Good News in the Parramatta Diocese
Thank you to all those who have had their say about our Diocesan Pastoral Plan by submitting their feedback on our draft parish-based goals. It is not too late to participate and be in the draw to win one of three prizes, including an iPod nano. Simply click on this link to help shape our future direction as a Diocese.
There have been some significant developments in the Diocese more generally which are important to share with all of our subscribers. Bishop Anthony recently blessed the first stage of a new site that has been identified, purchased and improved for the purposes of a new diocesan seminary. You can read the Bishop’s address here. With the seminary site at St Marys at capacity, and with increased numbers of seminarians anticipated into the future, the new site at Harris Park provides the ideal location for the training of future priests. For the moment, our seminarians are living on site in temporary accommodation while Stage Two of the project begins in earnest. This will see the Diocese build enough rooms for our present seminarians and for some more. The seminary is a symbol of our confidence that the recent increase in vocations to the priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta will continue. Of course, we need your support in growing priestly vocations, religious vocations as well as the support of families and marriage within our Diocese. You might share this story with your friends and family.
Another good news story in the Diocese is the opening of ‘The Cloister Bakery’ at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. Wafting aromas of freshly brewed coffees, speciality hand-made cakes and sandwiches will now greet local parishioners and visitors, workers, and members of the general public when they visit the Cathedral in Parramatta. You can read more about this project here
Located on the ground floor of historic Murphy House, the Cloister Bakery will open weekdays 7am to 4pm from Monday 17 June, but there are already plans to expand trading to weekends. Project Manager for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, Joe Cashman, is coordinating the project and hopes that the Cloister Bakery will give people more of a reason to stay after Mass, or to come and see the Cathedral Precinct. “The idea comes from the early churches in Europe which had bakeries within their Cloisters, this was to allow for travellers and pilgrims to rest and eat before continuing on their journey. It is essentially about extending Christian hospitality,” Mr Cashman said.
Indeed, the importance of hospitality was underlined throughout our consultation process, as an important element for all Catholic parishes and ministry groups to build upon as a response to the hospitality of God himself. Jesus serves as the paradigm of our own response to our neighbour, whether friend or stranger, and this sense of welcome was not ancillary to his mission to proclaim the Kingdom but in fact central to that proclamation. That ‘all are welcome’ in our Diocese and in our parishes must be a message that is shared with others in the spirit of a new evangelisation. People are often hungry for the community that we experience in the Church. Our parish communities, such as the Cathedral Parish, are central in extending welcome and hospitality to fellow Catholics and to the wider community as well. Congratulations to all those involved in this latest good news story.
As we continue our work on the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, please send us any good news that is taking place in your part of the Diocese. You can email us at email@example.com and we’ll share some of the highlights with all of our readers in the coming weeks. While our Pastoral Plan will be launched in February 2014, we need not wait to make hospitality and welcome a part of our everyday life as the Catholic people of Parramatta.
Finally, look out for our latest piece on the Pastoral Plan in the July issue of the Catholic Outlook which will update you on our progress. Until then, every blessing and hope to see you at the Cloister Bakery in the days and weeks to come!
Yours in Christ,
Posted by Daniel Ang at 10:44 AM