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Great renewal

The opening Mass for the Synod Assembly was filled with liturgical symbolism

A JOYOUS spirit of renewal captured the enthusiasm of more than 700 Catholics who attended Brisbane archdiocese’s historic synod last weekend.

The Synod Assembly from May 1-4 was a landmark event in the archdiocese and focused on the theme of ‘Setting hearts on fire: The challenge of following Jesus and transforming the world in the 21st century’.

Synod Assembly members represented the full spectrum of interest groups in the archdiocese, ranging from parishes to agencies, and included lay people, clergy and religious.

They had been chosen by Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby to help him pave the future direction of the archdiocese.

At the assembly, members reworked and then voted on seven previously chosen areas of interest or Broad Action Proposals (BAPs).

The final seven BAPs were:

  • Building communities of faith.
  • Educating in faith.
  • Christian mission in daily life.
  • Engaging and connecting with young people.
  • Deepening our spirituality
  • Celebrating liturgy.
  • Effective communication.

From these emerged nine most highly selected outcomes:

  • That parish liturgy becomes more vibrant, meaningful and inclusive.
  • That Catholics embrace the person and vision of Jesus Christ.
  • That parishes are welcoming, inclusive communities to which people are drawn and have a strong sense of belonging.
  • That Catholics recognise and value the impact of their everyday Christian living on building a better world.
  • That young people are helped by a set of faith development opportunities to integrate their faith with everyday experience.
  • That parish pastoral leadership is promoted, supported and resourced at all levels.
  • That the person and message of Jesus and the works of the Church are effectively communicated in wider society.
  • That parishes accept, value and use the initiative of small groups to nurture and support people on their faith journey.
  • That a deep awareness of and commitment to social justice and social welfare are characteristic of Catholics throughout the archdiocese.

The recommendations were presented to the archbishop on May 4. In a speech at the presentation, Archbishop Bathersby asked for the prayers of the archdiocese in determining his response to the recommendations.

He will respond to the recommendations and announce a set of future directions at a final gathering of synod members in St Stephen’s Cathedral on July 27.

Written by: Staff writers
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