The Evangelizing Parish in the Australian Church: Strategies for Prophetic Witness

Daniel Ang

This is the first of two articles based on the keynote address at the PROCLAIM 2016 Conference of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay in Sydney, on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. It explores principles for parish renewal through sharing the evolving experience of parish life in the Australian context. Daniel Ang is director for the Office of Evangelization in the Diocese of Broken Bay, Australia.

On 24 November 1999, on a drizzly Wednesday evening, I was baptised and confirmed in a parish in the north-western suburbs of Sydney. Heralding from a family of Buddhist and Taoist heritage, I entered the Church at the age of twenty, gathered with a priest, sponsor, fellow catechumens and a mixed group of close friends, mostly of no religious background. A small but powerful group had accompanied me through the process of initiation and I was fully conscious and grateful for the fact that in God and this community I had been granted something which I would spend the rest of my life learning to be faithful to, learning to enter into, learning to trust.

Beneath the everyday rhythm of this local parish, this was for me a time of great consequence, of vital, spiritual breakthrough into the life of God to discover Christ as the total meaning of my life.

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