Cardinal Dew: Leadership in times of change


The archbishop of Wellington, Cardinal John Dew, was the keynote speaker at the Proclaim 2018 conference in Brisbane.

He spoke on the topic of Leadership in a Time of Change.

The cardinal said New Zealand Catholics looking for answers to “renewal” took heart from Pope Francis.

“The Pope is encouraging us to go out of our buildings and find those on the peripheries.

“The poor, the imprisoned and the sick are unlikely to come to us,” Dew said, quoting from replies that New Zealand parishioners had written during a recent survey.

“We are to see the Lord in the marginalised and serve Him through our service to them. We are to go out and ‘do’, not stay in church and write reports,” he said.

“It is hard to know where to start, but [it is] not sufficient to stay sitting in pews.”

On the conference sidelines, Dew spoke about how renewal or “amalgamation” was being tackled in New Zealand parishes.

He described a system of pastoral teams made up of lay leaders with substantial theological training working closely with priests.

“And most of them are working well together, but it’s still taking time to learn how to share responsibility.

“We’re really pleased with it,” Dew said.

“The next step is to continue an outward push which was a big thing at our synod last year.

“Like here (Proclaim 2018) – there are wonderful people involved.

“So I think the challenge is to make sure that all these people just go that step further and look at how do we move beyond our parish, our own formation and our own ministry activities to what are the needs of the community out there and how do we serve those people.”

The conference ran across three days from 12-14 July at The Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre (St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane).


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News category: New Zealand.

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