“Being Church means being God’s people, in accordance with the great plan of his fatherly love. This means that we are to be God’s leaven in the midst of humanity. It means proclaiming and bringing salvation into the world, which often goes astray and needs to be encouraged, given hope and strengthened on the way. The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good news of the Gospel.” (Evangelii Gaudium #14)
Welcome to the third edition of Lay Pastoral Ministry News. The Australian Catholic Council for Lay Pastoral Ministry has a big year ahead as we advance the work of preparing national guidelines that will assist in the formation and employment of women and men who work in a variety of ways across parishes and dioceses throughout Australia. You will be invited to engage with this project as it develops. More to come in the next edition!
By now many of us have probably got a good handle on what the Jubilee Year of Mercy might mean for us as the People of God. The Church as forgiving parent is offering its prodigal children the gentle hand of mercy and forgiveness.
One of the hidden treasures within the landscape of the Church in Australia is the wonderful women and men who work alongside ordained ministers in building up our faith communities and sharing the Good News. What are their stories? How are they inspired and supported? Where do they go to connect with others doing similar work?
This new newsletter offers a national voice and resource for all those involved in lay pastoral ministry. In doing so, it honours and celebrates the many existing networks operating at local levels, and seeks to engage all involved in lay pastoral ministry through this national portal.
The logo for the Australian Catholic Council for Lay Pastoral Ministry has been created to reflect the mandate given to it by the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry. That mandate requested Council members to plan for the current and future needs of Lay Pastoral Ministry in Australia.
Council members from across Australia have been meeting since November 2011. They have discussed the many and varied aspects of Lay Pastoral Ministry in the Catholic Church, as it operates within Australia and overseas. One of the directives from the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry was for the Council to develop an information network for lay pastoral ministers across Australia.