New format announced for evangelisation conference

The conference scheduled for October consolidates a number of national events supporting evangelisation and mission.

The Australian Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry will host a national online conference on evangelisation from October 20-22.

The conference, drawing on the Commission’s mandate, will promote understanding and explore practices of evangelisation in Australia through encounters with Christ, formation in discipleship, and mission in the world. It seeks to encourage Catholics to carry forward the Church’s evangelising mission after the second assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia.

Commission chair Archbishop Christopher Prowse said he was excited about the opportunities the conference would provide to explore the understanding, language and diversity of evangelisation in Australia, while supporting local dialogue and action.

“Evangelisation begins with an encounter with Jesus Christ, is nurtured through discipleship in our worshipping communities and calls us all to be missionary in the world,” he said. “This responsibility is not just for those in leadership, but for all.

“This conference for evangelisation will highlight the interconnection of the missionary call of each baptised person and dynamic faith communities in fulfilling the Church’s mission to evangelise. Local communities are encouraged to host gatherings to be a part of the conference dialogue.”

Clara Geoghegan, the Commission’s executive secretary, highlighted how the conference is a new dynamic within the Bishops Conference.

“This conference demonstrates the Australian bishops’ desire for ongoing local dialogue,” Ms Geoghegan said.

“We have decided to host an online gathering to ensure the conversation and content is more accessible to Catholics around Australia, regardless of their geographical location, available time or resources.

“It consolidates previous national conferences for evangelisation, youth ministers, women, men and other fields of ministry. It reduces costs for everyone involved, brings national and world-leading content into our local communities and encourages local dialogue and action which can help carry our Church forward into the future.”

Opening in the evening of Thursday, October 20 with a reflection on the Plenary Council and Australian reports to the General Synod on Synodality, the conference will progress to explore personal experiences and local strategies of evangelisation.

The conference will feature two live online gatherings on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22. Morning sessions, followed by a variety of conversation-starters, will nurture Church leadership and community ministries. Afternoon and evening sessions will explore the personal baptismal call of all Catholics to live the Church’s evangelising mission in the world, focusing on family, ecology, public life, new media, cultural engagement and more.

Conference details can be found on the National Centre for Evangelisation website.