The Bishops Commission for Church Ministry and the Bishops Commission for Family, Youth & Life corresponded with Bishop Bill in April inviting our diocese to participate in a response to the 2018 Synod of Bishops XV Ordinary General Assembly: Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. The diocese was invited to provide feedback to the Synod questionnaire via a diocesan-led consultation process as well as inviting people in the 16-29 age group to respond to an online survey.
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle established a reference group consisting of the Executive of the Diocesan Council of Ministry with Young People (DCMYP): James Elliott, Maryanne Hacker and Baden Ellis who were supported by the Diocesan Pastoral Support Unit.
The task of the reference group was to:
- support, advise and guide diocesan consultation for the Synod questionnaire in the spirit intended by Pope Francis and
- support the process of consultation regarding the Year of Youth in 2018.
The reference group identified six locations across the diocese in which to conduct open focus group meetings, based on the questions at the end of the Preparatory Document - Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.
The following groups were identified and communicated with directly as contributors to the focus group process and/or the online survey:
- CSO – All Year 11 and 12 students and some staff
- CSO – staff in schools
- Diocesan Council of Ministry with Young People
- University Chaplaincy
- CatholicCare Social Services
- Vocations – Fr Brian Mascord
- Indigenous voices – Aboriginal Catholic Ministry
- Refugee Service and other CatholicCare programs
- St Vincent de Paul Society
- Office of Life and Faith
- Sports Chaplaincy.
As well as the focus groups and online survey, people were invited to complete the questionnaire via our website. There was wide promotion across our diocese of this consultative process.
Each diocese was asked to submit a 20-page report after this consultation process.
Read the reports:
Youth Synod Survey- Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Australian Catholic Bishops Youth Survey 2017 - This material was prepared by the ACBC Pastoral Research Office from data obtained from the Australian Catholic Bishops Youth Survey 2017.