Preparing for an AWESOME AMPJP Future: June Executive Director's Report

31 May 2024 - 19:17, by , in News, zNewsletter, Comments off

I have never really liked “awesome” as a word.  I think it sounds rather American, and I might have used “amazing” or “wonderful” instead. However I am told by younger members of our Church community that I need to update, so there you go! I am now naming the future for AMPJP as awesome!

Of course AMPJP is in itself not important.  It is the coming together of the world’s most comprehensive group of lay-led Catholic ministries to support each other and to work together where possible that is crucial.  AMPJP exists to support that important journey.

To that end, all three of AMPJP’s main Council and Committees are renewing their strategic directions at this time. This makes complete sense, as then all aspects of our work should fit together as pieces of an overall jigsaw puzzle, which together present a whole picture. It is also a bit crazy in terms of finding times for meetings and writing up papers, but I am so glad to be part of an organisation on the move in so many positive ways.

Wisdom Circles are enlivening the work of AMPJP.

I have found that the main focus of each of the Wisdom Circles so far has been quite different. One had a deep focus on the personal experience of being an MPJP Canonical Steward.  Another shared a wide range of concerns across the different ministries, and a third displayed members with an analytical approach to the whole Ministerial Public Juridic Person phenomena.  I am sure the Perth and Online Circles will similarly develop their own personalities!

The evaluations for the Circles so far have been extraordinarily positive.  The input from Jamie Calder sj is providing a welcome inspiration and a wonderful platform for discussion. Jamie is anonymising and collating all the responses for the research paper on Ecclesiology, Synodality and MPJPS.

Personally, I was interested to hear how we can be inclusive and really rejoice in the fact that so many people of various faiths or no faith want to join us in our Catholic mission to the Australian community and beyond. And how, at the same time, we can develop leaders at all levels of our ministries with the depth of faith and understanding to not only preserve the charism of the founders of the MPJP, but to drive it forward to address today’s unmet needs in a faithful mission of education, faith formation and corporal works of mercy.

Despite very healthy attendances this year, one of the main responses in our evaluations has been, “we need to tell our colleagues how valuable these Wisdom Circles are”.  So if your fellow Stewards/Trustees have not been able to attend so far, please suggest they attend the Online Circle being held for the first time this year. You can register here.

August 25-26 AMPJP AGM &Forum

The August Forum program will be released in full soon.  We have invited Susan Pascoe as our dinner speaker.  Susan is one of the world’s top experts on, and a key developer of the methodology of the Synod on Synodality.  Continuing the theme of Synodality, we will also build upon the discussions from the Wisdom Circles with a first draft from the MPJP research of Jamie Calder and Chris Jacobs-Vandegeer.  We pray there will be a sharing of a yet to be finalised opportunity for MPJPs on the international stage.  And you will learn much more about the future of AMPJP with the formal unveiling of our Strategic Direction for the next three years!

Oh, and for those who have been to Mary MacKillop Place previously for an AMPJP AGM & Forum, and will understand the joke, it won’t be quite the wedding feast at Cana, but there will be plenty of wine!  And there will be plenty of opportunity for fruitful discussions over that wine (or beer of soft drink!) with colleagues from our 15 ministries around Australia and New Zealand, and a few special guests.

If you are a Canonical Steward, MPJP Executive Officer or CORMSAA member, please ensure that Aug 25 and 26 is in your diary now.  Try to get your whole team there.  You won’t want to miss out. Like the future of AMPJP, it will be AWESOME!