Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
As Christmas draws near, we would like to thank you for being a part of the journey towards our Diocesan Pastoral Plan. We go to the summer break with a deep sense of gratitude for the guidance of the Spirit throughout 2012 and all of you who have contributed your voice and given of your time to our future in faith.
From Blacktown to Blackheath, Granville to Kenthurst, Parramatta to Penrith we have made numerous new connections and sought to listen deeply to the realities of community life as well as the aspirations that our parishes and people hold for the years ahead. The deep impression left on us is the goodwill and intentional discipleship of those we have encountered. There is also an eagerness to share the best of our Catholic faith and tradition with others as a Church of evangelisation and renewal.
The consultations varied in size and composition though an average of seventy participants per event assured a variety of perspectives at each. Some 2,000 participants shared their views and you can still read summaries of each of the consultation events on this website. Many people have also taken the opportunity to write to us directly in their own time and we’ve sought to reply to submissions as promptly as possible (though there are more of you than us!). Please continue to send us your ideas into the New Year as we appreciate your advice and pastoral experience.
The past three months have seen the briefing of each of our twelve diocesan agencies on the major themes of concern shared at the consultations. Initial submissions have been received from each of these and an ongoing refinement process continues into 2013. As mentioned in our November update, some 200 possible actions have been surfaced though these remain in outline and much more work will need to take place to hone, appropriately resource and align these initial ideas and proposals with one another. Recommendations for parish life will also be one of our foci into the New Year and this will bring together the best ideas surfaced throughout the Diocese into one central resource.
As we anticipate the birth of Christ on the Feast of the Nativity, the arrival of this Holy Child who announces the sanctity of each person, we thank you and wish you a peaceful and blessed Christmas with family, friends and your communities of faith.
Our blogs and news service will take a break over January and return in February 2013 after a much welcomed break.
Thank you for your tremendous faith amidst the challenges and demands of the present moment. Your encouragement and passion for the life of the Church have given us hope in a bright future for the Diocese of Parramatta.
With every blessing,
Fr Paul Marshall and Daniel Ang
Pastoral Planning Team
Posted by Daniel Ang at 7:59 AM