Bringing the Joy of the Gospel into parishes

“We are living in a change of era, not an era of change.”

ACCORDING to Pope Francis in his Angelus address on March 23 in 2014, ‘now is an opportune time to look within ourselves’.

With this in mind, the Archdiocese will host a ‘Joy of the Gospel’ parish revitalisation weekend in the Haydon Hall of St Christopher’s Pastoral Centre in Manuka on June 29 and 30.

The program aims to shine a particular light into ecclesial culture and is a leadership response from the Church as it emerges from the recent historical sexual abuse findings.

Despite these regrettable incidents of the past, Churches in the Archdiocese and throughout the nation have recorded strong turnouts to Christmas and Easter Liturgies in the past four months highlighting Christian hope amid turmoil.

The Joy of the Gospel weekend is an Archdiocesan initiative.

Its purpose is to equip parishes and provide key personnel with the support they need in authentically living out the ‘Joy of the Gospel’.

Attendees can take what they have learnt back to their Church communities encouraging members of their parish to also live out the ‘Joy of the Gospel’.

Fr Percy says the program is primarily leadership and mission based, designed for – priests, pastoral councillors, finance committee members, school council members, catechists, teachers, deacons, seminarians, youth ministers, aspirational leaders.

“It will offer the principles of leadership and mission within the context of our parishes, respecting and honouring their own unique culture and history,” he said.

“This program will work best if parish priest and key parish leaders attend together.”

Fr Percy says parishes have shown remarkable resilience and creativity since their inception in the fourth Century and that research into renewal identified three key factors in living out the Joy of the Gospel in our Church communities. They are:

  1. Good community
  2. Good teaching and preaching
  3. Good music


The sessions will take place between 5pm to 9pm on Friday June 29 and 10am to 5pm on Saturday June 30.

A follow-up review and feedback session will be held between 5pm and 9pm on Friday, October 26.

Each of the sessions will be facilitated by Tony Farley, Executive Director for ‎Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, Archdiocesan Communications Manager, Jeanine Doyle, and Archdiocesan Manager of Executive Services and Fundraising, Rachel Romney-Brown.

They will maintain a focus on leadership and mission for each of the nine units.

The approach will be dialogical.

There will be nine units of input, time for reflection, time for dialogue.

Each session will involve 20 minutes of input, 10 minutes of reflection and 20 minutes of dialogue.

The 20 minutes of input is akin to a TED TALK (see YouTube), with a pertinent question that inspires creative thinking and feeling, and dialogue among participants.

‘Joy of the Gospel’ Units

Unit One: “A Change of Era, not an Era of Change”

Unit Two: Jesus Christ, His Call and the Christian Community

Unit Three: Leadership and Mission

Unit Four: Our Experience of Parish – Our Desires for our Parish

Unit Five: “If you knew the Gift of God” (John 4:10)

Unit Six: Governance and Stewardship

Unit Seven: Teaching and Preaching

Unit Eight: The Power of a Witness

Unit Nine: The Beauty and Power of Music


Registration and Payment Details

If you would like to attend the Joy of the Gospel, Leadership and Mission in the Catholic Church please register and pay $200 per person at
If you require assistance or more information on how to register and pay, please contact Kylie Bereza: (02) 6239 9800 or by email –