REPORTS from 67 parishes and eight deaneries across Brisbane archdiocese on the implementation of the Let Your Light Shine in 2004-2005 review “painted a picture of spiritual vitality that is encouraging”, Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane said.
Archdiocesan Pastoral Council chairman Peter Webb submitted a report to Archbishop Bathersby in April commending parishes and deaneries on their efforts to implement the Let Your Light Shine priorities, and making recommendations to the archdiocese to further assist parish and deanery endeavours.
Let Your Light Shine is the primary source for articulating the future directions of the archdiocese arising from the Synod Promulgation in 2003 and for guiding the allocation of resources for our efforts to be a vibrant and evangelising local Church.
“The reports indicated your comprehensive, faith-filled, energetic, and visionary attempt to address a number of issues associated with the Church in this archdiocese,” Archbishop Bathersby said in a letter addressed to the priests and people of parishes and deaneries.
“This report paints a picture of the spiritual vitality that is encouraging for me and all people who will read them.”
Archbishop Bathersby thanked the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, priests and parishioners for their work in compiling the reports on participation in the nine priorities of Let Your Light Shine.
The nine priorities of Let Your Light Shine are: Jesus, young people, liturgy, welcoming communities, pastoral leadership, small groups, daily life, communication and justice and welfare.
The archbishop’s response is being distributed to parishes and deaneries in the archdiocese.
“We live in exciting times in the Church and the Holy Spirit speaks to us on how we might better bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to our 600,000 Catholics, as well as a multitude of people who have not yet heard it,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
He said we would never understand Christianity unless we had a comprehensive understanding of Jesus Christ and his vision.
“If Jesus Christ does not excite ourselves and our parish then something is radically wrong with the faith we profess,” he said.
He said if regular prayer and worship was not a normal part of our lives and that of our parishes, then we could never understand Christ or the vision of his kingdom.
“Prayer and worship is an absolutely essential part of our faith and should be planned into our lives, and not merely be an accidental or occasional happening,” he said.
“I cannot over emphasise the importance of regular prayer if we wish to be called true followers of Jesus Christ who, as we see from the gospel, prayed constantly.
“Christian action also is needed as an integral part of our lives, but it also needs to be balanced by prayer.
“If there is not both prayer and action then we will most certainly fail to attract people to the gospel, as we hope to do.”
Archbishop Bathersby said in his final five years as archbishop leading up to 2011 he wished to play a more visible and wider role as prayer leader of the archdiocese.
“Unless all our planning is based on prayer we will never evangelise as we desire, nor will the light of Christ shine as brightly as it could,” he said.
The archbishop is preparing his response to Catholic schools in the archdiocese, the other large group of participants in the Let Your Light Shine Review.
Story first published in The Catholic Leader
Released by the Catholic Communications Office