Pastoral plan a "fresh start", Bishop Porteous says
Bishop Julian Porteous, auxiliary bishop of Sydney believes a new pastoral plan is just what the pastoral and apostolic works needs to make a "fresh start."
Bishop Julian told the Catholic Weekly that the document, Starting a Fresh with Christ: 2008-2011 Mission, Priorities, Goals and Strategies, was "well received" and approved by priests at the recent Clergy Forum at Leura.
The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell - who will launch the plan in November - said it should aim at "strengthening Catholic life".
Bishop Julian, who is also the convenor of the Archdiocesan Renewal Planning Committee, says priests will now begin to discuss with their parish communities what key initiatives they will undertake in the parishes.
"The plan will bring a new vitality to the mission and life of the archdiocese," he said.
"The cardinal's directive was to build up Catholic life in the archdiocese and the plan was aimed around that purpose.
"We're particularly interested in being more effective in our mission to be more actively present in society.
"We want parishes to be looking for opportunities to draw people back to the faith.
"The plan has been a chance to have a quite comprehensive look at archdiocese in the parishes and agencies, and how we can move forward to develop and strengthen the life of the Church."
The plan is divided into eight critical areas - evangelisation and spiritual renewal; clergy and religious renewal; parish renewal, marriage and family life; pastoral care, outreach and social welfare; ministry to young people; Catholic education; and World Youth Day.
Bishop Julian said the implementation of evangelisation and spiritual renewal is "carrying out the mandate that Christ entrusted to the Church".
"Evangelisation is not an extra, not a side issue - it's the mission of the Church," he said. "Thus it's at the top of the list and will be the first priority of the archdiocese."
Chance for 'fresh start' (Catholic Weekly 14/10/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Sydney
Archdiocese of Sydney Pastoral Plan 1008-2011 (March 2007 Draft)
Sydney draft pastoral plan "seriously flawed": ACU lecturer(CathNews, 18/05/07
Sydney Pastoral plan for Archdiocese of Sydney(CathNews, 02/11/04
Sydney Pastoral plan update for Sydney priests(CathNews, 03/06/05
17 Oct 2007