New ministry models challenge NZ priests


Parishes around the world are emptying, ageing, sleeping and dying.

According to Fr James Mallon, it does not have to be this way.

Mallon, a Canadian priest, last week spoke to New Zealand’s diocesan priests in Christchurch to explore what he calls “Divine Renovation.”

The present century demands new models of ministry and new ways of engaging with society, he says.

“Divine Renovation exists to inspire and equip parishes to become missional.”

The “Divine Renovation” programme exists through its network for parishes.

According to the Divine Renovation website, the movement has a goal to inspire and equip 35,000 parishes to become missional and within 10 years to bring 2 million people to Jesus.

Parishes who join the network are coached to move from “maintenance” mode to mission engagement.

As well as coaching, parishes can avail themselves of books, videos, conference workshops and retreats.

Divine Renovation also offers a free Podcast and its own YouTube Channel where the team explores leadership and parish renewal, and invites guests of the podcast to share their experience and expertise.

Mallon says “Divine Renovation” does not have all the answers, but it has many of the right questions.

“We’ve experienced first-hand what it’s like to be a missional parish,” he says on his website.

Mallon, along with the team at St Benedict Parish in Halifax, transformed their parish into a vibrant community of missionary disciples.

The national assembly of diocesan priests is held every five years.

The week’s programme provided priests with a way to openly reflect on and discuss their own experiences in ministry and how pastoral life might be “renovated.”


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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