Patrick McArdle: Looking back on 2019
So this is Christmas and what have you done?
Christmas is a time for reflection, so the Catholic Voice asked twelve prominent Catholics to share their thoughts on 2019
Patrick McArdle, ACU Canberra Campus Dean, Associate Professor
Highlight of 2019
2019 has been challenging; study, renovations, negotiating difficult government policy and increasing awareness of mental health challenges, especially for young people. I have been too busy and not had enough time for the people in my life.
A low point
The ongoing stalemate about climate change and action to remediate the issues.
A professional achievement
For the last 18 months I have been studying a course in Canon Law. I did not think I would get very far (advancing age and limited abilities) but I have been able to engage with it.
A personal achievement
Getting a long planned renovation actually done. I now understand how building and renovations cause the same stress levels as losing a loved one or ending a relationship. In May I went to Ottawa for my Canon Law course. A significant number of students were young women under 35 sponsored by their dioceses/employers. The questions and the stance taken on different matters showed the breadth of change possible in the Church as more lay people, especially lay women, engage in leadership and governance roles.
A news event that affected me
The constant news of the move away from international cooperation to increasing nationalism, self-interest and an inward focus such as the US removing itself from a range of treaties and the UK seeking to finalise Brexit.
How I approach 2020
I expect the Plenary Council will dominate the landscape in ways we have not yet anticipated. There will be surprises and disappointments but if we trust in the Holy Spirit the Lord will lead us in the right direction.
In the 12 days leading up to Christmas, we will be sharing daily reflections looking back on 2019. You can find the other reflections here.