Visitors returning to Geraldton after an absence of two or three years all make the same comment - "Geraldton is on the Move".  They point to the foreshore development, new housing estates, the re-routing of the train line and so on.  And the Church, too, is part of this transformation with the extensions at Nazareth House, amalgamation of St. Patrick's and Stella Maris, and the newly approved facilities for Centacare. 

This growth and development, like the current good season, bring life to the area and, more importantly, to our people.  More employment for our people is assured; this brings peace and security to individuals and families.  People are able to remain in an area that they like and not be forced to look elsewhere to live.  There are some more opportunities now, and families stay together.

All this is just so good.  It is easy to see it as the goodness of God at work in our local community.  For all these things we thank God.  As I reflect on this, I also turn my attention to our Church and the Diocese of Geraldton that we belong to.  I wonder -"is our Church on the move or not?"

The answer to this question is a complex one.  We see many good things happening and many things now developing.  Among all the many good things happening, there are many that we will never know.  However, the more we look, the more we see. In turn we will be led to rejoice in good things.  What are the good things you notice in our Church?  In other words, where is God at work in our Church and beyond? The  more we do this, the more our Faith and Hope in God will grow, so that we can face the next question with confidence - "how can things be better? How can we as a Church keep on the move?"

Things will improve when we look to ourselves and the Holy Spirit.  As in the Gospels, Jesus reminds us -"don't worry about what others are doing or not doing.  It is important that you follow me'.

In other words, things will improve in the Church and society when we develop our relationship with Jesus, our God and Friend and live out that relationship well.

It is crucial that we rely on the great gift of the Holy Spirit within us.  In the Eucharistic Prayer #3 we pray -"all holiness comes from You through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit". We need, constantly, to deepen our understanding and the awareness of the power and love and life of the Holy Spirit within us.  This Holy Spirit has given us the gifts we need to change ourselves and make things better.  The Church has moved, and will keep on moving, only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is easy to see the woes in the Church and society these days and be weighed down by them all.  When something is wrong or lacking, instead of feeling heavy and sad, I am beginning to see this as a call from the Holy Spirit to action with and in, of course, the same Holy Spirit.

I pray that I and all of us will become more aware of the presence and the power of God's spirit within us, and that we will regularly call on that power.

Bishop Justin Bianchini