Pastoral Planning for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

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People’s Councils offer Fresh Voices and Fresh Hearts

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December 8, 2017

In late September 2017, Bishop Vincent Long invited nominations for both Deanery Pastoral Councils and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Throughout October, people from across our diocese nominated themselves or others to these councils, local priests endorsed their nominations, and in late November, appointments were announced. The new members gathered with Bishop Vincent for a formation… Read More ›

Diocesan and Deanery Pastoral Councils – Why they Matter

How do we cooperate across parishes and regions in our mission to serve Jesus Christ? How do we listen to one another, identify key priorities and make informed decisions to serve those in need and increase the faith and witness of our church? About five years ago, consultations took place across our diocese, as lay… Read More ›

Keeping our P-Plates in Ministry

My daughter recently passed the Driver Knowledge Test, receiving her L-Plates and a log book. My free time each evening currently consists of nervously occupying the passenger’s seat of the family car, maintaining a calm veneer, and offering pearls of wisdom and affirmation as she slowly accustoms herself to the experience and rules of the… Read More ›

Parish Assemblies? A Big Yawn or New Dawn

The small gaggle of parishioners shuffles into a cold hall. The overhead projector clicks on, and after the opening prayer, the first of a series of reports is delivered ranging from parish finances, to pastoral council and ministry news for the year. It is an excellent exercise in transparency and accountability, yet too often shunned… Read More ›

Sharing faith with primary school parents

Can we take photos? Will there be room for extended family in the pew? Why do we need to prepare our children? Isn’t that why we pay school fees? When involved in a parish some years ago, one irate parent contacted me to complain about having to jump through hoops with his son to receive… Read More ›

How Do We Engage Our People?

We have the same people turning up every time! Mary has been the ministry coordinator for so long, but no one else wants to take it on. No one seems interested in what is being offered. These are just some of the concerns raised by good people passionate about involving their communities. It may be… Read More ›

Setting our Course by the Star of Bethlehem

John Henry Hopkins’ carol We Three Kings of Orient Are (1857) celebrates the magi’s journey to Bethlehem, stirring our souls as we sing: “Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.” The Bethlehem Star whispers hope to every Christian, enkindling our yearning to attain the light of Christ, yet tasting sweet melancholy, for… Read More ›

Frequently Asked Questions

We have achieved successes with the plan. What do we do now? Firstly, we give thanks to God for our achievements, celebrate them with our community and share our successes with the Pastoral Planning Office to help inspire others. Secondly, we consolidate what we have achieved, rather than looking for new challenges. Ensure our existing areas… Read More ›

Can You Spot Yourself at the Manger?

Somewhere behind the decorations box and the special presents bought early and stored carefully away for Christmas (which we will no doubt be unable to locate in time), lurk the figures from the nativity scene. There they perch, maybe appearing a little chipped and worn, maybe a little dusty, but waiting for their time in the… Read More ›

How may I serve you in living God’s mission of love?

I am delighted to begin my journey with you in your service of God and our shared mission (having commenced 28 September 2015). I am married with four children, and served for over 25 years in parishes as a pastoral associate, adult faith coordinator and most recently as Director of Parish Services in the Diocese of Wollongong…. Read More ›