Diocesan Pastoral Council
2017 Diocesan Pastoral Council Assembly
Our 2017 Diocesan Assembly was held on the weekend of 28th and 29th October 2017 in Bathurst.
The Assembly was attended by the Bishop, appointed Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) members, deacons, seminarians and Chairs of our various Diocesan councils. Our priests participated as their pastoral commitments permitted.
The Assembly is the annual gathering of the whole of the Council. It was a time to meld their experience and wisdom and explore what might be possible for our Diocese into the future. This was in the form of new initiatives; and included ways we can improve on things we are already doing.
The gathering was facilitated by Daniel Ang, Director of Evangelisation for the Diocese of Broken Bay. Daniel was with us for the 2016 Assembly and generously offered to continue on our journey with us this year, working with participants on ‘our task as missionary disciples’.
Delegates listened to reports on what’s happening in the Diocese in various areas, including Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia, Ministry Formation Programme, Diocesan Youth Plan and the upcoming Synod. There was also be a session for the Convenors, to assist them in their roles and in making the groups more efficient and dynamic.
Through their work during the year, each of the workgroups presented one specific and practical proposal on which it would like to focus in the coming year. Other ideas were shared and will continue to be considered and developed over time, however the energy of the groups will be devoted to the progression of the particular proposal presented.
During the Assembly, the delegates attended the Parish Mass in the Cathedral at 10.00am on Sunday 29th October and were presented by an icon of "Our Lady of the Central West" as a token of thanks for the ongoing efforts of the DPC members.
Bishop McKenna said he was very happy with the outcomes of the Assembly and looks forward to working with all the groups over the coming months to deliver many of the initiatives discussed over the two days.
The Diocesan Pastoral Council
The Diocesan Pastoral Council has evolved from the first Diocesan Assembly held in 2013. Bishop Michael McKenna announced then, the establishment of a Diocesan Assembly Council. The Assembly Council was established to advise the Bishop on the evaluation and possible implementation of ideas that have emerged so far in the Assembly process. It had the responsibility of advising him on the next steps in this process: including when, where and in what form another gathering might be held in two to three years' time.
Over the past three years, the Assembly Council held various events and meet regularly to further the objectives of the original Assembly. From this process, the Diocesan Pastoral Council was conceptualised and the 48 members of the Council were commissioned by Bishop McKenna at Mass at the Cathedral on Sunday 30 October 2017, as part of the closing celebrations of the Diocese's Sesquicentenary which included the 2016 Diocesan Assembly, which was held on Saturday 29 October. This saw the gathering of representatives from 16 of our 17 parishes, who will now form the new Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) - the first under the leadership of Bishop McKenna. They were joined by other appointed members including the Vicar General, priests, deacons, Religious and members of the Chancery/Centacare/CEO staff.
The Diocesan Pastoral Council will work together and advise Bishop McKenna on the matters to improve and ensure the sustainability of the Diocese's future. The six work groups established by the Bishop include: Hearing and Proclaiming the Word of God; Worshipping God in Prayer and Sacrament; Building a Community of Love and Service; Participation of Indigenous Catholics; Participation of Young Catholics; or The Domestic Church: Marriage and Families.
These six groups will work together to progress matters in our Diocese that concern their particular apostolate and will report to the Bishop. Each has a Convenor and these six people will meet regularly with the Bishop and ex-officio members, forming a Steering Committee. The Diocesan Assembly will now be an annual gathering of all members of the DPC and the real work of the Council will happen in the workgroups during the year.
A list and information of all members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council can be found HERE>
Click here to view the Diocesan Calendar detailing DPC events