Faith in Our Future: Connection between faith and life a recurring theme


Faith in Our Future News Story
Consultation with St Patrick’s Parish, Guildford, and Holy Family Parish, East Granville. Photography: Sharon Bevan.

By Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Pastoral Planning Officer Daniel Ang
Catholic Outlook, July 2012

The past three months have been filled with Faith in Our Future consultations throughout the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, with parishioners from some 20 parishes contributing their vision and ideas toward our Diocesan Pastoral Plan. As expected, the responses have been diverse and attuned to both local needs and those beyond parish communities.

On Wednesday 16 May we joined the parishes of St Patrick’s Parish, at Guildford and Holy Family Parish, East Granville, for conversation in the new school facilities at Guildford, which were built with the Australian Government’s Building the Education Revolution program.

Participants were eager to engage with the pastoral realities of the Diocese and, in particular, to explore the notion of mission in terms of evangelisation and the proclamation of our faith.

On Wednesday 23 May we travelled to the eastern border of the Diocese, gathering together with the people of Holy Name of Mary Parish, Rydalmere, and St Bernadette’s Parish, Dundas Valley. This marked the halfway point of our consultation phase and strong themes continued to emerge.

The better support of families attending Mass and outreach to new and ethnic families was pinpointed as opportunities, while the need to ‘pitch’ religious education and formation programs at the right level within our Catholic schools and beyond was a focus of discussion.

We then joined the Parish of Richmond and St Matthew’s Parish, Windsor, on Monday 28 May. Fifty-four people joined this conversation, which was held in the Richmond parish hall, an extension of the original church built in 1859.

The social dimension of faith was emphasised by participants, calling forth a better organised approach to welcoming families to parish life as well as ensuring parishes are responding to those who are ill or in care.

On Tuesday 5 June, 80 people took part in the consultation held at the parish of Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains, which included parishioners from St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook.

The need for greater awareness of and active co-responsibility for the mission of the Church was raised, as the baptismal responsibility of all Catholics in the variety of their vocations.

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