ARCHBISHOP Mark Coleridge of Brisbane will visit seven different regions across the archdiocese throughout spring explaining his understanding of the term “new evangelisation”.
The series of seminars and workshops entitled “Open Wide the Doors to Christ” will start at Surfers Paradise parish on September 4.
A spokesman for the organisers of the series said it should prove a fitting close to the Year of Faith, which itself was initiated by Pope Benedict XVI with his own document Porta Fidei – the door of faith.
Earlier in the year Archbishop Coleridge held sessions with archdiocesan boards, commissions and staff on the same topic.
This schedule fulfils a promise to take it out more widely to parishes and the people of the archdiocese.
Organising committee chair Deacon Anthony Gooley said the archbishop was keen to avoid the term “new evangelisation” being viewed as a mere slogan or another program being launched upon parishes.
“I think it has been a strong theme of the Archbishop’s to contend there is nothing ‘new to new evangelisation’, but rather it lies within an encounter with Christ, which is itself evangelisation,” Deacon Gooley said.
“He’s also been saying there is a more urgent need for a mission-focused Church and one of the phrases he often uses is ‘we have to do parishes differently’.
“In a sense that means shifting from a maintenance mode, looking beyond who’s already gathered with us to instead asking ourselves who’s not with us and why not?
“The key element of that is really to say ‘how do we become a more mission-focused Church’ so he’s going to be speaking on that theme and inspiring the local community.”
A few weeks after each regional presentation a workshop facilitated by the Faith and Life agency will be held to discuss ideas and strategies for evangelisation and mission.
The workshops are intended to draw upon the good things parishes are already doing and extend it further.
“The Archbishop is really aiming at connecting us with the treasures we already have and how we use those resources,” he said.
“It’s the people we have in our parishes, the liturgy and the other ideas in use so we will simply look at the missionary potential of all of those things rather than importing a whole new idea or concept.
“As one person said at one of the previous seminars, talking about the new evangelisation can sometimes seem like a plane circling at 30,000 feet. It can seem like a big concept that does not touch ordinary parish life.
“These workshops are about bringing it down from the high level and seeing what does it look like on the ground.”
The seven parishes playing host as regional venues span a wide arc – Surfers Paradise, Gympie, Ipswich, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Maroochydore, Bracken Ridge and Upper Mt Gravatt – offering access to the whole archdiocese.
Seminars with the Archbishop run for 90 minutes while workshops run for two hours.
All events are free.
For more information on dates, times and venues visit www.bne.catholic.net.au/yearoffaith or phone 3336 9174.