Dr Aoife McGrath contributes to Australian Pastoral Ministry Document

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Dr Aoife McGrath was recently acknowledged for her role in researching and developing the first national resource for lay pastoral ministry in Australia. The Australian Catholic Council for Lay Pastoral Ministry wrote: "I’d like to acknowledge Dr Aoife McGrath, Pontifical University of Maynooth, and the current and past members ... for their assistance in the development of this document." For more click here.

Faithful Stewards of God’s Grace was launched by the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge in 2018. This theologically grounded and practical document is now available to provide a basis for collaboration in ministry across Australia. For the document itself, please click here.

The document, composed of five chapters, seeks “to identify the complexities involved in lay pastoral ministry,” “to understand the place of lay pastoral ministry within the common vocation of discipleship, and how it relates to other forms of ministry,” “to describe in a practical way the lay pastoral ministry,” and it “proposes recommendations that will enable a shared vision to be fulfilled in practice.”

The aim of the document is not “to prescribe what roles should be encompassed by the term ‘lay pastoral ministry.’ Yet it does seek to be an aid/guide in the development of a shared vision, a common understanding, and recognition of lay pastoral ministry at national and local levels.”

A lay disciple “becomes a lay pastoral minister when his or her vocation for formal public ministry in the Church is adequately discerned; his or her gifts are identified and formed through education and practice; and he or she is authorised by the competent authority to a role or office appropriate to his or her gifts for service” to be carried out “in close mutual collaboration with the ministry of bishops, priests, deacons, and consecrated persons.” The document also offers a series of “recommendations” so that this “shared vision” may be reflected “in practice.” For the document itself, click here.