October 14th 2021
PARISH COUNCIL MEETING WEDNESDAY 13TH OCTOBER
The parish council was joined online by Damian Coleridge of the Malvern Parish Council who presented a survey of their own journey on “The Way of the Gospel” in the Melbourne Mission Renewal Process. His comments were encouraging and positive with regard to the benefits of engaging with other parishes but urged patience in discernment of the best way to proceed in each particular parish’s circumstances. Our Council is now devising a variety of means to engage with our parishioners by way of information and consultation, a process that remains challenging in our current restrictions.
October 10th 2021
OPENING OF SYNOD OF BISHOPS 2021-2023 ON SYNODALITY
Running concurrently with both the Melbourne Mission Renewal and the Australian Plenary Council, the Pope has officially inaugurated the 2021-2023 Synod of Bishops with an invitation to Catholics throughout the world to be engaged in a dialogue on the Synod theme : “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission”. While somewhat confusing, it is good to be aware of the broader scope of renewal in the Church. The official Vatican Synod website may be visited here. An extract from the letter of the Prior General of the Augustinian Order may be viewed here.
October 8th 2021
ONLINE MEETING OF LOCAL PARISHES
ON Wednesday evening last a number of local parish clergy met again online to update each other on any movement at parish level with regard to Mission Renewal and our engagement with the Archdiocese. It was agreed to prioritize consultation with our parishioners at the grass roots level by whatever means we can devise given the current constraints. IT was also proposed we maintain contact with Archdiocesan offices to monitor how our initiatives may be received.
October 5th 2021
PARISH COUNCIL REFLECTION DAY
This last Sunday October 3rd the parish council met for a day of discussion and reflection on the Mission Renewal process with some input from Lorraine McCarthy of the Archdiocesan Office for Mission Renewal team. The input was favourably received and the Council at its forthcoming monthly meeting will devise a plan to consult with parishioners by a variety of means, given the constraints of not being able to meet in person.
September 25th 2021
MISSION RENEWAL – FAQ
On the Archdiocese’s website you may find the answers to some of your questions about what is being proposed in regard to Mission Renewal in Melbourne and how it may affect you and your parish in the years ahead. Frequently Asked Questions
You may also offer your own feedback to the Archdiocesan Mission Renewal Office by emailing email@example.com
September 22nd 2021
From this week the Archbishop is meeting online with about 20 priests or deacons at a time. The first meeting was congenial and generally supportive of the Mission Renewal process. All present were invited to speak while the Archbishop listened and took notes. Those attending were from around the diocese. Significantly for us, the Archbishop mentioned that inner-city parishes were more likely to be impacted than those in the more sparsely-resourced outer suburbs. He also acknowledged the presence and contribution of religious orders in the parishes.
In an evening meeting about 30 parishes from the Southern Region were again represented by clergy, laity and staff attended another briefing. There was some repetition of material already presented but there was time for small groups discussion. At question time there was quite a bit of discussion about the creation of the Bayside Catholic Mission last year (from five parishes) and the admission that it had been reactionary, hasty and had not gone as well as hoped, whatever about the Pandemic.
What was apparent was a tension between the admission that everything was difficult due to the COVID situation and yet the sheer amount of instruction as to tasks for parishes in the coming months, including prayer, meetings, appointment of coordinators and consultation among parishes. How the process was related to the Plenary Council which is about to begin, was somewhat unclear.
September 21st 2021
In a letter to the clergy of the Archdiocese on Friday the Archbishop advised of further opportunities for different voices to heard regarding parish mission renewal in Melbourne.
“In my last letter to you I indicated that I would be in touch regarding some opportunities to gather, talk and listen to one another over the coming weeks on Take the Way of the Gospel. It’s been particularly distressing that we have barely been able to gather in person over these nearly two years of pandemic restrictions. Whilst we have been gathering each week for Prayer and for other meetings online, this is not the kind of forum that enables multiple voices to be heard.
We are a large presbyterate, and often only a few feel the courage to speak when we gather as one group. Therefore, the meetings I am looking to have with you over the next couple of weeks will be designed as essentially smaller listening sessions, where you can bring forward your own personal concerns, or positive experiences, about the future direction of parish life.”
September 17th 2021
BRIEFING OF PARISH COMMITTEES
In the past couple of weeks four major parish committees, Parish Council, Finance, SJOS and Liturgy , have been briefed on the Mission Renewal process at their regular meetings. Frustration has been expressed about the lack of a wider parish engagement with the issue, something that has been partly thwarted by the COVID restrictions and the suddenness of the process.
Another issue that is emerging is the relationship of this process to firstly the Australian Plenary Council and the forthcoming 2023 Synod of Bishops in Rome on the theme of Synodality. Each DIocese is obliged to engage in a local process of discernment prior to wider consultation from the month of October prior to wider national and international consultation. Some more clarity around whether the current mission renewal process constitutes part of the Archdiocesan consultation would be helpful. Will the mission renewal process also be informed by some of the outcomes of the Plenary Council soon to begin?
Read more about parish mission renewal here.
September 12th 2021
PARISH REPS MEET AGAIN THIS WEEK
A number of parishes in our area met again online to discuss option for us in the ‘Mission’ process. Feedback from the recent Regional meeting was shared and possible paths forward explored in keeping with the Archdiocesan plan.
September 10th 2021
POSSIBLE MISSION NETWORKS IN OUR AREA
The Archdiocese has tentatively nominated two proposed “Mission Networks’ in our area which include five parishes with some demographic similarities and which include four parishes entrusted to religious congregations. View a map here.
September 9th 2021
PARISH COUNCIL DISCUSSION ON “RE-IMAGINING OUR MISSION”
On Wednesday evening Sept 8th a major discussion item at the Parish Council meeting was the Archdiocesan process called “Take the Way of the Gospel” (Re-imagining the Mission of the Church in Melbourne).
Those who had participated in the recent Southern Region online event shared their reflections and reactions and some discussion ensued. The possibility of engaging with a number of neighbouring parish to explore what paths towards deeper collaboration might lie ahead was endorsed and a request to the Archdiocese to provide a presenter to our forthcoming Parish Council Reflection Day was proposed.