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Brisbane Archdiocese establishes deanery for ethnic communities

The Archdiocese of Brisbane has formed a deanery for ethnic communities, a first for the Church in Australia.

The Ethnic Communities Deanery, which represents groups throughout the Archdiocese, was launched by Archbishop John Bathersby under the leadership of Dutch Catholic chaplalin Fr Joseph Oudeman OFM Cap.

"Our parish is the ethnic community," he said, "so you could say that it covers the whole archdiocese wherever migrant chaplains of ethnic communities are."

Fr Oudeman's main task will be to provide pastoral care for the migrant chaplains in the administration of their specific ethnic communities.

"New arrivals have very different needs, whereas old arrivals, and I'm one of them, have different needs again because they are pretty well itegrated," Fr Oudeman told The Catholic Leader.

He explained that some of the more elderly members of ethnic communities lose their English and revery to their mother tongues.

"They were more involved with responsibilities as far as work was concerned, bringing up children and getting involved with the parish and the school but once the kids married and moved away, they retreated more into their own world."

Catholic Leader