It has been twelve months since Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, shared his thoughts for envisioning the roadmap for the future of the Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains at a Diocesan Forum. This forum brought together key leadership and local representatives from parishes, schools, ministries and agencies.
Twelve months on, it is an opportunity to revisit Bishop Vincent’s address. How do his words reflect our own personal and communal journey? Moving forward, how may the Holy Spirit be calling us to Go Out Into the Deep?
Catholic Outlook will be republishing Bishop Vincent’s address to the Diocesan Forum over the coming days.
To read the full address, click here.
Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL, Bishop of Parramatta
Address to the Diocesan Forum 2019, Parramatta
“Envisioning the Church in Western Sydney for the New Millennium”
13 July 2019
PART 6: CONCLUSION
The Church is being reborn in ways beyond the traditional structures. Like the river that has changed its course, we have a choice to make.
It is not in yearning for or holding on to the known, the secure and the familiar but in reimagining the future and venturing into the unknown chaos that we shall find new life.
The question that we face is whether or not we have the courage to reimagine a new future for the Church or are we simply resigned to accept the status quo and forever reenact what happened in the past?
Pope Francis’ call is for us to act boldly.
His critique of clericalism and embrace of a post-clericalist model of listening, dialogical and inclusive Church inspire us to seek fresh ways of being Church.
The paschal rhythm summons us to a discipleship of humility, weakness and vulnerability, of dying and rising in Christ. As the Church, we must die to the old ways of being Church which is steeped in a culture of clerical power, dominance and privilege.
We must abandon the old paradigm of a fortress Church which is prone to exclusivity and elitism. We must learn to rise to Christlike way of humility, inclusivity, compassion and powerlessness.
Then we can rise to being the Church that Christ calls us to be, moving forward: an oasis for the weary and troubled, a field hospital for the wounded, a refuge for the oppressed and a voice for the voiceless.
May the Holy Spirit accompany us as we move boldly in the direction of the Kingdom.
Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta
To read Part 5 of Bishop Vincent’s address, click here.
To read the full text of Bishop Vincent’s address, click here.