Christchurch diocese priests’ AGM

The AGM of the priests of the Christchurch diocese was held this week on October 16 and 17 in the St. Gregory’s Parish Centre, Bishopdale. This is the annual meeting of Bishop Barry Jones with all the priests of the diocese.

During the meeting members are elected to various bodies such as the Council of Priests. This meets a number of times each year to advise the bishop on the many pastoral and administrative matters that arise.

Reports are tabled and discussed on matters such as the Antarctic Chaplaincy, the Diocesan Vocations Director’s Report, Pontifical Mission Societies, the Bishop’s Pastoral Office Report and the Financial Administrator’s Report.

The diocese is experiencing times of great change, not least in response to the earthquakes and their consequences. Churches, schools, parish houses and other properties have been destroyed or badly damaged, and it is still not clear what the response should be in some cases. New parishes have been formed as former ones have been amalgamated. Some schools are facing a major rebuilding programme, and are carrying on under difficult circumstances.

However, the priests are in good heart, determined to have a positive attitude towards the future. Various pastoral initiatives such as the possibility of perpetual adoration in one of the churches in Christchurch are being examined, as is the distribution of a personal Catholic wallet card, credit-card sized, which would identify the possessor as a Catholic in a situation of emergency.

A beautiful icon of Mary, Mother of the Church, commissioned by the diocese and made by St. John the Baptist Studio in Auckland has begun its journey through the parishes.

Extensive discussion was held on how to respond in a dynamic way on a parish level to the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict. All are conscious of the importance of a pastoral approach that gives priority to evangelization, so necessary in the secular world we live in, where our Faith is not well understood.

Photo: Fr. Joselito Quimones


News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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