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New body to lead in evangelisation

EVANGELISATION Brisbane will be the new guiding entity for the arch-diocese’s faith and mission journey from the start of next year.

The new entity will replace Faith and Life, which since 2005 has run a range of services to parishes and deaneries and ecclesial organisations, and supported large-scale pastoral projects such as Pray 2010.

Archdiocesan vicar general Monsignor Peter Meneely will oversee the process of transition to the new structure.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the decision followed a review “to identify which existing or new services and ministries, currently funded from the archdiocesan budget, are needed for the mission of the Church in Brisbane over the six-year period 2015 and 2020”.

The review also looked at the operation of Centacare Pastoral Ministries, which include Catholic Psychiatric Pastoral Care, Prison Ministry, Murri Ministry and Apostleship of the Sea, prison chaplains, hospital chaplains and Shiloh HIV-AIDS Ministry.

Archbishop Coleridge said the review had responded to changing financial priorities of the archdiocese.

“This required reduction in some areas of current expenditure,” he said.

He acknowledged the leadership of Geoff Gowdie who was the executive director of Faith and Life.

“We are deeply in the debt of Geoff and his team, for whom the work has been far more than a job,” he said.

Mr Gowdie expressed his appreciation to Faith and Life’s departing staff for all they had contributed to the local Church and beyond.

“I express similar appreciation to continuing staff for what they have contributed and pray every blessing upon them and new staff yet to come,” he said.

“I express again my appreciation to you in the parishes and communities that we have been able to serve in a variety of ways.”

Other details of the new direction include:

  • Evangelisation Brisbane will comprise two teams – Mission, with an emphasis on parish support and evangelisation, and Formation with a focus on faith development and training for leadership in mission
  • The current youth ministry service will close and a new approach to youth evangelisation will be taken
  • Responsibility for the Institute of Faith Education will be transferred to Brisbane Catholic Education from January
  • Centacare Pastoral Ministries will continue to be a part of Centacare until December 2014 with archdiocesan funds available to assist in the operational shortfall not covered by fundraising
  • Funding to Shiloh HIV-AIDS Ministry will not continue beyond December with funding to the remaining ministries mainly staying at 2013 levels.

Ursuline Sister Kari Hatherell has been appointed leader of the Mission team and Faith and Life Every Day Mission Team leader Mike Humphrys will be temporary leader of the Formation team.

Teresa Delsorte will lead a 12-month project to develop strategies for youth evangelisation.

“To recognise and celebrate the contribution of all”, Archbishop Coleridge has invited staff of Faith and Life to a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Chapel of St Stephen in November.

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