“Honorary member” of the Diocese of Parramatta, Adjunct Professor Susan Pascoe AM, returned to the Diocese as a special guest of Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, to deliver a lecture on “Leadership in the Church today: its direction and challenges.”
As well as being an adjunct professor for the University of Western Australia, Susan Pascoe AM is a member of the Vatican Commission on Methodology, planning for the 2023 Synod on Synodality. She Chairs the Catholic Emergency Relief Australian (CERA) and has over 40 years’ experience in the global and local Catholic Church as well as in government, education, health and not-for-profits. She was the inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission and Head of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. Susan is a Life Member of the Australian College of Educators and a Patron of the Parliament of the World’s Religious.
A strong history with the Diocese of Parramatta
Susan has a strong history with the Diocese of Parramatta. She was the co-author of the Independent Review of Governance 2020-2021 for the Diocese initiated by Bishop Vincent following the blueprint document The Light of the Southern Cross commissioned by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
Over 50 leaders across the Diocese attended her talk, held at St Joseph’s Baulkham Hills on Thursday 25 May 2023 including clergy, religious and leaders from each agency – Chancery, Catholic Schools, Community Ventures and Catholic Care.
The Australian Church
After speaking about the context of the universal global church within geo-political, economic and social terms such as the war in Ukraine, the growing gap between the rich and poor, post-Covid impacts, climate change and dismal financial outlooks, Susan discussed the local Church in Australia. Some factors include the post-Royal Commission Church and the increasing gap between the views of the broader community and those with faith-based beliefs.
Susan then invited a broader group discussion around the pontificate of Pope Francis and some of the challenges and opportunities for our local Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
The Synod for the Diocese of Parramatta
Ending on a positive note, Susan summarised the opportunities we all have to create a welcoming, inclusive and participatory Church at all levels. A prime opportunity to explore this is through our current Diocesan Synod, where all are encouraged to have their voices heard and create a submission online.
Other areas include finding opportunities for greater involvement of the youth and women as well as communicating the Good News and good works of the church, and to ensure the Church walks with all, especially those in greatest need.
How to join the conversation and make a submission to the Diocese of Parramatta Synod
To have your say, please attend a Deanery Consultation session for the Synod, or submit online at the links below.
Submissions for the Diocesan Synod are open until 31 July 2023, and can be submitted through the Synod website. Three deanery consultations, with guided discussion are open for all parishioners to attend. They follow two consultations which have already been successfully held, generating very favourable comments from participants.
Parishioners are invited to consultations which will be held 6.30pm to 9pm on the following evenings:
- 3 June at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta
- 17 June at St Andrew the Apostle Primary School, Marayong
- 24 June at Holy Spirit Primary School, St Clair
See parracatholic.org/synod2023 for details.