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Focused on action and tangible results


In our continuing series on the Interim Diocesan Pastoral Council Julian Nguyen and Sarah Moffatt reflect on their involvement in the Church and their hopes for the future.

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Julian Nguyen, 29
Coordinator, Catholic Office
for Youth and Young Adults
Vietnamese Catholic Community

At 10 years of age, I followed my mother’s footsteps and joined the church choir where I started as a singer, transitioned to operating the overhead projector (the old transparent slides!) before settling into the pianist role for almost
10 years.

At 15 years of age, I joined the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement where I first experienced youth ministry before graduating to be a leader myself at 20 years of age.

As a leader, I was able to see hundreds of young children thrive in their faith formation weekly whilst working alongside a large team of leaders who inspired me with their passion and dedication to the calling of youth ministry.

I served as president of the youth group for four years (two were COVID impacted but they count) before accepting to join the Parish Pastoral Council in October 2021 as assistant vice president. Over the years I have also been actively involved in many other ministries in the church community including sports programs, leading the church band and other social and community events.

I nominated for the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) because I believe that change is required in our Church today to ensure we have a strong and thriving future going forward. As a young person, I have seen family members and friends become disengaged and leave. This brings me great sadness and pain. Therefore, I wanted the opportunity to discern with others and consider the best way forward for our diocese. I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines and do nothing about what I was seeing and hearing!

Being part of the DPC, I personally want to bring a young person’s voice to the conversation. I want to highlight the barriers and hardship that young people and multicultural communities face in the Church today. I believe that I have experiences that will contribute to the ongoing work of the DPC and that I can also learn plenty from the many wonderful individuals in this Council. Collectively, I hope that the DPC can hear the many voices of the community, discern the needs, and enact the actions that are required at the diocesan and local church level.

The DPC is important to the future of the church. The community, I feel, will want to see some actions from here and to a large degree, it is the responsibility of the DPC to make sure actions and tangible results are achieved. Church reform is largely supported by the community and the driving force behind this reform will be the Council.

There will be plenty of challenges, including staying focused on the core responsibilities of the group, truly being synodal in our approach and prioritising the needs of the community. I also see the group having an impact on the actions that can be taken as a diocese, but the challenge is to work out how these actions can be enacted.

I am hopeful for the future of the Church, and I am hopeful that we can truly become a welcoming Church for all. I am completely realistic that this will take some time, and the journey will have many challenges ahead.

Sarah Moffatt, 43
Archdiocesan director
Pastoral Life and Mission
Salisbury parish

I started my involvement with the local church at a parish level in Elizabeth and now am a member of the Salisbury community. I have had extensive connection and commitment to the Cardijn movements, working both for the Young Christian Students and Young Christian Workers as a young adult.

As director of the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults, I was heavily involved in youth engagement initiatives including World Youth Day and the Australian Catholic Youth Festival.

Through my role as director of Pastoral Life and Mission at the Adelaide Archdiocese, I am involved as an ex-officio member of the interim DPC in order to facilitate its development.

My hopes for the Council are to have continued dialogue and discernment about the present and future of the Archdiocese from a mission perspective. I believe it is vital to have a consultative decision-making body within the Archdiocese. Our aim is to have a strategic mission and vision that responds to the reality and lives of those whom we serve.

The DPC is critical for collaborative leadership and a shared decision-making model.

What are some of the challenges and opportunities? The challenge for the Council is to begin anew and cast a vision with energy and freshness. At the same time, we need to ensure the diversity of the Church in Adelaide is reflected in membership and strategy.

I am looking forward to the draft vision and mission statement being presented to the Diocesan Assembly in October for further discernment.


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