The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

Outback and city voices being heard in Rome


Outback SA priest Fr Paul Crotty is one of two priests selected by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference currently attending a global gathering at the Vatican.

Print article

Fr Crotty, who is parish priest at Coober Pedy in the Port Pirie Diocese, and Broken Bay Diocese Vicar General Fr David Ranson are participating in the ‘Parish Priests for the Synod: An International Meeting’, which concludes on May 2.

The five-day gathering of 300 priests has been described as a ‘worldwide meeting of listening, prayer and discernment’. Attendees are participating in round roundtable discussions, liturgical celebrations, workshops on pastoral proposals, and dialogue with experts.

The meeting’s goal is to listen to and value the experience of parish priests, giving them a chance to experience the ‘dynamism of synodal work at a universal level’.

Prior to leaving for Rome, Fr Crotty said he would use the opportunity to share with other priests from around the world the experience of the Port Pirie Diocesan Assembly, which he said had for over 25 years “practiced the rudiments of synodality – reflecting, praying and listening as Church”.

“The meeting is a great opportunity to meet clergy from around the world including the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and being enriched by different perspective and experiences. I look forward to being part of it,” he said.

For nearly five years Fr Crotty has been parish priest of the Coober Pedy Inland Mission, which is the size of France and comprises families in small towns, on cattle stations and on the Aboriginal APY lands.

“Effective ministry out here in the outback is being present to the people. Pope Francis would say ‘to have the smell of the sheep’,” he said.

Fr Ranson was the secretary of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia and as parish priest of Chatswood, in Broken Bay Diocese, he has pioneered a synodal pathway, Parish-in-Council, for discernment of the parish’s mission to ‘Bring the light of Christ to the city’.

“I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to sharing both a national and local perspective on the important consideration of what it might mean to be a genuinely synodal church,” he said.

The meeting is being held in the lead-up to the second session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be convened in Rome in October.


More International stories

Loading next article