Take the Way of the Gospel (1)
During these next few weeks, our bulletin will contain a short statement on the hopes of the Melbourne Archdiocese for the future of our parishes.
What are we being invited to do?
We are being called — lay people and clergy together— to a renewed sense of our missionary purpose. Exploring and dreaming a missionary way forward lies at the heart of our baptismal call to live out the Gospel. It is something that Pope Francis talks about in his Apostolic Letter, Evangelii Gaudium (2013): “I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. Parishes should become more mission-oriented and ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open.”
Take the Way of the Gospel (2)
But why now?
Over many years, lay people and clergy have identified a need to find new and fresh ways to proclaim the Gospel into our local communities. One aspect of this re-awakening is to attend to the manner in which these local communities of grace – be they parishes, language communities or movements of our Archdiocese – are arranged and function so that they bring renewed and ongoing life for God’s people
As Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has reflected, “The Way of the Gospel – the path of missionary discipleship – has always been adapted by every generation to fit the local circumstances. How this is arranged has varied according to time and place. Now is our time; here is our place. Our parishes will remain at the heart of the gathering of God’s people locally, but we need to adapt the way we resource our local communities, including the placement of clergy, catechists and other lay leaders, to form Missions that comprise a family of faith communities.”