Bishop Fabbro is inviting the Parish Pastoral Councils of our Diocese together for a time of retreat and inspiration. We are currently in an important moment of transition for our entire Diocesan family and this retreat is a unique moment to draw communion among our parishes, Families of Parishes, deaneries and Diocese and to inspire outreach activity.

This year we have set aside Saturday, November 2 to welcome the Parish Pastoral Councils of the Diocese together from 10:00am – 3:30pm at Ursuline College in Chatham to focus our Diocese on becoming a missionary Church forming disciples of Jesus. In addition to the Pastoral Councils, Bishop Fabbro would also like to welcome the Development Groups from parishes which have not yet been activated as Families.

Pope Francis in “Joy of the Gospel” said: “The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community. While certainly not the only institution which evangelizes, if the parish proves capable of self-renewal and constant adaptivity, it continues to be “the Church living in the midst of the homes of her sons and daughters”. This presumes that it really is in contact with the homes and the lives of its people, and does not become a useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed group made up of a chosen few. The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach. We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented”