By Peter Bugden
SOCIAL justice advocate Clyde Cosentino is the first director of Brisbane archdiocese’s new agency Evangelisation Brisbane.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge announced the appointment on June 11 “after a nation-wide search” for the right person to head the new entity which replaced the Faith and Life agency as a result of a review of archdiocesan services and ministries.
Archbishop Coleridge said Mr Cosentino brought impressive qualifications and experience to the position.
Mr Cosentino is a solicitor, a former director of the archdiocese’s Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care and was adjunct lecturer in the Law School at Griffith University. He also has a Bachelor of Theology.
“Clyde brings a strong social justice framework to his thinking and is currently a member of the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“I look forward to working closely with him and the Evangelisation Brisbane team as we strive to give flesh to the vision outlined so memorably by Pope Francis in The Joy of the Gospel.”
Mr Cosentino said he had read and been inspired by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel) shortly before friends encouraged him to apply for the position of director of Evangelisation Brisbane.
“I couldn’t believe the richness written into that document,” he said.
“(And) when I saw the job description (for the director’s position) the key point of it is to take in hand The Joy of the Gospel and put flesh on it and take it in a practical sense into parishes.”
Mr Cosentino said it appealed to him when it was indicated “a key objective of the role is to ensure that Evangelisation Brisbane is at the service of the archbishop, priests and parishes in putting into practice” the Pope’s exhortation, “and ensuring that this agency is nimble, flexible and responsive to the needs of parishes today”.
He said as with the name “Evangelisation Brisbane”, he was drawn by “that sense of movement out to the parishes, moving out, not standing still – responding to change and finding out what the Spirit is calling us to do”.
Mr Cosentino said another “critical” aspect that struck him in The Joy of the Gospel was the Pope’s sense of “the very real social dimension of evangelisation”.
“(The Pope) said ‘To evangelise is to make the kingdom of God present in our world’,” he said.
When he takes up the role in mid-August his initial priorities would include getting to know the staff and the work that was already being done by Evangelisation Brisbane.
He said he would also visit parishes – “every single one of them” – over time and learn what was happening there.
Mr Cosentino said he wanted to see how Evangelisation Brisbane could help nurture what was already happening in parishes.