enews NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEACONS Fr Frank Brennan will be keynote speaker at the National Association of Deacons conference in Melbourne.

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1 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEACONS SEPTEMBER 2015 Fr Frank Brennan will be keynote speaker at the National Association of Deacons conference in Melbourne. Service and pastoral solicitude REV Prof Frank Brennan SJ OA believes deacons are called to be people of service and exemplars of pastoral solicitude. Frank is Professor of Law at Australian Catholic University and Adjunct Professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. He will be keynote speaker at the National Association of Deacons conference in Melbourne. The starting point for his talks will be Pope Francis recent encyclical, Laudato Si. Part of the brilliance of Pope Francis and this is from the time he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires is that he realises that, no matter how compelling and enlightened were the doctrinal teachings of Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict, people thought that, for the moment we d had our fill of those teachings, he said. We don t want to depart from them in any way; but we need to get back to being the exemplars of pastoral solicitude. This will be one of my strong messages to the deacons. They re called to be people of service and exemplars of pastoral solicitude. The second point I ll be making is that I think the real insight that Francis offers us with this encyclical is that there s an inseparable bond between care for creation, concern for the poor and the marginalised, the espousing of the needs of community and of the attention to our own interior peace. Frank also hopes to hear from deacons about their thoughts on the role of deacons in the Church in Australia today.

2 2 Another area that I d happily talk about will be reflecting with deacons on what is their role in this time in the Church, which I regard as a time of transition, with the steep decline in ordinations to the priesthood and entry to religious life, he said. I think this is a real template change in the life of the Catholic Church. I also think the place of deacons, particularly married deacons, is not only significant, but presumably is a pointer to what will have to come in the foreseeable future a more routinely recognised place for married clergy. To be able to discuss that and the contemporary situation in such a group would, I think, be a good thing. I might pose the question: For a Church like Australia, is the Holy Spirit asking that we be led sacramentally by people who have come from our own pews? Or is the Spirit saying that this is now a missionary land and that there is a need for more and more celibate priests to be brought from overseas? Sr Claire Griffin, pictured at the Brigidine Ministry Centre, Albert Park, Victoria. Deacons have a prophetic role Deacon Nick Kerr speaks to Sr Claire Griffin DEACONS, as leaders in Christian communities, have a prophetic role in the life of the church, according to Sr Claire Griffin. Sr Claire has spent many years in education and parish ministry and is now a member of the Brigidine Sisters Congregational Leadership Team. She will speak on the final day of the NAD conference. The first days of the conference will raise for the deacons and their wives a number of key issues for any of us who call ourselves Christian today and who want to be committed to living justly and inviting others to live justly, she said. You deacons are in leadership roles in the church. It s up to each individual deacon and each deacon s wife to make a personal response to the challenges of the conference. But there s more than that. As leaders in faith communities, deacons also have a role to call others to live the Gospel and to live justly.

3 3 Sr Claire said that, during the conference, Fr Frank Brennan SJ and the people who present workshops will raise many justice issues. On the Saturday of the conference deacons and their wives will visit different sites. People will be confronted with real life issues. Examples will be homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, the rights of Indigenous people, the pressures on individuals and families, lack of employment and people caught in patterns of life that are far from healthy. So people will come out of those days in touch with many issues, particularly issues that are important for those of us who live in Australia, Sr Claire said. But we live in a global world. We can t focus only on the issues of our own diocese, our own Church, our own country. We re part of the global world. As a woman religious who has worked in parishes, encouraging the role of lay people and women in particular is dear to Sr Claire s heart. The Church has a big challenge of acknowledging, celebrating and honouring women in the Church and women in society, she said. I fear we may have lost a generation of women. I think a lot of work has to be done, as faith communities, to see that women are engaged, honoured, involved, nurtured, celebrated and empowered and their role as Gospel people is lifted. I also have a passion for how we can engage our parishes in justice issues. We spend a lot of time on liturgy, which, of course, we must do, Updating national survey and on schools. That s all good. But I think it would be a shame if parishes didn t have ways of calling their community, young and old, into awareness of our world today and how we can take action in response to the justice issues facing our world. Pope Francis has made a real call to all of us to be engaged in these issues. He isn t writing just to the ordained, or to certain nations, or to a certain class. He s writing to the whole world. He makes that quite clear. So many wonderful people are already engaged in all sorts of wonderful work and all sorts of wonderful service. Yet often they can t find a place in our parish communities. They have a heart for justice. They have a heart for the Gospel. They re doing what Jesus asks us to do. But somehow we, as faith communities, are missing out on their passion, energy and action. Maybe we have to acknowledge that that s where the laity live their vocation. They re out there in the rough and tumble of life, in the cut and thrust of industrial action and justice for workers, in housing issues and work for youth, in services to the local community, in solidarity with people who are struggling and with the people who are really vulnerable, in drug and alcohol support, in services for women trapped in prostitution and the layers of abuse that often go with that, in family abuse services, in all these sorts of issues. There is a longer version of this interview on the National Association of Deacons website, WE WILL begin to update information for the national survey of permanent deacons at the October conference. The survey will follow the same format as the one undertaken by Brisbane deacon, Rev Dr Anthony Gooley, two years ago. We will ask deacons at the national conference including deacons who have been ordained since the first survey to update information. We will then follow up other deacons after the conference.

4 4 Deacon Michael Lindsay was ordained by Bishop James Foley of Cairns recently. Deacon Michael ordained BISHOP James Foley of Cairns ordained Deacon Michael Lindsay, on 28 August. Michael is principal of St Joseph s Parish School, Atherton, Queensland. Michael said he began his formal journey towards the diaconate in late 2009 when he and his wife, Melanie, submitted their applications to the director of vocations for the Cairns Diocese. It wasn t until another two and a half years later that the formal formation programme began when three others considered joining the journey. In the meantime, Michael completed a Master of Theology in Biblical Studies. At that stage he held the position of Assistant Principal Faith and Religious Education in a Catholic high school. Once the programme got going, my fellow aspirants and I studied together for the next four years, Michael said. There was a series of regular intensives and practicums covering pastoral formation, theology of ministry, homiletics and canon law. He was called to candidacy earlier this year and ordained as a deacon on 28 August 2015 by Bishop James Foley. It was the most humbling and exciting experience since my wedding, he said. In my discernment towards candidacy and ordination, Bishop James and I explored possible options for ministry. We quickly saw being a deacon-educator in Catholic schools as the most logical field of ministry. We both saw this in a similar model to where religious Brothers and Sisters work in Catholic schools. As it turned out, towards the end of last year I was appointed as Principal of St. Joseph s Parish School in Atherton (North Queensland) and so I am a Deacon-Principal of a Catholic school. I had heard it said that presbyters are ordained to minister primarily to the Churchgathered while deacons are ordained to minister to the Church-scattered.

5 5 I see ministry within my local parish school as a collaborative work with my parish priest where I minister to many families who may or may not have any regular connection with the parish. The fact that they are drawn to being part of a Catholic school shows that they identify with much of what our faith offers and it is my privilege to minister among them and for our school to be a place for encountering Christ. Michael and Melanie have two children, Isaac, 6, and Sophia, 4. International Diaconate Centre (IDC) President, deacon, Rev Dr Klaus Kiessling, with IDC manager, Dr Stefan Sander, in the background. Pope to meet deacons, wives OCTOBER will be an important month for permanent deacons. Here in Australia we will hold our own national conference in Melbourne. Soon afterwards Pope Francis will meet a group of 460 permanent deacons and their wives from around the world in a special audience. It will be the first time Pope Francis has addressed a special audience of permanent deacons and their wives since he became Pope. Five Australian deacons and four wives will be taking part in the Rome conference and papal audience. The five day conference in Rome will mark the 50th anniversary of a papal audience on 25 October 1965, when Blessed Pope Paul VI announced that the time had come to re-establish the permanent diaconate in the Latin Church. Less than a year before, the Second Vatican Council s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, had spoken of the possibility of reinstating the permanent diaconate. The 1965 study conference was on The Deacon in the Church and World of Today. More than half the 250 people taking part were cardinals and bishops who had participated in the Council. Pope Paul VI told them: Surely the Council acted in accordance with the providential inspiration of the Holy Spirit when it decided to renew the original ministry of diaconate

6 6 at the service of the people of God. Now the hour has come for this decision of the Council to be put into practice. Paul VI issued the formal document re-establishing the permanent diaconate in the Latin Church later on June 18, The 1965 Rome conference decided to set up a world body to promote the permanent diaconate, the International Diaconate Centre (IDC). The IDC, which has its headquarters in Germany, is a movement for the renewal of the Permanent Diaconate. It shares experiences and information about the diaconate with deacons and others around the world. The conference in Rome next month will mark the 50th anniversary of its formation. Its theme will be Diaconate Past, Present, Future. IDC president, deacon, Rev Dr Klaus Kiesling, says, Fifty years later, then, the IDC returns to its most important roots. The program promises to be a harmonious blending of retrospect and looking towards the future of a diaconal Church and of a diaconal ministry within it. Liturgical celebrations, spiritual impulses and cultural highlights in Rome and Assisi will make up a worthy offering for the participants from all over the world. Jubilee for Deacons, 2016 One of the events announced for the Year of Mercy is a Jubilee for Deacons. It will be held in Rome from May 26-29, Several international speakers will present papers at this event. Rev Dr Anthony Gooley, a deacon of the Archdiocese of Brisbane and a theologian with the Broken Bay Institute, is among those invited by the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation to present a paper. Highlights of the jubilee announced so far include: Friday, May 27, 2016: Beginning at 5pm, deacons and wives will be organized by language (English, Italian and Spanish) for a series of presentations at the seven churches of St. Lawrence. A keynote address will be presented on the subject, Deacon Icon of Mercy of the New Evangelization. Three additional presentations will discuss the application of the Deacon as the Icon of Mercy In the Family, In the Parish, and In the Workplace. Saturday, May 28, 2016: Starting at 8am and ending at 5pm, there will be opportunities for Eucharistic adoration, reconciliation and tours of the seven churches of St Lawrence as personal pilgrimages. At 6pm, pilgrims will walk through the Holy Doors at St. Peter s Basilica to hear official catechesis on the subject, The Deacon: Called to the Service of Charity in the life of the Community. Sunday, May 29, 2016: At 10am Mass will be celebrated in St. Peter s Square with Pope Francis. Deacons will be seated to the front. Deacons from around the world have been invited to attend. It will be an opportunity to have fellowship with other deacons, to share insights and experiences and learn. Pope Francis will attend some of the Jubilee for Deacons. There is no registration cost to attend the Jubilee for Deacons, but participants will be required to register in advance. More information about registration will be shared as it becomes available. Hopefully a number of deacons from Australia may be able to attend, Anthony Gooley said. More information can be found at the Year of Mercy website ( gdm/en.html ) and through the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization ( va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/newevangelization/index.htm ), which is responsible for the Year of Mercy. Editor : Deacon Nick Kerr Adelaide Diocesan Centre, 39 Wakefield Street, Adelaide, Phone , Design & Layout : Joby Thachappilly Fifthcolour Multimedia, Adelaide Phone

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