What is ‘Take the Way of the Gospel’ inviting us to?
We are being called — laypeople and clergy together — to a renewed sense of our missionary purpose. Exploring and dreaming a missionary way forward lies at the heart of our baptismal call to live out the Gospel. It is something that Pope Francis talks about in his Apostolic Letter, Evangelii Gaudium (2013): ‘I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open.’
What’s happened so far?
This is a long-term journey that our community is embarking on. What the faithful of Melbourne are being called to is not new, but rather a recognition of an ever-increasing sense of urgency expressed by both the clergy and lay faithful over many decades to find new and more sustainable ways of inviting people into the mission of the Gospel.
Our parishes will remain at the heart of the gathering of God’s people locally, but we need to adapt the way we resource our local communities, including the placement of clergy, catechists and other lay leaders, to form Missions that comprise a family of faith communities.
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
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