The Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane is about to begin its first Diocesan Synod in over a century.
The Synod Assembly, with around 730 members, gathers in Brisbane between May 1st and 4th, and culminates three years of preparation.
With the 2001 census figures showing the number of Catholics in Australia topping five million, and Brisbane the diocese with the fastest growing population in the country, Archbishop John Bathersby sees the holding of a Synod as timely and fortuitous.
“The Synod is an attempt to find ways and means of engaging our largely secular culture with the Christian faith – especially engaging young people,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
“It is meant to bring this sleeping giant of almost 600,000 Catholic people alive with the joy and energy of the Gospel so that the Archdiocese will be a compelling sign in South East Queensland of the good news of Christ.
“Its strategies will be planned around the three vital signs of a healthy Christian community – Jesus, Communion and Mission.
“If we are to take the Archdiocese forward into a more lively future we must be able to measure ourselves in the light of Jesus, Communion, Mission and recommend those actions which ensure we have a solid foundation in each vital sign,” he said.
The Synod will be unique in that it is the first of its kind in Brisbane and one of only a few that have been held in the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Australia.
The three day Assembly will address issues connected with the mission of the local church, over which the Archbishop has authority, and will vote on a series of action proposals.
The consultation phase, held prior to the Synod Assembly, produced seven key areas to address: Educating in Faith, Building Communities of Faith, Christian Mission in Daily Life, Deepening Spirituality, Engaging and Connecting with Young People, Celebrating Liturgy and Effective Communication.
With an eye to the future the Synod will also discuss the preparation of lay people to fill some of the gaps created by fewer ordained clergy.
The Archbishop has spelt out his vision for the Synod in a video to be sent out to all the Parishes of the Archdiocese following the Synod Assembly.
On Sunday 27th July, the Archbishop will announce his decision on future actions in the light of the recommendations from the Synod Assembly.
Released by Catholic Communications Office