who we are




Emmanuel is a lay-led Catholic mission community in Brisbane Australia, called to grow contagious followers of Jesus and pave ways for the Church of the future.


Where We Come From

Emmanuel Community was born in 1975 as part of a world-wide spiritual awakening known as ‘charismatic renewal’, which blossomed in the decades after the Second Vatican Council. Our origins came from a small handful of lay people responding to a radical call to commit themselves deeply to Jesus Christ and to one another. They were infused with an experience known as baptism in the Spirit and wanted to share this new experience of God’s love and power with everyone they met. This rapidly growing community was soon named ‘Emmanuel’ which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:24). This is the heart of the good news we want to share with the world.

From ecumenical beginnings, Emmanuel followed a call to embrace our unique identity in the Catholic Church, and have been gratefully acknowledged and supported as a lay-led community in the Church, both locally and internationally.

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“40 years ago the Second Vatican Council was still hot news and the charismatic renewal seemed seriously exotic… From then till now, the Emmanuel Community has stood as witness to the fact that the Council has borne rich fruit and that it’s reception is far from being a thing of the past… Communities like Emmanuel have shown the whole Church the way into the future.”

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Emmanuel underpins some amazing ministries that are making an impact around the country: Ignite Youth, Blind Eye Ministries, Emmanuel Worship and Mother Effect to name a few. We are also proud to partner with other ministries such as NET Australia and Men Alive who share our heart for renewal in the Church. All of this external mission however is underpinned by a rhythm of prayer and support - the ‘domestic church’ lived out week-by-week in our relationships, homes and families. That’s where the magic happens.

The New Evangelisation which the Church is called to cannot be achieved without a new Pentecost

All around the world, renewal communities like Emmanuel have been raised up by the Lord like ‘new wine-skins for new wine’ (Luke 5:38). This is not a movement that God wants to operate in a corner, but as a current of grace in the Church and for the Church. As Pope Francis said in 2014:

You were born of the will of the Spirit, as a current of grace in the Church and for the Church. This is your definition: a current of grace
— Pope Francis
50th Jubilee of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Rome 2016

50th Jubilee of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Rome 2016

Over 40 years Emmanuel members have been on mission to Africa, the Philippines, East Timor and the Kimberley. We have raised up other communities, run national conferences and provided outreach and formation in youth ministry, worship, leadership, discipleship and spiritual gifts. We are a founding member of the ‘Catholic Fraternity’* and continue to serve the Church alongside many other inspiring communities and networks under an emerging umbrella called ‘Charis’.

Our story continues as God leads us ‘by a pillar of fire’ into an exciting future ahead. On that journey we walk as brothers and sisters in a committed life together, worshiping Jesus in the power of the Spirit and ‘living lives on mission’. *

A Home for Mission.

 If you are looking for a home in the Church to thrive in your calling and serve with your gifts, you are most welcome among us!


* ‘The Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships’ is a private association of the Christian faithful of pontifical right.

* cf Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’ 19, 23.