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Arete inspiring missionary leaders


Learning new skills to lead ministries and understanding how to “meet people where they are” on their faith journey were some of the important takeaways for Sophie Dignan when she participated in the inaugural course run by the Arete Centre for Missionary Leadership this year

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Sophie, 20, a member of the Noarlunga parish, said she decided to enrol in the course as she was discerning for consecrated life with the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) Sisters at the time.

“I decided to follow my faith about six months after I finished school when I had a powerful encounter with God’s love.

“After that encounter I felt a nudge to discern,” she explained.

After an online search she discovered the Arete Centre which is run by the MGL priests and brothers.

While her journey will now take another path and she will “live out my faith in everyday life”, Sophie said the Arete course had been invaluable in growing her leadership skills in ministry.

“In the first semester we looked at the history of the Church and the foundations of Vatican II and I found that really helpful in knowing what our call is as leaders and as people of the Church,” she said.

“Learning some of the skills to lead ministry has been helpful and we’ve done a lot of work around meeting people where they are on their faith journey.”

Together with another young Catholic, Sophie leads Praise and Worship sessions and also facilitates a “sisterhood group” for 18-30 year old single women in Adelaide.

“We meet once a month and sometimes we have guest speakers. It’s a chance to catch up and share the faith journey with other young Catholic women,” she said.

The Arete Centre, which is based in Sydney, is currently seeking enrolments for 2021. In an effort to adapt to the pandemic, the centre has designed an online structure for lectures, with provision to offer a number of intensives throughout the year.

This year participants included youth ministers, parish missionary workers, professionals and diocesan employees – all with a common desire to ‘advance the mission of the Church in Australia with innovation and efficiency’.

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