I’ve recently discovered a host of emails that took the scenic route to my inbox. To those who were wondering about their reply – my apologies! We’ve fixed the issue and you can now be certain your letters will come straight to the Parish 2020 team!
It’s been great reading people’s comments about Parish 2020 and the Catholic Church more generally. I’m writing back to everyone individually, but thought I’d share one response in particular as it explains where we’re up to and why.
Parish 2020 is just one initiative of the Sydney Archdiocese that seeks to help parishes reach out to Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the spirit of service and faith.
As you’ll have read in the First Impressions blog, I’ve been travelling the Archdiocese since becoming Director of Parish 2020 earlier this year. To date, I’ve sat down with more than 100 priests and administrators, who, between them, are responsible for all 137 parishes in the Archdiocese. They’ve told me their thoughts, experiences and hopes for the future. It’s been a lengthy, intensive, truly inspiring process – and one that will continue throughout the duration of the Parish 2020 initiative.
Now that these initial consultations are almost complete, we’re in a position to start responding in practical ways to parishioners’ aspirations to serve and grow their communities. This has led to the first, of what will be many, Parish 2020 events.
Our inaugural masterclass, Running a Successful Catholic Youth Mass , took place on 7 October. It was free and open to everyone, and designed to bring people together, to learn and share ways of using music to connect young people with the Church.
The masterclass is a great example of all four principles in my First Impressions post: Just Do It, Untapped Potential, Sharing Success and Collaborate and Connect. We’ve been listening to parishioners wishes to learn more ways to engage with others, in this case, their local youth. We’ve created our first workshop by tapping into the talent of parishioners and sharing their success stories. And finally, we’re doing so in a way that brings people together in a spirit of collaboration. You’ll find posts on our website about other things people are doing to share their faith with others.
While the current Parish 2020 team is still in its first year of the initiative, we’re busy collating feedback from the consultation process, and planning to produce more events and resources. These will be informed by people in our parishes coming forward with their ideas and concerns.
Now that my email issues have been fixed, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 9390 5255 if you’d like to chat about your parish or the broader Parish 2020 initiative. It’s essential we allow our Church to be open to new forms of renewal and to explore different ways for people to encounter Christ and the Church.