Subscribe to our mailing list

Subscribe

*indicates required

Welcome to Melbourne Faithful

Nihil sine episcopo, nihil sine consilio vestro, et sine consensu plebis (St. Cyprian of Carthage).

“Nothing [should be done in the diocese] without its bishop, without your (the priests’) counsel, or without the consent of the people.”

On 22 May 2021, Archbishop Peter Comensoli announced the Take the Way of the Gospel restructure of the 209 parishes into 50 to 60 Missions.

To assist in discerning how best to implement this plan, the Archbishop also initiated a consultation involving Archdiocesan officials and the clergy and people of the Archdiocese.

Melbourne Faithful hope to contribute to this consultation and to engage with our Archbishop to help bring a renewed missionary vigour to our Church in Melbourne. In doing so, we commit ourselves to a respectful and charitable engagement with everyone involved.

We encourage all parishioners to visit the Archdiocesan website to learn more about the Take the Way of the Gospel proposal (https://melbournecatholic.org/about/mission).

We have tried to encourage other Catholics to engage in this discernment by means of an online Petition, and we have been heartened by the wonderful response to this Petition which asked the Archbishop to pause the Take the Way of the Gospel to allow for a deeper consultation between laypersons and our Archbishop and priests. To learn more about our Petition click here.

How can laypersons contribute to the process?

The Archbishop’s vision has two objectives, first, to revitalise our parishes by moving beyond parish maintenance into missionary discipleship and outreach, and second, to devise new structures by which parish ministry is resourced through the implementation of the Mission structure across Melbourne. 

Melbourne Faithful are of one mind with our Archbishop in trying to revitalize our parishes but have concerns about some of the proposals, such as whether the model proposed is suitable for the entire Archdiocese. We think that this is one area that needs further discernment involving all stakeholders, priest and lay.

How can laypersons contribute to the process?

  1. Pray! 
    We have posted some novenas with prayer intentions for this process. We invite you, or your parish, family or friends to pray together for these special intentions.  To access the Novenas click here.
     
  2. Contact your Parish Representatives 
    At the request of the Archdiocese, your parish priest should have appointed two lay parish representatives to engage in the process. The role of your parish representatives is to attend regional meetings and then to go back to the parish to share the fruits of these meetings. 

    We suggest that you contact your parish representatives (your Parish Priest should tell you who they are) and bring your concerns and questions to them so that they can bring your feedback and concerns to the pastor and to the Archdiocesan officials entrusted with the discernment process.

    Some questions you may want to pose to your parish representatives include:
     
    • How precisely will this proposed restructuring help the mission of the Church?
    • How will the good things already happening in our parish be preserved and strengthened?
    • How will the proposed mission structure revitalise our liturgical and sacramental life, our faith formation and prayer, our outreach and care for the poor?
    • How will the pastoral relationship of the faithful and their priests change?
    • Will my parish priest still be my parish priest after the restructure?
    • Will he still live in my parish and have the “the smell of his sheep?”
    • We have been assured that parishes will remain, but given that the notion of a parish is that it has a proper pastor, will parishes continue to have a proper pastor?
    • What is the role of the moderator vis-à-vis a parish priest?
    • What will happen to our pastoral associate, our parish primary school, and other parish assets?

What is next for Melbourne Faithful?

We want a transparent discernment involving all stakeholders. We hope that the Melbourne Faithful website will become a source of information. We plan to update the website with developments. If you are new to Melbourne Faithful, please sign up for our email updates or click here to read the latest news.

Most of all, we want the multitude of committed and active Catholics to engage in the discernment. Please tell your friends and fellow parishioners about Melbourne Faithful.