The NPPN Executive serves the National Pastoral Planners Network whose purpose is to promote and strengthen a culture of planning for mission and evangelisation within the Catholic Church in Oceania. We engage pastoral research and best practices in church growth to offer experience, knowledge, resources and processes that enable dioceses and parishes to advance the mission of Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Spirit.
Welcome to a new issue of SpiritWork which updates you on the latest news in pastoral planning around Australia and New Zealand!
In this issue . . .
One of the focus areas of the NPPN these past months has been collaboration with the Association of Pastoral Associates of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, to deliver the 2017 National Pastoral Leaders and Planners Conference taking place in Melbourne from the 4-7 September, 2017.
Registrations are now open via the Conference website: https://nplpconference.com and we invite all NPPN members and networks to book your place at our conference gathering.
In organising this national conversation, we recognise the changing face of Australian society and the call for reform within the Church to meet these changing circumstances with the hope and joy of the Gospel. Pastoral planning brings together the Gospel and a particular context, and this year’s Conference offers keynotes and workshops to support and inspire you in leading with creative fidelity in your parish and diocese.
Keynote speakers will include Hugh Mackay, the well-known social researcher and author of the recent work Beyond Belief; Dr Richard Gaillardertz, the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College; Dr Maeve Louise Heaney VDMF, a consecrated member of the Verbum Dei Community and Director, Theological Formation for Ministry at ACU; as well as Geraldine Doogue and Archbishop Mark Coleridge who will speak to Plenary Council 2020.
As background, for more than a decade, and following on from the Year of Grace in 2011, the Australian Bishops have discerned the need for a Plenary Council. The circumstances of the Church in Australia at this time, including the patterns of change that are evident within the community of the Church, the issues confronting the Church in modern multicultural and secular Australia, the increase in entrusting responsibility for and leadership of the Church’s mission to laity, the changing face of the episcopate, and the implications of the Royal Commission, have impelled the Church to review, analyse, and discern the signs of the times and to chart a new course into the future.
I am privileged to serve on the Executive Committee for the Plenary with an exceptional and diverse group of lay leaders and work toward the preparation, celebration and implementation of the Plenary Council in years to come. You might keep this exciting and promising initiative in your prayers. I have no doubts the National Pastoral Planners Network will play an important role in the process of conversation and discernment that the Plenary Council will initiate, and the NPPN is well placed to make a unique contribution through its members in fostering a Church that is intentional about its future drawing from the best of its tradition.
We hope you will join us at our biennial conference in Melbourne in September, and hope you enjoy this edition of SpiritWork.