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Participants at the Diocesan Think Tank session at St Michael’s Church, Baulkham Hills (Parramatta Diocese)

Hundreds of people across the Parramatta Diocese have given feedback and practical ideas for the development of a new pastoral plan for the diocese. Source: Catholic Outlook.

Collaborative “think tank” sessions were held at local and diocesan levels, with clergy, religious men and women, lay leaders, and community members responding to the resolutions affirmed at the first Diocesan Synod for Parramatta, held in October last year. 

The six themes of the Synod decrees – An Inclusive and Welcoming Church; A Humble and Healing Church; A Listening Church; A Church Renewed in Spirit and Prayer; A Church that Reaches to the Margins and A Church Walking Together – served as the pillars guiding these discussions. 

Greystanes parish priest Fr Paul Roberts hosted the first Diocesan Think Tank session, which saw almost 40 people in attendance. He said that one of the key things the process highlighted is “the need for us to dig down from the ‘resolutions’ not firstly to answers, but to really faithfully explore the relevant questions that may still be hidden in the resolutions”. 

“This kind of faithfully working through of resolutions by way of further questions and learning may lead us to surprising decisions and actions,” Fr Roberts said.

Think tank participants were also able to examine a draft of the “Diocesan Plan for a Synodal Church” and the discussions from the sessions will be instrumental in shaping the final version of the plan. 

The plan will be launched at the Diocesan Gathering on August 10 at the Western Sydney Conference Centre in Penrith.


Together in Faith: Developing Our Pastoral Plan  (By Mary Brazell, Catholic Outlook)