Melbourne, Brisbane Archdioceses planning for future
In separate announcements, the Archbishops of Melbourne and Brisbane have indicated that they are working on the future shape of parish and Archdiocesan structures.
The issue of the Melbourne Archdiocesan newspaper Kairos out at the weekend contains an announcement by Archbishop Denis Hart that a parish restructure is being considered as part of his Evangelisation initiative which began earlier this year.
He said that "clergy placements and further co-operative parish arrangements" will "ensure an even better announcement of the Good News of the Lord in our time".
He did not say that amalgamations and redefining boundaries are necessarily part of the plan, but indicated that such measures "are not excluded".
Among other initiatives outlined in the announcement, overseas-born priests "will continue to be welcomed and valued in the Archdiocese, without a set limit".
Archbishop Hart has formed a Strategic Working Group under the chairmanship of Vicar General Monsignor Les Tomlinson, which met on Wednesday.
He told the faithful of the Archdiocese in a letter also printed in this weekend's Kairos newspaper: "I am very grateful to members of the Working Group for their readiness to support us in our work for the future, keeping always in mind the primacy of the spiritual, which must underpin any of the practical arrangements we seek to support in our parishes anddeaneries."
Meanwhle the Archdiocese of Brisbane has issued a guide to help individuals, groups and parish faith communities assess their progress in the renewal generated by Synod 2003.
A task force of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (APC) produced the annual self-evaluation questionnaire to assist in reflection on efforts to implement the "Jesus Communion Mission" vision and the nine priorities that flowed from the synod.
The Archdiocese's renewal planning document, "Let Your Light Shine", which was launched in August, recommended this annual self-evaluation as part of the ongoing review proposed for the implementation of the renewal priorities.
The guide includes an assessment of goals, projects or activities undertaken in 2004 and existing activities in how they relate to the nine priorities.
APC deputy chair Mary Fama said the questionnaire would help people focus on their goals for next year.
"I see it as this is something - and it's purely voluntary, a planning tool - to let people start thinking in this framework of "Let Your Light Shine," Ms Fama said. "I find it heart-warming the way so many deaneries and parishes have got stuck into this and really taken up the challenge the archbishop has thrown out to us."
Strategic Working Group for Parishes (Kairos Catholic Journal 12/12/04)
Evaluation tool to assist implementation of the Jesus Communion Mission Vision (Archdiocese of Brisbane/Catholic Leader 9/12/04)
Archdiocese of Melbourne | Mission and Evangelisation
Archdiocese of Brisbane | Let Your Light Shine | Archdiocese of Brisbane Questionnaire
Melbourne Archbishop declares evangelisation No. 1 priority (CathNews 2/9/04)
10 Dec 2004