Priests will be better equipped in the future to harness the gifts of people in the pews to lead parishes collaboratively, says the rector of Sydney's Good Shepherd seminary, Fr Michael de Stoop. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
Amid a trend of declining and ageing congregations is an awareness that the power of the Gospel message still remains largely untapped in the Church and that its priests must respond to a rapidly-evolving pastoral landscape.
“Our seminary program needs to move with the times,” said Fr de Stoop. “That is vital, because if we wait until they are ordained they’re not going to be ready to make the most of the opportunities they will encounter or the challenges they will face, and may quickly become disillusioned. The people of God deserve this as well.”
Fr de Stoop was speaking after a special week of formation for the seminarians presented by Archdiocese of Sydney’s Evangelisation and Parish Renewal team.
Over four days the program covered evangelisation, parish renewal, leadership, the role of the priest and the use of invitational programs such as Alpha to introduce people to the Christian faith.
Fr de Stoop said a collaborative approach to ministry requires a shift in attitude not only for older generations but for emerging leaders.
Seminarians urged to call on gifts among the faithful (By Marilyn Rodrigues, The Catholic Weekly)