WelCom May 2020:
What a difference a couple of months can make! When we began planning for a national conference nearly two years ago there was no thought of pandemic, lockdown or recession! Takirua 2020: Shaping the Mission was to have taken place over Anzac weekend and would have hosted up to 350 Catholics from around the country to confront some of the most challenging questions of our era.
Effective pastoral ministry requires us to think hard about our current realities and it is not without irony that the Covid-19 lockdown has forced cancellation of such a forum even as our context is shifting so markedly under the pandemic threat. We are responding in new ways – Zoom forums and meetings of parish youth ministers and marriage educators, both volunteers and employed; checking in with individual pastoral ministers around the Archdiocese; providing resources and internet links to others’ great offerings to enable prayer and active faith at home; nurturing spiritual growth by asking theological questions of Catholic belief and practice including using Facebook links and comment; online discussion forums; collaborating with other agencies to offer local parish support such as driving and phone contact; and looking for need and how we can respond. Sounds like the Church in action alright! The kaupapa of the Takirua 2020 project is more relevant than ever – Covid-19 is simply teaching us to be nimbler and even more contemporary in our response.
Chris Duthie-Jung, Director, Marriage, Family & Young Church Ministries, Archdiocese of Wellington.