Commission for Ecumenism & Interfaith Dialogue

The risen Christ in the changing face of the priesthood


National Council of Priests of Australia News Story

Catholic clergy from across the nation will come together for the convention of the National Council of Priests of Australia, to be held at the Sebel Hotel in Parramatta this week (12-16 July 2010).

Together they will reflect on the changing face of contemporary ministerial priesthood and the risen Christ’s presence in the midst of this change.

Over four days, more than 240 bishops, priests and deacons, a broad mixture of diocesan and religious, rural and urban, those working directly in parishes and those in specialist ministries, young and old will be considering their ministry to be pilgrim leaders of God’s pilgrim people.

Fr Ian McGinnity, Chairman of the National Council Priests of Australia (NCP) and Parish Priest of Mary Immaculate Parish, Quakers Hill, said that this would be a time to reflect on the ministerial priesthood today and its role into the future within the Australian context.

“It will be an opportunity for priests to honestly face the challenges ahead and to renew their hope and vision that the risen Christ moves in and through this time.”

Within the convention a forum to discuss the implementation of the new translation of the Roman Missal will be held and the NCP General Meeting will take place.

Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Bishop of Parramatta, will preside at the conference closing Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral on Thursday night. At the convention dinner which follows, Fr Ed Campion will launch Damien Williams’ book Sign of Unity, Instrument of Peace – A Short History of the National Council of Priests of Australia.

Four keynote speakers will address the convention:

Fr Donald Cozzens

Writer in Residence and Adjunct Professor of Theology at John Carroll University in Cleveland, author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood, Freeing Celibacy and Faith That Dares to Speak. For more than a decade, Cozzens has been writing and speaking about the crisis facing the church and the priesthood.

Professor Richard Lennan

Author of Risking the Church: The Challenges of Catholic Faith, The Ecclesiology of Karl Rahner, is a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College. His principal fields of study are ecclesiology, ecumenism, and the theology of ministry; he is particularly interested in the theology and spirituality of Karl Rahner.

Associate Professor David Tacey

Author of such books as ReEnchantment: The New Australian Spirituality and Edge of the Sacred: Transformation in Australia is associate professor at La Trobe University, teaching literature, spirituality and Jungian psychology.

Geraldine Doogue

Well respected ABC commentator and journalist, host of ABC TV's Compass program, which looks at issues of spirituality, philosophy and belief every Sunday evening.

The Diocesan Development Fund, Diocese of Parramatta is a proud sponsor of the NCP 2010 Convention. Visit the DDF.

The National Council of Priests is an Australia-wide organisation of Catholic clergy who join together to support each other in their priestly ministry. Founded in 1971, the NCP is a professional organisation of clergy working for the good of all clergy and offering services to the Catholic Church. About half of all Australian Catholic clergy – about 1,650 diocesan priests and clerical religious - belong to the NCP. 

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