Recommendations to the Archbishop - Synod 2017

(click to download - pdf file)

Go, you are sent to...

  1. The peripheries of society.
  2. Develop a spirituality of service.
  3. Find leaders.
  4. Manage your assets wisely.
  5. Deepen your bicultural relationship.
  6. As members of the One Body.
  7. Your own peripheries.
  8. Care for creation.
  9. Fellow Christians.
  10. Accompany one another.
  11. Support marriage and families.
  12. Build community.
  13. Communicate effectively.

1. The peripheries of society

  1. The Archdiocese revisits its Vision and Mission Statements in the light of the teaching of Pope Francis.
  2. The Archdiocese supports parishes and schools in creating an “infrastructure of pastoral care” for the disadvantaged among their own people and those in the local area.
  3. Justice and service bodies in the Archdiocese work together to foster parish service and justice activities, including advocacy on issues related to poverty and disadvantage.
  4. The “Preferential Option for the Peripheries” is a factor in all Archdiocesan, parish and school pastoral planning and decision-making, including a focus on rural areas and communities outside the cities.
  5. The people of the Archdiocese collectively deepen their understanding of the nature of “the peripheries” – where, what, who and why.
  6. The Archdiocese, its parishes and schools undertake an analysis of their structures and processes to identify marginalisation and barriers to participation.
  7. There is a commitment in all areas of the Archdiocese to work together on a method for identifying and addressing the “needs at the peripheries”, which starts with listening to those on the peripheries.
  8. In responding to needs at the peripheries priority is given to:
  • - formation in the Social Teaching of the Church
  • - development of skills and mentoring for effective and safe involvement with the peripheries
  • - providing practical and spiritual support for people reaching out to the peripheries
  • - drawing on and sharing the experience of those already engaged at the peripheries.
  1. The Archdiocese engages with existing bodies (such as St Vincent de Paul Society) to determine how best to support and promote greater parish involvement in their work
  2. Individual and collective cooperation with other Churches and community organisations on addressing the needs of those on the peripheries is encouraged, including migrants and refugees
  3. Parishes are encouraged to develop a project approach to service and justice needs

2. Develop a spirituality of service

  1. Parishes are supported to develop new and inclusive forms of liturgy/worship (other than the Mass) which reflect the diversity of parish communities and encourage people to re-engage with their faith.
  2. Language in liturgies, including hymns, is inclusive.
  3. The Archdiocese makes it a priority to support the development of liturgy/worship in parishes and schools through the provision of qualified personnel, resources and the training of lay leaders
  4. The Archdiocese creates and implements a pastoral plan to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach to the spiritual growth of the people, that takes account of cultural diversity.
  5. Priority is given to reclaiming and using the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a path to forgiveness and healing at a personal and societal level.
  6. Different forms of personal prayer are promoted as pathways to encounter with Jesus
  7. The Archbishop with the Council of Priests supports the ministry of preaching in a planned and resourced way.
  8. Ministry teams in parishes incorporate the use of testimonies in worship, drawing on the experience of parishes that have already taken this step
  9. Parishes review their music ministry with regard to vibrancy, inclusivity and relevance for the particular parish community, and take appropriate action
  10. Parishes undertake an annual gifts discernment process in order to ensure succession in the essential parish ministries.
  11. The Archdiocese identifies a variety of models for lay-led scripture study/reflection groups for use in parishes, and assists with the formation of leaders.
  12. The Archdiocese develops a formation programme for a “spirituality of service”, centred in the Eucharist, which can be implemented in small groups and tailored to meet local needs.

3. Find leaders - (... go to TOP of page )

  1. Adventurous, creative people with initiative who are able to lead the parish in its response to community needs are identified and encouraged to come forward.
  2. Understanding of leadership roles is broadened beyond those traditionally found in parishes, and appropriate formation is provided.
  3. Parish leadership and ministry teams encourage people to discern and offer their gifts in new and existing leadership roles, and to plan for succession.
  4. The role of lay pastoral leaders and priests is clarified, with an emphasis on collaborative ministry
  5. New models of lay leadership (including team leadership, project leadership and servant leadership) are sought, and parishioners are prepared before implementing them.
  6. Formation and mentoring for leadership roles is provided at the parish level and throughout the Archdiocese.
  7. The Launch Out Programme is reviewed to determine if it is achieving what it was set up to do, and whether it has a wider formation role.
  8. Those in parish and Archdiocesan leadership roles collectively reflect the diverse (age, ethnicity, gender) make-up of the Archdiocese and parishes.
  9. Young Catholics in state schools are given opportunities for leadership formation and for exercising leadership in the Catholic community.
  10. Tertiary chaplaincy is strengthened and post-college youth leadership and formation programmes are further developed.
  11. Young people are encouraged, trusted and supported in taking the initiative in developing new forms of ministry and outreach.
  12. A formation programme is developed to assist young people in their vocational discernment (single, marriage, religious and priesthood).
  13. Policies/norms are developed to ensure continuity in practice and lay leadership when there is a change in the parish priest.

4. Manage your assets wisely

  1. The Archdiocese supports parishes in a review of property, which begins with an assessment of needs based on the Synod outcomes.
  2. The review and decisions are the result of a prayerful discernment process based on the following principles:
  • people are the Church’s primary asset;
  • pastoral needs, mission and the common good are paramount;
  • there is a “preferential option for the peripheries”;
  • bi-culturalism and care for creation are integral;
  • the future needs of parishes and the Archdiocese are considered;
  • buildings are open and welcoming,
  • child and youth friendly;
  • spaces are flexible and multi-functional while maintaining sacredness;
  • dialogue takes place with other churches and the wider community;
  • the rights of parishes are respected.
  1. Listening to the people and their full participation is the key element in the review of property.
  2. Decisions are made about under-used or unused property, with first consideration given to meeting community social needs.
  3. Wealthy parishes support parishes with fewer assets, according to the principle of the common good.
  4. The Archdiocese continues the Stewardship programme after reviewing it in the light of the Synod outcomes.
  5. The Archdiocese ensures that parishes are aware of the forms of assistance available to them.
  6. The Archdiocese and parishes are fully transparent in the communication of financial information to the people, and this is done in an accessible way.

5. Deepen your bicultural relationship

  1. The Archdiocese deepens its understanding of Te Ao Māori and embraces biculturalism as an integral part of all its activities and decisions.
  2. The Archdiocese is a voice seeking “tika me pono” (“truth and justice”) to right wrongs in of the history of Aotearoa.
  3. The Archdiocese captures the shared story of our history.
  4. The Archdiocese continues to provide education about our history, including challenging racism in attitude and practice and developing understanding of mana whenua and its implications.
  5. The Archdiocese investigates the specific needs of Māori in the Archdiocese and provides adequate resourcing to support needs, including those of Te Ngākau Tapu (Personal Parish for Māori)
  6. Māori participate in leadership in ways which are effective and meaningful for everyone.
  7. There is provision for Catholic tauiwi of all origins to learn and participate within tikanga Māori. Parishes engage with Māori to further develop biculturalism in liturgy.
  8. Parishes ensure that churches and other buildings are places where Māori feel at ‘home’ through the incorporation of te reo, artefacts, art and symbols.
  9. Priests coming to New Zealand from overseas to minister in parishes receive ongoing education in biculturalism.

6. As members of the One Body - ( ...go to TOP of page )

  1. The Archbishop reviews the place and scope of ethnic chaplaincies in the Archdiocese.
  2. The role of ethnic chaplaincies is fully defined and communicated.
  3. Consideration is given to having “mixed” chaplaincy teams which include both younger person and older people.
  4. Opportunities are created for migrants to tell their stories.
  5. Parish leadership and mission statements reflect the ethnic diversity of the community.
  6. Parish liturgies and activities involve and reflect their ethnic communities.

7. Your own peripheries

  1. Formation in a spirituality of service includes deepening understanding of the ‘law of gradualness’ and its pastoral applications for those who perceive themselves to be on the peripheries of the Catholic community.
  2. The Archdiocese provides greater resourcing for programmes that address the needs of separated and divorced Catholics, and works with parishes to identify the barriers to their participation.
  3. The Archbishop provides formation and pastoral guidelines for priests and pastoral leaders in the pastoral care of the separated, divorced, and divorced and remarried.
  4. The people of the Archdiocese collectively deepen their understanding of those who are on the peripheries of the Catholic Community – where, what, who and why – and actively creates pathways for their inclusion (without creating “silos”) and which support them in their healing
  5. The Archdiocese, involving Catholic Social Services and other appropriate bodies, supports parishes in dealing with suicide amongst parishioners and their families.
  6. Parishes and schools work closely together to
  • identify barriers to accessing Catholic Schools
  • reach those on the peripheries in the Catholic community
  • develop or strengthen local solutions.

8. Care for creation

  1. The Archdiocese considers “care for creation” as an integral part of all its activities and decisions
  2. Ongoing formation based on Laudato Si (with an emphasis on “integral ecology” – Chapter 4) is available to parishes, with a process that leads to practical actions by individuals and groups.
  3. Parishes and schools use ‘care for creation’ projects as an opportunity for cooperation that involves school families with the parish and provides an example to the wider community.

9. Fellow Christians - ( ... go to TOP of page )

  1. The Archdiocese and parishes actively promote more interaction and partnership with other churches, particularly in action on social issues and joint worship.
  2. Parishes familiarise themselves with the “Napier Covenant” with a view to implementing it in their local area.
  3. The Archdiocese engages in listening to inter-church couples to draw on their experience and address their needs.

10. Accompany one another

  1. Young people are able to gather from across the Archdiocese and in parishes for formation, fellowship, worship and to engage with contemporary issues (including issues to do with sexuality), to empower them to live their faith in their daily lives
  2. Involving young people in service to others is a priority, underpinned by formation in a “spirituality of service”.
  3. The attitudinal and structural barriers to young people “having a voice” and participating in the liturgical and spiritual life of the Archdiocese and parishes are identified (through listening), and removed.
  4. The support and follow-up formation provided by schools and parishes for young people who have come through RCIA programmes in Colleges is reviewed.
  5. Intergenerational ministry by young people and with young people is encouraged in parishes.
  6. The Archdiocese enables groups involved with young people to collaborate with one another and with the Archdiocese.
  7. The Archdiocese encourages and supports its schools in facilitating a personal encounter with Christ amongst their students, as explained in “The Catholic Education of School Age Children”.

11. Support marriage and families

  1. The Archdiocese engages with parents, including single parents, to determine how best to support them in educating and involving their children in the faith, and acts on the outcomes.
  2. The Archdiocese carry out a listening process with diverse families, prioritising families on the peripheries (“preferential option for the peripheries”) to build trusting relationships and to enable parishes to better respond to their needs.
  3. Parishes make their worship spaces and liturgies more family friendly, through a process of listening to their people.
  4. The Archdiocese provides a point of contact for those in a troubled marriage who are seeking professional help.
  5. Parishes review their support for those suffering grief and loss, including marriage breakdown, health deterioration/disability, with the review supported by Catholic Social Services.
  6. Addressing the needs of older people is a priority, with particular emphasis on their social, emotional and spiritual needs (spirituality of ageing and death).
  7. That the Archdiocese commission a research project into the relevance, reach and effectiveness of marriage preparation programmes, with input from participants married between 2 to 5 years and marriage educators, and drawing on professional research.

12. Build community - ( ... go to TOP of page )

  1. Priority is given in the context of implementing the Synod outcomes to building community and strengthening connectedness (including across the generations and cultures) in amalgamated parishes.
  2. Parishes revisit the Archbishop’s letters in the proposal and promulgation documents, “A Future Full of Hope”, and align their vision and practices with the spirit of these letters.
  3. Parishes create opportunities for the development of relationships between parishioners, particularly in amalgamated parishes, through working together on projects and responding to needs.
  4. Continuing to strengthen the relationship and practical cooperation between parish and schools is a priority.
  5. Seeking out and drawing “the missing” back into the parish community is a factor in all decision making in the implementation of the Synod outcomes.
  6. In being an inclusive and welcoming people, particular attention is given to those who are disabled and their families, including the mentally ill.

13. Communicate effectively

  1. The Archdiocese creates a centralised “hub of connectedness” for the purposes of building community through telling stories (personal and collective), sharing resources, linking to apps, disseminating information, sharing best practice and ways of getting involved
  2. The Archdiocese provides on-line formation and learning opportunities.
  3. The Archdiocese “raises the profile of the assistance the Church can offer” to the wider community.
  4. Parishes review their modes of communication regarding events, groups, achievements and needs, in order that parishioners might have a better understanding of what is happening in the parish.
  5. The Archdiocese develops a clear style of effective communication which avoids technical Church language and jargon, without obscuring or devaluing the meaning.