The Recommendations Phase commences
The pace of work toward our Diocesan Pastoral Plan has not slowed since the conclusion of the parish consultations in mid-September. The past three weeks in particular have been dedicated to sharing the feedback from these consultations with our diocesan agencies for reflection on the way in which these responses shape their ministries across the Diocese. For those who were unable to attend one of our live consultations, these diocesan agencies support parishes in a variety of ways, through offering formation opportunities, social support, personnel and financial services and advice, as well as numerous other resources for our clergy, religious and lay leaders to name just a few. These agencies include CatholicCare Social Services, the Institute for Mission, the Office for Worship, and Catholic Youth Parramatta among others.
This process of discussion with our agencies continues in the coming weeks alongside the development of recommendations for parishes based on the wealth of ideas submitted by consultation participants. We hope that the Pastoral Plan will prove a helpful resource for parishes to consider renewed initiatives and forms of outreach which have been put forward and practiced by other communities than their own.
Part of our current work is also liaising with National Church Life Survey Research which will provide us with up-to-date demographics and other statistical data for our parishes and Diocese as a whole from the 2011 NCLS survey and Census data. For those interested in trends in the Australian experience since the Second Vatican Council, you may be interested to read a new publication which includes a chapter from Dr Bob Dixon of the ACBC Pastoral Projects Office, Vatican II: Reception and implementation in the Australian Church.
Of course in the past week we have celebrated the 50th anniversary of Vatican II which remains a touchstone for our life as Church. You can access the sixteen documents of the Council through our 'Key Documents’ section as these are relevant to our planning in faith, bringing forth the Church as a communion, as charismatic and apostolic, missionary in intent, responsive to the needs of the age with the hope, dynamism and commitment of the Gospel. The universal Year of Faith which has just commenced also provides a rich backdrop for our own planning as the Parramatta Diocese.
Finally Daniel Ang, our Pastoral Planning Officer, will be addressing the promise and challenges of Vatican II in a special public lecture being held at the Institute for Mission, Blacktown, this Thursday 18th October from 7-9pm. All are welcome to attend and join in the conversation (see here for more information). It will be a wonderful and enriching way of commemorating the Council that continues to guide our life and mission as a Church.
Until our next blog update, every blessing and thank you for being a part of our planning in faith,
Fr Paul Marshall and Daniel Ang
Posted by Daniel Ang at 5:14 PM