January Media Release

2 February 2017 by

The Catholic Church in Australia has taken a large step forward with the move to form an association for lay people in significant Church leadership roles.

The establishment of the Association of Ministerial PJPs (the first of its kind in the world) will bring people together who are leading some of Australia’s major health, aged care and educational facilities.

This umbrella body will allow the PJPs (an abbreviation for Church entities known as public juridic persons) to interact formally with the Bishops, Church agencies and, importantly, with one another.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart welcomed the establishment of the new Association and said, “It represents a significant development for the Australian Church. As lay people take on new leadership roles in the Church and greater responsibilities, the Association will be a key means for open and ongoing interaction with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference”.

President of Catholic Religious Australia Sr Ruth Durick osu highlighted the transition of many ministries from congregational to lay leadership. She said, “It is a pleasing development that these PJPs now have a peak body comparable to Catholic Religious Australia. We look forward to working with the Association to advance ministerial works of the Church”.

Among the aims of the new association are actively to enable the co-responsibility of laity and clergy for the life of the Church and its ministries, and to offer a contemporary and encouraging example of Christ’s mission at work in the world.

The founding PJP members of the Association of Ministerial PJPs are Calvary Ministries, Catholic Healthcare, Dominican Education Australia, Edmund Rice Education Australia, Good Samaritan Education, Kildare Ministries, Mary Aikenhead Ministries, Mercy Partners and St John of God Australia Ltd.