People, Family and Life, Michel-Bernard de Vregille has been elected Moderator General of the Emmanuel Community.

Michel-Bernard de Vregille is married to Catherine, is 57 years old and father of 6 children. He has been living in-Ile-Bouchard for 20 years. After 13 years in the retail industry and 18 years in logistics, he has been in charge of the Community in France for the last 4 years.

International Council MembersThe 15 elected members of the International Council are: Laurent Albisetti(married, Canada), Nestor Attomatoun (priest, Bénin), Marc Benoit (married, France), José-Mario Brasiliense (married, Basil), Faustine Carron (married, France), Jean-Régis Catta (married, France), Marie-Pierre Dabadie (single, France), Martin Fenkart (married, Austria), Pierre-Yves Gomez (lay man committed in celibacy, France), Pavel Kalcik (married, Czech Republic), Albert Kayigumire (married, Ruanda), Jocelyn Martin (lay woman committed in celibacy, Philippines), Otto Neubauer (married, Austria), Gabriel Priou (priest, France), Myriam Terlinden (married, Belgium).

This week has been a particularly intense time of prayer and sharing. We thank God for this election, which took place according to the new Statutes of the Association of the Faithful in the Emmanuel Community, approved by the Holy See in 2017 following the creation of the Clerical Association of the Emmanuel Community. The new Council and the new Moderator ask for the prayers of all the friends of the Emmanuel Community.

Pentecost Retreat

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 It was a cold autumn day at St Joseph Conference Centre in Bringelly, South-West of Sydney. A group consisting of over 50 people from the Emmanuel community and guests grouped to prepare for Pentecost, appropriately themed ‘With Mary in the Upper Room.’

The theme was based on a bible passage (Acts 1:13-15) where Mary stood with the apostles during Pentecost:

When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers….

On the eve of Pentecost or the first day of the retreat, there was plenty of food. This is typical of any Emmanuel community-centred event where cake, fabulous company and opportunities to learn and reflect on our spiritual life was in abundance.

Mary MacGregor’s talk reminded us of Mary’s presence in key decisive moments – Incarnation, Cruxifixon and  Pentecost. John Collins talk on the ‘Charisms of the Holy Spirit’ was light-hearted and explored the many gifts of the Holy Spirit that is freely offered to all of us.

The rest of the first day set the scene and created a disposition of hope on that eve of Pentecost, where we waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

There was opportunity to learn more about the gift of tongues from Peter McGregor’s talk. For those who wished to know more about this gift, there was opportunity to learn from those who were using this gift.

When we were praying over each other, some received various spiritual gifts for the first time while others opened their hearts to invite the Holy Spirit to actively fill their lives. Some sensed definite things while others will wait to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives in the coming weeks and months.

When I asked for feedback on day 1, a participant said “We are expecting great things of the coming of the Holy Spirit.”

Another participant was going through a tumultuous health journey and found the retreat ‘the icing on the cake.’ The words received when she was being prayed with was healing, and reminded her to praise the Lord, no matter what.

The final day was punctuated with a panel of testimonies, reminding the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives, mass and how He continues to work.

It was a retreat that definitely celebrated one of the lesser talked about member of the Holy Trinity.

Finally, 2 first-time retreaters summed up the whole weekend beautifully:

“I’ve been to many retreats but this is one where I really felt the Holy Spirit.”

“The presence of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming. On Saturday night, I had the feeling that we were in the Upper Room, receiving the Holy Spirit. During the retreat I was able to pray for the first time, in tongues, from my heart.”

Fr Phillipe Christory appointed Bishop of Chatres in France

Fr Philippe Christory-news
Dear brothers and sisters,On this day of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, it is with great joy that we share: the Holy Father, Pope Francis, appointed our brother Fr Philippe Christory, Bishop of Chartres, France. He entered the Emmanuel Community in 1984, and made his commitment in 1991, Philippe was ordained priest on June 27, 1992 for the diocese of Paris.
His was mainly in Paris for his ministry, first, as a curate in the La Sainte Trinité  Parish, then as a Parish priest in Saint Nicolas-des-Champs then of Saint-Laurent.  He was also a Spiritual Director of the Seminary and was in-charge of the Maison Saint Martin, the seminarian house, in Paris, France.  He was also a Parish priest of Sainte-Maxime et Cogolin in the Diocese of Toulon, France.  At the present moment, he is the Parish priest of La Sainte Trinité, in Paris, France.
From 2002-2011, Philippe was also a member of the International Council of the Community.
His Episcopal Ordination will take place on Sunday April 15, in the Cathedral of Chartres, France.May Our Lady of Chartres be with him in his new ministry in the service of the Church.

United in prayer,

Laurent Landete,
General moderator of the Emmanuel Community

Henri-Marie Mottin,
In-charge for the ordained ministers of the Community

Impressions of Sydney’s Festival for the Family

Festival for Family

On Sunday 8 October the Emmanuel Community in Sydney participated in the Festival for the Family at the Fairfield Showgrounds. This festival was organized by the Eastern Churches of Australia and backed by the Coalition for Marriage. The context of the festival was the debate regarding same-sex marriage. The festival included food and many fun activities, but the focus was on a number of short presentations upholding the importance of marriage and the family. Among the speakers was Bishop Robert Rabbat from the Melkite Catholic church who stressed that the foundation of our society is faith and the family. Other speakers included: spokeswoman for Marriage Alliance, Sophie York, who gave an update on the campaign; Federal Member for Deakin and proud member of the Maronite Catholic Church, Michael Sukkar; and Dr Pansy Lai from Australian Chinese for Family. Around 10,000 people attended the festival and it was a great joy to be amongst our Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ and witness to the importance of marriage and the family. One of our sisters in the Community was especially touched stating, “I didn’t know what to expect at the festival for the family. When we arrived at the park I saw people purposely walking towards a marquee where more people were gathered. I felt very encouraged seeing and hearing priests from the eastern catholic churches there. At one point they gathered on the stage and prayed in their language. They sang a familiar song to Mary and I followed suit in English. I felt a sense of unity with the crowd because we shared a love for the Virgin Mary! Being there also was a small way of publicly defending my faith.

– Paul

Emmanuel Youth formation and evangelisation initiative featured in Catholic Weekly

The Community started a new mission called “Fire and Hope” in late April for young adults between ages 18-25 years. It’s aim is to provide formation for young people to be missionaries in the world. Every month there is a youth mass followed by a time of praise and a teaching on some aspect of mission, then there will be a chance to put that into practise by  linking onto the Community Street Evangelisation missions the week after. Previous topics have included “Love begins at Home”, “Set out into the Deep” and “The Thirst for Souls.

The following article featured in Sydney’s Catholic Weekly in May

Emmanuel Community begins new ‘Fire and Hope’ youth evangelisation initiative

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with youth of the Emmnanuel Community and Sydney priest Fr Josh Miechels, who first discerned his calling to the priesthood through the Community. PHOTO: Supplied

‘Fire and Hope’ is an exciting new initiative seeking to form young Catholics as missionary disciples and evangelisers in today’s world.

Run by the Emmanuel Community, ‘Fire and Hope’ is a mission for young adults aged 18 to 25, consisting of monthly Masses, Eucharistic adoration, praise, talks and social time.

Held on the third Sunday of each month at St Anne’s Church in Strathfield South, each gathering will begin with a youth Mass at 4pm, followed by praise and a teaching and then sharing groups, and finishing up around 6.15pm with dinner.

There will also be an opportunity for Eucharistic adoration prior to Mass.

The Emmanuel Community is an international public association of the faithful, which is recognised by the Catholic Church and is therefore able to act in the name of the Church.

The essence of the Emmanuel Community is that it is a path to holiness in today’s world. Members include lay people – married or single – and priests as well as consecrated men and women living celibate lives and sharing the common call to strive for holiness through Eucharistic adoration and daily Mass.

Members seek to grow in compassion towards those who don’t know Jesus and in the desire to evangelise.

They are called to live in the world as people of joy and simplicity, without being of the world.

The vision for the ‘Fire and Hope’ mission is that through prayer, praise and mission, young people will be formed as forces of evangelisation in the modern world. All interested young adults are invited to attend.

For more information please go to www.facebook.com/fireandhope/ or email emmanuelyouthsydney@gmail.com