Parish leadership

Archbishop Comensoli on listening and discernment

The Plenary Council’s first stage of preparation is the Listening and Dialogue phase. During this time, people will have the chance to gather with friends, family and fellow parishioners to share their experiences of faith, life and the Church. As Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli describes in this video, the invitation to participate in this Plenary process is something many of us are already familiar with -- especially in our family relationships where listening is so essential. He also talks about discernment as an invitation to "look more and more like Jesus." 

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ACU Short Course: Listening to the Spirit: Towards the 2020 Plenary Council

1, 8, 15 & 22 August --- ACU is hosting a four-week short course on exploring the future of the Church in Australia, with a specific focus on the 2020 Plenary Council. Topics covered include the future of Catholic education (by Dr Paul Sharkey Director, Catholic Education Services, Catholic Education Melbourne), the mission of the Church in the 21st century, and a week four listening and dialogue session led by Dr Joel Hodge.

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Watch talks from the Christian Leadership Series

A selection of talks from the Christian Leadership Series are available to watch and are ideal for personal learning or formation tools for members of parish pastoral councils and leadership teams. Each video is accompanied by speaker notes and points for reflection/group discussion. Topics covered include the challenge of exercising an adult faith in a pluralistic environment, the principles of Christian dialogue, re-discovering our rich biblical heritage and the sensus fidei.

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Parish Coach Ron Huntley on developing a healthy parish culture

In July we were pleased to host an evening with Ron Huntley -- a parish coach who has been formed within the Divine Renovation model of animating parish life. Speaking to parish leadership teams, he encouraged those gathered to reflect on aspects of team behaviour that may be toxic and the importance of developing a positive team leadership culture. Watch highlights from the evening >

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WATCH: Encountering Jesus in our biblical tradition

Internationally-renowned biblical scholar Rev Dr Francis Moloney points to our biblical heritage as the key to encountering the Risen Jesus. "Ritual, law, doctrine, pomp, ceremony, and ecclesiastical dignity dominate our Catholic lives, despite the prophetic words and witness of Pope Francis. God’s word and Christ’s flesh are daily poured into our ears, but we take no heed. It is to this Word that we turn to reflect upon the encounter with Jesus made possible through our biblical heritage."

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WATCH: Exercising an adult faith in a pluralistic world

Rev. Dr Kevin Lenehan spoke as part of the 2018 lecture series exploring Christian leadership for the 21st-century context. Entitled, "Exercising an Adult Faith: Wrestle. Challenge. Move.”, he explored the changing landscape in Australia and its implications for leaders of communities of faith. Drawing on the writings of Pope Paul VI on Christian Identity in Dialogue (Ecclesiam suam, 1964), he discussed the qualities and competencies needed by faith leaders to express a mature, resilient and Gospel-based belief stance in a pluralistic world.
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Leaning Into...

Director's message (July 2018): "The Israeli museum holds in their permanent collection the hauntingly beautiful painting by Rembrandt van Rijn of St. Peter in Prison (or St. Peter Kneeling). St Peter has been arrested and is painted in a prison cell in Jerusalem. The figure of St Peter is bathed in soft light although his surroundings are in darkness. ... All is not dark; all is not lost. There is a potential for transformation." 
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Proclaim – coming to Melbourne in 2020!

The theme of this year’s Conference is “Make your home in me” (Jn 15:4). There were four keynote addresses (Cardinal John Dew: Leadership in a time of change; Ron Huntley: Culture Change; Karolina Gunsser: Integrating Young People; and Lana Turvey-Collins: Plenary Council 2020). Each keynote was supported by an Expert Discussion Panel which broadly picked up the themes of the keynotes and participants were allocated to facilitated conversation groups.

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WATCH: Christian leaders must learn the skill of Discernment

In reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of exercising Christian leadership, Rev. Dr Kevin Lenehan (Associate Dean, Catholic Theological College) talked about the importance of discernment. "Discernment is about my experience of the Holy Spirit and that of the community. ... We go into this Synod not knowing what the future holds for us and yet it's in faith that we walk into that future." A timely message as we venture through this listening and dialogue phase of the Plenary Council 2020. 

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WATCH: Fr Max Vodola talks about the Sensus Fidei

Over four weeks in May, the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation Melbourne hosted a lecture series exploring Christian leadership for the 21st-century context. To assist in the ongoing formation of parish leadership teams, these sessions can be watched and come with discussion questions. 

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