Faith in Our Future - As our conversation begins
By Daniel Ang, Catholic Outlook, February 2012
The past few months have been filled with behind-the-scenes preparations. The Pastoral Planning Office has been gathering information from Church agencies, from Census data and parish pastoral councils across the Diocese, as well as preparing for the consultations that begin this month.
The Information Guide included in this edition of Catholic Outlook provides an overview of who we are as the Diocese of Parramatta, our demographic profile, our ministries and mission in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, our opportunities as well as our challenges.
It is vital that we have the best view of our present as we look towards developing our Diocesan Pastoral Plan for the future.
As Bishop Anthony shares in his Pastoral Letter, the consultation sessions taking place throughout this year seek to draw on the wisdom, pastoral experience and faith of all the people of Parramatta, with the aim of developing recommendations that will strengthen our communion and outreach as a local Church.
It is important that we hear your voice, your ideas and suggested directions throughout the pastoral planning process.
Visit the website
To support the process, a pastoral planning website has been developed: www.faithinourfuture.org.au
In his Pastoral Message video on the site, Bishop Anthony invites your full and active participation.
On the website you will find the dates and times of consultation sessions as they are scheduled throughout 2012. There is also an opportunity to have your say online. Whichever way you choose to participate, please get involved and share your ideas for our mission in the 21st Century.
How can we better promote the Kingdom of God here in the Diocese of Parramatta?
How can we serve people better?
What is needed for this mission in our parishes and our communities?
What new directions and initiatives do we need to consider so we can live and proclaim the Gospel with vitality and commitment in a new time?
Remember that the mission of our Church extends to all people, including Catholics who are not ‘church going’ as well as our wider community. With this in mind, you might share the Information Guide with members of your family or friends who do not attend Mass.
Gather their thoughts and even encourage them to attend a consultation session taking place near them or otherwise contribute their thoughts via the website.
Faith in Our Future blog
On the website you will also find the Faith in Our Future blog, which we will be updating regularly with news, photos, information and highlights from the parish consultation sessions taking place across the Diocese.
You can subscribe to the blog with just one click through our RSS service. You can email us with your thoughts and comment on the updates. We’ll always try and get back to you as soon as we can, when we’re not on the road and meeting you in person.
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The Pastoral Planning team will also provide regular updates in Catholic Outlook.
On the team are:
Very Rev Fr Paul Marshall EV, Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation and Pastoral Planning, and Parish Priest of St Anthony of Padua Catholic Parish, Toongabbie; and
Daniel Ang – Pastoral Planning Officer.
We hope to hear a variety of views as we work together towards the development of our Diocesan Pastoral Plan. Thank you for your faith, support and ideas as we plan for faith in our future here in the Diocese of Parramatta.
Parish consultations in February & March 2012
St Anthony of Padua Catholic Parish, Toongabbie
Monday 13 February from 7pm to 9pm
Parish Hall, 27 Aurelia Street, Toongabbie
St Michael's Catholic Parish, Baulkham Hills South
Friday 17 February from 7pm to 9pm
St Michael's School Hall, 3-5 Chapel Lane, Baulkham Hills
St Bernadette’s Catholic Parish, Castle Hill
Friday 24 February from 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Parish Hall, 367 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill
St Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Blacktown
Thursday 1 March from 7pm to 9pm. Parish Hall, 51-59 Allawah Street, Blacktown
Blessed John XXIII Catholic Parish, Stanhope Gardens
Thursday 8 March from 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Staff Common Room, St Mark's Catholic College, Perfection Avenue, Stanhope Gardens
St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta
Tuesday 13 March from 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Cathedral Hall, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta
New dates and parish venues will be added on the website once they are confirmed. While not every parish will host a consultation session, all parishes will be invited to a session taking place in their area. All are welcome to participate at any of the sessions taking place.For more information and to have your say online visit: www.faithinourfuture.org.au
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