Divine Renovation inspires local parishioners
Over 400 delegates from across Australia and New Zealand headed to Sydney last month to participate in the first Divine Renovation conference to hit our shores.
The three-day conference included inspiring keynotes, workshops, and prayer equipping Catholics to lead missional parishes.
Founded by Fr James Mallon, the Divine Renovation ministry began as their newly amalgamated parish of five churches in Saint Benedict Parish in Halifax, Canada, transformed into a vibrant community of missionary disciples.
Three Canberra-Goulburn parishioners attended the conference hungry to be inspired, connected, and equipped to move their parish from maintenance to mission. They were not disappointed!
Inspired by Fr Mallon’s work with parish renewal and the New Evangelization, Emily Hall of Holy Rosary Blackfriars Parish was excited to gather with like-minded Catholics.
“It’s timely that we’re here”, said Ms Hall. “The Holy Father’s prayer intention for the month is for parishes – that they become “communities of faith, of fraternity and to welcome the neediest”.
“I’m here to learn how to build a sense of community using small groups; and to look at ways to create more vibrant liturgies and hospitality. Parishes around the world are emptying, ageing, sleeping, and dying. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Divine Renovation points a way forward.”
Through funny and colourful stories, Fr Mallon challenged attendees to rethink traditional models of parish life, from membership-based communities to assemblies of disciples of Jesus who proclaim and share the good news with all peoples.
Selina Stanford from St Gregory’s Queanbeyan particularly enjoyed hearing about the experiences of parishes led by a senior leadership team model (lay parishioners leading with their parish priest). This model actively supports the priest and expands what the priest can achieve.
“I’m excited about trying new ways of being a parish,” said Ms Stanford. “Ways that invite people into a relationship with Jesus and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and expect transformed hearts”.
Anna Abraham, a catechist and member of St Joseph’s O’Connor, thought that hearing from local parishes in Australia and New Zealand who have embraced the tools offered by Divine Renovation was really inspiring.
“The stories of transformation of priests and parishioners showed me that parish renewal is possible when there is a common vision, said Ms Abraham.”
The Divine Renovation ministry, with its events, books, coaching, and resources, responds to the incredible hunger for renewal among Catholics worldwide.
The ministry desires to inspire and equip every leader. As Fr Mallon reminded attendees, “transformed people transform parishes and transformed parishes transform the world.”
Are you interested to learn more? The Divine Renovation Ministry invites you to join their upcoming online event, Clothed in Power: Transforming Parishes Through the Holy Spirit, on 22 March 2023. More information can be found at: https://divinerenovation.org/.
Love the DIVINE RENOVATION so much!