Executive Officer’s Report: March 2020

27 March 2020 by

At the beginning of March 2020, I welcomed a visit to the AMPJP’s Newcastle office from Eva Skira AM, Chair of AMPJP Council and Michael Lee, Chair of Calvary Ministries. The visit was primarily for Eva’s WHS site inspection but we concluded with a lunch and extended discussion about all matters MPJP.














Much of the month I was busy with consultations regarding the AMPJP’s Committee of Religious Institute and Ministerial PJP  School Authorities Committee.

Like many others, I was disappointed on 23 March 2020 to see that the AMPJP’s nominated representatives were not included in the announcement of Delegates to the Plenary Council 2020. My understanding is that the Apostolic See has not yet responded to the ACBC’s request for an increased number of Plenary Council Delegates. If this request is accepted, the Plenary Council Facilitation Team have said that they will increase the number of lay Delegates and invite representatives from Catholic social services, health etc. I would expect that this will address the AMPJP’s request for MPJP Canonical Stewards to be invited to the Plenary Council 2020.

As the month of March draws to a close we see increasing restrictions from COVID-19. As a result, the AMPJP has postponed its annual Canonical Stewards Forum until 2021. We have also moved all meetings online, including our AGM. At this stage our next face-to-face meeting will be in February 2021.

Contemplating the widespread drought and bushfires of 2019-2020 and the COVID-19 outbreak we might conclude:
  • We are vulnerable – our health and our lifestyle can quickly erode due to changes in our environment;
  • We are not in control – our life circumstances can quickly rise and fall regardless of our efforts – we must have faith and patience;
  • We are equal – each of us can be afflicted by disaster and when this happens categories of wealth, culture, religion, gender, class do not seem so important;
  • We are connected – when one person, community or ecosystem is hurting it impacts on the rest of us;
  • We have few very real needs – the basic necessities, family and faith are what we value above all our usual material and status distractions;
  • We all have something which can help another – the amount and frequency will vary but all can give: prayer, a smile, skills, material aid or emotional support; and
  • We are filled when we give – our lives and our world are more abundant and secure when we care and share with others.  


Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them.

Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.

Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.

Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.

Fast from worry; feast on trust.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.

Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.

Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal Truth.

Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.

Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.

Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.

Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.

Gentle God,

during this season of fasting and feasting,

gift us with your presence,

so we can be a gift to others

in carrying out your work. Amen.

– Attributed to William Arthur Ward

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