“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4
The inaugural Diocesan Forum on Saturday 13 July will gather over 230 participants from a broad range of areas within the diocese including leaders from our parishes, schools, ministries and agencies, chaplaincies and representative councils. It will consider the Plenary Council National Themes for Discernment and significant challenges as identified by the People of God to invite us to ‘Go out into the Deep’.
What is it all about?
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv has invited us all to reflect on a new way of being church as we respond to the signs of the times. We are called to go out into the deep, to listen to the call to change, to cast our nets out the other side of our boat even though we have been fishing all night long (Lk 5). It is a call to be co-responsible, to co-leadership and to go out to the margins to gather all – including our own selves – into the heart of our God. This means so many things for so many people. The Forum will provide an opportunity to hear the many voices of our diocese and shape future direction, building on the good work that has been achieved over the past four years of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, Faith in our Future (2014-2018).
This is just the beginning…
Any gathering such as a Forum recognises that all people cannot be present and that there are many voices still to be heard. The conversation that begins at the Forum does cannot end at its conclusion. Post-forum opportunities will enable greater numbers of people to engage in localised events to continue the conversation and to develop new initiatives and connections. We are invited to ‘Go Out into the Deep’ to continue this journey beyond the forum, constantly renewing ourselves, walking together, and going out to the margins, in all aspects of diocesan life.
How can I find out more?
Most of our parishes, agencies and ministries have representatives in attendance at the Diocesan Forum. Parishes are invited to speak to their Deanery Council Representative or Priest to find out what happened at the Forum and how the ideas and actions from the Forum can be brought to life, in collaboration and conversation with others from the local area. Staff and students from schools across the diocese are invited to speak to the Mission Team at Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and agency and ministry staff are invited to speak to their managers to find out how to engage locally in a post-forum process.
The Pastoral Planning Office will continue to update on post-forum events to ensure that steps towards change do not end at the Forum.
Please pray for a fruitful conversation to bring to life ways to grow and share our faith in the Diocese of Parramatta as we “Go out into the Deep”.
By the Pastoral Planning Office, Diocese of Parramatta.