High hopes for Blue Mountains Catholic community
|Bishop Anthony outlines his hopes and visions for the Blue Mountains Catholic community.|
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, visited the Blue Mountains region on Monday 4 February to outline his hopes and vision for this most western part of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.
Bishop Anthony addressed a gathering of more than 150 clergy, principals, parishioners and school families and staff from the Parishes of Katoomba, Lawson, Springwood, Glenbrook and Emu Plains at the Bishop Manning Learning Centre, Springwood.
“I have high hopes for the Mountains, as for the rest of our diocese. We should have faith in our future and be confident that a new wave of spiritual and pastoral energy will wash across our region as occurred in those pioneering days when communities, churches, parishes and schools were first being built here. But that will require God’s grace and our openness to working ‘smarter’ and working together,” Bishop Anthony said.
The fastest growing part of the Church in Australia
Bishop Anthony outlined some of the current challenges facing the church including declining parish attendance, the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, funding cuts to Catholic education and reduced charitable giving.
|More than 150 clergy, parishioners and school members attended the meeting.|
“Despite the financial challenges of the last few years, the Catholic Community of our Diocese has managed to contribute more than $25m to essential ministries and activities such as social welfare, formation, chaplaincy, education and catechetics,” Bishop Anthony said.
“So if we are going to do more going forward, we are going to have to be more creative in our fundraising. Declining income means either doing more with less or resigning ourselves to doing less. I’m not a ‘do less’ kind of guy and ‘do less’ thinking makes no sense in the fastest growing part of the Church in Australia.”
Bishop Anthony outlined a proposal to utilise some of the existing diocesan land at Springwood to fund additional liturgical, sacramental and social programs for the Catholic community.
The residential project would be located behind the existing primary school and would offer about 50 low-density, large residential blocks to families in the areas.
“We hope that by opening up this parcel more people, including young families who would like to be near our schools, will find their home in the vibrant Catholic community here in Springwood,” Bishop Anthony said.
Bishop Anthony said the project would provide tangible benefits for the local community including the possibility of a CatholicCare office in Springwood; access to community recreational areas for St Columba’s High School and St Thomas Aquinas Primary, as well as improved safety of access to the site; and support of parish refurbishments.
Once finalised, the Diocese would outline the detailed plans to the Blue Mountains community and submit the plans to council in the coming months. The residential project would be subject to the relevant Aboriginal and environmental consultations and checks.
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Go to Springwood Residential Project FAQ page
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