AMPJP Executive Officer – November 2017

6 December 2017 by

Establishing the new AMPJP office

The AMPJP offered me the option of working from home but I decided that an office elsewhere would give me more enjoyment of my home. I was fortunate to find an affordable room on the first floor of the building that houses the Newcastle Catholic Parish office (in the former St Joseph’s Convent). The room that AMPJP is renting is very spacious and its wall colour and decorations give it a formal atmosphere. The AMPJP bought a laptop with two-screen docking station. I chose to have a standing desk and I find it keeps me conscious of my posture and moving between tasks more than I did when I used a computer while seated.

There was a considerable amount of work in changing the registered office and contact details for the AMPJP with various agencies.

I am very grateful for the very organised condition of the records that Pat Bugden handed over. I can see that he was an excellent choice as the AMPJP Executive Officer during the establishment period. Pat has been a great support as I make my way through the many strategic and administrative tasks of this position.

AMPJP Council teleconference

On 16 November, my birthday, the AMPJP Council held a teleconference. They didn’t know it was my birthday so I was spared a rendition of “Happy Birthday”. As someone new to AMPJP I was impressed by the participation and lively discussion in the meeting. From my experience of teleconferences, it is not always common to have such engagement.

I have written the minutes for AMPJP member representatives and a summary of the minutes for wider distribution among AMPJP member organisations. The very efficient AMPJP Council has set their meeting dates for 2018 (these are now in the events section of AMPJP website).

Increased AMPJP website functionality

I met with Jo Hunter, of Inbound web solutions, the AMPJP web designer/manager. Jo has now increased the security of the AMPJP website and added an automated monthly newsletter (that sends the five most recent posts and three next events). I plan to use the website news section and newsletter as a way of keeping AMPJP members and our partners informed of our activities and plans. Please feel free to invite others to subscribe to this newsletter.

Members of AMPJP can access the following new items that I have posted in the Member area of our website:

I have also posted the following in the public news section of the AMPJP website:

Increasing understanding of AMPJP members

I have consulted with AMPJP member organisations regarding:

  • gender equity in PJPs;
  • PJP relationships with TJHC; and
  • a possible governance charter.

In December I will circulate the results of these consultations.

I will continue to seek and circulate information on our member PJPs as I see it as helping both me and them gain a greater insight into how PJPs are structured and function. It may be that in seeing an image of ourselves we appreciate that which is worth keeping/promoting and that which we need to let go.

Developing partnerships within the Church

I met with Greg Baynie, National Coordinator Professional Development and Short Courses at BBI-TAITE.

Greg has a solid understanding of PJPs through the canon law education that BBI-TAITE provides.

Greg has a solid understanding of PJPs through the governance and canon law education that BBI-TAITE provides. He is a former canonical administrator in both a Roman Catholic Diocesan and Eastern Catholic Eparchy and canon law graduate of Saint Paul University, Ottawa.

We talked about Gaudium et Spes as being a good foundation for understanding PJP governance – governance meets the needs of the Church in the modern world and responsive to the Signs of the Times.

Greg outlined a new pathway to good governance that he is developing. This pathway will begin in 2018 with a series of church governance webinars which could be completed independently or in conjunction with the corporate governance courses that BBI-TAITE run in conjunction with AICD. Upon successful completion of the Company Director’s Course assessment, participants will be eligible to receive one unit credit transfer into recognised BBI–TAITE Graduate Certificate or Diplomas in governance and leadership.

I updated Greg on the structure and membership of AMPJP. I said one of the AMPJP’s immediate priorities is the development of a Strategic Plan. I said I will propose the Plan includes: governance formation; information sharing; coordinating projects shared by AMPJP members; and maintaining a register of people who are interested in being PJP Trustees.

Greg described the various courses BBI-TAITE offer in Church Governance and Canon Law.

Greg’s other thoughts were:

  • he is willing to assist with the research or writing papers on PJPs (theological/scriptural/tradition base; possible future challenges.
  • Possible future iterations to canon law should be monitored for any implications to PJPs.
  • “When We Are Gone” a book about Religious Institutes “letting go” and “letting God” has much for Religious Institutes grappling wanting the continuation of their ministries while they have a diminishing number of members within their Religious Institute
  • Emeritus Professor Francis Morrisey OMI is a member of BBI-TAITE Faculty and could be a resource for AMPJP as he knows PJPs and Canon Law so well.
Greg Baynie

I met with Lana Turvey-Collins, ACBC Plenary Council Facilitator.

I met with Lana Turvey-Collins, ACBC Plenary Council Facilitator. The Plenary Council is an initiative of the ACBC. It will have a similar process to the Vatican’s Synod on the Family (wide consultation beforehand; open debate a the breadth of views expressed in the consultation; two sessions separated by a period of months for more consultation and discernment and hopefully the final session agreeing on a document).

The Plenary Council details at this time are:

  1. There will be about ten-month period of consultation where Catholics and Catholic organisations will be invited to provide their views, through a range of meetings/processes, on a range of topics to the Plenary Council organisers.
  2. All of these contributions will be collated by the Plenary Council organisers and used to developed some discussion documents for the Plenary Council.
  3. In late 2020 the first Plenary Council session will take place over a week. Plenary Council membership will be (1) Bishops and Vicar Generals (deliberative voting members) and (2) Representatives of the rest of the Church (consultative voting members). The Plenary Council will hear the full range of views on the life and mission of the Church.

The first session is planned for 2020 and the second in 2021.


I met Anne Walker, National Executive Director of Catholic Religious Australia.

Anne started in this position in September 2017.

Anne said Catholic Religious Australia is undergoing a significant restructure with State Conferences being rolled into a new national CRA to provided a stronger national voice for Religious and offer services more widely across the country.

Anne has first-hand experience of PJPs as she is a Trustee of the PJP, Catholic Healthcare. CRA has a strong understanding of, and support for, PJPs. This is due in part to the fact that many Australian PJPs were initiated by Religious Institutes to continue their ministries and works. We noted that many Religious Institutes still run schools, health facilities, aged care and other community services similar to those under PJPs.

Both Anne and I see CRA and AMPJP communicating and working closely together where our Member organisations have shared interests, purpose and needs. As an example of this, CRA invited PJPs invited to attend the recent meeting on the National Redress Scheme and were an important part of the conversation.

Anne and I both completed the BBI-AICD Company Directors Course in December 2016.


Coincidentally, Anne and I both completed the BBI-AICD Company Directors Course in December 2016.


Other contacts I made in November were with:

  • CHA
  • TJHC
  • AMPJP Executives (via email and some via phone)
  • CCI
  • CSSA

My plans for December 2017 are:

  • Meeting with David Penny and Edwina MacArthur from Calvary Ministries
  • Meeting with David Maher and (hopefully Elizabeth Oliver) from Catholic Healthcare
  • Writing up results of gender equity in PJPs
  • Drafting AMPJP Governance Charter
  • Drafting AMPJP Strategic Plan

Preparing for Christmas

Being in an office of one, I have had to promise myself that I will take myself out for an end-of-year office party.

I am planning to take two weeks off over the Christmas – New Year period (finishing 22/12/2017 and returning to work Tuesday 02/01/2018).

As we prepare ourselves for Jesus during Advent

may we also be mindful of those whose lives today are so similar

to the Holy Family at the birth of Jesus:

the poor, the vulnerable, those living on the fringes of society;

and refugees fleeing persecution.

May we be so overwhelmed by the love of God

that our only response is to love others as God loves us.

Significant dates December 2017

UN dates[1] Australian Dates[2] Church Dates[3] Other Spiritual Dates
01-Dec-17 World AIDS Day
02-Dec-17 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
03-Dec-17 International Day of Persons with Disabilities First Sunday of Advent
04-Dec-17 St John Damascene, Priest, Doctor
05-Dec-17 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development and World Soil Day
06-Dec-17 St Nicholas, Bishop
07-Dec-17 International Civil Aviation Day St Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor Australian Catholic Youth Festival (day 1)
08-Dec-17 Immaculate Conception of BVM Australian Catholic Youth Festival (day 2)
09-Dec-17 International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime and International Anti-Corruption Day St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatotzin Australian Catholic Youth Festival (day 3)
10-Dec-17 Human Rights Day Second Sunday of Advent
11-Dec-17 International Mountain Day  St Damasus1, Pope
12-Dec-17 International Day of Neutrality Our Lady of Guadalupe Chanukah (Hanukkah) - Festival of Lights begins at 8:30pm on 12 December to 8:34pm on 19 December
13-Dec-17 St Lucy, Virgin, Martyr
14-Dec-17 St John of the Cross, Priest, Doctor
17-Dec-17 Third Sunday of Advent
18-Dec-17 International Migrants Day and Arabic Language Day
20-Dec-17 International Human Solidarity Day
21-Dec-17 St Peter Canisius, Priest, Doctor
24-Dec-17 Fourth Sunday of Advent St John of Kanty, Priest
25-Dec-17 Christmas Day holiday Christmas Day
26-Dec-17 Boxing Day holiday St Stephen, the first Martyr
27-Dec-17 St John, Apostle, Evangelist
28-Dec-17 The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
29-Dec-17 St Thomas Becket, Bishop, Martyr
31-Dec-17 New Year’s Eve Holy Family