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Shaping the future


The Adelaide Archdiocese has established an Interim Diocesan Pastoral Council to discern and implement recommendations from the Diocesan Assembly and the outcomes of the Plenary Council. In the first of a series featuring the members of the Interim Council, we introduce Geoff Redden and Sharina Rabusic.

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Sharina Rabusic, 25,
Lasallian Campus minister at St Michael’s College

Henley Beach

I grew up going to St John Bosco Church and moved to Henley Beach parish when I joined its Antioch group in 2015, and I was lucky enough to be a part of this youth movement for five years. It was through my involvement in Antioch that I started to become more involved in my parish community. I am now part of Henley Beach’s Frankly young adults group and participate in ministries including regularly helping with music at Mass. In recent years I joined the Henley Beach Parish Pastoral Council and have been involved in our parish’s Alpha program for adults, as well as helping to facilitate a youth course for our young people.

I had some encouragement from my parish community to nominate for the DPC after being a participant at the Diocesan Assembly, but ultimately, I think that experience showed me that as a young person it’s really important to contribute to these types of conversations in the Church.

Personally, I hope to grow in my faith through listening as well as being open and contributing to authentic dialogue.

Collectively, I hope we can work with each other to be open in sharing our own experiences, and to listen and learn from people from a variety of backgrounds. I hope the DPC can be a good representation of the range of communities within our Diocese, and put into action the ideas which came from the Diocesan Assembly and the first session of the Plenary Council.

I think it’s important to have the DPC contribute to consultations that shape the future of the Archdiocese because this group is made up of the people who are actively involved in our parishes, Catholic schools and agencies. Members of this diverse group all have their own strengths and experiences to bring to the table, that not only speak for themselves but also the people they are representing in their wider Catholic communities.

A challenge I’m anticipating is knowing when it’s the right time to engage in conversation, and knowing when to put time aside for prayerful reflection and discernment. In saying this, I do believe that my perspective as a young person committed to their faith is a strength I can draw from when facing these challenges.

I think that the formation of this Council is a step in the right direction for the Catholic Church following the Diocesan Assembly and the Plenary Council. It’s an opportunity for different people from various communities to come together and share the joy of being a part of the Church in Adelaide, but also provide an opportunity for learning, growth and adjustment in this ever-changing climate.

Geoff Redden, 74, retiree

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – Northern Light

I was a member of St Roses Catholic parish, Kapunda, for 40 years before moving to Nuriootpa five years ago. I transferred to Our Lady of the Valley Church community. In 2011, there was an amalgamation of eight parishes with four priests serving these centres to form one parish known as Mary of the Cross MacKillop – Northern Light parish with one priest serving.  Mass centres include, Nuriootpa, Kapunda, Freeling, Tarlee, Hamley Bridge, Balaklava, Mallala and Port Wakefield.

Whilst living in Kapunda, I was a member of St Roses Parish Pastoral Council, Parish Finance Committee and RCIA. In October last year I was asked to consider nominating for the  DPC. After much thought and considering the need for a voice to be heard from a country or regional area, I decided to nominate.

The parish in September was fortunate to have two representatives plus our parish priest Fr Mark Sexton at the Diocesan Assembly. After seeing the list of recommendations which were sent to the Plenary Council in October 2021, it became clear to me that the expectations to implement renewal in the Church would require a lot of listening, thought and guidance to bring these changes to fruition.  The draft recommendations of the Diocesan Assembly 2021 are only the beginning.

The seed has now been sown for renewal. We are all on a mission going forward. Decisions will not be made quickly and nor they should as much discernment and consultation will be required. I personally hope to increase my knowledge of the draft recommendations of the Diocesan Assembly and work with the other members of the DPC to tease out recommendations to go to the Plenary Council.

We have all been dealing with COVID over the past two years and  it has become more noticeable and concerning that attendances in our region, especially younger people who were involved pre-COVID,  have not returned. A proactive approach needs to be taken to turn this situation around. At present the average age of those attending Masses is around 70 plus. Parish finances have decreased and assets are not being maintained. This is not just an issue for the Archdiocese of Adelaide, it is also a national issue.

The DPC will have many challenges in moving forward but the outcomes will outweigh the challenges. I see the opportunities to be exciting and rewarding and hope for the future.


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