A resource from the Australian Catholic Bishops' National Centre for Evangelisation  

WELCOME to our April 2022 edition of The Bridge

In this issue of The Bridge we have collated a series of articles sharing the stories and contributions of laity from across Australia. From the contributions of local pastoral associate Claire Conaghty in Port Pirie, to the broader national network and support of pastoral ministers via the Pastoral Ministry Network. Exploring how local communities and leaders discern conversion and support of RCIA candidates, to listening to the story of those like Wendy Stuart who are returning home after years away. We hear how CatholicCare in Wilcannia-Forbes has established "Cooee for Coffee", a project providing a local gathering space, training for locals and a service to the community. We also see how laity are now co-responsible with the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry advising on vision and direction of the Commission's work.

​​​Every blessing,

Malcolm Hart
Director, National Centre for Evangelisation


Laity given “groundbreaking” role in new Bishops Council

The recently appointed members of the new Council for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry believe their role advising several Australian Catholic bishops is “groundbreaking” and an enormous source of hope for future collaboration between clergy and laity.
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Claire Conaghty

Claire Conaghty: Pastoral ministry in Port Pirie

Claire Conaghty has tried her hand at many jobs, including police officer and aged care worker. However, it is in her current dual roles of pastoral associate for St Mark’s Cathedral Parish in Port Pirie and the clergy care coordinator for the diocese where Claire feels most at home.

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Thinking about conversion in the RCIA process

When a person enquires about the possibility of becoming a Catholic, there is usually something stirring in their heart providing the impetus for them to make contact. Tapping into these early stirrings, and nurturing them, is the role of the entire parish, and specifically the RCIA team, the clergy and the godparents.

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Christmas Art

Coffee initiative transforming lives in regional communities

A unique initiative in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is having an enormous impact on regional communities, helping locals to find employment and purpose in their lives. Established by CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes, “Cooee for Coffee” provides training and employment for people living in some of the most remote parts of Australia.

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Pastoral Ministry Network: Serving those who serve

In the late 1980s, the abundance of lay ministers in leadership begged the question: How could these people be supported to work dynamically alongside ordained ministers? ​​​​​

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Wendy Stuart

Wendy Stuart: A journey back home

Wendy Stuart's journey of faith has seen her travel full circle, from being baptised into the Catholic faith as an infant, to over a decade as a member of the Unification Church, before finally returning to Catholicism.

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