On August 21st the new Australian Catholic Council for Lay Pastoral Ministry gathered at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney. The members of the council are Mr Daniel Ang, Fr Mark Freeman, Sr Kari Hatherell (Chair), Ms Cathy Jenkins (Executive Member), Ms Olivia Lee, Ms Rachael Smith and Sr Mary-Louise Walsh. Bishop Greg Homeming represents the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry and Ms Andrea Dean is the Executive Secretary.
Over the next three years we will build on the work of the council that has been in existence since 2011. We will continue to:
- give counsel to the Bishops Commission
- affirm, encourage and support lay pastoral ministry across the country
- collaborate with the Councils for Youth, Clergy and Women
- contribute to Plenary Council 2020
The Council also will continue to explore and develop the recommendations from Faithful Stewards of God’s Grace, the national resource on lay pastoral ministry produced by the previous council for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. For the remainder of this year we will focus on the first recommendation, Affirming and Celebrating Lay Pastoral Ministry. We would love to hear from you how you do this or ideas of how you might do this in your community, parish, diocese. We would love to hear you stories of how lay ministers are enlivening faith communities alongside clergy.
The new council would also like to extend the invitation for you to share your thoughts and concerns with us, we cannot work in a vacuum. Go to www.catholic.org.au/acclpm We need your help to be an effective vehicle for lay ministry in our land! We ask your prayerful support as we begin this new chapter of the ACCLPM.
By Kari Hatherell