ketekorero August 2015
feature Who is My Neighbour? Moving into next planning phase
arishes throughout the Hamilton Catholic Diocese have begun the process of moving towards finalising the “Who is My Neighbour?” restructuring plan.
Clergy from throughout the Hamilton Diocese - along with John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington - met in Rotorua in July. They are pictured in St Mary of Cross, which is now part of the Rotorua Pastoral Area. At the time this article was prepared, the are due to be with the bishop. meetings of the priests in collegial areas were to Note: Who is my Neighbour? The be held throughout August. Tasks involved the Promulgation Document drew as its following: inspiration on the following: • Propose names for new Collegial Areas On the Solemnity of Christ the King, 24 • Elect members of the new Council of November 2013, Pope Francis gifted to the Priests • Nominate members of the transitional Universal Church, Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel. The vision that Pope Francis has Diocesan Pastoral Council for the Catholic Church in the Third Millennium • Discuss draft statutes. The new bodies – consultors, priests and is contained in these few hundred pages. pastoral – were set to hold their first meetings Francis lays before us, in simple and compelling on 15 September. The tasks they were required language, his hope for the Church: I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary to undertake included the following: impulse capable of transforming • Ratify statutes everything … Francis implores the Church – • Promulgation of statutes • Parishes to write to Bishop requesting he implores us – to return to the mandate given merger to the Church by Christ himself: Go therefore On 22 November, Feast of Christ the King, all and make disciples of all nations (Mt submissions for merger requests or proposals 28:19). WH
S MY NEIGHBO OI College of Consultors
SE OF HAMILT OCE
Diagrams illustrating aspects of Who is my neighbour?
Following his ordination in February this year, Bishop Steve Lowe took the time for a closer study of the plan launched in 2014 by then Bishop Denis Browne. This was followed by meetings with the committee involved with developing the plan – Carole Fleming, Chair of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, Monsignor Trevor Murray and Fr Darren Macfarlane. Bishop Steve has noted the need to look to the future as major changes were being experienced in the diocese. Hamilton and Tauranga continue to experience rapid growth. A number of rural towns and areas continue to experience depopulation. Changes in society have impacted on the Church and in turn on Mass attendance and vocations to the religious and priestly life. “We have big questions to reflect on as to how we can best pastor the cities and the rural areas with our resources.” Following Bishop Steve’s discussions with those involved, the “Who is My Neighbour? The Promulgation Document (Final Draft)” was prepared and published on 14 July 2015. The proposed restructure of the Hamilton diocese is set out in the accompanying diagram. As well as the consultative bodies and the Chanel Centre, the structure includes eight collegial areas into which will fit the parishes. The original plan had nine collegial areas, which included “Hamilton Central” and “Hamilton North”. However, in the new plan, the parishes in the Hamilton area are collected under the temporary banner of “Waikato Central”. In laying out the new version of the plan, Bishop Steve noted the document envisaged more conversations in each of the collegial areas. He invoked Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evanelii Gaudium, in asking that discussions might be “bold, and creative in this task of rethinking and goals, structures, style and methods of evangelisation. The important thing is not to walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters, and especially under the leaderships of the bishops, in a wise and realistic pastoral discernment”. While he was happy to visit and listen to deliberations in each area, Bishop Steve has urged individuals to be realistic about their future and the priestly staffing of the collegial areas. His hope is that in working through the plan, he will easily be able to endorse the ideas for collegial areas. “At the same time, it is part of my responsibility that decisions are made not only for the good of individual parishes but also the good of the whole diocese.” The proposed re-structure of the diocese includes restructuring plans for the following: • The College of Consultors • The Council of Priests • The Diocesan Finance Council • The Diocesan Pastoral Council • The Chanel Centre
The illustrations show as follows: Right, the proposed re-structure of the diocese. Below left, the proposed re-structure of the council of priests. Below right, the proposed re-structure of the Diocesan Finance Council and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Note: The College of Consultors has endorsed the Collegial Areas and agreed on a process for the establishment of a new Council of Priests.
Publication of the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, New Zealand