Pastoral Planning for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Resources for Adult Faith Formation

Every member of our Diocese of Parramatta is invited to be a part of the 21st Century mission of Christ in our region, to be an active disciple in our future of faith. The Gospel calls us to live the full gift and promise of our baptismal discipleship, to look for opportunities to grow in our faith, our understanding and response to the Gospel, and to actively evangelise, drawing others to the faith and to God.

Here you will find resources to support your parish in their Adult Faith Formation Program:

Parish Pastoral Councils

pp_parra_107Parramatta Diocesan Norms for Pastoral Councils are available from the Pastoral Planning Office on request. This diocesan document outlines the objectives, role and function, membership, and meetings of the parish pastoral council as mandated by the Diocese.

Cecilia Anning, Handbook for Parish Pastoral Councils (3rd Edition) (Archdiocese of Brisbane, 2007) (1 MB document) brings together principles, practical ideas and resources to assist parish pastoral councils undertake their ministry.

Mark Fischer, Pastoral Councils in Today’s Catholic Parish (Twenty-Third Publications, Mystic, CT, 2001). This book provides ideas and suggestions to assist parishes to build an effective pastoral council including topics on representation, purpose, and consultation.

A Parish Pastoral Associate works with the Parish Priest in the pastoral care of a parish. The Pastoral Associate collaborates with the Parish Priest in building a vital Christian community focused on living and promoting the reign of God in the world, recognising that the Priest is “entrusted with a share in the exercise of pastoral care of a parish”. (Canon 517.2) The Pastoral Associate will support and facilitate various parish groups, establish and coordinate faith education opportunities and foster the identification and formation of individuals in lay ministry.  A role description for a Parish Pastoral Associate is available, on request, from the Pastoral Planning Office.


pentecost12_141Forming a Liturgy, Worship and Prayer Committee, produced by the Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn, provides guidelines for establishing a new liturgy committee.

Liturgy Committee Guidelines produced by Liturgy Brisbane, offer an outline for establishing a liturgy committee.

The Divine Office The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. All Catholics are encouraged to recite the divine office.


Pastoral Councils and Consulting the Parish. In this video,  Mark Fischer, Professor of Theology at St John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, discusses consultation in the parish setting. How can a pastor effectively use consultation? When and why should a pastor consult? How does consultation work in financial planning and in pastoral planning? Dr Fischer has spent his career in supporting consultative processes in parish life in the USA. This video also provides an example of an effective consultation process.

Can a Parish Assembly Create a Youth Ministry? In this article by Mark Fischer, from the Parish Pastoral Councils website, provides an outline of the purpose and process of holding a parish assembly.

Whole Parish Approach to Catechesis. This website from the Catholic Diocese of Cincinnati provides a framework for providing religious formation and education at the parish level that involves all ages in a collaborative setting. It is a comprehensive approach that is lifelong, centred in the events of Church life, and aims to nurture faith.

Intergenerational Faith Formation is a website designed for parish leaders to understand what this form of catechesis looks like in practice and helps them guide their congregations in envisioning and designing projects and initiatives to become more intentionally intergenerational.

Building Small Groups Inviting seniors and singles to join small groups or family groups in parishes is an ideal opportunity to ensure that all parishioners have an opportunity to stay connected with the liturgical and social life of the parish. In this video, Fr. Michael White, co-author of Rebuilt, (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN, 2013) discusses the role of small groups in building a community of faith.

Life-Long Faith Formation

celebratejourney12_061Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) has as its mission “to help grandparents pass on the faith and keep prayer in the heart of family life”. The CGA encourages grandparents at a local parish level to come together as a faith community for mutual support, encouragement and prayer as they help one another to pass on the faith.

Grandparents: Great Presence is a resource produced by the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council to assist parishes and schools in supporting the grandparent figures in your wider community. It comes with the desire of the bishops of Australia to see every family flourish as an effective community of Christ’s love. This Grandparent – Powerpoint Presentation (2MB download) could also be of help in planning a special liturgy in the parish or school.

Ruth Goodman, Visiting with Elders  (Baycrest, Toronto, ON, 2006). This brochure has been produced for those who visit the elderly. It provides valuable insights and practical strategies to help parish ministers make a meaningful visit and be sensitive to the ways in which we communicate and interact with elders who may have experienced a stroke, have Alzheimer’s, dementia or experience other challenges in older age.

Is Your Mystagogia Missing?: Suggestions to Nurture your Neophytes and Enrich your Parish Community, produced by the Diocese of Lansing, Washington, U.S. These four brochures present a formation program in a similar way to formation during the catechumenate period, with a focus on liturgy, catechesis, the Christian way of life, and apostolic works. They are designed to assist in the formation of the RCIA team, sponsors and parish community.




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