Canberra couple appointed to international leadership role
Canberra couple, Faye and Kevin Noonan, have just begun a six-year appointment on the leadership team for a global Catholic lay organisation, headquartered in Paris.
Equipes Notre-Dame is known in Australia simply as “Teams”. Teams is a one of the Church’s biggest lay organisations to focus specifically on ordinary married couples. Every month, more than 150,000 Catholics meet in small groups in the home, in more than 90 countries. This includes over 10,000 bishops, priests and religious who provide support as spiritual advisors and guides.
This year, Faye and Kevin have a full diary speaking at meetings and attending events in Australia, Spain, France, England, Ireland, New Zealand and the Middle East.
This is only the second time in the 80 year history of the organisation that an Australian couple has been chosen for the international role.
A key focus for the Teams international leadership will be the implementation of the recently released strategic direction for the movement: Vocation and Mission. This was developed following a private audience with Pope Francis that Faye and Kevin and other leaders attended in 2015.
There is a lot happening in the Church around the world, and it is valuable to have an Australian couple discussing these developments first-hand. For example:
- In the United Kingdom
– An Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations has been formed to build stronger cooperation across marriage-related movements in the Church.
- In a number of countries in both Europe and South America
– Teams is now successfully running programs it developed to support young couples who are unmarried, as well as a program for the divorced and remarried
- In some developing countries
– The role of women in the married relationship is still problematic. Teams has been successful in promoting greater openness and sharing in marriage, while at the same time respecting local cultural sensitivities.
Reflecting on their new role, Faye and Kevin said:
“Face-to-face encounters are really important, because so much can be learned from the joys and struggles in the lives of ordinary couples. These personal stories build bridges between cultures and keep us all grounded in our understanding of the struggles of the real world”.
Reflecting on the state of marriage in the Church, they said:
“It is clearly a challenging time for supporting married couples in the church, but it is also a very exciting time. There are so many innovative ideas already being put into action in many places around the world. The embers of change are already there to be found. The big challenge is now to fan the flames”.
A team is a small group of couples who meeting monthly in a home to share a meal, their stories, prayer and discussion. For more information contact Genevieve and Tim Power at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: www.teamsoceania.com.au