In 2022, the CEDP Mission Team has an exciting new model of working which has been created to develop a synodal approach to their work.
“The time has come for us to implement decisively [a] participatory, inclusive and collaborative model in our diocesan and parish structures…. a new culture of humility, accountability and service. It is not a top-down and centralised approach … Rather, it is a synodal church at every level, with everyone listening to each other, learning from each other and taking responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel.”
Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
With 80 schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta nurtures more than 43,000 children and young people to grow in learning and faith each year. A dedicated faith-filled group of educators work together as a Mission Team to develop partnerships with school communities and diocesan agencies at every level; listening and learning from each other.
Through humility, accountability and service, in 2022 the Mission Team aims to grow in their accompaniment of others for the work of Mission within the Diocese of Parramatta.
Supporting the vision of Bishop Vincent Long for Catholic education in the Diocese of Parramatta, the Mission Team focuses on accompanying students, schools and staff. This includes opportunities for Professional Learning in Scripture, pedagogy, curriculum and theology; formation for school and office staff; religious leadership and Catholic identity. As the community would expect, there is also a strong focus on providing meaningful social justice opportunities including through support of the work of Catholic Mission, the St Vincent de Paul Society, Caritas Australia and other Catholic agencies and organisations with a strong local presence such as Jesuit Refugee Services and the House of Welcome.
Quality professional learning and resource development is a vital component of ensuring the ongoing high standard of Religious Education in local Schools. To create professional learning opportunities for staff, the Mission Team will continue to develop partnerships with academic experts and institutions.
Director of Mission Monica Officer is passionate about providing her colleagues with opportunities to develop both spiritually and academically.
“We want every child and every colleague to grow in understanding of the Catholic faith through belonging to our communities,” Monica said.
“Opportunities for spiritual development are also an important aspect of the way that we accompany students and staff in their journey of flourishing by providing high quality resources and programs for staff that promote encounter with the Holy Spirit and enable deep listening with the ears of the heart.”
The CEDP Mission Team is committed to developing Religious Leadership in local schools through engagement with staff at all stages of their service from beginning teachers to Principals. Religious Education Coordinators have a special role to play in supporting the faith lives of their communities.
In 2022, the Mission Team will aim to continue to help build the Catholic identity of our learning communities across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains through ongoing encounters and dialogue with their rich traditions and diversity.
It is the purpose of the 2022 Mission Team to support the vision of Bishop Vincent, that all students will come to know Jesus, to love his teachings and to follow in his footsteps. They will seek opportunities to engage with Diocesan agencies and parish communities in supporting students across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains to grow in faith, learning and flourish.
This article was originally published in the 2022 Lent and Easter/Autumn 2022 edition of the Catholic Outlook Magazine. You can read the magazine here.