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Brisbane Archbishop boosts role of deaneries

Archbishop John Bathersby has announced groundbreaking changes to encourage greater co-operation between deaneries and parishes, which will affect the life of the Church in the Brisbane archdiocese.

He has released a document, 'Decisions supporting deaneries and parishes', which marks the next step towards implementing 'the Jesus Communion Mission vision and archdiocesan priorities promulgated following Synod 2003'.

The Catholic Leader reports that the decisions also aim to support deaneries and parishes to develop and implement plans addressing their future needs to 2011 in leadership, ministry and administration.

In a letter to priests and parishioners, Archbishop Bathersby said he had chosen to implement the synod strategies at a deanery level.

He will ask deaneries, which have been recently increased from 10 to 13, to meet to decide how they would apply the synod to their particular area.

In the document, which was released to a joint meeting of the archdiocese's Council of Priests and deans on April 27, Archbishop Bathersby outlined why co-operation at a deanery level was so important.

Archbishop Bathersby reached his decisions after considering proposals presented by the archdiocese's Commission for Evangelisation and Pastoral Planning (CEPP). The proposals were developed from a period of consultation with those involved in parish leadership and ministry, and members of key archdiocesan bodies advising the archbishop.

Archbishop Bathersby said the promotion of vocations to ordained ministry would remain a priority.

CEPP acting chairman, Fr Peter Dillon, said the archbishop's decisions 'contain in them opportunities for new direction and energy for the archdiocese, putting the emphasis on what we do have by way of personnel and resources, rather than looking at, what some people see as a fast emptying larder'.

Working together (Catholic Leader 9/5/04)

Supporting deaneries and parishes (Text of Archbishop Bathersby's announcement - Catholic Leader 9/5/04)
Editorial: Need to work in harmony (Catholic Leader 9/4/04)

10 May 2004