Executive Director’s report on August 2023

31 August 2023 by

Just a couple of weeks into the job, things are moving very quickly.

I attended the meeting of the Council of the AMPJP as an observer before starting in the role, and it was interesting to see the breadth of activity covered by the Association, including collaboration with Australian Catholic Safeguarding Limited, a study of diversity in church governance, and also the production of new materials for the formation of canonical stewards.

The CORMSAA committee, which looks to support AMPJP and Religious Institute schools, looked at areas such as the Ochre Education Resources, Governance/Service fee understandings for AMPJP governing bodies and the follow up to the implementation of “Created and Loved”.

The Annual General Meeting and Dinner of the AMPJP were held at the Treacy Centre in Melbourne on Aug 20. There were 55 attendees from all the MPJPs in Australia and the two Associates which are yet to gain AMPJP status. AMPJP Chair Moira Najdecki led the AGM where various reports were presented, along with the Annual Report for 2022-23.

Each MPJP nominates one member of the AMPJP Council, so there are 12 Council members.  Mr Michael Lee joined the Council for the first time, representing Calvary Ministries, replacing as a member the retiring Deputy Chair, David Penny.

Ms Najdecki also paid tribute to Lawrie Hallinan for his outstanding work in the last six years as Executive Director of AMPJP.

The evening dinner was enhanced by a challenging speech by Sr Patty Fawkner SGS and a panel discussion chaired by Ms Phil Billington including Moira Najdecki, Sr Patty, the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Balvo and Fr Peter Jones OSA, the Chair of Catholic Religious Australia.

The AMPJP Forum followed on from the AGM, on Aug 21. Rosemary Copeland again led our prayer.

Guest speakers were Dr Chris Jacobs-Vandegeer on the Theology of the Human Person and Sherry Balcombe of Melbourne Aboriginal Catholic Ministry on Learning from and walking with Indigenous Australians. These were bright, energising presentations and very well received.  Kerry Brettell then led us to consider and reflect upon the learnings and challenges stewards have encountered in their MPJP ministries. A huge thankyou also to the organising committee.

Finally I attended the Catholic Health Australia Conference in Perth at the end of the month. The key issues emphasised by the Calvary Hospital Canberra takeover by government were the need to update our understanding of Catholic healthcare ethics to stress the positive work that we do, and our need to be able to express those, and the other wonderful work of Catholic healthcare, in ways that are meaningful and positive for the wider Australian community.

Might I also thank Lawrie Hallinan personally for his support as we transitioned over the last few weeks.  He has been incredibly generous with his time, and very kind in taking me through the many varied tasks, the many IT apps and the key issues for AMPJP,  often more than once to reinforce the learning.  He has really set up AMPJP as a very strong, well-organised and well-resourced ministry of the Church.

Martin Teulan

Dear Lord,

I choose to live by choice,
not by chance.

I choose to make changes,
not excuses.

I choose to be motivated,
not manipulated.

I choose to be drawn to the good,
not drift.

I choose to listen to my inner voice,
not the random opinions of the crowd.

I choose to be me.

Grace me with the freedom
to choose between options
that come my way.

With your Spirit,
help me sift the movements of head and heart
to discern between goods
and choose the better course.

I ask this in the name of Jesus,
our brother and Lord.


Prayer inspired by Miranda Marrott

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Photo by Lawrie Hallinan