The Joy of Faith in Our Future in 2014
|The faith-filled community of St Finbar’s Parish at Glenbrook.|
Photography: Geoff Shalala
Originally published in Catholic Outlook December 2014/January 2015
By Pastoral Planning Office Director Daniel Ang
It has been an exciting year in the life of the Diocese of Parramatta with the launch of our Diocesan Pastoral Plan, Faith in Our Future, in February after a two-year process of consultation and development.
Thank you for journeying with us!
Like Abraham, like Moses, like Jesus Himself and St Paul who followed, we have set off from familiar territory into a new and promising future, been sent to proclaim the Good News to the ends of the earth with trust in the gifts of our people and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
As outlined in the special November issue of Catholic Outlook, our parishes, clergy and lay leaders, ecclesial movements and agencies have responded by revisiting their life and ministries, studying the quality of discipleship in and out of the pews, and collaborating with neighbouring parishes and groups to better grow and share faith by teaching, serving and sanctifying.
Highlights of this year have included meetings with countless parish pastoral councils across the Diocese, filled with committed laity who are helping shape the present and future of their parishes in co-responsibility with our priests.
We have heard the stories and supported the achievements of local parishes who are dedicated to evangelisation, genuine outreach to those who do not yet know their home is with us.
We have been inspired by the energy and commitment of movements such as Couples for Christ Australia and Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and overwhelmed by the response to our Catholic Alpha leadership day, which met a hunger for programs and initiatives of evangelisation to which newcomers and God-seekers can be welcomed with joy.
We have participated and presented at national conferences and advised within associated networks, sharing the success stories and ongoing challenges of our young Diocese with others and learning a great deal along the way.
While we look back on the year that was with thankfulness to God, we also look to the future with confidence, direction and hope. There is so much yet to do in this vibrant and growing Diocese!
The season of Advent reminds us of our permanent task of disciple-making, the task to which our Pastoral Plan propels us into the New Year with conviction and energy.
Like Mary, we are called to give birth to Christ in the hearts and homes of Western Sydney so people may know the love and exceeding joy offered by her Son.
Like the stargazers from the East, we are called to offer our gifts and worship to Christ, and like the shepherds of the field we are called to draw near to Him, encountering Jesus personally and together as the gift of God’s self, calling us to a new way of life.
In the year to come in our Pastoral Plan we will see Catholic Alpha expand into parish communities in the season of Lent and beyond. We will see specific formation for parish pastoral councils and leaders offered in the Diocese, practical and prayerful resources for our families delivered to parishes and groups, and our schools, social support ministries and other agencies keeping faith with their commitments to support the life and mission of us all.
In this season of remembrance and joy, we thank each one of you for your prayers and spiritual companionship as we journey towards the newborn Christ.
The diverse people of the Diocese of Parramatta are the heart of Faith in Our Future, living witnesses to the hope-filled trust of the Church in Him who makes all things new.
Have a blessed and safe Christmas and New Year,
Follow the Pastoral Planning Office on Twitter: @parrafaith
Subscribe to E-News to be notified by email of the Latest Diocesan News
« Return to news list