Diocesan Assembly a Success

Our inaugural Diocesan Assembly was held on Pentecost Weekend - 17th to 19th May 2013.

More than 240 people from across the Diocese took part in the Assembly, designed to inspire and educate more of our people to take up their share of the Church’s mission; and to begin building new structures of opportunity for service, worship and proclamation.

The weekend got off to a great start with Registration on the Friday evening, with many people seizing the opportunity to renew old acquaintances.

A lot of good feedback has been received about the Opening Liturgy which followed. It was a time to settle into the spirit of the weekend, and come together in the most important way we can, in worship and prayer. The Liturgy was a joyous and positive one, which set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

At Bishop McKenna’s invitation, Anglican Bishop of Bathurst, The Right Reverend Ian Palmer, was the homilist and was assisted by the Dean of All Saints Cathedral, Reverend Anne Wentzel.

Six Workshops were run on the Saturday, looking at the various matters that Bishop McKenna had identified as being pivotal to the future of our local Church: Hearing and Proclaiming the Word of God; Worshipping God in Prayer and Sacraments; Building a Community of Justice and Love; Participation of Indigenous Catholics; Participation of Young Catholics and The Domestic Church: Marriages and Families.

They are indeed big topics and time was limited, however good, fruitful instruction and discussion took place throughout the day, across all the Workshops. There was an opportunity to hear from the various groups at the Plenary Session on Sunday and also a chance to ask some questions.

The Plenary was also a chance for delegates to nominate three people they thought would be suitable for membership of the new Diocesan Assembly Council. The Council, along with the Council of Priests, will assist the Bishop to work through the ideas from the Diocesan Assembly to see what it is possible to implement relatively simply, and what might require more work on our part to bring about. It will also be the responsibility of the Council to plan the next Assembly in two or three years.

Bishop McKenna has thanked the many people who worked hard to make this first Diocesan Assembly so successful.  A special thanks must go to the Youth Team and those who supported and trained them. Our young people did an outstanding job over the weekend and their participation in the Assembly was enlivening and inspiring.

Work is underway collating all the feedback from the Workshops and the Assembly in general and this will be passed on to the Assembly Council when it is established. More information about the Bishop’s appointments to the Council and other matters emerging from the Assembly, will be available on our Diocesan website - www.bathurst.catholic.org.au.

Fiona Lewis

You can access photos of the Assembly, by Amy Grima Photography and Clare Lewis, at:


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