On 12 December, 2020, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Star of the New Evangelisation, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP launched the new Mission Plan for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, entitled Go Make Disciples.
The fruit of some five years of conversation, research and discernment, this vision for the parishes, chaplaincies and other Eucharistic communities of Sydney will set our direction and priorities for some years to come.
Archbishop Fisher shares, “As the Church in Sydney, we seek to live out the mission of Jesus Christ in a time of unprecedented change. Sydney’s population continues to grow while the way people live, work and worship has changed… we rightly cling to those things that are perennial: one faith, one Lord, one Baptism (Ephesians 4:5). But we need new passion, expressions and methods of evangelisation and community-building in Sydney.
Every pastor, every member of the faithful and all our parish communities are called to deep spiritual renewal as disciples, to being better connected with each other, and to reaching out better to others”.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
As we look to the future, our Church is called to place the encounter with Jesus Christ anew at the heart of our life, our structures and our ways of doing things. It is from this living encounter with the Lord that all genuine renewal in the Church becomes possible and the mission of evangelisation finds its source and inspiration.
Our Mission Plan
Within Go Make Disciples you will find:
- The Archbishop’s vision for the future of our Archdiocese
- An overview of our present life in Sydney and the pastoral realities of our Eucharistic communities
- An invitation to spiritual renewal through fidelity to Jesus’ mission to “go, make disciples”
- Five foundations which can assist us to strengthen this mission in our parishes and other Eucharistic communities
- Strategies to strengthen these foundations as well as practical actions and support to implement them
- An invitation to structural renewal in our parishes and communities to better serve the mission of Jesus in our changing city and suburbs
The Call to Discipleship
Go Make Disciples is a call to transform the culture of our communities by faithfulness to Jesus’ command to “go, make disciples” so that our parishes become outposts of the Great Commission, making disciples who bear fruit for God (Romans 7:4).
A disciple is one who has encountered Jesus personally in the midst of the Church, who has surrendered his or her life to His way, and has made the decision to live by His teaching in all aspects of life. A disciple is intentional and active, committed to the lifelong process of learning from Jesus and, inflamed by this encounter, to sharing His way, truth and life with others for the sake of the world.
As observed by Sherry Weddell, “[t]he presence of a significant number of disciples changes everything: a parish’s spiritual tone, energy level, attendance, bottom line, and what parishioners ask of their leaders. Disciples pray with passion. Disciples worship. Disciples give lavishly. Disciples love the Church and serve her with energy and joy. Disciples hunger to learn more about their faith. Disciples fill every formation class in a parish or diocese. Disciples manifest charisms and discern vocations. They clamour to discern God’s call because they long to live it. Disciples evangelise because they have really good news to share. Disciples share their faith with their children. Disciples care about the poor and about issues of justice. Disciples take risks for the Kingdom of God” (Sherry Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples, 80-81).
We honour and celebrate the rich faith and good works that are already present and active in our parishes and other Eucharistic communities, and at the same time hear the Gospel’s call to ongoing conversion and constant spiritual renewal. It is this renewal of culture for discipleship and mission to which all parishes and communities of the Archdiocese of Sydney are invited.
The Mission of Evangelisation
Jesus gave witness to the purpose for which He was sent; His mission was to proclaim the Good News (Luke 4:43) and He calls us as His disciples to continue that mission today.
Inspired by his or her encounter with the Lord, the missionary disciple seeks to witness and proclaim Christ to all people, including those who do not know Him and those who may no longer practise their faith or participate in the life of the Church. Evangelisation is a natural expression of this discipleship, as Pope Benedict XVI observed: “[d]iscipleship and mission are like the two sides of a single coin: when the disciple is in love with Christ, he cannot stop proclaiming to the world that only in Him do we find salvation (cf. Acts 4:12). In effect, the disciple knows that without Christ there is no light, no hope, no love, no future”. (Pope Benedict XVI, Address at the Inaugural Session of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin American and the Caribbean, Aparecida, 13 May 2007)
The vitality and future of our parishes and communities depend on our desire and ability to be faithful to Jesus’ call, by cooperating with the Holy Spirit to bring others into an encounter and friendship with Jesus Christ, and at the same time allowing ourselves to encounter Him anew.
It is for this deepening discipleship and widening outreach that our Archdiocesan Mission Plan, Go Make Disciples has been prepared.
Go Make Disciples
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