Mata kaupapa Mihana — The Diocesan Mission Map
The Diocesan Mission Map
I have a dream. I dream of a ‘missionary Church', so that all her structures can be used
for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her own self-preservation.
Evangelii Gaudium, 27 (On the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s Word), Pope Francis, 2013.
The Diocesan Mission Map is the guideline for the communities of faith communities that make up the Diocese to guide them in building a strong and authentic mission focused Christian community. It listens to the signs of the times and spreads the message of Christ in words and deeds.
Through the Diocesan Mission Map, Bishop Stephen Lowe and Bishop Michael Gielen urge all the baptised in the diocese to follow Pope Francis’ call to reach out beyond their parish, ethnic community and school boundaries to bring the good news and the love of Jesus to all. Particularly through:
- Strengthening our Catholic communities for missionary discipleship (A reflection on this priority)
- Building up the spirituality of our young people (Watch a reflection on this priority)
- Care for the poor (A reflection on this priority)
Forward in Courage and Hope
We are called to embrace the challenge of Pope Francis that our faith communities look to renew their practices, resources, language, and structures so that they be channelled towards evangelisation of today’s world. Evangelii Gaudium # 27.
Pope Francis has called us all to proclaim the Gospel in a new way - “a new phase of evangelisation that (has) existed from the beginning” Misericordiae Vultus #4. He calls us to reawaken parishes, ethnic communities, and schools to new life. To be courageous and look to the future with hope, to promote evangelisation and justice with new enthusiasm and renewed missionary intent.
Pope Francis Calls us to be a Missionary Church
Mission Map Momentum
During 2022 Mission Map Momentum sessions were held through-out the diocese. It was an opportunity for communities to gather together to share their wisdom and reflect on how they are, and how they could implement the Mission Map.
This included a reflection on missionary discipleship from David Wells and time to consider what happened in a vibrant life-giving parish community and what happened or didn’t happen in parish communities that were less life-giving.
Great energy evolved from the process. Across the sessions there were a number of common elements that are summarized here. It is interesting to note that these reflections mirrored what was heard during the diocesan phase of the Synod on Synodality.
The sessions were also an opportunity for communities to be reminded of the support and resources available to assist them in their mahi with short presentations around faith formation opportunities, schools and parishes working together, promoting justice and peace in parish life, and ministry to young people.
Recognising that many parishes are a mix of things going well and ‘room for improvement’ discussions led to a reflection on key aspects of a parish life that nurture. The key aspects identified across all sessions were:
- All people are welcomed to the table of the Lord. Welcoming attitude by all members of the community is paramount.
- The parish is recognised as a community of engaged friend, people want to be there
- Many people participate in ministry and service not just the elite few
- Co-responsibility participation with shared collaborative leadership
- Emphasis on reaching out to new people and the absent.
- Priest knows the people.
- Creating a sense of belonging.
- A homily that unpacks the Word and is relevant to daily life (and is not too long).
- Formation of a listening community that seeks to discern its life rather than just respond.
- Gathering in a place where people can come as they are into a nurturing, relatable, vibrant community that brings them into a relationship with Jesus and each other.
- Connection is paramount. With the faith communities and people and people with each other. Connection needs to be intentional.