An open letter to the Priests, Religious & Lay Faithful of the Diocese to celebrate the publication of ‘Our Future Church’.

Each one of us responds to a sacred calling that inspires our faithful work for God’s kingdom. The path is not always easy, smooth or clear. There are obstacles, big and small. We may at times wonder if our efforts are worthwhile, if our sacrifices are appreciated or if our faith is strong enough. Yet, our shared mission is blessed and fruitful often in ways that remain invisible to us.

Our personal stories are anchored powerfully within the greatest story ever told, a meaningful account of grace and grandeur, of suffering and healing, and of sin and reconciliation; profound truths that inspire us to give thanks for the many gifts that we receive from God.

We have the assurance and the promise of God’s love and care. We have the guidance and wisdom of God’s Word and Spirit. We have the support and fellowship of God’s people and church. We have the inspiration and example of God’s prophets and saints. We have the hope and intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary. We have the leadership and love of Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

We have the grace and guidance of the sacraments. We have the example and good will of the apostles, the faith and works of the disciples and the magnificence and wonder of all creation. These gifts fan the flame of our faith and lift our hearts towards the reward and peace of God’s kingdom.

We have been gifted with a great opportunity and a great joy; a great responsibility and a great blessing. As the pilgrim people of God, we journey with Christ and one another as friends through the deepest adventure of life. For us today, this sacred journey requires faith-filled collaborative work in parishes, pastoral areas and the entire Diocesan family.

We now dwell within a new landscape and have been called by God to nurture the green shoots of this new terrain. It is up to each one of us to renew our combined efforts to share God’s vision of a beautiful kingdom, to co-operate with one another through His Spirit, to collaboratively lead his Church according to our gifts and charisms, and to enjoy His presence.

Together we are the workers tending the fields of God, the partners of His mission, the members of His body, the friends of His heart and the witnesses of His love. Our shared work represents the union of Christians brought about by Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. Strengthened by the Spirit, we proclaim the Gospel through our words and deeds and become the Good News for others.

In the peace and belonging of Christ,

Members of the Council of Priests and Diocesan Pastoral Council