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Our theme for 2022 ‘Know Love Serve’ is an invitation to grow and bear witness to the Chrisian faith in thought, word and action. We understand that to be a person of faith in thought or word alone, is not enough. The Christian faith is by its very nature evangelical. We are called to share the Good News of God’s awesome and redeeming love communicated to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The visual elements of our graphic are the result of prayerful reflection and deliberate decision-making. The yellow light bulb is symbolic of the knowledge of the Christian faith, emerging from the Jewish tradition that can be acquired. There are facts and things to ‘know’ about Jesus, there are social and political contexts for us to be familiar with in order to appreciate the richness of a story and tradition that is over 2000 years old. There are things to know about the early followers of Jesus, of the Roman Catholic Church and the development of the Catholic Church in Australia that help us to appreciate the message of Jesus and its implication for our lives today. But catholic trivia serves no one very well unless it is translated to life. The story of Jesus as Saviour is not a story to be read and reasoned alone, it is an almighty mystery that, when allowed to touch our hearts, can transform our lives.

The orange heart that is interwoven with the yellow cross (a symbol of Jesus’ love and sacrifice) in addition to the two blue hands conveys the multidimensional nature of the Christrian faith. The call to love is communicated to us in John’s Gospel “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Living lives of joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity and faithfulness is a reflection of a faith that is expressed in word and action. We cannot begin to comprehend the love that God has for each of us, despite our flaws and imperfections. It is an openness to receiving this love that enables us to love each other, and further, the strangers in our world.

“Go out and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19) is one of many calls to Christian action of love and service in the Gospel narratives. Christians cannot ignore the call to make our world a better place one relationship, one interaction at a time. People of faith are called to be custodians who respect all life, to be witnesses of faith and compassion and put this compassion into action. Two outstretched blue hands are symbolic of service. It is no coincidence that we have two hands, one to serve our own needs, and the other to serve those on the margins. Jesus was counter-cultural in his approach to outreach. He favoured the poor and the outcast, and through his example we are inspired to ‘go and do likewise.’ (Luke 10:37)

The early Augustinian Fathers and Brigidine Sisters heard and responded to the call to know God, to love God and to serve God and bravely did this when they arrived in Kyabram in 1904 and 1919 respectively. May the St Augustine’s community be inspired by their strength and kindliness and boldly proclaim our faith in thought, word AND action today.