Planning is underway for a formative review of the Association of Pastoral Associates in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Discussions about the future of the Association were prompted by a decline in membership numbers and a concern about diminishing numbers of Pastoral Associates employed across the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Issues have also arisen for some Pastoral Associates from the transition of clergy in parishes and changes in ministry priorities that have impacted their current roles. There is potential to grow the ministry, but it is not always clear, especially for young people, of the pathways for ministry for Pastoral Associates in parishes and elsewhere in the life of the Church. The review will focus on the Association’s role and activities as a professional body for Pastoral Associates and Pastoral Workers in the Catholic Church of Melbourne.
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Over the past three years the Archdiocese of Sydney has undertaken a process of reflection and dialogue with clergy, deaneries and communities about the future mission of its parishes and communities.
Sydney’s population continues to grow while the way people live, work and worship has changed. We are mindful that not as many people engage with our parishes as once did. Many more Australians identify as ‘no religion’ than ever before. Some traditional methods of outreach that once worked no longer seem to serve our Gospel mission in this new situation.
Dr Michele Connolly rsj recently addressed two meetings in Perth in James Nestor Hall at the Catholic Education Office. Michele talked about women in the New Testament on Friday evening 25 October and women in the gospel of Mark at a full day session for women the following day. In all over 100 people attended both talks. Michele was invited to Perth by the Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) (Perth) Committee. She is a member of the national CACW.
It’s been almost 7 months since I began my role as Executive Assistant for the Plenary Council 2020, and in that time I have had some of the most life giving conversations of my life with lay pastoral workers from all different areas of our country who, in their diversity, are united in their hope for a better future for our Church.