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Brisbane Archdiocese Rises To The Synod Challenge

The Synod Assembly, representing the Archdiocese of Brisbane, has enthusiastically taken up the Archbishop’s call of setting “hearts on fire with the challenge of following Jesus and transforming the world in the twenty-first century”.

Over 700 Assembly Members attended the Synod, which was held at Clairvaux Mackillop College, Upper Mt Gravatt, over the Labour Day long weekend.

The bulk of the work took place on the Friday and Saturday when members debated, reworked and finally voted upon 46 essential actions within seven broad action proposals.

All 46 essential actions were passed with a strong level of support (84% and higher) – the decisiveness of the voting a result of the consultation process as well as the diligence and responsiveness of the writing teams.

Between them, the seven Broad Action Proposals addressed twenty-one desired outcomes. Asked which of those outcomes were most critical today in the light of the Synod’s major focus, the delegates selected the following:

  • that parish liturgy becomes more vibrant, meaningful and inclusive
  • that Catholics embrace the person and vision of Jesus Christ
  • that parishes are welcoming, inclusive communities to which people are drawn and have a strong sense of belonging
  • that Catholics recognise and value the impact of their everyday Christian living on building a better world
  • that young people are helped by a set of faith development opportunities to integrate their faith with everyday experience
  • that parish pastoral leadership is promoted, supported and resourced at all levels
  • that the person and message of Jesus and the works of the Church are effectively communicated in wider society
  • that parishes accept, value and use the initiative of small groups to nurture and support people on their faith journey
  • that a deep awareness of and commitment to social justice and social welfare is characteristic of Catholics throughout the Archdiocese.

Another noticeable trend throughout the Assembly was the spirit, willingness and contribution made by young Catholics.

David Hutton, Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education, noted the chorus of young people on the podium alongside him chosen by Synod Members to address the final plenary session before the selection of the most critical outcomes.

Tongue firmly in cheek, Hutton said he was there to represent “senior” Catholics and wondered aloud if the preponderance of young people represented a “decisive intervention” by the Holy Spirit.

After three days in “listening mode”, Archbishop Bathersby took the stage in Mary MacKillop Hall at Clairvaux Mackillop College and gratefully accepted the recommendations.

“I thank the Members of Synod Assembly for the energy, commitment, skills and sheer hard work that had produced them,” Archbishop Bathersby said.

“I will now take these recommendations and study them carefully with a view to strategic implementation.

“I will continue this journey on the waves of your prayer until we gather again at the Cathedral of St Stephen on Sunday 27th July, where I will promulgate the key implementation actions that will take forward the fruits of this marvelous Assembly,” he said.

Released by the Catholic Communications Office.

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